Alien craft lands at Stone-Robinson?
Nope. The device pictured at left was installed at Stone-Robinson Elementary to monitor air quality. For years, some parents and teachers at the school have wondered about the dust that coated the playground and cars when neighboring Luck Stone was blasting. After a Hook article last October mentioned those concerns, parent Paul Accad asked the Department of Environmental Quality to test the air.
Fifteen days of random monitoring between February and May, including three days when the quarry was blasting, measured particles below state and federal standards. In this case, bigger particles
–- on average 16.7 microns–- are better than those below 10 microns, which can cause pulmonary fibrosis. "That's an insidious, vicious kind of disease to have," says Kathleen Klumpp, a respiratory therapist whose children used to attend the school. "We don't want to worry about kids having that down the road."
While the larger particles can exacerbate asthma, says Klumpp, she refers to them merely as "nuisance dust."
As for the students' reaction to the testing, says Stone Robinson principal Ashby Kindler, "They all wanted to know about the spaceship."