I’ll be speaking on a panel about lead poisoning this Wednesday, April 24, at Haverhill Community Media. The panel, from 7 to 9 p.m., will feature state Rep. Andy Vargas, the primary sponsor on a bill advocating for lead pipe safety; Andrea Watson, founder of Lead Free MA, which is sponsoring the discussion; Wanda Carolina Santos, vice president of community living for a center serving adults with disabilities, and Laura Spark, environmental health program director at Clean Water Action.

I’ll be talking about the importance of local news in reporting on environmental contamination. During the 1980s, I was one of several reporters at The Daily Times Chronicle in Woburn, Massachusetts, who covered drinking water pollution and its possible link to childhood leukemia in that community. Without the pioneering work of one of my colleagues, Charles Ryan, the story may have faded away.

Wednesday’s panel discussion will be recorded before a live audience for later broadcast. The event will be held at HC Media’s Haverhill studio at 2 Merrimack St. It will be moderated by HC Media’s engagement manager, Lindsay Paris, with opening remarks by Mayor Melinda Barrett. Attendance is free, but space is limited. Please register in advance by clicking here.

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