Friday, December 30, 2005

FYI - Reactions to Granholm's Veto Against Homeowners

A public note to our Congressmen and women - especially Congressman Moolenaar, who introduced the Homeowners' Rights Bill. Thank you so much for all you are trying to do for Michigan homeowners. Let us pray the tyrannical behavior of Ms. Granholm will soon be over. Even people who voted for her are unhappy. We can DO it people!!! It's not over.

"Mackinac Center Environmental Analyst Russ Harding Urges Reform of State Dioxin Policy Following Governor's Veto of Dioxin Testing Bill
State's dioxin approach disregards sound science and property rights. Dec. 28, 2005

Our View: Granholm should rein in DEQ, wait for results of U-M study
Midland Daily News - 12/30/2005

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Glad I Don't Live in a Bubble...

Have you ever noticed how you can tell an extremist environmentalist by that ever-present look of anger? A friend forwarded the following to me this morning. Now, more than ever, I'm convinced it's because of that darned BUBBLE they insist on living in. The tough part is - they want US to join them in that bubble!!!

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONEactually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chatrooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were nolawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned


And if YOU are one of us, CONGRATULATIONS!

You and I have had the luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good, and if you are one of our kids, now you know how brave your parents really were.

My momma used to say I'd eat a bushel of dirt before I die. Thank God, my mom, and a strong sense of independence, I do not live in the prison of a bubble!

Yesterday's News: In case you want to read all this stuff (I did):
Lansing State Journal: Granholm vetoes environmental cleanup legislation

Cleanup bill nixed
Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It's politics now, lawmakers say
Kathie Marchlewski, Midland Daily News 12/28/2005

Granholm vetoes facility proposal
Kathie Marchlewski, Midland Daily News 12/28/2005

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Good morning Michigan!!!

King Steve is on the loose now!!!

She has pushed away our jobs... Michigan is now third only to the other most devastated States, Missouri and Louisiana. The difference is - Mother Nature did the dastardly deed to them. Ms. Granholm did it to Michigan!!!

She's running around spending our money like it grew on grapevines...

  • traveling to Japan to give more business to foreign car makers.
  • dumping money off in depressed areas, calling them 'cool cities' as though free money will motivate the gang elements and hard core unemployed - yeah right, guv!
  • 'creating jobs' by taking more of our money to hire out government-paid construction projects.

Who is 'she?' Oh! Jennifer Granholm, Michigan's failed attempt at letting this woman run the state.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Looks like jenny granholm done joined up with the econutz!

Too bad.... so sad..... She's worried about our health? She hasn't met any of us. How can she have any idea about our health? She's only met up with the greedy!

I just today read an article: Green Tea Polyphenol EGCG Affects Gene Expression of Breast Cancer Cells Transformed By the Carcinogen 7,12- Dimethylbenz[a]Anthracene1-3 about green tea as a new and wondrous thing! I already had heard from national news sources that green tea is 'good for you' and was drinking one cup per day for several months when I heard a new bit of news. That was the study that showed green tea can reduce the amount of iron in your blood.

Because my doctor had been treating me for low hemoglobin by prescribing massive doses of iron (with nasty side effects I might add) - I decided to stop my one cup per day green tea habit. I've not yet had my blood checked since the change but notice my skin no longer gets the little 'explosions of blood' under the surface that no doctor was able to explain. Coincidence? I think not. Bottom line = Green tea is good for rats.

This is the way of so many things - healthy or unhealthy? Rats are not human and that's a fact! Remember the big bad Dow Corning people making those nasty artificial breasts that were 'making people sick?' Well - after Corning went bankrupt somebody decided silicon doesn't make people sick so now that Dow Corning paid out all that money to the greedy they can make artificial breasts again. Jenny is over there glad-handing Dow Corning and little girls are getting new boobs for Christmas presents.

Cross out the word silicon - insert the word dioxin - same story. The greedy ones want to hurry up and get their money through their lawsuit (currently on hold again) before tests on people come out with what all of us long term residents of the Tittabawassee River floodplain know... the dioxin in this floodplain doesn't kill people!

Ain't life grand?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Merry Christmas from the Tittabawassee River floodplain.

'Rivers know this: there is no hurry, we shall get there some day.'
A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)

Merry Christmas
A few days ago I posted my plea for Michigan residents to tell Governor Granholm to sign the Homeowners' Fairness bill - HB-4617S-4. I actually did this on several web sites. I think she is getting our message. I'm not sure if she will pass or veto the bill, but I'm convinced she knows the previously silent majority is speaking out through the Tittabawassee River Voice and our friends at Midland Matters.

Last week Len and I had radio spots running on WSGW, a local radio station, all week long. The clincher was Wednesday, when Len had an interview session on the Art Lewis show on WSGW. Len's amazing when it comes to explaining such matters. I think he really got our message across because Thursday and Friday Art Lewis had call-in's all in support of the legislation. Folks this is democracy at work!!!

picture of holly
When you have some time I suggest you read The puzzle of environment and cancer By Gina Kolata of The New York Times. It was published in the International Herald Tribune: Health/Science on December 14, 2005.

She begins by telling us about Dr. Michael Gallo who, after working with dioxin for three decades, found out he has cancer. Unlike the uninformed, he knows the dioxin didn't cause it. He knows the components in his blood and dioxin is not prominent. Dr. Gallo says 'If I were to take that tumor that came out of me and grind it up and run it through a mass spectrometer, I could find every persistent organic chemical I've ever been exposed to. Is that cause and effect? No, it's an association.'

picture of holly
Then you will want to read Chemicals! In Our Blood!! - written by Dr. Joe Schwarcz (December 16, 2005) Dr. Schwarcz talks to us about all of the chemicals we are now able to detect in our bodies. As the old saying goes, 'A little knowledge can be dangerous,' and so it is when the uninformed get this kind of information, don't understand it, and panic. Dr. Schwarcz discusses the various chemicals in our blood in minute quantities that until recently were undetected.

picture of holly
Finding balance in dioxin 'zone' - published editorial in The Saginaw News on Sunday, December 18, 2005. Read it if you missed it on Sunday. It's encouraging to know the local newspaper with the biggest distribution in our area supports the homeowners. This is a big ol' thank you to the editors!!!

picture of holly
Dow could help curb future pandemic - an article by Kathie Marchlewski in the Midland Daily News Sunday issue - another 'must read' because here is another good reason why the old-fashioned environmentalists should join the 21st century environmentalists and work with 'the polluters' and not against them!!!

picture of holly
I need to take this time to extend my gratitude to Mike Underwood and Gary McLaughlin. These two men were the emergency response team when I phoned 911 on August 29. They arrived within minutes after I called! I need to thank the emergency response team from Thomas Township for their prompt arrival. I know you all did everything possible to get my husband's tired heart to beat again. Thanks to my neighbor, Jacquie Leaman, for driving me to the hospital after Mike and Gary determined I should not go along in the emergency vehicle. They were concerned that my hysterical reaction could interfere with the technicians' concentration on trying to revive my husband, Frank.

Mike, I especially want to thank you for stopping by again to see if I was okay. Thank you for your explanations. Your tenderness during such a devastating moment in my life meant a great deal to me. You are a living angel.

picture of holly
I will be sharing time with my family during the Christmas and New Year holidays. If something really new happens during this time, I will tell you about it here. If not, Merry Christmas to my Christian friends and Happy Holidays to everybody!

'Environmentalism has turned into anti-globalization and anti-industry. Activists have abandoned science in favor of sensationalism.'...Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace

picture of holly

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Democracy is working in Iraq...

