Residents react to Brockovich visit

By Chuck Weber

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX)-People in the Acreage are still buzzing about the speech environmental activist Erin Brockovich gave Thursday night at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

One of those in attendance was Acreage resident Becky Samarripa, whose 15-year old daughter, Hannah, had a cancerous brain tumor removed earlier this year. "I mean I'm really tired physically and mentally," said Samarripa. "This has all happened in a year."

Samarripa heard Brockovich tell people who live in the Acreage their concerns were valid. Brockovich urged pressing for answers to what seems like a high number of cancer cases in the Acreage. Brockovich also advised drinking bottled water and minimizing showering time, until more testing of well water can be done.

"For us moms who've been involved with this for awhile, it gave us the boost we needed, " said Samarripa. "She gave us a serious pep talk that just really lifted my spirits. She wasn't here as a PR stunt. She really cares about this community."

Other Acreage residents, though, told us they were skeptical of the hype surrounding Brockovich's visit, as well of the lawyers who joined Brockovich at the meeting. People who attended were handed contracts they could sign for legal representation.

At a shopping center, we found Acreage resident Kathryn Precanico, stocking up on water from a store. She explained it's one of the precautions she takes after experiencing her fourth cancer, all since moving to the Acreage from Broward County 15 years ago.

Precanico said she wasn't well enough to attend last night's appearance by Brockovich, but added, "I'm very glad that she's here trying to help the people in the Acreage, and I hope she finds the problem."