Tirebiter, Penstinger & Bean
(Sounds like a law firm, doesn't?)

Call me Sherwood, as in the Forest.
(Interview by Remy Chevalier, Lü Magazine)

On Thursday December 21st, 2006... just a few days before Christmas, and what better Christmas gift this could have been, an unmarked truck carrying fuel grade uranium dioxide, and also perhaps spent nuclear fuel from a reactor in Japan, turned over on I-95 in North Carolina, possibly on its way to Indian Point? CNN flashed the photo below for a few seconds, then total news black out. Had it not been for the vigilance of one lone blogger, who lives but a few miles from Indian Point, the story would have remained buried. Instead it made its way onto Hugg, and the green bloggers strike again. So who is this man? And what does he want? And how many blogs does he own anyway? Lü Magazine went on the case, tracked the wooly beast down, cornered him in his lair, tackled him to a quick and dirty interview about his past and his anti-nuke ambitions. Basically, like us, at Rock The Reactors, Sherwood wants the bloody thing shut down, ASAP. There's safety in numbers, so here we come...

So, what's with the pen name monikers? Porgie Tirebiter, Royce Penstinger and Pinto Bean? Are you all three?

Yes, these are all three one and the same... As I played around with and tried to figure out the blogging world, these are three characters I've created. Porgie Tirebiter was a character in an old Firesign Theatre skit that I remember from my drug induced days of being a teenager. Pinto Bean was a name I invented when I first launched the original Beltway Pinto Beans Blog, and Royce Penstinger was a name I invented about two months ago.

Do you consider yourself an aristocrat? Do you hobnob with Patty, Anne, Lydia & Amanda Hearst at Riverkeeper? How does it feel to be related to blue blood? A "nouveau pauvre" like me?

Well isn't that special... funny how I danced so close to that circle without getting too burned... Never quite made it into that circle that was/is the fairy ring... what's that old adage? What you don't know can't really hurt you.

My first wife was a part of that wheel... she was a Gerber baby in Better Homes and Gardens way back when, and was the photographic assistant to a famous war photographer from World War II... She lived in New Canaan as a Saaf until she and her first husband blew all her money... They used to board their horses at Ox Ridge Hunt Club, she and Susan Ashe were/are best friends. She married him after the parents of her first love broke up their relationship... She was from NEW MONEY (Kenneth Bonham...he was a driving force with the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), and his brother was a key player in Sterling Drug)... Her degree from Parsons was in fashion illustration, and her mother Hazel Bonham was rumored to have been the illegitimate daughter of one of the Wyeth family of painting fame.

A doctor had taken pity on her great grandmother and married her to make things honest... said doctor was a direct descendent of the John Wilkes Booth... I really should write a book. 

You should!

Anyway, cannot remember the name of her first true love (Neil something... it will come back to me), but he comes from a family with more money than God, and is still sweet on her all these years later. How did I end up driving a seven year old car in need of a new paint job? Another one of her well-placed friends from youth was Gail Porter who comes from a very wealthy family. Gail Porter's father gave up his law career to become a not so famous painter and used to pal around with a then unknown artist by the name of Picasso in Europe...

I broke a $10.000 Picasso plate once...

Gail's father had two unknown originals on parchment rolled up on the mantle in his home in New Canaan. She may still live there... Then there were the Dodd's... Jonathon and Lyle of Dodd publishing fame... Used to have coffee in Lyle's kitchen down at the end of Bartling Drive off of Ponus Ridge Road.

You brought up Andy Warhol...

Yes, I fancy myself a modern day Andy Warhol, as if Andy had been a green.

My current wife graduated from Sarah Lawrence... There's a story in her family as well, but you would really need to get most of the details from her, as she tells the story far better than I. The skinny... Her father was a relatively semi-famous artist in New York circles (friends of Jacob Lawrence), they used to hold court at the family Brownstone on the Upper West Side back in the days when heroin addicts were the norm on Amsterdam instead of chic shops and outdoor cafes. Her half sister was born to Sheri Martinelli who was liberally mentioned in Anais Nin's diary, and her Dad's steel sculpture adorns the United Nations Building.

Are you almost famous yet?

