Friday, April 23, 2004

...a new quote and a new comment to go with it!
Golly! I can't go anyplace without being reminded of what those environmental extremists are trying to do to me and my neighbors!

Above... if you would like to copy our proposed new license plate, feel free to use either or both of them. Just right click your mouse on the picture and choose 'save picture as' - and save it to your own computer for sharing with anybody and everybody. Just don't forget to tell your friends where you got them.

...and below, I finally wrote a brief summary of our Monday meeting with a few of our legislators.
Monday, April 19, 2004 a group of about two dozen people met at the home of Leonard and Cheryl Heinzman. Attendees included farmers, neighbors and business owners, all residents of the Tittabawassee River floodplain area. We are some of the people who raised our families near the Tittabawassee River. We met with Michigan State Representatives Jim Howell, District 94 and John Moolenaar, District 98, Michigan Senator Mike Goschka, District 32 and Saginaw County Commissioner, Dr. Roger Kahn.

Len presided over the meeting, allowing for plenty of interaction between residents and political representatives. The meeting resulted in the decision that we need to form an organized group to dispel the fears and concerns being spread about the dangers of dioxins in our river floodplain. We will begin with a committee led by Leonard Heinzman and Shirley Salas, including several other residents and one State Representative. The committee will have a finite life with one purpose. When that purpose is accomplished, we will disperse.

Our mission is
  • Repeal the 'facility' designation affecting residential property along the Tittabawassee River floodplain by applying reason, good science and a minimum of obstructive emotion.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Oh boy!!! I'm angry!!! I'm kind of flaming actually! Why? There's an Earth Day presentation at Delta College tomorrow. I have another engagement during the day but planned to get to the presentation. I thought it was planned for the evening. Well it's not! I hope you can go. I hope you will make a grand entrance. Here are the details:

The Long Shadow

Earth Day

It's being pushed by Michelle Hurd Riddick and her cronies, Lone Tree Council and The RiverWatch gang. Here are excerpts...

"The Long Shadow details the dioxin controversy in the Tittabawassee River and the City of Midland starting in 2002, from public notification by agency whistleblowers in January to the failed bailout in December. The story highlights the plight of three floodplain families concerned about their health, their property values, and the corporate and government forces that acted against them. The story is told through contemporary videography, historical photos, and interviews with floodplain residents, environmental advocates, key government officials, and state lawmakers. "

We need you to attend this meeting to represent us.

Shirley Barton Salas
Tittabawassee River Voice Steering Committee

p.s. Does it just grind you a little bit that people who have day jobs will not be able to attend without taking off a day from work?

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Oh look what I found on the internet! This missive is an example of how the extremist liberals are brainwashing the young people here in Michigan!!! This is not 'freedom of speech' when liars are not only allowed but encouraged to "teach" their versions of current events as the truth!!!
DEQ... we the people provide the money for your paychecks! Why are you dragging us into your squabble with The Dow Chemical Company??!!! Why are you telling me that my backyard is a 'toxic waste facility?' Have you ever been in my backyard? Get me out of this squabble!!! I don't want to be involved!!! I am not blaming Dow Chemical for your interference in my life... I'm blaming YOU!

You may think I don't know as much as your 'scientists' but let me tell you. My neighbors and I have something none of you bureaucrats seem to have... that is..... Common Sense! Look! I want to show you something...

.....similar but not the same!

  • Dioxin... less than 2% of all the dioxins in the Tittabawassee River floodplain
  • ... it's a leftover from some chemical processes occurring before DEQ existed!
  • Some of it is a result of runoff from farmer's fields when farmers were allowed to use herbicides contaminated with dioxin.
  • Furan... more than 98% of all the dioxins in the Tittabawassee River floodplain.
  • ... furans are wood-based dioxins, derived from decomposition and burning of wood materials.
  • Much of this is undoubtedly a result of the thriving logging industry along the river.
  • some furans are most assuredly a result of years of burning off the old brush and grasses in early spring, just like foresters and land preservationists do to this day
Okay DEQ... I want your leaders to tell my why your agency has declared my neighbors and I guilty of owning a toxic waste facility? Is this the wave of the future? If our land has no value... if we can not use it... should not sell it... why must we pay the ever-increasing taxes on it? Declare a hiatus on taxes for all of us in the Tittabawassee River floodplain until this situation is resolved. We are NOT the bad guys here! We are victims of a quarrel between DEQ and Dow Chemical!

Friday, April 16, 2004

Okay... had a holiday. I know it's not politically correct to 'have religion' but we had a religious holiday... Easter for us Christians... and we like to spend it with family. I wonder if liberal environmentalist extremists celebrate religious holidays. Hmmmm. Anyway...

I get my Saginaw News online at MLive and I finally found the letter I and several others wrote to the editor a couple of weeks ago and published Wednesday, April 07, 2004. It starts with Protecting our interests written by a poor misguided soul, but is followed by three excellent letters written by people in the know. That would include yours truly, another brilliant resident, and a medical doctor who's been around awhile and knows what he's talking about.

