Tag Archives: divine strake

Remembering Corbin Harney

The day I arrived in Reading, Pennsylvania, July 11, I received an email that Corbin Harney, Western Shoshone Spiritual Leader, had passed.  He had been dealing with the effects of cancer. 

I feel blessed to have been associated with Corbin and able to participate in many events where he was present, inlcuding actions at the test site, in Skull Valley, and at his healing center,Poo-ah-bah, at his home in California.  His sunrise ceremonies were healing, his talks provided wisdom and knowledge, his words engraved inspiration.  He will be sorely missed.

Experts now admit the potential devastating danger of Divine Strake

Thank goodness we got it stopped.  The people do have the power.  Sometimes Davey wins.

Friday, June 29, 2007
Experts: Divine Strake ‘Mushroom Cloud’ Could Have Sickened Many
Associated Press Writer
June 28th, 2007

LAS VEGAS (AP) – A non-nuclear explosive test planned by the government could have spread  lethal radioactive particles across the Nevada desert and beyond had it not been  canceled, experts testified Wednesday.

“A new generation of ‘downwinders’ would have been created, with cancers and birth  defects,” said Robert Hager, a Reno lawyer who summoned witnesses to try to drive a stake  through any future plans for the “Divine Strake” test at the Nevada Test Site 85 miles  northwest of Las Vegas.

The explosion of a 700-ton fuel oil and fertilizer bomb was proposed to gather data about  penetrating underground bunkers that produce and store weapons of mass destruction. But  the prospect of a mushroom cloud in the desert prompted a lawsuit and intense opposition  in Utah and Nevada, where critics feared it would scatter decades-old radioactive  material from previous Cold War-era tests.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency canceled the test in February.

Justice Department lawyers urged U.S. District Judge Lloyd George not to hold Wednesday’s  hearing, arguing the cancellation made the issue moot.

“DTRA has no plans to conduct either the Divine Strake experiment or any tests using  open-air explosive detonations at the (Nevada Test Site),” government lawyers Caroline  Blanco and Sara Culley declared in documents filed in the case.

“We think it should be completely over,” Blanco said Wednesday.

But Hager pleaded with the judge to order the government to provide notice and an  opportunity for public hearings if a similar test is resurrected.

Hager also sought the recovery from the government of $400,000 in attorney and legal fees  he claims were racked up forcing DTRA to pull the plug on the Divine Strake experiment.

He said the government first postponed the test and later canceled it only after his  clients, the Western Shoshone tribe members and others in Nevada and Utah, filed a  lawsuit and found fatal flaws in the environmental impact reports.

The judge, who has heard months of arguments since the blast was initially scheduled for  June 2006, did not make immediate rulings on those requests. He gave both sides several  weeks to file briefs before he decides.

But he agreed to hear the experts Hager brought to Las Vegas to testify that the  government failed to adequately study possible health effects of the blast.

Plutonium expert Michael Ketterer, a chemistry and biochemistry professor at Northern  Arizona University in Flagstaff, testified that government soil samples found “no doubt”  there was radioactive contamination at the blast site.

Diane Stearns, a Northern Arizona University biochemist and uranium expert, faulted a  December 2006 draft environmental report on the proposed blast for failing to answer what  she called the “obvious” question.

“The public wants to know: What are the health risks from the fallout?” she said on the  witness stand. “We know this radioactivity is carcinogenic. We know it can cause cancer.”

Government officials a year ago downplayed surface contamination, and then said they  didn’t expect the blast would disturb fallout left from the 100 aboveground and 828  underground nuclear weapons tests conducted at the test site from 1951 to 1992.

Thousands of people who lived near the test site – called downwinders – were exposed to  cancer-causing radiation from the weapons tests.

Ketterer said Wednesday that plastic shovel sampling for a December 2006 environmental  study was so “abbreviated and hasty” he could not tell how much plutonium there was on  the surface around the Divine Strake site.

“They didn’t test enough so that a report could be provided to represent the danger?” the  judge asked.

“Yes, your honor,” Ketterer replied.

“The report as far as you’re concerned was inadequate?”


Over the image of a huge crater left from a July 1962 nuclear test dubbed “Sedan,”  Richard Miller, a researcher, author and former federal Occupational Safety and Health  Administration compliance agent, testified that for many years radioactive fallout from
Nevada traveled across the U.S.

Miller compared the 10,000-foot dust plume that officials said would have been generated  by the Divine Strake blast with a dust cloud kicked up by the 104-kiloton Sedan test,  which was detonated at a shallow 600 feet below ground.

Miller also offered charts showing widespread and random radioactivity deposits around  the nation after nuclear tests in the past, and called it impossible to predict where  microscopic particles cast so high in the atmosphere would settle.

“A debris cloud can be scavenged by a thunderstorm and 99 percent of the material can  come to Earth within an hour,” Miller said. But he said measurements also found  radioactive clouds wafted north to Canada, west to California or east as far as Maine.

