Resident Starts 'Something Stinks in Attica' Facebook Page in Protest
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"I woke up and I was coughing, and all I could smell was the smell coming from Hillcrest,” said Dan Eichelberger.
It was a warm June night when Eichelberger got the idea.
"I went and I sat on Facebook. 'I'm pretty mad, I'm gonna make a Facebook page that says 'Something Stinks in Attica.'"
Eichelberger lives just three doors down from Hillcrest Industries, the company accused of stinking up this village.
"About 24 hours later, I had about 50 people following the page."
Now, "Something Stinks" has become a rallying point for this community.
"We don't have pitchforks, but we have 'digital pitchforks.' Almost every person these days is carrying around a cell phone, can snap a picture if they see something down there that's not right."
The "Facebook protest" is a trend just reaching its peak. Pioneered by the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, many are now realizing the power Facebook gives to the people.
"Whether it will have the desired result is going to depend on how much pressure the company feels,” said Mike Johansson, RIT Social Media lecturer.
Johansson has studied such growth in social media during the past five years, and is intrigued by the Attica page.
"It's very effective. I mean, they did start June 16th, but there has been a lot of activity in the last month, so obviously, the word is starting to spread. And this often happens in social media: you get the snowball effect. And it's easy to do that, because you only need 10 people, to tell 10 more people, to tell 10 more people – all of a sudden, you've got a thousand people involved."
The "Something Stinks" page is already over 700 members, and Eichelberger says it's definitely gotten the company's attention.
"A lot of us who've been very vocal about this, have started to get some intimidation upon us. We've had vehicles stop in front of our house, drive by real slow, had people drive by and yell things at our house."
But the Facebook community won't back down.
"If everybody just stands together on this, and everybody speaks… that is what's going to accomplish this."
Hillcrest environmental consultant Peter Tarnawskyj gave YNN these statements on Tuesday. First, on the state of the giant glass pile which causes the smell:
“We have applied a material called Posi-Shell. This creates a 'crust' over the pile, which prevents oxygen from moving within. It will not eliminate the odor immediately, but it has reduced the intensity."
And on the “Something Stinks in Attica” Facebook page, Tarnawskyj said:
“I am focused on solving the problem at hand, not on a Facebook page. It would only be a distraction from the job of eliminating the odor.”Also Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Conservation officially blamed faulty air filtering equipment at Hillcrest for the glass particles recently found floating through the air in Attica. The DEC has ordered Hillcrest to improve its filtering system.