There are several of the stories by Jeremiah Stettler, the young reporter I praised after reading his unbiased articles... the one I'm referring you to is pretty much a synopsis of the dioxin situation here in mid-Michigan... headlined Where some see villain, others see bad fiction published Sunday, April 04, 2004 in the Saginaw News.

But it made my day when I opened up email this evening to find another letter from my good buddy Ron... who doesn't even live on the flood plain although he used to have ponies and horses that grazed along the flood plain and drank water from the river... and this is a guy who loves his animals. He still raises ponies and he's just an intelligent guy that likes the good ol' out-of-doors and critters and nature. He reminded me of a toxic waste situation in the early 1900's in the southwest part of Saginaw. I'll post his letter over on Quotes and Comments when I finish here but meanwhile...

Here's what's for dessert tonight! Would you believe I never heard of the Ben & Jerry's dioxin enriched ice cream until tonight? Darn! ...and I've only been buying the cheap stuff with less fat in it! Anyway I found this article at The thing that made me bust out laughing though is that Ben & Jerry are apparently rather extreme environmentalists themselves who have been complaining about dioxin in the environment somewhere! After finding out their ice cream has more than the average amount of dioxin in it, what did they do? Nothing! They informed the public their wonderful, delicious, dioxin-laden ice cream will not change.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Does all this dioxin talk frighten you a little? Then you need to read... Facts Versus Fears Third Edition - 'A Review of the Greatest Unfounded Health Scares of Recent Times' by Adam J. Lieberman (1967-1997) Simona C. Kwon, M.P.H.

You can read it online... download it... or buy a copy! But you really should read it, especially if you recognize and remember worrying about any of the situations listed in Lieberman's 53 page realistic look at the fears instilled in our populace by extremist fear mongers. Don't want to take the time? Read at least the review. It should relieve your fears a bit.

Notice the side panel... Just Folks Talkin' was just added to simplify sorting out real life experiences and opinions from the expert advice further on down. Hope this helps. It will be updated frequently.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

My letter to the editor of the Saginaw News was published. I must admit I had some mighty fine company! To Ms. Henry who believes that dioxin has depreciated the value of our property, I would just like to say that the amount of dioxin on any one of our properties is probably pretty low. Did anybody measure the dioxin in your backyard? Nobody checked mine and we've had floods every year since I moved into this house 48 years ago. How many backyards were evaluated? How did DEQ choose which places to measure the dioxin? Why did they choose to pick an arbitrary number of 90 ppt as a danger level when the EPA has been studying this problem for years and came up with 1000 ppt? Do you know how big a part per trillion is? Do you realize how tiny 90 is compared to 1000? Do you realize how beautiful is the dream of environmentalists concerning combining your property and mine and all of our neighbors to make a big wildlife preservation empire?

Ms. Henry and Mr. Cox, do you realize the dangers involved in dredging the Tittabawassee River are probably greater than leaving it alone? Dioxin does not exist in water... it exists in soil and fatty tissue of animal life. Stirring up the river bottom would require pulling that soil out and depositing it somewhere else. Where would you have them deposit it?

Ms. Henry, you said I don't have to join the lawsuit. Well that's not the way the environmentalists want that to work. They want Judge Borrello to include all of us living on the River floodplain to be included in a great BIG class action suit. If I don't want to be in it I have to go out of my way to get out of it. People being what they are, many of us will probably stay in it and make that class bigger by default. That is not what I call a fair way to go about things in a democracy, do you?

Mr. Varner from Public Health Department said it best... noboby knows what levels of dioxin present a health risk. What all of us 'old-timers' on the flood plain know is that we are not sick! As far as I'm concerned we just have to remember these words..... 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!'

Monday, April 05, 2004

I just read another letter to the editor... this one from Ron Picardi, Thomas Township. It was in the April 1 issue of The Saginaw News, third letter down the page, titled 'Land grab?' Ron, I think you hit the nail right on the head with that information. The environmentalist element will use any means to their end, won't they?
The Sunday April 4 edition of the Saginaw News made a big impression on me. Jeremiah Stettler did an excellent job of reporting on our local dioxin issue. He reported all sides fairly without interjecting a lot of propaganda for any one side. Unfortunately I've been unable to find any of his Sunday articles on the internet version of the News so I'm afraid you will have to buy or borrow a copy if you don't receive it at home.

I was so impressed I finally wrote a letter to the editor with my views. I wrote that letter for the approximately 1,900 of us who choose not to be included in a class action suit against Dow Chemical concerning this dioxin issue, but would prefer to see you write your own letters. Did you know you can send your letter to the editor via email? Just be sure to give them your real name, your address and phone number so they can verify you really wrote the letter. They do not publish all that information... just your letter, your name and town. Why don't you write them now... while it's still fresh on your mind! The address is: