Saturday, February 26, 2005

Here's a little literature search project for you...

Gaze backat Love Canal is an editorial in response to the article I wrote as a guest columnist in the Saginaw News. Just humor an old lady... 'google' love canal 2004 and see what you get. Here's a link to my favorite one... Love Canal Revisited by Alan Caruba. Do you see why the uninformed rile me a bit? This kind of garbage is frightening some of our neighbors right here in sunny Freeland. I'm working on my best shot... if you want to give him yours, write your letter in a notepad or whatever, go here... ...fill in the form and send it! Fear not... the News will not share your address & email, etc... only your name is published. They will not publish anonymous letters. Also, the size restriction for letters to the editor of SN is 300 words.

Dick Maltboy, who wrote the letter also refers to Lois Gibbs...
Lois Gibbs relates in her book, "Dying from Dioxin," "We just knew there were too many miscarriages, too many birth defects, too many central nervous system problems, too many urinary tract disorders, and too much asthma and other respiratory problems among us.
Show us the epidemics Maltboy! Love Canal, after nutcases like you condemned it, scared the hell out of residents and forced them to leave their homes, became a place for nearby cities to dump their hazardous garbage. Now, thirty years later, even with all that, people are moving in again... still wondering where the 'sick people' are!

Friday, February 25, 2005

It's happening...

...and so far it looks like things are happening in an orderly manner. Midland Daily News reported on February 23, Dioxin results mailed. Since then some of us have been contacted by news media asking, 'Did you receive your results yet?' Dr. Garabrandt and his team deserve public praise for preventing a flurry of hysteria like almost happened with the results after the Michigan Department of Publuc Health (MDPH) test results were given to participants last October. See my October 27, 2004 blog. Good job, Doctor! You're still looking like a hero in my book!

Dow to notify property owners of cleanup plans, meetings from yesterday's Midland Daily News. Couldn't resist leaving a little comment, and I'm still looking for our invitation to attend one of those meetings. It's a little known fact that our little piece of property lies in the lowest spot along the river. (Ed, where did you read that again? Send me an email.)

Look for it soon: ...a bit of interesting trivia about Lone Tree Council, MDEQ and their dioxin CAP meetings. Now I must attend a physical therapy session so I can start 'kicking butt' again!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Gotta be good news:

AP Wire | 02/17/2005 | Scientists look for sturgeon in Saginaw River watershed
Egg mats will be placed in two likely spawning areas - below the Dow Chemical Co. dam on the Tittabawassee River in Midland and below the Frankenmuth dam on the Cass River in downtown Frankenmuth.

The project will continue until the end of April, and resume in 2006 and 2007.

Sturgeon, the largest fish in the Great Lakes, date back to the time of the dinosaurs, but their numbers have dwindled to less than 1 percent of their former abundance.
I'm convinced people involved in this plan put much thought into the safety, risks and effects of their decision on placement of this old species.

When I read about the following broadcast, State develops dioxin-education program for sportsmen I couldn't help but wonder if listeners are aware there are advisories all over Michigan and other states for all kinds of fish and wildlife. Because this particular area has been placed under the microscope of extremist environmentalism, it looks like a very special situation! I just hope the guys who like to fish downstream of the Dow dam recognize any resulting sturgeon as a protected species and let them be. Maybe a bit of training in that arena would be a good idea, eh?

I just LOVE this one... and want to be there for the big bonfire!
State proposes scorched-beach policy to fight weed
Frank & I were out and about February 12 photographing marina's, fishermen, and the general icy environment around our beautiful corner of Michigan, noticing a trail had been blazed out to the beach and the bay where we photographed 'Where's the Beach' last summer. Ice fishermen get nicer treatment than us beach bums I guess.

Notice the height of those weeds... and they go on for miles in either direction along the bay. I think I'm pleased our Bay City-based MDEQ people are on the ball. That's how we clean up our backyards after the floods here along the Tittabawassee River floodplain. Hmmm... do we see a connection here, boys & girls?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

We're in the news again...

Extremists, 'junk science' blow dioxin dangers out of proportion, The Saginaw News, Sunday, February 13, 2005, SHIRLEY SALAS, GUEST COLUMNIST. Please read this. You will be glad you did.

I was pleased to read The Saginaw News this morning and see I was actually sharing the limelight with Dr. Garabrant. Although we have never formally met, Dr. Garabrant and I have talked during discussion/question and answer periods at public meetings in Freeland.

Blood study ongoing; too soon for conclusions, The Saginaw News, Sunday, February 13, 2005, DAVID GARABRANT, GUEST COLUMNIST

...and even more common-sense talk, this time from the editor. Awaiting the dioxin diagnosis The Saginaw News, Sunday, February 13, 2005 EDITORIAL

It's Catch-up Time...

