Sunday, October 31, 2004

How Does it Get to the Saginaw Bay?

River study focuses on St. Louis... a little headline on page 8 of The Saginaw News caught my attention today. It mentions familiar words, including floodplain, but nowhere did I see the word dioxin even though the generic term pesticides is mentioned. Hmmm! Is there a horse up there in front of the ugly dioxin debacle?

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween

I will be away from the internet for a few days. Yes I will suffer withdrawal but, hey! It's not a perfect world! When I'm back I will be revived, refreshed and raring to go! Don't forget to vote! If you are in Florida, Georgia, or North Carolina, vote often and vote Republican!

oooooops! I thought it said I CHOCOLATE!

Friday, October 29, 2004

A Tip for Bird Lovers...

While we wait for MDEQ and Dow to tie up loose ends (hopefully by their deadline of October 31)... and come to an agreement, here's a little bird feeder tip. We've tried 'squirrel-proof' feeders and so far none proved effective against the bushy-tailed little raiders. This year I suggested we try something new. We strung an old-fashioned clothesline across the deck and tied feeders off across the middle. So far squirrels and chipmunks have been unable to walk the tightrope! We laid a board under the feeders and fill a wooden feeder on it to serve juncos, mourning doves, and our little rodent beggars too! Who'da thunk it, eh? In the background... a field of soybeans. Without soybeans I couldn't have my MorningStar Farms sausage with a farm-fresh egg on an English muffin for breakfast!

Don't forget to vote Tuesday! I already voted because I won't be able to run over to the voting booth on November 2... first time ever with an absentee ballot, but I've never missed an election in 47 years and wasn't about to this time!

If you haven't yet read Dr. Carson's letter to the public in either the Midland Daily News or The Saginaw News, here is a link to Dow's online copy of Understanding Dioxin Concentrations in Blood.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Understanding Dioxin Concentrations in Blood

More about the MDCH study of 25 people in the Tittabawassee River floodplain... As you know a few people told the press results they received from MDCH... thus creating a potential panic situation. I'm convinced some of these people, members of the lawsuit against Dow, knowingly tried to create fear in the hearts of all of us living on the floodplain. Dr. Carson, from Dow Chemical, wrote an article to help dispel these fears and it was published in the Midland Daily News last Sunday. Not everybody along the river reads MDN however, but everybody should read Dr. Carson's article.

After a bit of searching... duh!! I should have done this sooner..... I found that same article on Dow's website. I recommend everybody read it. Understanding Dioxin Concentrations in Blood

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

My house circa 1912...

click to see it bigger and better!
Click on this one to see a bigger view.

Howard Vasold gave me a copy of this photo taken of 'my house' around June 1912. The original house was actually built around 1858. When we moved here in summer 1960, there was an outhouse about where the fellow is sitting on what looks like the top of a building... the same outhouse? I don't know! Howard says the water was within 15 feet of the kitchen... toward the barn. They had to bring their milk over in a boat for two days!

Today Howard showed me a list he is keeping on his computer... of residents along the river and their ages at time of death. Well, many of them are actually still alive... at the age of 90 and older. One lady who lived along this river during the time of this photo is now 105 years old, still living in a nursing home!

The house? When the girls were small we remodeled the south end and added rooms to the north end. After they moved out we redid the south end again because the foundation was crumbling. Matter of fact, we were remodeling (and using the downstairs for our bedroom) when we woke up with the Tittabawassee River literally at our feet. about all that big bad boogey man chemical... dioxin... Gee maybe I'll still be around at the age of 105... if I don't get hit by a beer truck!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Let's give dioxin a dose of science

Let's give dioxin a dose of science... need I say more? What a team! Thank you, Midland Daily News, for publishing, once again, the voice of reason! We refuse to have our homes defiled by a bunch of environutz on a mission!

