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Topic: Vote For Sewage Dumping Tour Return to archive Page: 1 2
August 25th, 2004 12:48 AM
Poplar CHICAGO (AP) - The state of Illinois sued the Dave Matthews Band on Tuesday for allegedly dumping up to 800 pounds of liquid human waste from a bus into the Chicago River, dousing a tour boat filled with passengers.

The lawsuit accuses the band and one of its bus drivers of violating state water pollution and public nuisance laws. It seeks $70,000 in civil penalties.

"Our driver has stated that he was not involved in this incident," band spokesman John Vlautin said in a statement. He said the band "will continue to be cooperative in this investigation."

According to the lawsuit, on Aug. 8 a bus leased by the band was heading to a downtown hotel where members were staying. As the bus crossed the Kinzie Street bridge, the driver allegedly emptied the contents of the septic tank through the bridge's metal grating into the river below.

More than 100 people on an architecture tour were showered with foul-smelling waste. The attorney general's office said no one was seriously injured.

"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," Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement.

After the incident, the boat's captain turned the vessel around and took passengers back to the dock. Everyone received refunds, and the boat was cleaned with disinfectant.

--------------
(in another report - the passengers are described as elderly and disabled!!!) I'll let someone else take the honors of throwing in the first clever comment.
August 25th, 2004 11:54 AM
Lambchop* I bet Joey wishes he was there:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/c...ll=chi-news-hed
Madigan: Video busts band's bus in dumping
Tour boat waste case may stain Dave Matthews Band's `green' image

By Michael Hawthorne
Tribune staff reporter
Published August 25, 2004

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.

Some of the passengers suffered nausea and vomiting after the waste cascaded into their eyes and mouths and soaked their hair and clothing. Five went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for tests.

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.

A band publicist issued a statement Tuesday night saying, "Our driver has stated that he was not involved in this incident. We reserve any judgment until we see the evidence."

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."

In several interviews, Dave Matthews has said one of the reasons his band contributes to environmental causes is to offset air pollution from its tour buses.

Ben and Jerry's, the socially conscious ice cream maker, named its One Sweet Whirled flavor (caramel and coffee ice cream with marshmallow and caramel swirls and coffee-flavored fudge chips) after one of the band's songs. Half of the band's royalties from sales of the ice cream are donated to a coalition of environmental groups to combat global climate change.

In Chicago, the tour boat incident provoked an angry Mayor Richard Daley to promise that the culprit would be caught. All of the 120 passengers on the ill-fated sightseeing cruise were given refunds for their $25 tickets. Some later filed insurance claims with the tour operators seeking compensation for clothing and personal items that got soaked.

"It's not about the money for us," said Lynn Osmond, president and CEO of the Chicago Architectural Foundation, which operates the boat tour. "It's about the fact that somebody dumped on our customers."

Nancy Todor, an Elmhurst resident whose 43rd birthday was ruined when she got caught in the rain of waste, said a $70,000 fine seemed like an inadequate punishment for the band.

Perhaps, she said, Matthews should perform a concert for the sullied boat customers.
Holly Agra, co-owner of the tour boat, said the incident was an abrupt departure from the usual glowing media coverage of one of the city's most popular tourist attractions.

"We can't afford to have our image damaged," Agra said recently. "We don't want this sticking on us for the rest of our careers."


Dave Matthews' bus driver denies dumping waste on tour boat
By MICHAEL HAWTHORNE
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO -- The bus driver for rock star Dave Matthews called from the road Monday to say his luxury coach was not the one responsible for dousing passengers on a Chicago River tour boat with foul-smelling muck over the weekend.

Witnesses on the architectural sightseeing cruise told police they saw a long black tour bus dump liquid waste Sunday afternoon as their boat crossed under the Kinzie Street bridge.

About two-thirds of the passengers seated on the upper deck of Chicago's Little Lady were soaked with the "brownish-yellow" substance.

One witness gave Chicago police an Oregon license plate number that belongs to the 2003 Monaco Royale Coach driven by Jerry Fitzpatrick, who has been Matthews' tour bus driver for three years.

Fitzpatrick confirmed he was in Chicago with Matthews, whose band played the second of two shows at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin later that night. But the driver said he was parked in front of the Peninsula Hotel, 108 E. Superior St., when the waste rained down from the bridge several blocks away.

"There is no way I could be responsible for that," Fitzpatrick said from downstate Effingham. "I haven't emptied the tank for days. Besides, we are very cautious about how we do that sort of thing."

To bolster his case, Fitzpatrick coaxed Sgt. Paul Gardner of the Effingham Police Department to inspect the bus. He then gave Gardner his cell phone to tell a reporter that the tank was nearly full.

"One of the strangest requests I've ever had, that's for sure," Gardner said.

A publicist for the Dave Matthews Band issued a statement Monday night saying the group's management had "determined that all of the buses on our tour were parked at the time of this incident."

Back in Chicago, officials with the Chicago Architectural Foundation still were fielding angry calls from passengers on the ill-fated cruise.

All 120 passengers were given refunds on their $25 tickets. Five went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for testing, police said.

Several have since called the foundation demanding compensation for clothing and personal items that got soaked.

"One man had a very expensive leather jacket that I'm sure he's not going to want to wear again," said Lynn Osmond, the foundation's president and CEO. "Our first concern is getting through the next few days and making sure nobody gets sick. Then we want to know who is responsible for this."

Chicago police are continuing to investigate, but for now the episode is not considered a crime, a spokesman said.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago also are investigating. The culprit could face charges for illegally dumping waste into the river.

Rob Sulski, an EPA engineer who has worked on Chicago River issues for most of the last two decades, said he has never heard of a bus emptying liquid waste into the river from a bridge. Most charter buses get rid of waste at licensed disposal sites, he said.

Asked why a witness identified his license plate, Fitzgerald speculated that boat passengers combed the area for tour buses and came across his waiting for Dave Matthews in front of the Peninsula Hotel.

After dropping off Matthews at Midway Airport on Monday, Fitzgerald headed to Arkansas for a break. He said he planned to empty the waste tank when he got home.

"This band is very environmentally conscious," he said. "We wouldn't have anything to do with this sort of thing."
August 25th, 2004 12:00 PM
Jumacfly I d like to piss and shit liquid in DM bus
August 25th, 2004 12:08 PM
Joey

Lamby .................................

One Word :

U- U- U- U- U- U- UnCake !
August 25th, 2004 12:10 PM
Lambchop*

I eat too much
I drink too much
I pee too much
Too much

August 25th, 2004 12:12 PM
Some Guy Their best release ever!!!
August 25th, 2004 12:24 PM
telecaster I would like to take that fucking loser Dave Matthews by the scruff of his 2 inch neck and slam his face into a sesspool of one of the full porta-potties after his lame ass concerts until I see bubbles coming up then not coming up anymore through the disgusting mess similar to what he dumped in the Chicago River


Then I would feed his nutrient rich carcus to the fishies
August 25th, 2004 12:35 PM
Lambchop*
quote:
Some Guy wrote:
Their best release ever!!!



August 25th, 2004 12:37 PM
Lambchop*
quote:
Joey wrote:


Lamby .................................

One Word :





August 25th, 2004 02:22 PM
Some Guy One passenger on the boat to another moments before splashdown... "hey, have you heard Dave Mathews new shit?".
August 25th, 2004 02:47 PM
parmeda
quote:
telecaster wrote:
I would like to take that fucking loser Dave Matthews by the scruff of his 2 inch neck and slam his face into a sesspool of one of the full porta-potties after his lame ass concerts until I see bubbles coming up then not coming up anymore through the disgusting mess similar to what he dumped in the Chicago River


Then I would feed his nutrient rich carcus to the fishies



Tele...switch to decaf, dear

LOL...I have to agree wholeheartedly with ya tho...
When this first happened and they wouldn't release the name of "the band"...my friends and I had bets going that it was indeed DM and his ignorant bunch, lol...

Those poor bastards in the river! Can you imagine?

And Lambchop*...you hit it on the head when you said, "I bet Joey wishes he was there". I thought of him immediately. The "dumping" occured right by The House of Blues & Harry Carey's, lol! (...and the whole uncaking fetish he seems to have!)
August 25th, 2004 02:54 PM
SheRat Lamby: didn't this happen while we were drinking wine?

I have to admit, when I heard the list of bands that were suspects, I was hoping that it was Dave Matthews.

Glad we didn't try to go for a swim!

