Jay Cronley: Meth map may have silver lining
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Friday, February 15, 2013
2/15/13 at 4:00 AM
Three days ago, two readers from different parts of the country emailed to ask that I please "do something" about the identical piece of information.
When readers from vastly different parts of the country use their real names and comment about the same article, it stands to reason that something out there might be worth reading.
One person emailed from this city. His comment was, "This is embarrassing."
The other response was from Los Angeles. He said, "What kind of no man's land are you living in?"
The last time I was asked to "do something" was when a friend's cat ran away at 3 a.m.
Doing something is often the hardest work.
Meth alley: Tuesday, the two readers directed me to the CNN Money site on the Internet, and then to one of the lead stories.
The headline was: Do you live near a meth lab?
The subheadline was: In Tulsa County, Okla., police have identified 979 contaminated meth lab sites - the most of any county in the nation.
This worst-ever list had monitored the years from 2004 to the present.
There are more than 3,000 counties, parishes and boroughs in this nation. Being called the worst meth county out of about 3,141 others seems to be approaching uncharted safety and public relations levels.
The package of articles on Tuesday's CNN Money site focused on real estate issues - which states required sellers to notify buyers of any toxic horrors that had extended through the rafters.
The cost of cleaning a meth house can run to $10,000.
The heaviest action in meth alley pictured in the article resembled something like Tornado Alley, extending from Oklahoma City through Missouri toward Michigan.
On one link, you could plug in your home county and see the exact street addresses where meth labs had been busted during the last eight years.
Something done: The same explanations can probably be made for most counties highlighted on the meth map - that the products necessary for putting together the drug used to be much easier to get; that fires and contaminations and arrests are down markedly in recent years.
And who knows how accurate the statistics really are, even though CNN credits the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Clandestine Laboratory Register for its numbers.
In "doing something" about this map showing this county to have been the worst meth land ever, here's what I have.
Maybe our cops are really good and are better at busting a higher percentage of meth labs than any others.
Original Print Headline: Meth map may have silver lining