..Will it work in Michigan, U.S.A.? Residents are vocalizing our wishes to Governor Granholm. We want her to sign and pass the Homeowners' Rights bill - HB-4617S-4. A bunch of special interest lobbying groups are encouraging her to veto it. Although those groups say they represent citizens, they represent their own special interests! Be careful where you donate your money folks. You may think you are supporting the environment.... but, are you? The only environmental organization I've seen worth supporting is There may be others but... well, Frank & I have actually supported some of the 22 organizations the Lonetree gang joined up with so they could gang up on Governor Granholm... and I'm really sorry we did!

  • The Governor's opinion webpage is back up.
  • If you haven't already, tell Governor Granholm to pass HB-4617S-4 using contact information on our right panel - printed in alert red.
  • Our co-founder, Len Heinzman, was a guest of Art Lewis on WSGW yesterday, along with a representative from the lonetree gang. If I'm lucky I'll get a copy of that broadcast to share with you.
  • Today Art Lewis received many phone calls from residents affirming their agreement with Len's viewpoint, which is of course, the viewpoint of Tittabawassee River Voice.
  • If you have a moment, read Midland Daily News' Our View: Granholm needs to protect homeowners. I've been so busy responding to the reader opinions there that I think I forgot to link this December 12 article here for you to read! If you want to see how some people are misinformed and my responses to them, be sure to read all six of the reader opinions.

Keep on truckin' folks!!! If Ms. Granholm doesn't want to listen to real residents, well... onward to Lansing and Plan B!!! As Tiny Tim said, 'God bless us one and all!'

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Contact Governor Granholm

I've just been informed the link to the governor's contact form doesn't work. I checked by going through the several pages directly from the governor's webpage and couldn't get there that way either. Well I guess I need to share this email address: - an assistant who will surely see that the governor gets the message.

Love and good cheer to all. Keep praying and remember, God helps him/her who helps himself/herself!
I guess I'm feeling a bit click me to get your own moody bears from OttO! tonight! Keep the faith friends; we'll get there.

Granholm Doesn't Care About, or Listen to, Residents...

...READ IT in The Saginaw News. The Governor doesn't listen to the whole story and she doesn't care! While running around the world on taxpayer dollars under the guise of creating jobs, and declaring 'cool cities' so she can give away more of the taxpayers' hard-earned money, she loves to smile for the camera along with a few residents (usually children) but certainly is NOT listening to the residents!

Governor, you may think you're 'winning battles' through your power of veto but you may very well be 'losing the war' for attaining a second term! President Bush recently said 'Government doesn't make jobs, people do.' ...and he's right, even if he is a Republican!

What do you think you will attain by bringing Japanese car building to Michigan? I'll tell you - You are doing the competition a favor while demolishing local industry! Isn't that happening already with Delphi and General Motors?

What do you think you will attain if you veto HB-4617S-4?

  • You might satisfy a few 'old-style' environmental extremists for another day. Do you realize the new environmentalist style is to work WITH the polluter, just as Jim Sygo and Lt. Governor Cherry have been doing? This action does NOT satisfy your old-style environmental friends. Your old environmental friends are never satisfied.
  • You will allow MDEQ to continue to devalue residential property with their dictatorial, non-scientific practices. Do you realize that the Michigan Department of Public Health study published last summer showed that fully 34% of the residential properties that MDEQ declared 'facilities' in that study did NOT contain dioxin? Read my commentary about it here.
  • You will continue to drive jobs OUT of Michigan.

Governor Granholm, don't you realize that we ALL care about our environment? We just don't think you should allow the MDEQ to denigrate tax-paying property owners in the State of Michigan by saying we live in toxic waste dumps without proving it. Pass the Homeowners' Rights legislation and make MDEQ admit we still live in the United States of America and we are actually innocent until proven guilty!

Residents: Don't let her threat to veto HB-4617S-4 discourage you! Let her know how you feel.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Tell Governor Granholm to Sign Homeowners Rights Bill Today

How to contact Governor Granholm - below and in right panel.
What does Len have to say about the bill? - Listen to Len
What does Shirley have to say? - Listen to Shirley
... read this article if you are still not convinced..
...or read Our View: Granholm needs to protect homeowners in today's Midland Daily News.
... then go here and tell the governor to sign HB-4617S-4
or tell her by phone at 517-335-7858

Friday, December 09, 2005

HB-4617 was passed by our ELECTED representatives

A small special interest group wants to stop it in it's tracks! We can't let that happen. Local environmental extremists want to keep the dioxin scare-factor going along the Tittabawassee River floodplain and on into the Saginaw Bay. They do NOT believe in sound science. They're trying to scare us by pulling out the old 'babies & pregnant women' card. They neglect the fact that thousands of babies were born to pregnant women along the Tittabawassee during the past century with no defects or diseases caused by dioxin in the soil. Please contact Governor Granholm now and tell her you support the Homeowners' Rights legislation House Bill 4617. Tell her to sign the bill and show her support for Michigan homeowners.
  • Contact Governor Granholm via email: Governor Jennifer Granholm
  • Fill in the online Opinion Form and tell Governor Granholm to sign HB-4617 : Governor Granholm's Opinion Form
  • Phone the Governor at (517) 335-7858 - Constituent Services
  • Fax Governor Granholm at: (517) 335-6863
  • Write to Governor Granholm confirming your support for the Homeowners' Rights legislation, HB-4617, as amended by the Senate: Constituent Services Division, 111 S. Capitol Ave., Lansing, MI 48909

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Grassroots Action Needed... protect our backyards from government invasion! Our legislators got it going. HB-4617 passed in the House of Representatives; the Senate reviewed it and made a few changes, so now it's back to the House for approval of the changes... then off to Governor Granholm. If you want to read it, here is the document:

The Lone Tree Gang is running scared now! I don't know why they want DEQ vilifying us with their assumptions about contamination in our residences... I don't know why they want non-elected bureaucrats from DEQ running our State... I don't know why they don't believe in sound science... but now Lone Tree is once again twisting words around to make their little group's goals sound like truth! They have launched a last desperate attempt to get Governor Granholm to veto the bill!

We the people have spoken. Our elected legislators heard us and responded with legislation to keep the Department of Environmental Quality from making assumptions about our residential properties without ever seeing any samples of our property. Now the few 1970's-based environutz want the Governor of Michigan to go against our desires. We need to contact her and let her know that our elected representatives actually represent us! We need to tell Governor Granholm that we want the Homeowners' Rights bill (HB-4617 as amended by the Senate) passed.

Contact Governor Granholm. Tell her we feel it is imperative to get this legislation passed, not just to protect the homeowners but to protect our jobs here in Michigan!

  • Phone Governor Granholm: (517) 373-3400 or (517) 335-7858 - Constituent Services
  • Send Governor Granholm an email sharing your opinion or you can go to:,1607,7-168-21995-65331--,00.html and fill in the opinion form provided. It will go via email to the governor's office.
  • Fax Governor Granholm at: (517) 335-6863
  • and then write to Governor Granholm confirming your support for the Homeowners' Rights legislation, HB-4617, as amended by the Senate: Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan 48909
  • Send me a copy of your letter, email or fax so I can compile our efforts. Our email address is .
click this form to read what shirley had to say to Governor Granholm today. Here's what the form looks like. Click on it and see what I sent via that form today. You don't have to say much. She just wants to know what WE want! Just tell her how you feel about the issue.

Maybe then we can truly relax and enjoy the good life here along the Tittabawassee River floodplain! ...and let us not forget, people - the Lone Tree Gang are the people who believe in freedom of speech, as long as they are the ones speaking!!!! The Lone Tree Gang is the gang who told ME to shut up at a public meeting! Let's show them that the majority still rules. Let's encourage the governor to pass this legislation.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

FYI - Re: Senate Bill 390...

SB 390, known as the Homeowners' Rights bill, just today passed in the Senate! Chalk another one up for the good guys! Don't know all the details yet but
  • I DO know there were some changes made. The changes were made to clarify things.
  • I DO know that the polluter doesn't 'get out of' anything.
  • The bill now goes back to the House because of the changes, of course.

