Why advocate for Local Farmland Preservation and Conservation?

This Thursday, the RI Senate Finance Committee will be hearing testimony for a allocating funds for farmland preservation. Rhode Island has the most expensive farmland in the country. Developers and their lawyers salivate over open land for affordable housing and solar farm projects, which guarantee them revenue and profit. How does this benefit us economically? Why do we need to preserve this land for farming? Here’s the written testimony I submitted this morning. Please read and consider sending in your own testimony. Let’s flood the state house with letters!

Date: Monday, May 23, 2023

To: Chairman Louis DiPalma, Senate Finance Committee

cc: Representative Michelle McGaw

From: Wendy Fachon, East Greenwich

RE: Support for S560: $5M for the Preservation, Protection and Conservation of Farmlands

Dear Chairman DiPalma,

I live in East Greenwich and am testifying in support for House Bill 6018 and Senate Bill 560, funding farmland conservation in the Governor’s FY 24 budget. Thank you bringing this issue to the attention of your committee, My husband I have been supporting farmland conservation through our weekly purchases at local farms and farmer markets, because the food quality and nutrition is better than store-bought produce that is grown and transported from afar.

When I do go food shopping at a supermarket, I notice that most of the produce is labeled as coming from California or south of the border. Between the breakdown of the food supply chain during the pandemic and California’s worsening climate and water challenges, it is time for Rhode Island to focus on food security for its citizens.

We recognize and appreciate the many quantifiable advantages, beyond food quality, of a local farm economy, because it…

  • keeps Rhode Island dollars circulating locally
  • provides over 2,500 “green economy” jobs and over $250 million in revenue
  • improves food security for all Rhode Island residents
  • eliminates fuel costs and carbon emissions that result from long distance transportation
  • attracts matching funds from federal and philanthropic resources
  • harbors the potential to grow exponentially, resulting in an abundance that can be exported out-of-state
  • helps achieve climate resiliency and soil fertility, through use of regenerative practices
  • assures fresher, better tasting food and less spoilage
  • generates agro-tourism dollars
  • builds our sense of community and pride

As you know, Rhode Island has the most expensive farmland in the country, making it difficult to grow the local farm economy. And yet, farmland preservation is a good long-term investment that will appeal to voters. I am among the many asking you to include $5 million in the budget to support the Agricultural Land Preservation Commission, which is critical to preserving important RI farmland.

Thank you, Chairman DiPalma and Finance Committee members, for your service and for listening. Please, help pull S560 through the budget allocation process, so $5 million (or more) can go towards farmland preservation in the Governor’s FY ‘24 Budget. Lead us forward.

Thank you!

Wendy Fachon

East Greenwich, RI

Submit to senatefinance@rilegislature.gov and copy your local senator and house representative on your correspondence. Go here for the email addresses.

Weather or Not: Intentional Manipulation

Have you ever noticed strange cloud patterns in the sky? One day as I sat outside a city cafe with my family, we noticed airplane exhaust trails crisscrossing the sky like utility wires.

I recalled this scene yesterday, while attending a meeting of the Special Commission to Study Intentional Manipulation of the Global Environment Through Geoengineering, and listening to a riveting presentation by a member of the commission, Rachael McIntosh. She began with a story:

“My sister and I spent a lot of time at TF Green Airport waiting around in that big green hanger on Airport Road while dad did up his flight plan after checking in with the weather station. Little did I realize that years later my life would be focused on the weather, specifically with something called geoengineering.”

What is geoengineering? McIntosh explains, “Geoengineering is ‘the intentional manipulation of the environment, involving, nuclear, biological, chemical, electromagnetic, and/or other physical-agent activities that effect changes to Earth’s atmosphere and/or surface.’

“There are many types of Geoengineering.  For instance, if you build a dam and create a lake, that’s geoengineering!  If you inject Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) as dry ice, into the atmosphere to create rain, that’s geoengineering too!  

“You’ve seen the results in the sky.  The sky looks different than it did 20 years ago. It’s a lot more murky and polluted looking. New, man-made cloud types now exist and are being taught to kids in school.”

McIntosh has compiled an impressive amount of research on the history of this science:

“These artificial clouds are what those big binders that I brought in deal with.  Those documents outline a comprehensive time line of weather control and reveal intense efforts to militarize the power of being able to control natural phenomena.  