Howard Vasold tells me there is also an article by Dr. Carson in today's edition of The Midland Daily News... page A-7..... in which Dr. Carson explains the effects of dioxin in the dioxin study, by the Michigan Department of Community Health, of 25 people living in our area. Please read it! It should dispel much of the hysteria produced by local environmental wackos and other individuals giving out little pieces of information on the subject. I cannot find this article on the internet version of Midland Daily News, but as soon as I have a copy, I will share it with our readers on TRVoice.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Junk Science Judo Short Course

Know how I'm always saying, "...define the problem"? Here it is, plain & simple:
'The Scientific Method is the result of centuries of human learning, from Copernicus to Einstein. The scientific method isn't "rocket science". It's just the simple and common process of trial and error. A hypothesis is tested until it is credible enough to be labeled a "theory"--an elevated status in science indicating the best known explanation of some phenomenon. A theory that is confirmed may be further elevated to the status of fact or scientific "law".'
Quoted from: Junk Science Judo Short Course ...a good how-to on sorting truth and fiction. You know, the dioxin controversy has been going on for years... and the only actual problem to date... choracne!

Even credible scientists aren't 100% sure about effects on individuals, but one thing is sure; living in a bubble is not the cure-all answer! Perhaps some of us are more vulnerable to dioxin just as some of us are more vulnerable to other substances we encounter every day, everywhere. Someday, some way, sound science might come up with more answers about dioxin... meanwhile I don't want to live in a bubble!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Update on the MDCH Study... Interpretation

There is danger in not knowing the whole story... nor some of the finer details. Today I received emails from Dr. Neill D. Varner, Medical Director of the Saginaw County Health Department. He gave me permission to publish his emails if I do not take anything out of context. Read Dr. Varner's emails and see why. FYI, Dr. Varner told me I also offer misinformation on occasion. Although I didn't respond then, my response follows... The difference is I am willing to correct my errors. I don't pretend to know everything. I know who I am representing (the silent majority) and I have no personal agenda. I only want to defeat the hysteria and fear-mongering that brought this dioxin situation to a level where I felt I must get involved. Ask anybody who really knows me... I've never been much of a joiner but when I join I obligate myself to get involved!

More later... I need to respond to people who responded to yesterday's Midland Daily News, but first I need to go grocery shopping! Bill, FYI... if MDN does not publish your response to Ms. Rhetoric's nasty comments, I will! As Frank just said to me, 'Good will triumph over evil!' ... and that's really a remarkable statement coming from my eternal cynic!

blinkie by OttO... brilliant talented daughter number five!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Update to Today's Blog...

The Midland Daily News published an article about our Lansing meeting today...Residents, state officials talk dioxin. Thank you Kathie for doing a great job and we appreciate inclusion of the URL to this website!

Age Specific Relationships for Dioxin Levels

Yesterday we discussed the 25 people who received results of testing by the MDCH. I realize a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous... so here is a little bit more! Studies were done in the late 1990's on levels of dioxin in the body. People in four states were involved:
  • North Carolina - no known source of exposure
  • Missouri - incineration sources
  • New York - eating fish & wildlife
  • Louisiana - near industrial sources
Here is the table showing average levels of dioxin for different age groups.

Individual results should be referenced to Age Specific Dioxin TEQ Reference Range table and note the increasing number values with increasing age.
Table 3: Dioxin TCDD reference range based on 4 studies from LA, MO, NC and NY
Age Group N Mean Std Median P75 P90 P95 Min Max
15-29 116 1.0 1.1 0.8 1.0 1.9 2.4 0.3 9.7
30-44 199 1.4 1.3 1.0 1.7 2.9 4.0 0.2 10.9
45-59 160 1.9 1.6 1.4 2.6 4.1 5.0 0.3 9.3
60+ 113 3.9 3.7 3.2 5.8 7.5 10.9 0.3 22.6
All 588 1.9 2.3 1.1 2.5 4.6 6.0 0.2 22.6

This table is formatted correctly in the document which EACH participant should have from MDCH: Age Specific Dioxin TEQ Reference Range

You must realize... dioxin exists in all of our bodies. Depending on how often we participate in the carnivorous pleasure of a good Porterhouse steak or a sinfully delightful bowl of Ben & Jerry's ice cream... how often we enjoy an after dinner cigarette or cigar... or campfires with the family, we all carry around varying amounts of dioxin and always have.