Will keep you posted as things progress...

While I'm here, in case you haven't read it yet, I think you should read what Russ Harding had to say in this article - A Taking by Any Other Name. Harding, as always, tells it like it is. We are all aware of the DEQ involvement in all aspects of just about every homeowner in Michigan... from the wetlands to the sand dunes, from our underground water to our riverside and lakeside properties, and even in the cities. Read what he has to say about it.

Meanwhile, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas (if I don't get back here before then)

I continue chugging along and doing alright, healthy, comfortable and contented to be living here along the Tittabawassee River floodplain.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

more on the 'homeowner's rights' bill...

I read this in The Saginaw News earlier today and just found it online: Goschka bill angers activists. Golly gee... now is that news or what? There isn't much that doesn't anger them, is there? I don't think I've ever seen a member of the Lonetree gang smile, actually.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Give ThanksWhy do I not blog as often as I did before, you ask? A word to my female friends - Appreciate your husband. You will not realize how much he does around the house until he is gone!

Today I had to bring in the trash can & recycling box - yes it was garbage day & who do you think takes it out? Yesterday my mom & I took one of my sisters out for her birthday dinner. Tomorrow, as usual, I am grandma so of course, this is where we have Thanksgiving dinner. Today my turkey is partially thawed... My house is partially cleaned...

..and today my boat was partially uncovered (thanks to the abnormally constant winds this year). #1 son-in-law had covered it but the twine was no match for Mother Nature's wrath! I planned to wait for the sons-in-law to cover it tomorrow but today the snow began... again. Don't want to cover a snow-filled boat so I covered it. The guys can fine tune it tomorrow.

I should be preparing for tomorrow's big dinner but first... You know how the environutz rely on rodent tests to 'prove' they are right whenever they want to get in the news? I quote Bruce Ames, Ph.D. and Lois Swirsky Gold, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley - "No human diet can be free of naturally occurring chemicals that are rodent carcinogens. Of the chemicals that people eat, 99.99% are natural."

Last year the American Council on Science and Health provided us with an analysis of our all-American Thanksgiving dinner! Here for your reading pleasure is... ACSH Holiday Dinner Menu. Thank you Dr. Neill! I really haven't had time to read all my favorite webs as often as I did in the past... and ACHS Health is one of my favorites!

Today I am click me to get your own moody bears from OttO! for my wonderful family and friends!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The solution to pollution is dilution...

While the Class action dioxin case heads to higher court one more time, as reported in the Midland Daily News 11/15/2005, our friend Bill ponders the deeper problem of actually cleaning up dioxin from the river. Here for our reading pleasure is, once again, guest blogger, Bill Egerer.

RIVER CLEANUP - Alternatives
by Bill Egerer, Midland Matters
Representatives of environmental groups keep beating the drums for river dredging as the solution to the dioxin issue. They point out human health and $800 million of economic benefits are compelling reasons to dredge. They highlight EPA dredging of Fox River, WI as the model Saginaw Valley should follow. Yet, growing coalitions of people think 'leave it alone' is the best solution. Eventually, this wide gap in approaches must be reconciled and hopefully science will be the determinate in any public policy decisions.

Until the science studies are complete, our region should consider economic development approaches to solve this issue. Science is great, but money is the bigger magnet to bring people together. Two alternatives to dredging are proposed in a quest to solve the dioxin issue. As additional benefits, these plans bring the Tri-Cities together in economic development harmony and put our region on the world map in a positive light.

We need to get our heads out of the sand and think creatively to replace dredging with draining and flooding.

If the area's rivers were drained and left free of water, we could have shore to shore testing and dirt scooping going on for years and overcome any unemployment in the region. THEN, we encapsulate the entire dry bed areas; must be over 500 miles of winding troughs, channels and wide bank ditches. This guarantees the nasty dioxin molecules are sealed forever (or at least until concrete resealing job is needed). The exact volume of concrete required is unknown, but local excavation companies would smile.

THEN, and this is the real exciting part, the whole river system area becomes a world class Olympic training ground for luge and bobsledding sports in the winter. Consider the economic windfall for the region!! The straight away along the downtown Saginaw area would be a wild ride if we left the Genesee and other bridge supports in place.

A champion could run the luge from Midland Tridge (where entrances fees are collected of course) all the way to the Saginaw Bay and even across over into Thumb area via the ice.

During the summers, it would be converted to the world's largest skateboard park system and be an intra-city transportation system for bikers and roller blade babes.

Plenty of riverbank areas for event viewing. It would make the fantastic Bay City fireworks event look like a opening prayer compared to this Vatican Council of economic transformation. I think the Governor could campaign on this one.

The solution to pollution is dilution. We should buy land in the surrounding high elevation areas so we could cash in when we flood the Saginaw Valley area creating a sixth Great Lake. People love lakes and want to protect them. Everyone is chasing manufacturing and research; but few states can draw a foot from their other lakes to create a great lake like we can. Again, the Governor could wear her bikini and the Lt. Governor a Speedo as part of their "wet and wild" re-election tour. Four Winns and others water sports manufacturers could get behind this one.

BOTTOM LINE ........ the Environmentalists harping for dredging are operating in the stone age. Plans to DREDGE pale to DRAINING or FLOODING. The Green Party needs to get with the times and start turning environmental messes into REAL Greenbacks.

Friday, November 11, 2005

MDEQ and Dow held a meeting Wednesday...

Festival Park - cobblestone walls and handicapped access
..and I was there. They spoke to a crowded room... even had to bring in more chairs and folks stood around in the back. Great cookies! Thanks, Dow. Since both sides held true to the agenda, you can read the agenda and other information here.

The meeting was informative although, true to form, MDEQ took up more time than necessary to get their point across. They proudly showed us how they use modern technology in the form of Google Earth. Good job, guys! Now if you could just get your boss, King Steve, to use sound science in your analyses...!!! Where was Steve Chester, anyway? Is he afraid he might develop a case of chloracne from visiting along the Tittabawassee River floodplain? Oh, that's right... those of us who actually LIVE here don't have any adverse symptoms, do we?

Dow brought us up to speed on progress... with the near-completion of Festival Park and placing photo of scarred old yellow and black sign in Imerman Parkof new signs. The park looks great... a wonderful ramp for the handicapped and fishing docks... a winding path throughout the park. Even the cobblestone wall is pretty but my personal opinion says walls do not have a place in parks! All I know is that when a guy on our lake up north put up a fence, he rerouted the turkey and deer from their normal pathways.

Apparently they are getting rid of the ugly yellow signs I've complained about in the past... replacing them with more permanent ones. Don't you think the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality should wait until we find out if there is any relationship between dioxin in the soil and dioxin in people who actually live here before putting up signs? As I've said before, those signs seem to be placed with the intention of scaring people away from the parks!

The litigious environutz sure seem anxious to get lots of things done before the U of M study results are complete!!! Is there something they know... or suspect..... that they don't like? Anyway, the City of Midland has the right idea. Don't put up signs warning against something until we know there is something the public needs to be warned about! Read New warning signs at local launch, by Kathie Marchlewski, published in the Midland Daily News yesterday.

Speaking of litigious environutz, they sure seemed even angrier than usual Wednesday. Why... I can't figure. Apparently even they are getting tired of all the bureacratic hoopla about nothing. Now that they have their class action status...Oh! I get it... they want money... NOW! You don't suppose Mrs. Henry wants to take down that scarey sign she has right next to the road so she can actually dump that little house of hers, do you?

