It was intriguing to read the December 19, 2012 edition of the Bitterroot Star weekly as Carlotta Grandstaff wrote an article for the Rocky Mountain Labs and their work on a new virus. In the past, I had quoted her work from the Missoula In
dependent with regards to Geoff Mahar orchestrating felonies to obtain fraudulent convictions, but Ravalli County never does anything like that.
The Rocky Mountain Labs have been in Hamilton, MT for about 100 years, information Ms. Grandstaff neglected to report. As Mark Twain once said, “Get the facts first, then distort them as you please.” Dr. Heinz Feldman, Chief of the Virology Laboratory at RM, mentioned how the facility in Hamilton is built for examining dangerous viruses that have potential for public health damage. The Rocky Mountain Lab was designed by Marshall Bloom with a disregard for the public’s health in Hamilton, MT. After three years of operation, RML can’t even provide employee parking without purchasing, and grading residential property north of federal property.
The RML lab is credited for a cure to the still under-diagnosed Lyme Disease, and dug a moat around the RML facility to convince local residents that ticks couldn’t swim. Lyme, Connecticut (named for this tick-borne disease) is across the Sound from Long Island, NY where NIH had a facility at Fire Island. Today no moats are needed, every official at NIH feels Rocky Mountain Laboratories is safe including Bloom, Feldman, the Director, and officials in the Office of Facility Services for NIH.
RML is the only bio-level 4 laboratory (of 4) without fire protection adjacent, or on the facility. The Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD) is no match to Bethesda, MD fire department, or the revamped fire department on the Bethesda NIH campus. The Raleigh-Durham Fire Department has more resources and capability, as does the Frederick, MD Fire Department, than HVFD. On September 12, 2011, the only communication network operational in Hamilton was two-way radio, as a fiber-optic telephone cable was severed. NIH was not prepared or protected by the Ravalli County 911 center or otherwise as no Bio-Hazmat capabilities are within 50 miles.
RML, which claims to be prepared for any virus, emits sound from its cooling and exhaust fans with a frequency in the low range which penetrates homes, causes depression, heart problems and awakens residents (sleep deprivation) who pay federal taxes for the NIH lab. Rocky Mountain Labs published a newsletter to the community May 31, 2011 that stated the noise coming from the new $66M lab in Hamilton was less than before the lab was built! We were not born yesterday, NIH. RML’s sound contractor was sanctioned with a cease and desist letter by the State of Montana for practicing engineering without a license in Hamilton, MT for NIH.
While Dr. Feldman and Marshall Bloom may feel Rocky Mountain Labs is ready to examine viruses that have public health hazards, perhaps these NIH officials might want to start with their agency goals of accountability to the public and scientific integrity. As homes are within 10 feet of noise sources, standard buffers dictate a 1500 ft. protection zone. As the constant noise of RML affects our neighborhood, it is far different than attempting to fool us with a moat, or a newspaper article saying RML is built to handle dangerous viruses.