“Rhode Island’s Senator Claiborne Pell, pictured on that first binder, was the first elected official to recognize the dangers of geoengineering. In 1975 he wrote an Editorial in The Providence Journal called, ‘United States and Other World Powers Should Outlaw Tampering With Weather for Use as a War Weapon.’ He was afraid that world leaders would, ‘start directing storms, manipulating climates, and inducing earthquakes against their enemies…’

“Senator Pell knew of Operation Popeye, a highly classified weather modification program that was used in Vietnam to extend the monsoon season.  Modified rain poured down upon the Ho Chi Minh Trail, extending the rainy season over the main military supply route for the Viet Cong.”

Does this pique your curiosity? A part of me would like to put my head in the sand and ignore it, however, the better part of me wants to learn more. If the chemical agents being used in atmospheric geoengineering are showering down from above, how toxic are they? The purpose of the special commission is to study and provide recommendations for state regulation and licensure of all geoengineering technologies, as outlined in RI H6011 The Geoengineering Act of 2017. The focus of the Study Commission will be determining how to implement the new process and how to enforce the new regulations and insure that emissions of any sort that result from geoengineering, proposed or already in use, are safe for people and the environment.

McIntosh explains the need for the law and the commission: “No one is breaking any laws in Rhode Island as all this weather modification / geoingineering stuff swirls around us, and that’s because WE HAVE NO LAW governing Geoengineering.  We are allowing these xenobiotic, neurotoxic, carcinogenic agents to be showered upon us willy-nilly with no legal recourse as our people and our environment are becoming more and more fragile due to ongoing exposure.”

“Mark Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University says in a letter of support for The Rhode Island Geoengineering Act, that he ‘strongly supports the goals of analyzing and regulating any proposed geoengineering activity before it is put in place in the atmosphere or oceans because of the strong unintended consequences of such activities and the fact that they do not solve atmospheric problems, merely mask them for future generations to deal with while the underling problems worsen.’”

McIntosh puts the state legislative effort into perspective: “The federal government and transnational organizations have not, and will not do it for us. Currently the State of Rhode Island requires a license to cut fingernails. Geoengineering is a far greater public safety threat but is completely unregulated.”

McIntosh’s presentation is an appeal to the people of Rhode Island, “State legislation is essential because international groups are scrambling to impose geoengineering governance upon us without our consent. Either we impose regulatory prohibition of Geoengineering within a legal framework here in Rhode Island, or we lose the ability to have any input or oversight over these hazardous activities, and unelected global agencies will govern geoengineering for us… The people of Rhode Island are NOT subjects!  We have the absolute right and authority to govern ourselves.”

What is geoengineering really all about? How harmful is it? Rhode Islanders can learn a little more by listening to yesterday’s complete presentation on Capitol TV and attending future hearings. Clearly more dots need to be connected.

Interested citizens are invited attend the next meeting of the commission on Tuesday, March 12 at 2:30 pm in Room 101 at the Rhode Island State House. Those who wish to speak in front of the commission can sign up to do so upon arrival. Testimony should be limited to 2 minutes.

What can Rhode Islanders do to get involved in this issue? Contact local representatives and senators to share opinions, personal stories, rain water testing results, medical test results… and write to Representative Justin Price, head of the study commission. Your words matter!

Writing for Advocacy

Dear Senator Reed,

We’re writing to ask your support for HRes 69, the National DIPG Awareness Resolution, in 2019, and to share our child’s brain cancer story. The resolution recognizes a day for educating the public about the importance of investing in pediatric cancer research through sharing the stories of DIPG families. These stories are important for promoting the search for safer, gentler, more effective solutions for treating brain tumors in children.

On March 4, 2016, we sat with our 19-year-old son, Neil, as he received a diagnosis of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare inoperable form of brain cancer. He also received a prognosis of three months life expectancy… or six months, if he chose to undergo six weeks of radiation therapy, by which time, he was told, there may arise a hopeful solution. DIPG families have been listening to these same words for over 50 years, without any advancement in treatment. When Neil decided against radiation, we helped him research and develop a systemic whole body approach, combining alternative treatment strategies.