The Belmont Rocks Rock!
August 25th, 2004 03:05 PM
Some Guy Good to see that they are still releasing new material.
August 25th, 2004 03:08 PM
Joey
" The "dumping" occured right by The House of Blues & Harry Carey's, lol! (...and the whole uncaking fetish he seems to have!) "

Those are two of my favorite places to visit whilst in Chicago -- W- W- What ?!?! ...Why Yes indeedy , I have " dumped " there many times .

Oh OH !!!!!!!!!!! I wish I hadn't said that !!!!!

Developing ............................

************************** END TRANSMISSION ******************************

Turdskee Joe Joe !
August 25th, 2004 03:46 PM
Sir Stonesalot Was it really raw sewage? Or was it simply the Dave Matthews Band bungee jumping off the bridge?

I saw some bikers tip a porta-potty over onto it's door once. When the poof fucker that was trapped inside finally got out, he was green from head to toe. His smell was....unpleasant...kinda like the new Tommy Hilfiger cologne.

August 25th, 2004 04:07 PM
Lambchop*
quote:
SheRat wrote:
Lamby: didn't this happen while we were drinking wine?





You know....it may have been! Some sort of weird planetary convergence...we should have puked in the river to add some red to the palette.

August 25th, 2004 04:08 PM
Lambchop*
quote:
Some Guy wrote:
Good to see that they are still releasing new material.



Hey - what happened to your gay Mick in the yellow hat avatar!!!?

August 25th, 2004 04:11 PM
Some Guy
quote:
Lambchop* wrote:


Hey - what happened to your gay Mick in the yellow hat avatar!!!?




dunno!
August 25th, 2004 04:12 PM
Poplar
"Green image" ... hmmm ... maybe if the band had been on a strict spinach diet over the past few days.
August 25th, 2004 04:15 PM
Lambchop*
quote:
Poplar wrote:

"Green image" ... hmmm ... maybe if the band had been on a strict spinach diet over the past few days.




I wonder if they were eating asparagus. Or heaven forbid - corn!



August 25th, 2004 04:17 PM
Some Guy Dave Mathew fans all over the world are anxiously awaiting their new release.
August 25th, 2004 07:10 PM
telecaster
quote:
parmeda wrote:

Tele...switch to decaf, dear

LOL...I have to agree wholeheartedly with ya tho...
When this first happened and they wouldn't release the name of "the band"...my friends and I had bets going that it was indeed DM and his ignorant bunch, lol...

Those poor bastards in the river! Can you imagine?





pam that is just for what he did to "Wild Horses"!
August 25th, 2004 08:30 PM
parmeda tele...the next time DM comes to town, you and I are going!

I can't wait to slip a quarter in yer slot!
~rotflmao
August 25th, 2004 08:47 PM
parmeda
quote:
Sir Stonesalot wrote:
Was it really raw sewage? Or was it simply the Dave Matthews Band bungee jumping off the bridge?

I saw some bikers tip a porta-potty over onto it's door once. When the poof fucker that was trapped inside finally got out, he was green from head to toe. His smell was....unpleasant...kinda like the new Tommy Hilfiger cologne.


Hey SS, do you want to know how the varsity football coach encouraged my son and his teammates to polish up on their hitting techniques when they're not at a scheduled practice?
The guy told them to be on the look-out for a porta-potty...and when they find one, they are to body slam the damn thing down with one shot!

Guess who's child got caught three weeks ago, damaging private property?
August 26th, 2004 11:53 AM
Joey
quote:
Lambchop* wrote:



.... Or heaven forbid - corn!








Cry if you want ....................you ain't getting off easy THIS weekend !

" Dont' you get embarrassed when you read the precious things you said
Many many years ago when life appeared rosy red
No one ever shared your bed
Nothing ever filled your head
Except yourself and little Ted
And scary dreams that you were dead.
Don't you want to hide your face
When going through your teenage books
And read the kind of crap you wrote
About "Ban the Bomb" and city crooks
Think about how long it took
To get over that sudden "Yuk"
When in the mirror you would look
Well now my son you're well in stook

Cry if you want Cry if you want .......( fade to Steelie ) "
August 26th, 2004 12:08 PM
Martha Band on the run

Chicago Tribune
Published August 26, 2004

Ah, for the days when rock bands trashed hotel rooms and splintered the occasional guitar. Those quaint antics can't compete with this month's alleged dumping of 800 pounds of human waste on a Chicago sightseeing boat by a tour bus driver for the Dave Matthews Band.

Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, reacting to the incident's environmental and public-health risks, is seeking $70,000 in fines for the drenching of the passengers on Chicago's Little Lady, and also for
pollution damage to the Chicago River.

Matthews probably has lawyers plotting strategy to thwart Madigan, as well as the Chicago detectives who say they can prove that a Mathews bus made the drop from the Kinzie Street bridge.

But as a favor to a fine musician, we'll offer our advice for the price of a newspaper:

You can do this the hard way, Dave, in which this case doesn't go away,
even though we keep repeating the obligatory mantra that the attorney general still has to prove her case in court. Or you can do this the easy way: Pay the money--what is it, one hour of concert T-shirt
sales?--and cut your losses now. And, if a sincere apology is in order,
make it.

It's looking bleak. The cops have an eyewitness who gave them an Oregon license plate number. They have evidence from surveillance cameras at
nearby businesses. The clues point to your bus--and one of your drivers.

All of that earnest environmental consciousness dripping from your lyrics--like the plaintive couplet from "One Sweet World": "If green should turn to grey / Would our hearts still bloody beat?"--is going to
sound mighty phony if you can't discredit this evidence. A win on some egal technicality would be a big loss.

And while we're in advice mode: Who let your paid mouthpiece issue that clumsy reaction statement Tuesday night: "Our driver has stated that he
was not involved in this incident. We reserve any judgment until we see the evidence."

Your publicist is supposed to make you look better, not worse. We submit this is one case in which you do not want to see the evidence. Other people have, and it ruined their cruise.

Better to come clean now. If your guy is responsible, take responsibility. Because, Dave, if you play "Band on the Run" and the cops have your driver cold, you're the one who winds up covered with muck.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I believe someone was sitting on the can when the shit hit the fan!

Maaaaaaaaaartha!
August 26th, 2004 12:36 PM
parmeda DALEY SAYS, "GO TOUGH ON BAND BUS DRIVER"
Chicago SunTimes
August 26, 2004

BY FRANK MAIN AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporters

Mayor Daley is a big fan of the Dave Matthews Band, but he's not so fond of a bus driver for the group.

Daley said Wednesday that prosecutors should explore bringing criminal charges against the driver, Stefan A. Wohl, 41, of Texas.

Wohl admitted he drove a bus over a Chicago River bridge on Aug. 8 about the time a bus flushed sewage onto the heads of tour-boat riders passing underneath -- but he denied intentionally dumping the waste into the river, police said.

Based on the police investigation, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued the environmentally conscious band and Wohl on Tuesday. No criminal charges have been filed.

Could band's DNA solve the case?
Members of the Dave Matthews Band have offered to provide investigators with samples of their DNA to compare with DNA from the waste found on the boat, a spokesman for the group said.

A Northwestern Memorial Hospital pathologist said DNA can be recovered from human waste. But bleach or other chemicals in the septic system of the bus could destroy such DNA.

The Illinois attorney general's office did not take up the band on its DNA offer, a spokeswoman said. Investigators decided they did not need to conduct a DNA test to build the civil case.

"Well, I think you have to look at it, sure," Daley said of the possibility of a criminal prosecution. "It's a criminal charge to pollute a river."

Still, Daley pointed out that he likes the group.

"Great band, by the way. I just want to say that," he said.

Madigan's lawsuit accuses Wohl of flipping a switch behind his seat and unleashing up to 800 pounds of "liquid waste" as he drove one of the band's buses over the Kinzie Street bridge at 1:18 p.m. The sewage fell on Chicago's First Lady, an architectural tour boat, and filth splashed into the eyes and mouths of passengers.

Finding the videotape

Chicago Police Detective Omar Chillon was assigned to canvass every building in the line of sight of the Kinzie Street bridge. He located three surveillance cameras, and one of them had recorded the vehicles crossing the bridge.

Earlier, another bus operated by Tennessee-based Four Seasons Coach Leasing came under suspicion after someone spotted the bus and reported the license plate to police. That bus was ruled out as the culprit. But Chillon investigated the schedules of nine other buses that also were operated by Four Seasons and leased to the Dave Matthews Band.