...because the server for my personal domain is temporarily down, preventing publication of the article about Dr. Alvin Young's lecture in Midland last week. (You must sign in as a 'member' to read articles from Midland News on the internet, so I usually post them to my domain, salascove.) We will publish it here for now...

Dioxin expert: Education a challenge
Kathie Marchlewski, Midland Daily News, 02/11/2005

For nearly 35 years, Dr. Alvin L. Young has been dealing with dioxin. He's studied its potential health effects, its effects on the environment and on hundreds of animals, insects and fish. He's come to the conclusion that the toxin "won't kill a bullfrog."

His biggest challenge, he says: communicating the science to a public frightened by media.

The once-advisor to the White House says an Internet search brings more than 100,000 dioxin or dioxin-related websites containing "half-truths at best."

Young, who has testified on behalf of The Dow Chemical Co. and other chemical companies in asbestos and Agent Orange-related lawsuits, explained his research to a group of about 70 Wednesday at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library. The event was part of the MATRIX:Midland lecture series.

"Dioxin isn't a good thing. I'm not going to whitewash it," he said. "It's a very toxic material. It's a very persistent material."

But after a 21-year career with the U.S. Air Force as a project scientist, he says there's not one confirmed death from dioxin in Agent Orange or otherwise. The overall mortality rate among veterans assumed to be exposed was not elevated, nor was the overall cancer rate. In the environment, TCDD in Agent Orange is almost entirely destroyed by photodegradation within a matter of hours in direct sunlight, he said.

When Missouri's Times Beach became the site of a large-scale cleanup, he remembers that for some scientists, fear had nothing to do with the toxicity of the material.

From a risk-assessment standpoint, Young said transport of soil was more dangerous than the dioxin in it. "The probability of long-term health effects was zip. The probability of an accident occurring was huge," Young said. He recalls that during cleanup, a dump truck carrying material hit a bus and killed five children.

Convincing a society that's already made up its mind about the danger of dioxin is a terrible problem, he said. He remembers the explanation given by Congress. "The answer was: It was no longer a science problem, it was a society problem. The scientists had our chance. It was time for a political solution."

He doesn't hesitate to talk about chemical industry funding for Agent Orange and dioxin research, and credits Dow scientists -- including Midland's Warren Crummett, author of "Decades of Dioxin" -- as vital contributors to studies. In the first days of dioxin research, it was companies like Dow and Monsanto that were able to fund academic research, though it remained independent. "We didn't ask Dow or Monsanto to approve it," he said.

Midlander Ted Doan agreed that educating the public on dioxin is a challenge, in part because of Dow's involvement. "People expect Dow people to be so prejudiced in favor of Dow that they write us off. On the other side, they have no proof that dioxin causes cancer in humans."
Contrary to what the environutz will tell you, Dr. Young does NOT work for Dow. He IS a renowned expert on all things dioxin. I was privileged to meet him during his visit to Midland and he is truly a remarkable person. You will find Dr. Young on the web at " The Alvin L. Young Collection on Agent Orange".

Dr. Garabrant sending out data to volunteers The Saginaw News, 02/11/05 Jeremiah also reported:
Researchers will host a public meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 10, to answer any questions about the blood sample results. The meeting is scheduled at Freeland Elementary School, 710 Powley.
I hope we will see you there in support of Dr. Garabrant. I will attend, even though it means missing a Saginaw Valley Computer Association meeting. (Thank God for ex-President Lynn Kauer!)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Listen to an expert...

Midland Daily News managing editor Wirtz says... This dioxin expert is worth listening to. If you are free and able, we recommend attendance at this event this evening, Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library.

While I'm here, did you listen to Governor Jenny's State of the State speech last night? We did... and the discussion of that meeting afterward on PBS... Currently Speaking. Kathie Marchlewski from Midland Daily News and Rob St. Mary from WSGW showed a great deal of insight in their discussion of that speech.

Bay City Times is right on with yesterday's article... Dioxin deal still needs some meat on its bones and while I'm at it, yours truly received a little pat on the back at the BCT... Dioxin deal has bloggers busy. Thanks, guys! At least one area newspaper recognizes the power of the blog. Just an fyi, Sherle (that would be me) is actually Shirley Salas, co-spokesperson for TRVoice, along with Leonard Heinzman. I write and Len talks to folks. You might call us 'the pen and the mouth - what a team!'

Dow to argue for reduced cleanup, published the same day, January 27, mentioned among others the fact that environmentalist extremists are unhappy with the framework plan. Of course they are! They have tunnel vision... never vary, never bend, never compromise. I heard, but don't have verification, they actually started a lawsuit to get rid of our previous Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Of course they love Steve Chester... they chose him! No wonder they are unhappy with Dow and MDEQ working out their problems together. The environutz feel like they're losing control.