On June 4, Neil posted the following message on Facebook:

“Today is a bit of a strange day for me. It marks 3 months since being diagnosed with DIPG, the same time frame doctors originally gave me to live. According to the typical case, I shouldn’t be typing to you now.

“So why am I still here? Just some divine act of luck that decided to transcend science? No. There has definitely been some seriously divine luck, but science has not been transcended. Many things have come together to make this all happen as well as it has, but two deserve special note.

“Firstly, the importance of my mom’s understanding and applications of holistic health principles cannot be overstated. I never believed how important this dietary stuff was, but, it’s true, you really are what you eat, which makes me heaps of organic greens, consciously chosen meats, and precisely picked grains all knotted up with specialized supplements. Some may call this hogwash, but when you actually feel it help stabilize what’s considered one of the most malicious tumors, you tend to disagree.

“Secondly, this knot that’s all tied up about Burzynski needs to be let loose. When we first came down to Texas we obviously had no idea what kind of rats nest we were getting into with the FDA. My family and I took in the picture as given, weighing all probabilities, and decided this “renegade doctor” was worth the risk. A 30-year track record of anecdotal success paired with the fact that they were actually offering a clinical trial, something that requires enormous time and effort to put on, gave me more than enough confidence to give them a shot. Why waste their time and money on something they didn’t believe actually works?

“The FDA had to give the trial the green-light-go-ahead, which they did over a year ago. Then, suddenly, the day I began treatment, they decided to pull the plug from thin air, giving little more reason then “cuz we said so.” Thank God for a good judge who cared about human rights, or I might well just be another bug-on-a-rug.

“I have now been on treatment for a fairly significant portion of time and can confidently say it is helping. There is very real legitimacy to the claims of the Burzynski Clinic, and furthermore they have continued to show us nothing but the greatest human hospitality.

“Now, I continue to press on with these forces guiding my health. Only time will tell how I progress, but I approach tomorrow with faith. There are a lot of forces out of my control, but no matter what, I continually remind myself, I get to be alive here and now. I have found the present is a gift worth appreciating a little more.”

Later in June, we received a letter from from Vice President Joe Biden about the cancer moonshot project, which stated: “We will ensure that the patient community is heard, so that patients and their families are treated as partners in care and are given access to their own data and the opportunity to contribute to research.” It’s time for the patient community to be heard. DIPG families have many stories to tell. We all have knowledge, experience, data and heartache to share. Neil passed away February 19, 2017, and we want to assure that his death and suffering, and that of so many other children, was not in vain.

Please refer to the attached photos and the HRes 69 Senate packet, created by the DIPG Advocacy Group, and help us by leading the way to support HRes 69.


Wendy & Dean Fachon

This is an example of writing for advocacy. Senators Reed (RI) and Rubio (FL) will be leading the way for HRes 69 in the U.S. Senate in 2019. Incidentally, this coming year marks the 50th anniversary of the first man’s first step onto the moon. That was Neil Armstrong. Incidentally, he lost his daughter, Muffy to DIPG in 1962.  And, incidentally, our son, Neil, was named for Neil Armstrong. We are inspired by coincidence and urge DIPG families and friends to call, write and visit their congressmen and senators to request support and share their stories. We are here to help people edit letters for impact. In fact, why not compile and publish these stories in a book to dedicated to advocacy and centered around the cause that has touched all our lives – finding a cure for cancer. The goal of this advocacy project is fifty stories,  representing DIPG families and friends in all fifty states. DIPG stories from outside the U.S. would be a welcome bonus, because we want to know what the experience is like in other countries. Please submit advocacy letters, which include a call to action, story and pictures, here. Limit to under 750 words, and make every word count.

To learn more about DIPG advocacy, listen to the December 13 podcast of Childhood Cancer Talk Radio, Every Voice Matters: The Power of Initiative in Advocacy.

April 18, 2016 – Neil, outpatient, after completing surgery for installation of arterial catheter.

December, 2016 – Neil’s first in-patient hospitalization, head shaved for emergency shunt surgery, after neuro-radiologist assigned to his clinical trial case neglected timely notification of hydrocephalus evident in November 15 MRI (shown here with math teacher, SLTP colleague and Patriots fan, Chris Boie).