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Chinese drywall unites Cape Coral community

Neighbors plan meeting to discuss their strategy

Jul. 19, 2009


-What: Meeting called by Aranda homeowners on the effects of Chinese drywall and how to address the problem

-When: 6 to 8 p.m.m Monday, July 27

-Where: Cape Coral Library meeting room, 921 SW 39th Terrace.

-Cost: Free

-Open to: The public

-For more information: Call 233-2168.


Plug in: Share and receive info on Chinese drywall

1:10 A.M. — A group of Aranda homeowners are fed up with what they say is their builder's failure to address problems with Chinese drywall, and plan to take action.

The group will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, July 27 at the Cape Coral Library to discuss strategy.

About 200 Aranda homeowners have been invited; 70 people have confirmed they will attend, said Richard Kampf, a Cape Coral homeowner whose Aranda home has the defective drywall. The meeting is open to the public.

After Kampf testified about his plight before a May 21 congressional hearing held by Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, he said other homeowners began contacting him.

"I've had so many people visiting my home. This is no joke," Kampf said. "They look me up and knock on the door. They want to know what to look for and what kind of information they can get."

The tainted drywall was imported from China from about 2004 to 2007. The product emits sulfur compounds that corrodes air conditioning coils and other metals in the home.

Residents who have the drywall complain of numerous health problems, from headaches to nosebleeds.

The group decided to mount a grassroots effort to address the problem and they want Aranda president John J. Conti to attend.

It is unknown how many homes built by Aranda, based in Cape Coral, have the drywall.

"What we need to do is to resolve this situation," Kampf said. "The builder should be in the forefront calling his customers together who gave their hard earned money to him." he said.

Conti did not respond Friday to a voice mail left at the Aranda Homes office, an e-mail, or a call to the Aranda warranty official asking that he be contacted.

Conti's attorney, Robert T. Maher, said through a staff member that he would not comment because he was not aware of the meeting and hadn't talked to his client.

Those attending will be able to speak to David Krause, the state toxicologist investigating the drywall; Diana McGee, regional representative for Sen. Bill Nelson, plus Property Appraiser Ken Wilkinson and/or his chief deputy, Roger Desjarlais.

Krause said he will give an update on the status of an investigation by the health department, and the status of the ongoing investigation by the EPA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

He contradicted recent media reports that the drywall may contain radioactive materials.

Testing has not shown any indication of radioactive elements, he said. But just to be sure, "We have submitted 21 different samples of U.S. and foreign drywall to radiation lab for testing," Krause said.

McGee said she will bring a consent form for people who want to give permission for the senator's office to get involved in their case.

Wilkinson plans to bring along copies of a letter informing owners of homes built during the years drywall was imported that they may be entitled to a reduction in assessment.

The letter is being sent out July 27.

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