Why do I care? Because unlike the unfortunate people who are looking for a reason for their illnesses, I am not sick and I thank God for that every day of my life! I want to believe that living on the Tittabawassee River floodplain does not cause adverse health problems in humans. I know it hasn't caused any problems in my life or the lives of my beloved children and grandchildren!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Residents get notice of dioxin exposure

Residents get notice of dioxin exposure... this version from The Saginaw News. Tittabawassee River Voice and Midland Matters recommend you read the protocols for this study of 25 individuals at the website provided by Michigan Department of Community Health... and I personally suggest you go back and read Kathie Marchlewski's article on results of dioxin exposure as well. At least Kathie interviewed a couple not involved in the lawsuit. Unfortunately however, it would appear the number one complainant, Kathy Henry passed on rumors about the people who did NOT volunteer information to the press. This is an obvious attempt on the part of environmental extremists to take advantage of the press to instill hysteria in the public arena.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Imerman use down 43 percent...

Imerman use down 43 percent, by ERIN ALBERTY, THE SAGINAW NEWS, Friday, October 15, 2004. Well duh!!! What would you do if you went to a park and everywhere you walked you saw these signs? If I didn't know better they'd scare the heck out of me! Here's a brief excerpt from the October 15 article:
'Officials from the state Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Community Health in April advised school districts to avoid Imerman Park and other spots on the river, previously used for sporting events and field trips, to avoid exposing students to the contaminant.'
Do you realize this is tantamount to terrorism. People are being scared away... not only from our beautiful parks, but from some of the small family businesses, like our local apple farms, that kids have looked forward to visiting ever since I can remember! They're being scared away from places that aren't even situated on the Tittabawassee River floodplain... they just happen to be near it!

The MDEQ forces Dow to put up those ugly warning signs to scare people away. Then they make it sound like it was Dow's idea! You might as well put up the ugly skull & crossbones signs created by these fear-mongers! Read DEQ approves Dow's dioxin info campaign in the Midland Daily News, October 14, 2004. The environuts have been pushing this stuff at the MDEQ.

...and now we read in Sunday's Midland Daily News... Results back from pilot study of dioxin exposure. My God Kathy!!! I'm ashamed for you! I thought you were growing into a responsible journalist and here we read a combination of misinformation and untruths! The Michigan Department of Community Health has not yet published this information so you've taken 5 out of the 25 people who volunteered to be tested... definitely not a scientific sampling... and published that information as a fair example of 'truth.' It's bad enough that we're getting scare propoganda thrown at us in the TV news from the Kerry campaign... now we're getting scare propoganda thrown at us from our little hometown newspapers!

By the way, one of the five went around putting stuff about her test in people's mailboxes. Hey lady! Don't you know tampering with mailboxes is a federal crime?

Friday, October 15, 2004

The River Voice and Midland Matters met with Lieutenant Governor Cherry and Director of MDEQ Steve Chester

The River Voice and Midland Matters met with Lieutenant Governor Cherry and Director of MDEQ Steve Chester yesterday at 2:30 p.m. in Lansing. Here are the fellows - prior to the meeting; I'm behind the camera. Didn't think about using my camera again until after the meeting and it was too late. Maybe next time.

I think it went pretty well. After Mr. Cherry and Mr. Chester brought us up-to-date on the dioxin situation in our area, Bill Egerer gave them an overview of how we, the residents of Midland and the Tittabawassee River floodplain, feel about being in the middle of the MDEQ/Dow dioxin debate.