You know, most of us are conscientous about our environment. We care. We want to keep it clean. People like the Lone Tree gang give the word 'environmentalist' a bad name. I've begun to feel that my condemnation of those out-of-date 1970's fanatics spreads an impression that I am anti-environment. This is not true. For that reason I've done a great deal of reading lately. Imagine my delight upon learning about the 21st century environmentalism. Here, for your reading pleasure I recommend... in the order listed:

  1. The Toxicity of Environmentalism Written in 1990, it was just republished in October 2005.
  2. The New Environmentalism I quote from this website: 'A project of Reason Foundation that identifies and promotes innovative approaches to addressing serious environmental challenges and creating a society of self-motivated environmental stewards'
  3. Ten Principles of the New Environmentalism - just because I found this first and thought it made sense.

There are many things to read about the new (or I might say real environmentalism) but so as not to overwhelm you, I'll share more later! Meanwhile, here I am in the Tittabawassee River floodplain... happy and healthy... speaking out for the rest of my neighbors who just keep encouraging me to continue! By the way, here's my personal opinion about parks in general... they should be natural, not concrete, stone and tarvey top! I like Festival Park and the improvements but really! I hope DEQ doesn't force Dow to improve all of our parks because too much concrete can not possibly be good for the environment. If it scares away the wildlife it's not my idea of a park.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

As they say in the movies, 'Pick your poison.'

This woman could just as well be standing by the Tittabawassee River, don't ya think? It's just something I dug out of my personal archives... a friend sent it to me a while back.

Don't forget the DEQ/Dow 'townhall' meeting in Saginaw at the Horizon's Conference Center this evening. It's from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. with a chance to talk with Dow and DEQ personnel a half hour before and a half hour after the meeting.

Michigan State University have reported back to participants in a study they recently completed. Quoting this report, 'The goal... was to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of using citizen issue forums to engage local citizens in an exploration of contamination cases such as the Tittabawassee dioxin issue.' MSU is currently completing the technical report which is expected to be issued by EPA early next year.

Although researchers originally knocked on 1,042 doors, 378 answered the survey. If they were not involved in groups already involved in the dioxin issue (like Tittabawassee River Voice or Lonetree), they were invited to be in the forum. 348 were invited to participate; 145 agreed to attend forums; and only 53 actually participated!

I mentioned this study last week and now I'm here to tell you it's really not all that bad! First of all, it would appear the small neighborhood forum type of meeting works pretty well. These people had some pretty good ideas! More later...

Monday, November 07, 2005

Quicky Update...

Homeowner Fairness Act moving through Senate

'The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday passed Bill 390, deemed the "Homeowner Fairness Act," with a bipartisan vote of 11-2.
If the bill makes it through the entire Senate, it would amend Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, which designates properties having hazardous substances as "facilities."

Class-action waters muddy

'Even as attorneys prepare a mass mailing, Dow officials have vowed to challenge Borrello's decision before the Michigan Court of Appeals. Spokesman Scot Wheeler said attorneys will file an appeal sometime this month.'

Dow asks judge to stop class-action

Preparations needed against avian flu outbreak, Sunday, November 06, 2005, NEILL D. VARNER

I'll be back!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

It's not about dioxin... again...

Giant zebra mussels? I had to share this photo of the lower walkway at the new Festival Park. I think it's SO cool the way the fence shadows show up on the rocks!

This morning, the newsfeed with my morning coffee announced: Dioxin survey tests public input - an article in today's Saginaw News.

Aha! At that point I recalled something litigant Gary Henry said during his comments at the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners meeting last week! He mentioned tests (plural) proving 'most people are afraid of dioxin in their yards.' He also mentioned EPA and MSU as though they were among several organizations doing such testing...obviously using the environmentalist extremists' favorite tactic of muddying the facts with fiction based on truth. Read the article and know a bit more of the truth.

A few points I gleaned from the article:
  • The study, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was actually done by Michigan State University. (Based on environmental extremist 'logic' this means the MSU study must be biased in favor of the EPA's point of view (FYI - environmental extremists' just love EPA!)
  • Purpose of the study was not to solve the dioxin problem but to discover the best way to talk about it.
  • The most effective meeting format was an "issue forum" (round table).
  • These forums took place July and August 2004.
  • Nine neighborhoods were involved. (The article doesn't say where.)
  • Researchers knocked on more than 1000 doors.
  • 378 people answered survey.
  • 145 residents said they would participate in a forum.
  • Only 53 people out of those +1,000 people from nine neighborhoods actually attended the meetings.

As far as I can tell, the only thing that this study proved is that most people do not know or care about the dioxin issue. Participants already have copies of the report and the report will be submitted to EPA later this week. Well! The litigious few (the Henry's) get their information before the EPA? How skewed do you think this 'study' is, anyway? Folks, this is typical of the pseudo-science those people like to use to scare the general public into believing in their goals. They use environutty-logic to tell their environutty-truth!

If I hadn't delved deep into the center of all that pile of newspaper this afternoon I wouldn't have found the Agenda for the MDEQ/Dow meeting scheduled for November 6 November 9. It was hidden on the left-hand bottom of The Saginaw News Section E, page 5 - next to a couple of big ads and below a small article about fixing toilets. In case you missed it, or can't find it, I wrote about the meeting yesterday right here.

When in doubt, check us out! I remain, vibrantly healthy and vocal, your best source of facts vs. environutty-facts along the Tittabawassee River floodplain!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Dioxin Along the Tittabawassee River - Weekend Wrap-up

Actual residents along the Tittabawassee River floodplain won one this week when the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to formally support House Bill 4617 and Senate Bill 390 - commonly referred to as the homeowners' rights bills. HB4617 was passed in Michigan's House of Representatives by a strong bi-partisan vote of 77-29 on June 29 this year.

We, the people, were represented by an array of long-term residents from all walks of life at the Board's meeting Tuesday, October 25. We have one thing in common. We step across political and socio-economic lines to support legislation that will keep government officials from labeling our homes and property without actually testing it.

Barrie Barber wrote a good account of the meeting, published in the Saginaw News, Thursday October 27. Commissioners give dioxin measure a boost

Remember that August 24 Townhall Meeting (MDEQ and Dow sponsored)? I had questions and with all that DEQ power attending, they couldn't answer my simple questions at that time. They had to take them back to the office to ponder. Here are the answers as I received them via email Tuesday October 25 - two months after I handed my list of questions over to them!!!

MDEQ announced the first quarterly Community Meeting addressing the challenges related to the mid-Michigan dioxin and furan situation. Open to the public, the meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 9, 2005, at the Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State Street, Saginaw from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

I remain yours truly, comfortable, healthy, and enjoying my backyard along the Tittabawassee River floodplain. Don't forget to set your clocks back an hour tonight and Happy Halloween!

FYI - Something to think about. Assorted 'defenders of the people's rights' are getting rid of Christ and all things Christian in public places. Don't y'all think it's about time to make Halloween illegal? I believe it has something to do with witches and their kind. Seems to me Wikka is a 'religion' - ??? Hey! ACLU!!! Go for it!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Saginaw County Board of Commissioners Supports the Homeowners' Fairness Bill...

YES!!! After our first chance to tell the commissioners our side of the story (see October 14) I came back a bit dissatisfied with the legislative committee's uncertainty. Yesterday, however, the full Board of Commisioners came through for us - the majority of homeowners along the Tittabawassee River floodplain. The commissioners voted 10 in favor of Senate Bill 390 and 5 against. They will send a letter to Lansing stating their support of this very important homeowners' rights legislation!

More later - I promise!!! Tomorrow is a 'free day' for me.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

...and the winners are...................

Good morning Kathie Marchlewski..... and thank you for the in-depth article about the dioxin class action suit.

Class action gets go-ahead - in today's Midland Daily News is a 'must read' piece for everybody who have been stuffed into the dioxin sandwich created by the Lone Tree Council.

Here we are - all ~2,000 residents along the Tittabawassee River floodplain - right in the middle of a squabble between environmental extremists and The Dow Chemical Company. As one of the residents ready to be devoured by this political fiasco turned into a lawsuit through the fear-mongering efforts of a few environutty activists, I can only admire Kathie's unbiased reporting.

