MONTROSE, Pa. – Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and Susan Sarandon spoke out against fracking Thursday during a tour of natural-gas drilling sites in northeastern Pennsylvania, warning about what they view as the danger to air, water and human health.
The celebrities boarded a tour bus in New York City and headed to rural Susquehanna County to see gas wells, compressor stations and other evidence of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom, and to visit with residents who say they have been negatively impacted by drilling.
Ono and her son formed a group called “Artists Against Fracking” to oppose drilling in New York state, where they own a farm and where drilling and hydraulic fracturing have been on hold for several years while officials there develop regulations for the industry. Local anti-drilling activists led Thursday’s tour in Pennsylvania, where thousands of wells have been drilled and fracked in recent years.
“We hope that what’s happened here will be a lesson for New Yorkers,” Lennon said. “I hope that New Yorkers will learn from this and tell Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo that it’s not something we have to do.”
Ono accused the gas industry of disregarding residents’ welfare. “They care about making money,” she said.
Drillers use the fracking technique to stimulate oil and gas production. It involves the high-pressure injection of millions of gallons of water, along with sand and chemical additives, deep underground to break apart shale rock and free the gas trapped inside it. The industry and many federal and state officials say fracking is safe when done properly, but environmentalists and some scientists contend the risk of contamination is too great.
The stars met with Matthew and Tammy Manning, who blame the high level of methane in their well water on a natural gas driller, WPX Energy. The driller is paying to deliver replacement water while state environmental officials investigate the cause.
“They say it’s safe, but it’s not,” Matthew Manning told Ono, Lennon and Sarandon.
Schilling’s sock is expected to fetch $100,000
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling — whose video game company collapsed into bankruptcy last year — is selling the blood-stained sock he wore during the 2004 World Series.
Chris Ivy, director of sports for Texas-based Heritage Auctions, says online bidding begins around Feb. 4. Live bidding will take place Feb. 23.
The sock previously had been on loan to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It has been at Heritage’s Dallas headquarters for several weeks and will be displayed at the auction house’s Manhattan office before it is sold.
Ivy said the sock is expected to fetch at least $100,000, although he described that as a conservative estimate.
Schilling’s company, 38 Studios, was lured to Providence, R.I., from Massachusetts with a $75 million loan guarantee in 2010.
Rihanna’s collection to debut next month
NEW YORK – Rihanna’s collection for British brand River Island is scheduled for its debut next month during London Fashion Week.
Fashion week organizers listed the pop star on its official calendar of fall previews as they sent out registration materials Thursday to the editors, stylists and retailers who cover designer collections.
The 24-year-old’s first collection of clothing and accessories will be shown Feb. 16. Items will be available in River Island stores in Great Britain, and in the United States and Japan at Opening Ceremony starting on March 5.
Rihanna said an appearance at fashion week is “a dream come true.”
– From news service reports