Monday, February 07, 2005

I don't THINK the sky is falling... least as far as established old families along the Tittabawassee River floodplain are concerned. You might have noticed this home going up on the river side back around January 15 this year.
photo of house going up above the river floodplain January 15, 2005The folks building this home are an example of real, long-term residents in Tittabawassee Township. Health concerns from the lush farmland along the river are a non-problem. The problem, thanks to environmental extremist intervention in our private lives and properties, is monetary. photo of same house, mostly finished on outside, February 6, 2005

In past years, if they needed soil around the building site, they could have obtained a permit and moved it from their own 'backyard' along the river floodplain. Because MDEQ does not listen to real residents, but prefers joining hands with the environutz, my neighbors had to buy dirt... lots of it! Here, less than a month later, the outside is pretty much finished.

Speaking of environutz... some of them eventually grow up. Former greenpeace founder and leader, Patrick Moore made a complete turnaround and now says the.....`Environmental movement has lost its way' Forgive the green markups... I got carried away.

Another news feed really caught my attention with the title: Science panel warns: America is losing war against cancer by focusing on 'carcinogens'
February 2, 2005....
"ACSH scientists expressed alarm that growing regulatory effort to remove trace levels of chemicals like PCBs, dioxin, acrylamide, Alar and other agricultural chemicals — purportedly to protect us from cancer — is diverting our efforts to limit our exposure to known causes of cancer."
Okay I'm going to share this one too, although the author knows absolutely nothing about the dioxin problem in Midland... (Didn't Ms. Granholm's 'storm troopers' from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality strike out at residents along the Tittabawassee River floodplain first?) Doom, gloom scenario haunts Gov. Granholm, ...Tim Skubick, Macomb Daily ColumnistFebruary 4, 2005
"The dioxin problem in Midland presents an environmental challenge. It's potentially a national nightmare as well. Mind you, no one is predicting that. On the other hand, if she does not do enough, the tree huggers will be all over her, as they are now for allegedly dragging her feet and putting human health at risk. If she does too much, mighty Dow Chemical will not be pleased."
I think it's time for journalists to alter this kind of twisted semantics. They often seem to have a vendetta against the very entities that create jobs in the area, all the while bemoaning the fact that Michigan is running dead-last with employment numbers. For some reason, our governor has confused priorities. Perhaps she should step down now and allow her Lt. Governor to handle all of the mess she created with her 'appearance is everything' attitudes. After all, gubernatorial elections are not all that far away, are they?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Regulating the Regulators... and other follow-ups

Yesterday was a busy email day. After I read all about how wonderful the State of Michigan is since Ms. Granholm became governor... and wondered where this Utopia lies... I read this..."Michigan at the Crossroads" and decided the following information was important enough to share here:
'Consider the following five jobs, output and income figures, based on recent federal statistics.

From December 1995 through December 2004 — years in which the state invested most aggressively in what it calls "economic development initiatives" — Michigan finished 50th out of 50 states in percentage employment growth.

Even when you focus only on private-sector employment growth and broaden the time frame to December 1994 to December 2004, Michigan placed 50th in the nation.

Michigan was one of just two states to lose jobs in 2004, and the only one to lose a significant number. Our 7.3 percent unemployment rate is now worst in the nation.

From 1993 to 1997, Michigan’s percentage increase in per-capita gross state product was 18th in the nation, but from 1998 to 2003, it had fallen to 44th, suggesting a shift from somewhat respectable at best to dismal at worst.

Michigan is traditionally a wealthy state, but by 2003, our per-capita personal income had dropped to 19th in the nation. Our per-capita personal income growth was an anemic 43rd in the United States from 1995 to 2003'
You can check these figues at the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics website.

...and for how long have we wondered who monitors the MDEQ's decisions? Hmmm! I guess others are wondering the same thing... who regulates the regulators? It was comforting to see people more influential than I are concerned about the same thing...Regulating the Regulators: Adopt a “No-More-Stringent” Law


I was pleased to read in the Bay City Times that a 'Pilot project aims to clear more beach along shoreline at park.' Read all about it in this article
Attack on monster beach weeds set for state rec area by Jeff Kart, Times Writer. They are still waiting for federal approval but sure sounds promising based on the following excerpt from that article:
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in Bay City approved the permit for dual purposes, said Daniel H. Morgan, district supervisor for the DEQ Land and Water Management Division in Bay City.

"Phragmities are becoming an ever-increasing problem on Saginaw Bay," Morgan said.

"We're looking for this to provide not only a control, but a demonstration project and educational tool so that we can get some guidelines out to property owners."
For a visit to the referenced beach, visit my little photo album... Beach, featured right here at TRVoice last summer. We will definitely visit the Bay City State Park beach again this summer!