I guess the majority of residents along the floodplain will just have to sit back and wait it out - thanks to seven individual tokens. Like it or not we are, at this point, among the litigants in a class action lawsuit. So much for our civil rights, eh?
Note: Tried to publish this at 9:54 a.m. but troublemakers abound in the blogosphere as well. It looks like the newest bothersome group bombards bloggers' comment sections.

Friday, October 21, 2005

No surprises here

in Saginaw County, MI. Where the crime rate has gone up while it is going down across the rest of the country, a judge decides that seven greedy people are speaking for 2,000 of us living along the Tittabawassee River floodplain! It's all over the internet. I read it at MLive - Judges allows suit against Dow Chemical to proceed as class action. (Judges spelled as it was published) Following is quoted from the article:

"Residents within the floodplain don't have to do anything to become part of the class-action lawsuit. They will be notified about it and about the procedure to exclude themselves, if desired."

God bless America! Shall we count ourselves among the chosen? I'm sure the judge was in a lose/lose situation but I sure don't think he had the interest of the majority of residents in mind when he made that decision.

A note to the coward who left an anonymous comment calling me an idiot. Whatsa' mattah? Ya scared of an ol' lady? If you had included your name I wouldn't have deleted your comment!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Dr. Crummett in the news...

...'Uncertainty' needs to be addressed in dioxin debate - says the headline in Midland Daily News... editorial written by Warren Crummett. If I'm reading this correctly, Dr. Crummett says that scientists still do not know what quantities of dioxin exist in the environment. As I mentioned last Friday, scientists are speaking of extremely tiny amounts in terms of 'all that dioxin'... a trillion is a pretty big number. Don't believe me? Start counting. Let me know when you're done!

Mr. Linhart left a rather lopsided comment about Dr. Crummett's article on the online version of MDN Sunday. I thought it was ridiculous so I left a comment about Linhart's comment. Midland Daily News apparently did not like what I had to say. They did not print it. For your information, here is what I had to say.

Mr. Linhart, it is much easier to criticize than it is to actually solve problems. Perhaps that is why Dr. Crummett is a world reknowned scientist and you are not.

If Dr. Crummett and his colleagues had not taken the initiative to quantify dioxin in such teeny tiny little quantities there would be no 'big dioxin problem' in my backyard and the backyards of all my neighbors along the Tittabawassee River floodplain today. There would be no litigious environutz claiming 'Dow's dioxin' has made their residential properties worthless. They would probably be trying to find some other reason to sue Dow, since their leaders in the Lone Tree Council would undoubtedly find some other reason to rouse the rabble!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Tittabawassee River... Wetlands... Mitigation Updates... and oh yes, Awards for Ignorance!

Tuesday I had the opportunity to comment on why I think the Legislative Subcommittee of the Saginaw County Commission should support Senate Bill 390, also known as the Homeowners' Fairness Act. I didn't actually count every person but there appeared to be as many of 'us' as there were of 'them' attending.

  • Speaking for 'them' - one resident couple from the floodplain suing for the big money from Dow Chemical (wearing their death-head t-shirts) and two 'representatives' from Lone Tree Council - who do NOT live on the floodplain... Rhittic and Miller both! Ms. Rheddick actually fumed with anger, even with her laryngitis, and even went so far as to play her 'pregnant women, children and fetus' card. If Mrs. Rhetoric has a problem with fetuses and children she should remember the meaning of this simple word - genetics!
  • Speaking for 'us' - actual residents of the Tittabawassee River floodplain - every single one! Our stakeholder residents included three residents from Greenpoint, business people, and several of us from along the River Road floodplain. Speaking for us included representatives of the people, elected and not, from the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners and Chamber of Commerce.
  • The committee walked away undecided!!! Who says it's not all about politics, eh?

Rapanos awaits Supreme Court arguments
This article by Daily News staff and The Associated Press, published in the Midland Daily News on October 12. This case, based on federal Clean Water Act laws about unpermitted discharges to "navigable waters" goes a bit far. It is a classic example of government entering privately owned property in the guise of protecting the environment. If they can do it to Mr. Rapanos they can do it to you and me. Oh! That's right! They already have entered our backyards to 'help' us!

In case you haven't already seen this article in the Midland Daily News from October 5 - Rapanos wetland case could be heard by Supreme Court this session - Ralph Wirtz explained, in his simply elegant style, the lack of common sense used by the government in defining 'wetlands.' FYI, that is exactly the way wetlands AND floodplains are defined in our fair state. We are ALL potential victims of the MDEQ and all of their misguided legal mumbo-jumbo!

Here's a little item I collected last month - Wednesday September 21, 2005 as published in The Ann Arbor News: Dreams derailed when they built on a wetland. Owner not informed until foundation poured. Can you imagine!??? This fellow bought the land... got a building permit... began building... and then was told he was doing something illegal!!! Now it's really costing him - for nothing - except an overzealous bureaucratic agency!!! Yes, we NEED homeowners rights legislation in Michigan.

Did you see the 'ad' in Sunday's October 9 Midland Daily News? DEQ and Dow Announce Community Involvement Process - Dow and DEQ have decided, based on input from previous meetings, to hold open community meetings on a quarterly basis with possible other meetings in between. The purpose of these meetings is to 'inform the community, improve decisions, increase the number of people participating, and build trust among participants.'

Harvard's Award to Erin Brockovich and the Public Health (Credibility) Impact by Elizabeth M. Whelan, Sc.D., M.P.H. Ah yes, Ms. Brockovich got a 'busybody' award from a university we all think of as prestigious! What is this world coming to? Read what Elizabeth Whelan has to say about this. I quote here here:

Over the past two weeks, I (Elizabeth Whalen, ACSH) have been overwhelmed with e-mails and calls from members and supporters of the group I head, the American Council on Science and Health, expressing variations on this general sentiment: "I have long argued that public health is not a science, not a serious discipline. It is an ideologically-fueled movement, one which has disdain for science and facts. The so-called 'public health movement' has little if anything to do with protecting health, and it has everything to do with attacking the profit-making system, free enterprise, and traditional values -- and using the courts to manipulate a re-distribution of wealth."

Did I mention another comment received recently here at TRVoice? Anonymous said...

I live along the Tittabawassee River, though my property doesn't run back far enough to reach the rivers edge. We get about 4 to 6" of water in back yard every spring, and last year had about 18". I am a gardener, and have not had gardening problems, and the deer love my hosta. Other animals are also a bit of a problem. So, the dioxin doesn't seem to have affected the wild live in my area. Other residences have though with their skull and cross bone signs they post in their yards. I will be putting our home up for sale with in the next 6 mths because of relocation to northern Michigan. If my property values are affected, or if I can't sell my home, it will be because of the bad media publicity and dumb yard signs, not the dioxin. Let's start a class action against the Lone Tree Council for loss of property values.

I remain healthy and busy along the Tittabawassee River floodplain! Did I mention that my friends and I were the healthy pregnant women carrying those healthy fetuses that turned into healthy children many of whom then carried their own healthy fetuses that turned into healthy children that turned into healthy adults... all from back when we didn't even know there was dioxin in our backyards because Dow hadn't yet figured out how to measure it in such minute quantities. Definition (for the econutz) minute = tiny!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Lots of Dioxin News Today...

..but I don't really have lots of time to talk about it. Family has been helping me get ready for winter... a new experience for me to do alone so they choose to help. Closing up a cottage, bringing home a boat, checking up on the furnace and more. I'm doing just fine - just haven't had much time yet to get back in the swing of the blog. Here's what's happening in no particular order:

Wirtz: In Midland, it's hard to see past the groundhog - Ralph E. Wirtz, October 7, 2005. Always entertaining & often enlightening, the managing editor of Midland Daily News expressed his viewpoint about a couple of issues that just seem to drag on and on and on..... and on - where to put a jail and the dioxin issue. Reader opinions consisted of three people that always see the glass half empty and one of my favorite guys in a white hat, Bill Egerer.

