Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Trying to gather a few thoughts here. Right now the word is overwhelmed! Why? I went over to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) website and ended up surfing all over the place looking at dioxin information. Not to pass on the overwhelmed concept, I'm going to take this in small bites... beginning with the LoneTree Council. Knowing little about the LoneTree Council, I googled it. All I could find was a little definition put on the internet by a student at Saginaw Valley State University:

Lone Tree Council

The Lone Tree Council first formed in 1978 when there was a proposed nuclear power plant to be built in Midland, MI, known as Dow Chemical. They are a nonprofit environmental group with the mission to keep the water and air within the tri-cities area fresh and clean.

The Lone Tree Council has a lot of influence in our area. It appears that they are largely responsible for getting DEQ to designate my back yard as a 'toxic waste facility'... my backyard where we raised six daughters, all of whom grew up healthy and above average in intelligence... who in turn are now raising my six grandchildren, all of whom are healthy and above average intelligence! Must have been all those good vegetables we grew in our 'toxic waste facility' eh? Thanks, Dioxin!!!

Now I see the DEQ is taking their advice from an Environmental Advisory Council (EAC). I quote DEQ here: "The EAC consists of 25 members representing a wide range of interests affected by DEQ activities including citizen organizations, the regulated community, local government, academia, and others." I do not see the majority of people in the 'toxic waste facility' river floodplain represented here. I do not see any evidence of sickness in those of us who lived here our whole lifetime. I do not see the majority of people who lived here their whole lives complaining about dioxin.

I do see a group of extremists trying to change the comfortable lifestyle of the local citizens... farmers, retirees and families who enjoy the quiet life living near the river. I do see wildlife thriving right here in my own back yard. I do see a bureaucratic organization determined to satisfy the few extremists to the detriment of a satisfied majority. I do see some of those extremists 'representing' me (and I don't like it) ... who in turn advise the DEQ.

What do these people really want?

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Okey dokey folks! Are you getting fed up with all the dioxin scare crappola going on around here? You know, it's really hard to keep up! First we have people suing Dow because all their illnesses must be related to having a chemical giant in the area. Dow responds by hiring a study to determine dioxin levels in the wildlife along affected river areas. They also respond by donating money to a university for an independent study.

Of course some half-whacked environmentalist group has to come along and complain about that!

Meanwhile a U.S. governmental agency, EPA, funds a study - by the same university - to find out why I am not suing Dow too! Just because there are a bunch of uninformed people gullibly believing everything they are told, doesn't mean those of us who think for ourselves have to jump on the lawsuit-happy bandwagon.

Enter the out-of-towner... the tort lawyer from Kansas City. He wants to bring all of us down to the lemming level!

Occasionally one of us sends a letter to the editor chastising the media for fear mongering. This is good!!! I'm suggesting everybody who just wants this whole ridiculous thing to go away (that would be us - the silent majority) join a letter writing campaign... not just to the editor of your local newspaper, but to your congresspeople. Tell them how you feel. God knows the noisy minority is doing a good job of it!

Meanwhile I'm going to keep on bloggin'! You are invited to leave your 2cents worth here too --- in the comment area --- or on my little 'sister' blog where you can blog as much as you want to just by clicking on "Post Article" at the top of the page. Choose "Create a written article" - write what's on your mind and post it! Don't worry about messing up. If you do, I'll fix it.

Oh yes... also would like you to check out this little webpage. See if you don't agree with the premise. Later...

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I just found the cutest little website. Gotta share. It is written by 'Dolly Dioxin' and is called DioxinDoll - the Voice of Reason. I think I'm spending too much time surfing and not enough time doing!!! Got some great photos of a unique Dow product I want to share with you but don't have them downsized for the net yet.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Here's the scoop... simple terms! Here's the family... notice the similarities and the differences:
  • - 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin - This is a byproduct of some petroleum-based chemicals.
  • 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzofuran - Furans are byproducts of wood oils.
  • 3,3',4,4',5,5'-Hexachlorobiphenyl - pcb's are produced by chlorination of biphenyl, a process used by many industries.
Every time you throw a plastic container in the campfire, you are releasing dioxins into the atmosphere. Every time you have a bonfire or campfire or burn grass or leaves, you are releasing furans into the air. You don't have much opportunity to release pcb's into the atmosphere because EPA has curtailed the contamination of common household products with this material.

What you can do...
  • Recycle plastics
  • mulch garden materials
  • mow often and leave grass clippings in the lawn
  • Follow directions when using pesticides or herbicides. These products are safe when used according to directions.
  • Save used motor oil, old paint, etc. for annual collection by local agencies and/or companies.
So much to say, so little time. I have other commitments today. Will be back soon with more!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Update: Today's Saginaw News has an article you might want to read... Flood-borne sediment includes dioxin. The DEQ, who created the 'dioxin frenzy,' now warns us not to touch anything touched by the flood waters. Did they run right out here, take a sample and analyze it already? Of course not! I've never seen the DEQ around and we're right in the midst of it! We still plan to clean up as soon as it's dry enough to walk around our back yard.

