University officials along with President Henry Koffler were caught red handed by explosions and a fire at the toxic waste dump of its own making. In Oracle a leadership group formed up.
Oracle citizens demanded that the University stop dumping their toxic waste in Pinal County, dig up what had already been deposited, monitor for any residuals that might be moving towards the aquifer, and monitor the groundwater itself with deep wells.
The University of Arizona stonewalled. Simple questions went answered. A number of University professors were walked out to declare the dump posed no threat to regional groundwater.
Oracle citizens launched a campaign to both elevate the issue in the public eye and challenge political leaders to make the demanded changes. In January, 1983 the conflict hit the Tucson papers as well as The San Manuel Miner. Kaz and I were among the local spokespersons, attacking the University’s practices, its failure to answer questions and attempts to cover up disturbing findings as they emerged.
Kaz and I moved to Oracle in 1979. The house we bought dated to the late 1940s. With little advance knowledge of the place, we set out to build a new life together, intending to settle in and raise a family.