Various bits of flotsam that washed up on our computers, before we moved to a better blog system in November 2004. Now a repository for YouTube videos and testing new tools. Go to for more recent content.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Ewww followup

Dave Matthews Band tour bus full of it, or not, depending on whol you ask. Ok, I guess the video tape doesn't lie. Disgusting. Chicago Tribune: Madigan: Video busts band's bus in dumping:
The Dave Matthews Band, a rock group so "green" it has its own flavor of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, could face $70,000 in fines after one of its tour bus drivers allegedly dumped a tankful of human waste on a Chicago River sightseeing boat earlier this month.

After a two-week investigation into an incident that prompted outrage from Chicago's mayor and snickering from late-night television hosts, Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan on Tuesday accused the band and driver Stefan A. Whol of illegally dumping foul-smelling muck into the river and creating a public nuisance.

About two-thirds of the passengers on the upper deck of Chicago's Little Lady were doused with a brownish-yellow liquid as the tour boat crossed under the Kinzie Street bridge during an Aug. 8 architectural sightseeing cruise.

Witnesses told authorities the deluge of waste came from a long black tour bus crossing the grated bridge. At least one witness gave police an Oregon license plate number.

Surveillance cameras at neighborhood businesses helped Madigan's investigators and Chicago police detectives trace the bus to Whol, a Texas man who is identified in the complaint as one of five drivers for the Dave Matthews Band, authorities said.

Whol was driving to pick up a band member at a Michigan Avenue hotel when the bus crossed the bridge, according to the three-count civil complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court. Later that evening, the band played the second of two shows at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wis.


Luxury coaches like the ones leased by the band are equipped with 80- to 100-gallon waste tanks that are emptied underneath the vehicle by pushing a toggle switch behind the driver's seat, according to the attorney general's complaint.

In addition to seeking fines for violations of state laws, Madigan said she is asking the court to order an evaluation of the band's waste disposal practices. State officials said most charter buses dump waste at licensed disposal facilities.

"This incident may be unique, but that does not lessen the environmental or public health risks posed by the release of at least 800 pounds of liquid human waste into a busy waterway and onto a crowded tour boat," Madigan said in a statement. "This situation clearly demonstrates the environmental and public health problems that can occur when laws are ignored. This act was not only offensive, it was illegal."

Two weeks ago, another driver for the band, Jerry Fitzpatrick, denied responsibility for the incident, saying his bus had been parked at a nearby hotel at the time. He even coaxed a Downstate police officer to inspect the bus and report that the waste tank was nearly full.

"This band is very environmentally conscious," Fitzpatrick said then. "We wouldn't have anything to do with this sort of thing."


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