Does all this make me almost famous in some ordinary way... LOL, a shadow standing just beside history as time marches on. Actually shook John F. Kennedy's hand in Louisville Kentucky as a wee lad, and though I don't know the full story, it's rumored that my Grandmother on my father's side was from some fabulously wealthy family in Boston... Seems my grandmother had tainted blood... She was part Jewish. This person who would have been my true grandfather was attending college (law school) at the University of Dayton when he met her... He was told to dump that Jewish bitch and return to Boston or he would be disowned! No real proof of all this other than the fact that my dad's brother changed his name back to what he claimed was his rightful one of Savage.

As a bike messenger in San Francisco, actually played backgammon with Jerry Garcia at the no name bar just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito.

You're related to Rita Hayworth?

Never met her, but my Aunt was supposedly Rita Hayworth, and my mother at one time was the understudy for Judy Garland. Odd... You and I have certain common threads... My Grandfather in his time was quite the magician himself on the vaudeville circuit. 

Mine left me with the Trilateral Commission to live down as a legacy... you could call it vaudeville. So, how do we shut IP down, in three sentences of less?
The proverbial jack of all trades here... need a set built, been there done that. Want to organize a circle around the entire facility, count me in. Want to organize 5,000 people in cars and trucks to shut the road down... Count me in. I've read "No Immediate Danger", know the truth behind the lies. In short, would love to shut down Indian Point, would love to expose the NRC for what they really are.

Youthful, rebellious, revolutionary days...

I was if you will, the lone Don Quixote tilting at green windmills... Or perhaps too stubborn to allow myself to plug into any organized movement, even if it was a green one.

Way back in the 70's started a commune just outside of the French Quarter in New Orleans, and started a small underground newspaper for the street artists called, "Le Bull Sheet" all the while working as a waiter to keep a roof over my head. We had fun, but alas some things are not meant to be.

Spent late afternoons hanging out with artists at the Cafe Flore on 14th and Noe while spending two years as a bike messenger in San Francisco... Watching the riots unfold in front of city hall the night the Danny White verdict came down, watching the police march into the gay bars to beat on people for no good reason changed me.

Got married in 1980... First wife was an artist, and we being naive, young and brave decided we could make our living as artists. She was formally taught, degrees from Parsons and New York City Students Art League, and I with no training, but a belief in myself. In 1981 Earthbound Pottery was started in the state of Ohio, and though the early years were full of starvation, this self taught potter and sculptor eventually found some modicum of success with my work being featured in such magazines as Country Living and Country Accents, and being represented in 179 shops including the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. I sold the company back in 1997, and my 40 acre farm in 1998.

Tell me about your environmental activism and the dumping of 600,000 tons of Radioactive Slag into a wetlands?
When Tree Source was just starting, it was a project I could support, so started the Guernsey County American Free Tree. I singularly ran the organization for three years raising enough funds to donate over 400,000 trees and seedlings to garden groups, farmers and school children, with Quality Farm and Fleet my main corporate sponsor.

The small rural community I used to live in was one of those orphan phone communities you used to hear about where we had (for all intents) no local phone service... It used to be a long distance call for me to call my neighbor half a mile up the hill. There was no negotiating with Alltel, so I did some research and filed a formal petition with the PUCO (Public Utilities Commission of Ohio), and with only myself acting as a pro se attorney for the cause won local phone service for our community that amounted to a $106,000 a year reduction in our rates.

While that was going on, Ohio Power was wanting to cut a 40 wide by 900 foot bowling alley through my woods to replace one utility pole on the adjoining land...they had allowed their easement on that land to degrade to a point where it was no longer accessible. When I refused, they went in to court and got a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) that was going to allow them to put in the bowling alley and talk about damages based on timber value later. I got and idea, stayed up all night and wrote up my own legal documents (using theirs as a model) and went into court early the next morning seeking my own TRO which was granted and precluded them from clear cutting so much as one square foot of my property.

Almost three years later, and $350,000 in legal fees on their part (Ohio Power and AEP), I had them backed into a corner and they had no choice but to settle. As far as I know unless they got the new owners to change it, the easement I wrote as a part of the settlement was/is the narrowest utility easement (as far as their rights) in the United States. This particular story was briefly picked up by USA Today who labeled me an environmental Gadfly, but it was a real EYE OPENER, as I learned a whole lot about the egregious destruction of canopy cover by the utility industry.