The surveillance tape showed only one bus crossing the bridge in the 15 minutes before and after the nasty incident.

A bus driven by Wohl matched the bus on the tape. And he admitted driving across the bridge about the time of the incident to pick up a band member at the Peninsula Hotel, officials said.

"Certainly this is the bus that discharged that fluid," said Belmont Area Cmdr. Michael Chasen, adding that police are speaking with prosecutors about possible criminal charges.

Dave Matthews Band spokesman John Vlautin said, "We're dying to look at this tape." He stood behind an earlier statement that Wohl stated "he was not involved in this incident."

Contributing: Lori Rackl
________________________________________________
Note to Joey: ...and this is the same guy (The Mayor)that's a Sox Fan. FIGURES!!! ...lol
August 26th, 2004 12:49 PM
gimmekeef Coulda been worse..What if they'd dumped their cds on the boat below???..Maybe that little jerk Dave wont have that shit eating grin any longer!
August 26th, 2004 02:33 PM
Lambchop* Dave Matthew's bus driver rules!


Nasty gunk: An eyewitness account

'People sat in stunned anger'

Published August 10, 2004, 1:07 PM CDT

Tribune staff reporter Brett McNeil, who filed Monday's report on the foul liquid that drenched passengers on a Chicago tour boat, was one of those passengers. Here's his first-person account.

Mostly what I remember is people gagging.

Before that, I remember our lightly lisping docent say what a beautiful day it was to catch the city's river bend reflection on the green glass of 333 W. Wacker Drive. And, really, it was: just this cool and sunny day with billowy white-gray clouds floating in a deep blue sky.

We were puttering along the Chicago River, watching paddlers from the Flatwater Classic float by, craning to see the tops of sundry architectural marvels. A perfectly polite, boringly edifying way to spend the afternoon.

And then came a gush of goop raining across most of the upper-deck viewing platform.

From where I was seated, toward the front of the boat, I couldn't see what was dumping on us but figured it was a street cleaner or maybe one of those landscaping trucks that you see spraying arcs of water into the median weed beds along Ashland Avenue.

Somehow I got just the lightest little splash on my left shirtsleeve, while people two seats away were left squeezing gritty gunk from their sticky wet hair.

We passed under the bridge and the deluge seemed to pick up, getting stronger as the passengers toward the rear of the boat approached the waterfall. The stuff splat heavily on the deck, dousing dozens of white-haired ladies and gents in nylon windbreakers.

There was confusion.

Then the smell hit us.

An unmistakable stink: porta-potty juice.

"Oh, God." The woman next to me turned and said to no one, "I had my mouth open."

Another woman, whose white shirt was soaked in what looked like dirty wiper fluid, said nothing. She just stood up and surveyed the boat, her eyes registering what she was now wearing. Reflexively, she began heaving. She looked like she was drowning.

The docent was slow to understand the magnitude of what had happened. "It appears that some water has hit the boat," he said, ridiculously.

A guy from the back of the boat shouted: "That's not water, buddy! That's urine!"

The docent, still playing dullard, asked, "Should we go back?"

By then, though, the boat's crew was rushing in with wet naps and paper towels, and soon we were turning around and plowing back to dock in high gear. Damning the no wake zone, we sent recreational boaters splashing in our wake as Chicago's Little Lady churned for home.

People wiped off their glasses, took off their coats, and sat in stunned anger.

What could you do?

I was on the boat with my girlfriend and a friend of hers visiting from out of town. They, too, managed to avoid the worst of it and we hustled down into the boat's main cabin. There we could avoid the stench up top but could clearly hear people puking in the nearby bathrooms.

We sat downstairs, hugging the air-conditioner register for stench-free air, until back at the Michigan Avenue dock. I did not begin reporting about all this until after we'd gone to the Billy Goat Tavern and washed up in the bathrooms, which was a mistake.

Because I wanted to get my hands and face and hair clean, I didn't get the name of the guy who was standing on the sidewalk when I got off the boat wearing only his waterlogged khakis. Stripped to the waist, he was actually joking with a woman airing out her wet red dress.

"I feel like I'm in a bad Ben Stiller movie," he said.


Brett McNeil
August 26th, 2004 02:44 PM
Some Guy Thanks Lambchop*
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