Midway to Nowhere

The residents of Daly City's Midway Village wonder if their environmental concerns will ever be addressed

With two court decisions in their favor, the government and PG&E have no legal obligations to meet any of the residents' demands. Spokeswoman Mary Rodrigues says, "PG&E has received these requests. We have considered them, but we haven't made any decisions."

As PG&E ponders, the utility reiterates a refrain: Midway Village was and is safe. "The information we have given out to the residents over and over again, they either don't believe it, or think something is left out," Rodrigues says. "A lot of their concerns, if they had more information, they would be alleviated. There would be no more concerns."

The San Mateo Housing Authority echoes PG&E's view. "They don't trust the people who are telling them what the evidence says," says Peter Finck, an attorney for the Housing Authority.

The state Department of Toxic Substance Control agrees. "There is misinformation and misunderstanding of data," agency project manager Wanger says.

Midway Village is, indeed, full of suspicion. But the suspicions are reasonable, given the Midway experience, and the eight years of false denials that were fed to residents. Some residents even wonder whether the government, their attorneys, and the utility are partners in a conspiracy against them.

At least a dozen Midway residents say they will continue to pursue their case. "We are just going to fight until there is no air left in us," says Lula Bishop, a Midway resident of nearly two decades and a plaintiff of the lawsuit pending appeal.

LaDonna Williams is prepared to sacrifice the hair salon she owns and operates, if that is necessary to obtain what she sees as justice for Midway. "I am not going to stop until I get justice. I am not. I am determined I am going to get justice," Williams, a devout Jehovah's Witness, says.

"I firmly believe I have the support of God, and God does have the power. That's where our power is going to come from. That's what these agencies are not counting on. We have righteousness on our side."

As things now stand, it may take divine intervention for the concerns of Midway Village residents to be assuaged.

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