Through a twist of political fate (long story) I'd come into possession of one share in one of those quasi government groups that control all the key real estate in a county, and thus decide who can and cannot come in, who can and cannot build...I opposed a project they were wanting to push through, and used said share to gain access to some documents they would have preferred the community never see. While investigating the project I opposed, I uncovered something that blew me away.

A company by the name of Shieldalloy (and their parent company Foote Mineral) ran a steal mill just outside of Cambridge, and had dumped over 600,000 tons of Radioactive Slag into a wetlands that drained into our community's only drinking water supply. I was able to break the story through the Columbus Dispatch with a reporter by the name of Scott Powers. As I investigated further, I also found out the company had been giving away this stuff as road and construction fill for some 40 years, and that the NRC had actually failed to police the licensee for 23 years.

Long and short of this... I talked Class Action Attorneys into coming in from California...they filed a class action case that was settled out of court about two years into it...over 200 homes were remediated. As for the site itself... I wanted the materials removed and hauled to Envirocare in Utah, but in the end disposal took place onsite to the tune of $70 million dollars was the approved clean up.

So this led to more anti-nuclear activism... and financial woes...

As one might imagine, being the driving force on the above case, I became embroiled in NUKE issues in Ohio, and though a rebel with my share of detractors, I was known as someone that found a way to get things done.

Midwest Compact was wanting to site a low level storage facility in Ohio... What stopped them, were some very embarrassing documents... I was the one that found them. Three days after they were made public, the Midwest Compact crumbled.

USEC, and the Gaseous Diffusion Plants... I was one of the key people that at least held up their licensing for nine extra months, successfully forced the DOE to over night express to me free of charge the 53,000 page EIS on Portsmouth and Paducah.

These things took their toll... For starters, spent my life savings on these efforts, primarily on the Shieldalloy situation. Further, I was so involved in my environmental work that my wife and I simply grew away from one another... Don't get me wrong, there were already problems, but being so obsessed with my NUKE work, and friends I was making in the Greens that I just was NEVER AROUND.

Burned out, packed it up?

In 1998 I sold everything, went to England for awhile, came back and spent time contemplating my belly button out in Moab Utah, then moved to Upstate New York and decided in my early 40's I should go to college. In 2000 I met my current wife on the Internet (love at first byte), and we were married that fall and here I am.

I envy you... I've met so many brainy beauties over these airwaves... it breaks my heart. How can you feel the way that you do about nuclear power and then move so close to the oldest, dirtiest nuclear power plant on earth?

I live less than 3 miles from Indian Point, I've made a few half-assed efforts at biting at Entergy's heels, but only recently got upset enough to start GOING AFTER THEM. I briefly got distracted working on getting John Hall elected to Congress, but shortly after that started launching the blogs you see. So, at this point, think about me as a newbie with a past life of experiences that should allow me to bring some forces to bear they may not be counting on.

Chip Cameron with the NRC once told me that he respected me, as I was crazy like a fox, presenting an image at one moment of a crazy lunatic radical anti-nuke hippy, then suddenly showing up at a hearing and being intellectually lethally deadly... Trust me, no one can sift through an EIS for dirt like I can.

You've been harassed on blogs by Entergy shills?

Yes, the nuclear industry is paying people to attack us online, in short, paid attack bloggers. However, to attack us, they have to VISIT us...

That's been happening to other anti-IP bloggers I know, like Eco-Chick and Green Counsel. You mentioned MoveOn? I have yet to see them play an active role in the anti-nuclear movement.

I am working with a group here that came together through MoveOn that is looking to put together a PAC. I want to use these blogs as a means to get out the word, and several have been set up to be co-author friendly, so if you know of any one in the various movements looking for a soapbox, I have them.

I did a whole LOT of work on John Hall's campaign, and hoping for good things from him, but taking a wait and see attitude. We actually skipped our summer vacation here and stayed home so we could put the money saved into his campaign.

See you on the barricades! Click here for all of Sherwood's blogs!
Click here for short vlog by Atomic Eye Productions!
Join our crusade!

~ Uranium is the fruit of Gaia's loins ~
(from a poem written to Betcee May by an Entergy blogger on Eco-Chick)

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