Of course I never do outdoorsy stuff without a little planning and a bit of common sense. Here are a few simple guidelines...
  • Don't expose open scratches or cuts.
  • Wear gloves when touching yucky stuff.
  • Don't ingest dirt or dirty water
  • Take off your dirty boots before you go in the house.
Thank you, Howard, for advising me so soon of this news article.
Happy birthday to me. I can see grass in the flatlands! As soon as it dries out a bit we'll be out there cleaning up the debris. Although in my heart and mind my age is 39, I think I'm 68 years old today. The only time I even think about it is when somebody asks and half the time I have to think before responding. Why do I tell this big 'secret?' I've lived in the same house for 45 of those years. Five of our six daughters were toddlers; the sixth one was born two years later. During those 45 years half of our one acre lot has flooded regularly every year in the springtime. It was a novelty. We took photos of our 'riverfront' property. I even created an oil painting of the kids down by the 'river' looking at the water up close and personal.

During the first few years we kept a vegetable garden in the flood plain. Then one year we had a September flood and our garden was destroyed. After that we didn't waste our time with a garden. Management of the dams upstream had become less reliable. During our 'garden' experience we used to burn weeds around the ditches and whereever we had no garden. Learned that from a neighbor. Everybody did it. Many people still do. Dioxins are a natural by-product of fire. Did you know that?

After that we planted grass. We planted asparagus along the ditchline dividing our property from the farmland surrounding us. We planted trees along the open side of our property line... they died and we planted more trees.

In September 1986 we had 60 inches of water in our house. We cleaned it up and life goes on. I like the location of our home. I like to ride the lawnmower... even down in the 'flats' also known as the flood plain.

My husband and I are both healthy... but I'm sick and tired of hearing people blame Dow Chemical for their ailments. Somebody heard the word 'dioxin' and found a scapegoat. I can understand that. When you're sick you want to know how to make it better. Well folks, it isn't that bad old 'd' word! I'm hoping you will educate yourselves about it. I know lots of people who have lived here longer than us. They're healthy too.

I plan to learn more about dioxin. More important... I plan to learn more about the people who have lived around here even longer than me... the folks whose cattle used to go down to the river for drinks and ate the grass and hay on the flood plain. These people also drank milk from those cows. They made butter from the cream. Can you imagine? Most of these people lived long healthy lives.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Gonna be a 'yucky' cleanup job! The flood is receding. In a few days... maybe more... we will be able to see our back yard again! It will look all scummy and grey. It will have piles of residue that floated down from upstream. Some of this residue will undoubtedly include residue from the huge bonfires somebody had over by Freeland road when they trimmed and cut down trees along the side of the road! Those fires produced dioxin. See the junk wrapped around my apple tree? There are piles like that around every tree in the flats!

Who will clean up this mess in our back yard? We will, of course... the homeowners, both now in our latter sixty's! We've been doing this for over forty years now. In 1986 we even had all that mucky yucky stuff in our house... over five feet of it... complete with snakes and frogs and God only knows what else! We cleaned that too; we and our family who all took time out from their own busy lives to help us during that time.

Guess what folks! I think if anybody thinks they 'got sick' from spending time in their back yards along the Tittabawassee River, it's because of all those high priced chemicals they hire ChemLawn and TruGreen to spray all over their lawns to kill everything that isn't pretty green grass! However, thanks to all that complaining, my property value has gone down! Now I couldn't sell it if I wanted to. Guess we'll have to give it to one our kids.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

The Tittabawassee River just might have quit rising here in Freeland. At 7:30 am our indicators showed it was still rising. By 9:00 am it was no longer rising. A stick in the ground works for us. This first photo was taken at noon on Friday, 03.05.04, in our back yard. By Saturday noon it looked like the second photo. The third photo was taken around 10:am today, Sunday. See more photos here.

Friday, March 05, 2004

This was my back yard at noon today.
no mowing todayThis is my back yard just about every spring and often again in the fall. It sometimes happens other times as well. We grow asparagus along the tree line back there. We've been harvesting it, eating it and sharing it with our family for years. There are people new to Freeland complaining that the floods from the Tittabawassee River are causing them health problems. The DNR has determined our land is 'contaminated'. It has rained since then. The Sanford dam has most certainly been spilling water downstream, making electricity. The river is still coming up.

Because people are suing Dow Chemical about their perceived dioxin situation, our property is worth less now than it was in the past. We just received our annual property tax increase statement. They use different terminology but it is nonetheless a tax increase. It should have been lower, but life goes on. The leaders in Freeland do not want to lose sight of their dreams to put Freeland's traditional farmers out of business and build houses, apartments and duplexes where crops are now grown. They must keep getting more money... that money they previously projected would be there so they can achieve their vision. Do you not see something wrong with this picture?