Hager noted that the government had predicted dust churned up by the Divine Strake test  would settle within about 50 miles – or near the boundary of the Nevada Test Site.

The blast was to have been 280 times larger than the bomb that destroyed the Alfred P.  Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

TO SUBMIT an ARTICLE, OPINION PIECE, COMMENTS to the Native Unity Digest, e-mail

NATIVE UNITY – A place for Native American Peoples to solidify their tribes to make a
positive impact on the cultural, social, economic and political fabric of American
society and a place for non-Natives to better understand the ways of the American Indian.

AIROS NATIVE NETWORK plays music, news and other great programs from Indian Country –

FOR NATIVE CELEBRITY NEWS – go to http://www.nativecelebs.com

Visit Vietnam Vet. LARRY MITCHELL at http://www.potawatomivet.com and click on his blog
at the site.

NATIVE BIZ LEARNING CENTER – http://www.learn.nativebiz.com was developed for tribal education
specialists serving tribal communities. Any tribal community can register at NO COST.

NAJA ALERTS, POTPOURRI – Every Tuesday when available.

Desert Greens in the Media

The Desert Greens Green Party of Utah got some media attention today, in repsonse to Desert Greens, Green Party of Utah Celebrate Cancellation of Divine Strake Test and The Desert Greens, Green Party of Utah applauds Governor Huntsman’s efforts
to support both Utah farmers and the development of renewable energy in Utah

Red-letter week buoys Utah Greens
By Lee Benson
Deseret Morning News

Eileen McCabe is trying hard. She really is.
But it’s obvious she hasn’t had much practice at this sort of thing.
I’m talking about celebrating.
Eileen is a card-carrying member of the Green Party, one of two people in Utah assigned as a delegate to the national party, and she and her Green peers have just gone through one terrific week.
First there was the announcement from the federal government that it was abandoning its plans to detonate the Divine Strake explosion upwind in Nevada — something the Desert Greens, which is what Green Party members in Utah call themselves, have been laboriously campaigning for.
Next there was Sunday night’s Academy Awards, where Al Gore’s documentary about global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” won two Oscars.
And finally, as a kind of organic cherry on top, there was Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s announcement this week of his support for Utah farmers and the development of renewable energy in Utah.
Right now, it sure is great to be green.
Eileen knows this, and as she takes a break from her day job in Murray for a short interview with the media, meaning me, she says so with an emphatically redundant, “Oh it’s great, it’s great.”
But that’s it. There are no back flips, no gushing speeches, no Toyota hybrid jumps, no plans for a big victory bash.
The best Eileen can do is speculate that when she and her fellow Greens next get together in person — after Thursday’s regular anti-war vigil in front of the Federal Building in downtown Salt Lake perhaps — they might stop long enough for a toast with union-made beer.
“We’re really into union-made beer,” she explains. “The only one I know of is Pabst Blue Ribbon, so we’ll probably get together with some Pabst Blue Ribbon and toss back a few.”
But beyond that, no plans other than to keep on keeping on.
“Honestly, we’re not used to this,” she says, meaning the winning.
Then she quickly adds, “And the battle might be over, but the war isn’t.”
“An Inconvenient Truth” may have won an Oscar, but lots of people are still driving SUVs. Divine Strake may have been cancelled, but the federal nuclear program is still going strong. And then there’s that situation in Iraq.
“If they cancelled the (nuclear) program and ended the war in Iraq and didn’t start one with Iran,” says Eileen, “then maybe we’d take the week off.”
And Pabst Blue Ribbon wouldn’t know what hit it.

Lee Benson’s column runs Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please send e-mail to benson@desnews.com and faxes to 801-237-2527.

Divine Strake News

It’s still hard for me to believe that this test has been cancelled. I have been working with the Stop the Divine Strake Coalition for about a year on this issue. (See all my posts on Divine Strake.) What a great feeling to know that this particular project is coming to a close because of the victory of the people. It’s nice to celebrate one small victory in the struggle.

Updated news stories
TEST SITE EXPLOSION: Divine Strake blast dead: Opposition to bunker-buster experiment strong
Utah kills the bomb: Divine Strake is Dead
Utahns react to Divine Strake cancellation
“We’re Not Going to Be Downwind”
Downwinders express gratitude to Utah people and leaders
Divine Strake bites the dust: Huntsman, others hail cancellation of blast
Feds pull plug on desert blast – Public outcry derails Pentagon’s planned test


While I always remain skeptical of sudden government announcements, I am overjoyed to hear this:

Cancellation of Proposed Divine Strake Experiment

Continue reading

Utah’s ABC Channel 4’s bravery in confronting the government on Divine Strake

BE SURE TO WATCH THIS STUNNING VIDEO and account of delivery of email comments that overloaded the government’s computers so channel 4 decided to deliver them. Watch and listen to the resistance they confronted and the statement by channel 4.
Channel 4, KUDOS!!

