The environment seems to be a hot topic, even on these cold winter days. Two of the films mentioned as possible Oscar contenders in our January 12 coverage of the Princeton Public Library’s Environmental Film Festival in fact have just been nominated for Academy Awards. “Waste Land,” directed by Lucy Walker, and “GasLand,” directed by Josh Fox, are both nominees in the “Best Documentary Feature” category.

Susan Van Dongen’s article about the film festival, which can be found in our archives at www.princetoninfo.com, included an extended interview with Josh Fox. And that archive is also the place to find a column by Richard K. Rein concerning natural gas drilling and “fracking” in northeastern Pennsylvania, originally published in U.S. 1 on December 10, 2008.

Last week’s story about MGK International, the Roszel Road-based company that makes its money exporting America’s scrap metal to foreign manufacturers, drew an online comment from Dan Zibman, a reader from West Windsor:

“It’s great that MGK has become so successful. But at what cost to the environment and health of those employed in the noted countries? Recycling might sound like a good thing, and can be, but it is important to verify, independently, how it is done and what the effects are on the local environment and people.”

Zibman recalled seeing a documentary on “where ships go to die.” The setting was India and “those who work dismantling the ships, in order to feed the demand for scrap metal by the steel mills there, work in appallingly dangerous conditions for little in the way of wages. Additionally, I am aware that ‘metals recycling’ can result in the release of heavy metals which, as you might know, can be lethal.”

#b#To the Editor: Screening Update#/b#

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for such a wonderful story on “Crawdad” (U.S. 1, January 19). I was surprised that so many people read the article. They all reached out to us to tell us what a great story it was.

U.S. 1 has done a great job covering the market in this area. The story definitely piqued everyone’s interest. We had a nice turnout despite the inconvenient start time and having to fight the evening commute. Thank you again for your wonderful coverage.

Kelly Stephenson, Princeton

Editor’s note: Stephenson wrote, directed, and acted in “Crawdad,” which was just screened at the Spring 2011 New Jersey Film Festival in New Brunswick. The festival runs through Saturday, March 5.

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