Dr. Richard Rietz, our toxicologist and expert on dioxin, explained his knowledge of dioxin, pointing out some of the inaccuracies in DEQ's science that were pointed out but never corrected. Dr. Rietz also suggested formation of an unbiased expert panel to oversee the scientific results of studies done by MDEQ. Perhaps this would take care of the uncorrected mistakes in their decision making process.

As Mr. Cherry further discussed the methods and procedures of the whole mess, I suggested they get down to earth and decide if there really is a problem. Giving them my 45 year background experience living in the Tittabawassee River floodplain, I suggested there are plenty of people living here to prove dioxin is not problematic... or we would be seeing a big area of sick people. After all, the dioxin problem caused by Dow's production of chlorine-based chemistry has been since approximately 1906.

Len Heinzman explained the formation of Tittabawassee River Voice, beginning with the meeting with legislators at his home, showing Chester and Cherry the list of signatures obtained by his canvassing of residents along the river plain. Len emphasized that residents want the term 'facility' removed from our properties and even suggested the possibility that we should be exempt from property taxes until this situation is resolved.

Our government now knows the environmental extremists do NOT represent the majority of our residents. Mr. Cherry said he really was unaware that was the case and appreciates our bringing him up to speed.

I also gave Messrs. Cherry and Chester each a CD with a photo album depicting My Town and my prepared notes for the meeting. More will follow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

We care for our parks...

Want to see it bigger? Just click it!
...this one is Festival Park for which Dow Chemical just donated $496,000 to build a floating dock, two levels of decks and a walking path. We were just walking in that park yesterday... sort of a photographing mid-day holiday. It will be even more lovely with the new additions.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

We are proud of our farms...

...and the people who farm them. Leaman's Green Apple Barn was farmed by Harry Leaman, who died at the age of 92. The farm is now owned and managed by Harry's granddaughter. Although the apple farm is above the floodplain, Jaye tells how she played down by the river, and even swam in it. I do believe the dioxin situation was worse then than it is now. We just didn't know about it. Four generations and still going strong!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Ah the POWER!!!

No-show 'weed' may alter drain
Okay, so there is no weed there to protect, but the DEQ will protect it anyway!!!

State asks city to relocate water main near dam site Hey the DEQ can do anything they want!!! Move your water main, darn it! The DEQ wants to 'do their thing.'

Michigan gives York trash green light for now
Oh yes... the great 'protectors' of Michigan's wetlands, dunes, county drains, ditches and air... is there anything I didn't cover? Just what we need in our beautiful state... more garbage!!!

Oh yes... then there was this article last week: Michigan okay with our trash... this from Toronto!

Meanwhile out in the backwoods of Howell, Michigan a lone man prowls the wetlands... looking for trouble. Big cities are welcome to bring their garbage and dump it in Michigan but watch out for this guy! Read Man polices county wetlands.

Then there's that group of articles in the Detroit Free Press last week... Battle rages over cleanup of Dow's toxic legacy. A friend gave me the hard copy even though I told him I could read it all online. Thanks, Larry! Glad you gave it to me. I would have been deprived from seeing the infamous photo of Mrs. Henry riding her lawnmower around her yard wearing a mask to protect herself from breathing in dioxin!!! She has no qualms about breathing in the poisons in her cigarettes! I guess she has to take off her mask to take a drag on her cigarette, eh?

Friday, October 01, 2004

MDEQ on the JOB!!!

Just for kicks... here's a photo of the DEQ boat that visited little Hackert Lake aka Crystal Lake Tuesday morning, July 27, 2004. They were here taking core samples of the lake bottom in search of mercury... or so they say. Can you imagine my surprise when I woke up that morning to the smell of coffee and a greeting, 'Wake up honey, the DEQ is here.' Then I realized I was not home but at the lake and they were in the middle of my 'front yard' not at the door!
As usual, click the photo for a full page view.