Bill facing scrutiny - Saturday, October 08, 2005 by ERIN ALBERTY, THE SAGINAW NEWS. This is important to all of us in Saginaw County living along the Tittabawassee River floodplain... and I'm talking all of us who believe that the whole 'problem' with dioxin is overblown!

The Legislative Subcommittee of the Saginaw County Commission will hear comments on the Homeowner Fairness Act at 3 p.m. - Tuesday October 11 in the Saginaw County Governmental Center, 111 S. Michigan. It is important the commissioners hear all sides of this issue because it would appear that until now Saginaw County has mostly been hearing what the environutz want them to hear.

We sure would like to have Saginaw County support the majority of people affected by the designation 'facility' that was imposed on our properties along the Tittabawassee River floodplain by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. So far they pretty much only know what is being fed to them by Lone Tree Council and their ragtag gang.

Participation slim in dredging study - Sunday, October 09, 2005, JEREMIAH STETTLER, THE SAGINAW NEWS. Saginaw County Public Works Commission's Koski wants to get a little 'before and after' data from residences of people who think they will be affected by the location of materials dredged from the Saginaw River. It seems nobody involved in that little neighborhood spat wants it to happen! Pretty foolish, don't you think?

Plaintiffs involved in dioxin suit react to delay - by Josh Grosteffon, Midland Daily News, October 9, 2005. It looks like Judge Borrello has delayed his decision for another week and the litigants really don't mind. The new decision date on whether or not to allow the litigious environutz to include over 2,000 residents in their lawsuit about dioxin lowering their property values has been changed to Friday, October 21 at 11:00 a.m.

The editorial page of The Saginaw News is dominated by the Lone Tree gang. Some people just seem to have lots more time than they have common sense!

I remain yours truly, happy, healthy & very much active in the Tittabawassee River floodplain... loving my home that was designated a 'facility' of The Dow Chemical Company by the all-powerful MDEQ. Watch out folks; your home may be next on their list!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

U of M Dioxin Study Update...

Today we have a guest writer - Eldon Graham. Thank you, Dr. Graham!

I attended the meeting at Freeland Elementary School Thursday, October 6, 2005. The meeting had a very small audience, but Dr.Garabrant did his usual excellent presentation.

All of the field work is completed, both in this area and in Jackson/Callhoun counties. The interviews, house dust samples, soil samples, and blood samples, are completed. There were 1323 interviews. 589 of persons in theTittabawassee River floodplain area, 375 persons elsewhere in the Saginaw Midland area, 352 in the Jackson/ Calhoun County area. These persons were chosen by random. There were 731 persons who have all four data elements – 352 in the floodplain area, 196 elsewhere in the Saginaw Midland area, and 185 in the Jackson/ Calhoun area.

During the public comment period, one person said that the whole study is flawed; that the wrong people were interviewed. They should have interviewed the persons living along the river who are now dead. Also, he lives along the river, has cancer, and was not interviewed.

Dr Garabrant explained the random selection process (so as to not bias the group, one way or the other), and that the study is not a health study, but rather to determine if persons living in the floodplain have a higher amount of dioxin in their blood than persons living elsewhere. He said that the Michigan Department of Public Health has data on the rate of various types of cancer by geographic area, but that data is not a part of the U of M study.

Lab analysis is now being done. A progress report will be given to the national Scientific Advisory Board on October 20. He expects that the results of the study will be sent to the SAB in the spring and summer of 2006. Following its review, it is expected that the results will be presented at public meetings in the fall of 2006, and posted on the U of M website.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

dioxin study update & more....

No, I didn't know about this meeting that will take place in Freeland Thursday... or I would have planned my week a bit differently. I'm beginning to think the people who hold these meetings really don't want us to attend them. If they did, wouldn't there be a bit more advance notice?

Dioxin study update coming Thursday in yesterday's Saginaw News

...and then I read this in my newsfeed: Researchers say new center will remain independent by Tomislav Ladika, Daily Staff Reporter, October 04, 2005. For the pessimists who try to claim U/M and Dow are in cahoots, here's my read on things. Dr. Garabrant and his department are taking advantage of their expertise in the dioxin study by creating a whole new opportunity for the University of Michigan and for generations to come! I say, go for it, doc! Here I quote from the article:

'Director of the center, David Garabrant, a professor of occupational medicine and epidemiology, said the center — a division of the School of Public Health — will focus on researching the risks that industrial chemicals and pollutants present to people and the environment.'

Occasionally we receive a comment here at TRVoice. Some of them are self-promoting and I delete them but I never delete a relevant comment, even when I do not agree. We received such a comment recently. You can read it here. This person gives us her perception of a case where soil appears to have been moved from one location to another. I guess I've noticed that location along the floodplain but never thought much of it. I really don't believe it was moved to build up foundations of homes in Midland. I guess she left me with a question too - Where did that soil go?

Friday, September 30, 2005

All Quiet on the Homefront...

..but I wanted you to know - I drove past Festival Park yesterday and noticed the lower ramp is once again visible. I didn't have my camera along, so no photo for now. Is it possible that our dam neighbors to the north of us were unaware of being bad neighbors? I hope so because I have a friend who lives on Wixom Lake and he's a great neighbor and a good guy!

In case you didn't read the comment left by one of our Tittabawassee River Voices, click here to see what he/she had to say about property values along our river plain. This is more of the majority speaking, folks!

I remain yours truly, healthy, active, as content as possible and even a bit along the Tittabawassee River floodplain.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

About Floods... Dioxin... and People...

Along the Tittabawassee River at Festival Park...
Festival Park ramp flooded at certainly wouldn't want to walk down to the bottom step today. See the steps up toward top of the photo? The only thing worse would be if you were in a wheelchair on the ramp closest to us. Ya' just might get a tad wet, don'tcha think?

Here's how it looked two weeks ago... click for picture. Oh yes! Did you see how dry it was? Part of the ramp is under water - parallel with the ramp we can see. I don't wanna go there with MY wheelchair!
Yup, there's a ramp/walkway under all that water!

Who is 'the bad guy' here... Dow? Mother Nature? the contractor? I'll tell you... none of the above! Dam operators at Sanford and Edenville regulate the dams - not for benefit of anybody below the dams - only for their own benefit! They regulate those dams to maintain a 'perfect' level for residents on the lakes.

They like to keep their lakes high even during periods of drought. That's when you can walk across the Tittabawassee River. Then when the rains come and water gets so high that Sanford and Edenville residents might be flooded, or even made uncomfortable with water up around their docks, the dams let loose! That's when we get it - all that water with all that goes with it. In my humble opinion, the dam operators are not good neighbors. Sic 'em, DEQ!!! Sic 'em, all you econutz!

How's the UM study going? Latest thing I read was from the Jackson Citizen Patriot... Dioxin study results expected in summer - written by Paul Fletcher, published Friday, September 23. I met another person who was involved with that test here along the river. She said she had received data from U of M about the dust in her home but wasn't sure what it means. There's a lot of that going around. When this started, it seemed far away... but it now seems like 2006 will soon be here. It's just a couple of seasons away. When all results are in next summer we should get a full explanation of the University of Michigan study of the relationship between amounts of dioxin in our environment and the amounts in our bodies.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

It's not about dioxin...'s about progress and dedication, and perhaps an innate faith in our fellow mankind. This is the Shaheen family. Doc Shaheen, the elder, probably doesn't even know who I am. I only met him earlier this year but it seems just about everybody I know knows him... or knew of him - like forever! Not one person thinks of him as a bad man or a greedy opportunist. They all speak of him only with admiration!