Re: Divine Strake


Go to http://www.abc4.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoID=59263

or http://www.abc4.com and click on the video for the story ‘ ABC 4 hand delivers viewers comments to the Department of Energy in Las Vegas ‘ that includes a moving commentary from Terry Wood, a 40-year veteran journalist.




The video may not work best with Firefox; if so, try Internet explorer.

Andrew at StopDivineStrake.com
Continue reading

Divine Strake Hearing Comments

Listen to the entire hearing
Written Text:
Eileen McCabe, sister radical cheerleader
Sound files:
Pete Ashdown,2006 U.S. Senate Candidate
Cindy Bur, local activist
Shea Pickelner, sister radical cheerleader
Rupert Steele, Goshute Tribe


Divine Strake Test Hearing

Tonight is the Governor of Utah’s Public Hearing on the Divine Strake Test:

Utah State Capitol, West Building, Room 135 (Main Floor, NW)
450 N. State Street, 5:30 – 8:30 PM

The Divine Strake experiment is proposed by the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) and outlined in their “Draft December 2006 Revised Environmental Assessment, for the Large-Scale, Open-Air Explosive Detonation Divine Strake at the Nevada Test Site.”

Governor Huntsman will make introductory remarks at the Salt Lake City hearing and January 24th and a court reporter will record all public comments at both meetings. The Governor will include a transcript of the hearings in his comment letter to the NNSA/NSO opposing the Divine Strake experiment.

Dianne Nielson, (801) 536-4402
Executive Director, DEQ
Donna Spangler, (801) 536-4484
Public Information Officer, DEQ

Pom Poms Not Bomb Bombs plans to make an appearance as folks arrive for the hearing.


Divine Strake “public meetings”

Last night was the Salt Lake session sponsored by the feds on the Divine Strake Test at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.
I stood outside with a few others with protest signs and handed out literature. As soon as we arrived we were approached by hotel security and told we couldn’t be there with our signs. We promptly told him we could be on the sidewalk because it is public property. He tried to tell us we need a license to do that, to which Tom replied:
(stepping on hotel sidewalk block)This is Grand America. (stepping on public sidewalk)This is America, land of the free where we have the right to exercise our freedom of expression.”

That shut him up.

We took turns going inside, although I chose to stay outside the whole time.
Everyone I talked to going in and out was opposed to the test. One man inside caused an uproar when had yelled out for those opposed to the test to say so (to which the entire room did). He was escorted out (go Kevin Donahue!).

We all were interviewed by the media. Tom’s quote got into the Deseret News (link to article below):
“My primary concern is for the well-being of life on this planet,” said Tom King, Salt Lake City. Besides damage from radioactive isotopes at the test site, he said, he is worried about the government’s intentions.
“They want to see what a little nuke will do to underground facilities,” King said.

The governor has set dates for hearings:
Governor sets Divine Strake hearings

Articles in today’s news about the meeting:
Divine Strake session criticized
Divine Strake visitors frustrated
‘Divine Strake’ meeting draws small but boisterous crowd
Meeting Regarding Explosion Draws Big Crowd
Divine Strake Hearing Draws Hundreds

Stop the Divine Strake Hearings

Next week there will be National Nuclear Security Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency “public hearings” on the Divine Strake Test in Nevada and Utah (schedule below) – only they aren’t really “hearings” but, rather, “poster shows”. While written comments will be accepted, the public will not be permitted to make public comment at these “hearings”.

The Stop the Divine Strake Coalition, of which I am a member, brainstormed last week on how the public would be able to vocally voice comments on the DS Test. We decided that organizing and holding our own hearings was necessary and have proceeded to organize them. We plan to videotape the hearings and send them to the DTRA.

One of the coalition members contacted Utah Governor Huntsman’s office to see if he would agree to hold a public hearing.

He agreed.

Today’s Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News have articles on the Governor’s acceptance of the concept of holding a hearing:
Guv wants Utah to have a say
State will hold its own public hearings to allow residents to express Divine Strake concerns

Huntsman orders 2 hearings on ‘Strake’

Schedule of next week’s Federal Government “hearings”:

  • Tuesday, January 9th, 6:30 pm – Cashman Center – Las Vegas, NV –
    for more info call Nevada Desert Experience (702) 646-4814 or Citizen
    Alert (702) 796-5662

  • Wednesday, January 10th, 6:30 pm – Energy Solutions Arena – Salt
    Lake City, UT – for more info call HEAL Utah (801) 355-5055

  • Thursday, January 11th, 6:30 pm – Dixie Center – St. George, UT

    The Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the National Nuclear Security Agency will also accept comments on the environmental assessment through Feb. 7. They should be mailed to NNSA/NSO, Divine Strake EA Comments, P.O. Box 98518, Las Vegas, NV 89193-8518, or e-mailed to divinestrake@nv.doe.gov or faxed to 702-295-0625.