The Saginaw News yesterday had an editorial about this dedicated family, father and son: Investing in city in 'healing era'. I never had any doubt about Doc Shaheen's integrity. My friend, Howard Vasold, has known him for a long time and he confirmed my belief. It would appear the only people who do not believe his offer to purchase properties on the Tittabawassee River was purely to show his faith in the future of Saginaw County are... the people who are trying to say their property along the Tittabawassee River is worthless!

Yup it's me - healthy as an ox, honest as ol' Abe, and a member of the majority along the Tittabawassee River floodplain who want you to know the Lonetree Council and their litigious little friends do not represent us!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

We Wait for Judge Borrello's Decision...

.. to be announced at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 11 according to Jeremiah at The Saginaw News - Lawyers argue over dioxin lawsuit boundaries Please read also Kathie's version - Suit against Dow could include 2,000 floodplain homeowners in the Midland Daily News.

Looks to me like legal arguments on both sides of the issue are missing the REAL point...
  • The original nine litigants do not represent the rest of us (the 2000+ more residents) along the Tittabawassee River floodplain!
  • The 101 or 147 (or whatever) litigants do not represent the rest of us along the Tittabawassee River floodplain.
  • The Lonetree Council, represented by Michelle Hurd-Riddick and Terry Miller does not represent the rest of us along the Tittabawassee River floodplain.
  • The rest of us along the Tittabawassee River floodplain are citizens who vote regularly and believe that is the way to choose those who represent us!
  • Our House of Representatives represents us and showed us their support when they approved House Bill 4617 (proposed Senate Bill 390) by a large majority vote of 77-29.
  • The class action may not be about 'facility' but it is about those of us who do not want our homes labeled 'facility.'
  • The same people who want to retain the 'facility' designation are the litigants who claim their property value is diminished by Dow Chemical.
  • The same people who want to retain the 'facility' designation are the litigants who spread their word that their property is worthless.

The rest of us 2000+ residents do not consider our property worthless and we continue to work and play in our yards with no regard for the fear-mongering efforts of the few (be they 9, 101 or 147).

Friday, September 16, 2005

Newspaper Articles on Dioxin Class Action Court Proceedings...

..Read both articles in today's newspapers and you'll pretty much have that part of the hearing yesterday that I left to the professionals! I think between the two of them it's pretty much all there. I still think Teresa Woody, however, needs to get a grip on reality.

Dioxin class decision nears as Kathie M says in her article published today. Thanks, MDN, for making the changes necessary so our friends can now read the online articles without having to sign in, whether we refer to such articles on websites or email them to our friends. It's a great improvement. Good job as usual, Kathie.

The Saginaw News version - Judge listens during 5-hour hearing - is worth reading as well. Good job, Jeremiah! I'm pleased to see all that BS Michelle kept whispering in your ear didn't get in the way of your reporting.

Class Action Insight...

..came to me this morning when I woke up. I recalled something Judge Borrello said yesterday. He informed us that if we live in Michigan, residents have to opt-in to be included in a class action suit, but federal class action requires the class individuals to opt out. Then he mentioned the CSX derailment as a case in Michigan where we had to opt out. Duh! ...something about interstate commerce no doubt? My motivation for being so much against a big ol' class action suit involving all of us living along the Tittabawassee River floodplain had to do with that opting out thing.

Other comments about yesterday:
  • Mrs. Damore extended her sympathy to me for the recent loss of my husband and I'm sure she meant it. Later a few others also did so. To the young man who I verbally 'struck back' at for an incident in Midland, I'm sorry. The incident took place at the Dow Library after a meeting sponsored by MDEQ. I think the fellow who caused it was of your 'body type' but older and fatter.
  • I hope the attorneys representing Dow know that there actually IS a Tittabawassee River floodplain and it is more 'real' than that big expanse defined by FEMA. Some of the FEMA designated properties have never been flooded; my backyard floods at least once a year.
  • The Dow attorney referred to the original 8 plaintiffs and an additional 101 plaintiffs - all recruited by at least three individuals over a period of time. Just an FYI - we obtained 147 signatures in a contiguous area along the Tittabawassee River in a matter of a couple of days going door-to-door! If we had extended the efforts done by the litigants we probably would have signatures of most of the other 2000 residents!

I remain yours truly, healthy and vocal after raising a family, living, gardening, and mowing the lawn along the Tittabawassee River floodplain since 1960.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Judge Borrello Hears Arguments Concerning Dioxin Class Action Suit.

...but it's not over yet. The hearing will continue tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Here's what I saw today...
  • The new tort lawyer replacing the convicted child predator our local econutz originally hired is a real go-getter, only I'm not sure she knows what she's trying to go and get.
  • There was an overload of out-of-town lawyers on both sides of the issue. Who do YOU suppose is going to come out on top in this fiasco? The lawyers??? Ya think?
  • Our local media people were there - television, radio and newspapers. Michelle Heard-Rhetoric sat in back in a chair, no less (not the benches), occasionally chattering to the newsfolks.
  • Oh yeah! Michelle Heard-Rhetoric - what the heck was she doing there? She is NEITHER litigant NOR resident of any floodplain defined during the process today.
  • At various times somewhere between 8 and a dozen litigants were present. They kept walking in and out of the courtroom during the session.
  • A few assorted other people stopped in briefly to see what was happening, including a couple of people from Dow's legal department.
  • A rather large older fellow, with balding grey hair held back in a teeny tiny pony tail (???) with a green rubberband was there. He told me he and his family members live with a variety of illnesses - all of which he blames on the dioxin in his yard. He sat behind me in the morning session but grabbed an up-closer seat in the afternoon. (That's how I noticed the ridiculous hair-do!) He had a lawyer with him - I'm guessing a local rooky. Turns out this was the other litigant that will potentially be included in the big class action suit.
  • Me. I was there because I am one of the approximately 2000 people the litigants want to drag along in their lawsuit. Besides, if I didn't attend, how would you know what's really happening there?

This thing should be concluded tomorrow... hopefully by noon. The attorneys decided not to call any witnesses. Shucks, that was part of the reason I was there. Anyway, I'll update you tomorrow. I just feel deep down in my heart that Judge Borrello is a man that can sort through all the BS (Big Stories) in a fair manner. That's why he's the judge, right?

A couple of days ago I read about the bully bureaucrats in MDEQ in this article titled: Soccer Club wetlands bill: $723,000. Just another example of the way MDEQ beats down ordinary residents with their appointed power. Read the reader opinions! One of them is from a relatively new resident who says Michigan's DEQ is like no other in their misuse of power!

and then I found this delightful little piece written by a college kid - "All the junk that's fit to debunk". God love her. With kids like this our future may be in good hands after all.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mid-Week Updates along the Tittabawassee River floodplain...

I promised photos of the Festival Park progress... here is one of my favorites. I will upload more to the Yahoo photo album soon, I promise! By the way, how do you suppose one might fish from this beautiful edifice when the water is so low? Perhaps it's time to move forward to the problem of proper dam maintenance above the Tittabawassee River!

Photo from the Freeland Road bridge... click it for a better view!Yesterday I read the following letter to the editor, Saginaw News. The reader is right on the money. Thank you, sir, for defending the viewpoints of Neill Varner, one of my personal favorite heroes in this mostly political battle between an overly powerful Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and local residents in the Saginaw Valley!

Speaking of heroes, today the Saginaw News has an article with the headline: DEQ director demands apology; Goschka refuses. Good job Senator Goschka!!! Stick to your guns. WE believe YOU!!!

After all, the director of DEQ, Steve Chester, had the gall to look me square in the eye and tell me and my fellow residential stakeholders that he could not change the term 'facility' as it applies to our property. He told us the only way we could get it changed was through legislation and he said this at a meeting with Lt. Governor Cherry. Once we got our legislation going, thanks to Congressman John Moolenaar and his cohorts in the House of Representatives, Chester arbitrarily 'changed' the rule!!! Of course he called it an 'interpretation,' but it was a change nonetheless.

Now... who would you believe, a man elected by the people because of his down-to-earth honesty... or an appointed bureaucrat who can look you in the eye and tell you one thing while he does another and seems determined to trod upon the property rights of residents throughout the State of Michigan?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Class Action Econutz Will Have Their Day in Court...

Thursday, September 15 at 9:00 a.m. The Midland Daily News does a rehash of this case today. Read it on line here: Dow dioxin suit headed to court.

This is a very important matter for every resident stakeholder along the Tittabawassee River floodplain. The Henrys and their vast array of out-of-state lawyers are claiming they represent all of us! They are trying to put us in the same box they choose to be in... even if we do NOT choose to be in it with them. They are, in effect, saying we are just like them (God forbid) and we should ALL be suing Dow because our homes are 'worthless.' Funny thing, they seem to be the only people who think their homes are worthless.

They want Judge Borrello to call their personal lawsuit a 'class-action' so they can include all of us. This way the lawyers can make a whole lot more money - if they win the case. If they lose the case however, if I'm right on this, we can all join in on paying the big legal fees they've been accruing since whenever they started this thing way back in 2003!

Jeepers! That sounds a lot like what the DEQ did when THEY put us all in a box and said our residential properties are 'facilities.' What is the common thread running through all this? Yup, you got it! We ain't free, folks! This country is NOT our United States of America where we are innocent until proven guilty. Beside that, we all get to be put together as a group with a bunch of ne'er-do-wells with whom we do not even care to associate... the group wearing the black & white skull & crossbones! If Judge Borrello decides to make this a class-action, we will have to let him know, each individually, that we do not want to be a part of that ragtag group!

I remain yours truly, sitting fat, sassy & as healthy as an ox, right smack dab in the middle of the Tittabawassee River floodplain... dubbed 'priority one' by the all-powerful MDEQ... and of course therefore a 'facility' - of The Dow Chemical Company, no less!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Resident Stakeholders Meet MDCH Comment Deadline on flawed dioxin 'study' in Saginaw Valley

You read it here first.

Enough said, eh? Now on a totally unrelated matter, I was pleased to read Michigan House GOP wants to ban Canadian trash with new power from feds published in the South Bend Tribune. What's that all about? - Local newspapers don't like the logical approach to such matters? Along with being healthy and vocal in the Tittabawassee River floodplain, I am an adamant recycler and strongly oppose the use of Michigan land for imported garbage!!!

Midland Matters Response to MDCH study...

...from Bill

Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2005 23:54:13 -0400
To: Linda D Dykema
From: Bill
Subject: Commentary on MDCH PEI Dioxin Exposure

Please include this email with the comments compiled on the subject report.

TO: Dr. Linda Dykema, Toxicology and Response Section, at 1-800-648-6942.
FROM: Bill Egerer, Midland Matters
DATE: Sept.11, 2005
RE: Comments on MDCH “Pilot Exposure Investigation Report dated July 8th, 2005

The PEI report and process producing it documents and verifies serious failings in MDCH’s regulatory and communication responsibilities for Michigan residents. The entire PEI process; from its inception, design, conduct, communications and final reporting, verify that resident groups concerns with MDCH’s lack of sound science is no longer anecdotal, but a systemic issue within this agency’s entire operation. Immediate and extensive oversight of this agency’s conduct is needed to protect the public from their continued “witch hunt” approach to handling public health and public policy matters. Left unchecked, this agency appears driven to conduct actions of ungrounded fear mongering, divorce itself from cooperating with local health officials and mostly significantly, a blatant disregard and refusal to rely on peer reviewed scientific method (sound science) in their conduct.

The MDCH Mission, Vision and Goals document its purpose and focus on resident needs, specifically ….“effective strategies that are culturally responsive and competent, customer-driven, and community-based, which leads to quality health outcomes.

The conduct of MDCH on this entire PEI process was not scientifically competent; was not customer-driven and certainly was not community-based. Without the trust of the very people MDCH is suppose to serve, the question of “capacity to carry out their charter” must be asked.

From beginning to end, MDCH violates the very protocols of the study it created.
In just one example: Individual results cannot be SIMPLY READ. They must consider a long list of other factors to be of any meaning.
TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE STUDY COMMENTS: Conclusions regarding the source of an elevated blood level can only be determined after careful analysis of a number of factors; e.g. age, body weight, recent weight loss, occupation, lifestyle, lipid levels, smoking and diet, particularly consumption of local fish. Only after these considerations along with a careful analysis of possible exposure pathways can conclusions regarding possible exposure sources be reliably made. This level of evaluation is beyond the scope of this study from both a design and statistical analysis perspective.

Both in the study responses to comments and in real life, MDCH is vague to "missing in action" on this topic. MDCH says tested residents should take their results to their own physicians and did NOT incorporate any venue for having the results explained to them by experts. This is formula begging for misunderstandings. How can personal tests be conducted on a human involved with such a volatile subject matter as a "toxin" and MDCH just “throws out” the information without adequate support?!?

The MDCH arrogance reached an apex during the protocol commentary stage when it was asked to include the resumes and credentials of its researchers in the study documents. MDCH’s response: NO!

I’m a layperson, but could not locate a scientist who found the PEI “study” worthy of any merit in its flawed design, communications and ultimate reporting with deliberate exclusions of other pertinent information. If MDCH is satisfied, or even pleased with the competence of their own work, then they should subject it to the rigors of the scientific communities and allow them to evaluate its scientific worthiness and credibility.

From the perspective of resident groups formed to have a voice independent from the organized environmentalist groups, MDCH is responsive only to environmental activists and their sympathetic media. Anyone even modestly engaged in the Saginaw Valley dioxin issue knows it easily creates attention, varied opinions, emotions and volatile questions whenever a new development occurs. Seldom is there solid consensus on any development. And yet, MDCH proceeds with issuing individual results to study participants with little to no explanation of how to interpret the results. They manage to “stroke” the media into a frenzy of reporting false interpretations, fail to initially consult with local health officials and basically leaves the community situation to feaster without any expertise to intervene. Not until Dow’s Dr. Carson published a full page “Understanding Dioxin Concentrations in Blood” explanation in local newspapers was the disastrous communications situation put to rest.
During the past 18 months, I’ve grown accustom to expect these “environmental activists” type behaviors from MDCH. Its consistent with how they issue fish warnings without notice or involvement of local designated health officials. The PEI release of information appeared deliberate by MDCH in trying to cause fear in the communities and jump to public policy conclusions.

MDCH rigidly maintains a Lansing based operation and disregards trying to coordinate or involve the local health officials from Saginaw and Midland. These officials are not provided advance notice on health advisories and were not engaged prior to the MDCH release of individual’s scores on the PEI study. Its nearly impossible to believe this is some type of oversight, since MDCH seems to have no difficulty in reaching media sources that are sympathetic to cover and publish their messages of fear, concern and directives. Any legitimate regulatory agency that had sincere interest in the local regions people getting an advisory, would certainly work directly with that locals health professionals. MDCH has heard this resident complaint before and chooses to “go it alone” so they are not held accountable.
The original PEI design, protocol, communications and reporting should have had serious and active engagement of local community health professionals. The degree of any involvement was too little, too late and that was the MDCH plan. MDCH does not operate with a “Community Based” agenda.

As a lifetime Michigan resident, taxpayer and property owner in the Saginaw Valley area, I register my protest and objection to MDCH’s handling of the entire PEI process. My experiences with MDCH activities during the past 2 years shows they threaten my property ownership value, my livelihood and my quality of life. Many residents did not trust MDCH in early 2004 and this PEI report, issued July 2005, further erodes this lack of confidence.

I will request my elected officials become engaged to provide investigation, oversight and accountability for any further MDCH actions related to this report.


Bill Egerer, Founder
Midland Matters