Thursday, May 26, 2005

More on the Homeowners' Rights Legislation Hearing...

...Three things today... well, maybe... let's make that four!
  • There was not enough time for Dr. Varner's Testimony... during the hearing. I guess the hearing could have been twice as long, but then, I'm sure our legislators have a busy agenda. Please take the time to read Dr. Varner's insightful viewpoint on why he supports the proposed homeowners' rights legislation.
  • My written testimony...I'm glad I wrote it because my time was short. Thankfully I had already decided to ad lib because of testimony I heard prior to my spot. This took much less time than if I had read what I wrote.
  • The Midland Daily News article... about the hearing, written by Kathie Marchlewski, was unbiased but I think just a tad too sympathetic to the antagonists' viewpoint. If you read this you will see I had an opportunity to respond to the article online.
  • Since our property is on the 'Priority 1' list, which assumes we have dioxin in our yard, it was our pleasure to be visited by a representative of AKT Peerless Environmental Services. Annette Lucas, Environmental Engineer, visited us to fulfill the requirement by MDEQ that Dow Chemical provide interim remedies to 'protect us and our family' from dioxin, even though we don't even know if there is any in our yard... well anyway, not any beyond the furans created by our numerous after-flood cleanup fires. All I have to say at this time on the subject of 'cleanup' is... MDEQ decreed it. Dow Chemical is complying. I do not know if there is dioxin in my backyard. Furthermore, I don't care! It has had no effect on me, my children, or my granchildren. I don't believe all the scare tactics created by the Luddites and fear-mongering extremists who brought this plight to my backyard. Annette is business-like and non-threatening. She gives no opinions and does no judging. Welcome her into your home, as so many of us already have, and let her do her job. You will read more about this as my experience as a 'priority one' residential property owner unfolds.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Here are our photos...

..taken yesterday: TRVoice Goes to Lansing. This trip was enhanced by the presence of Bill Egerer's charming exchange student from Thailand. She also was my photographer during the hearing. Slide show and album are not full resolution pics. If you want to download them full resolution, choose the option to Print-at-Home.

That's us... Len & I... testimony at the committee hearing for 'homeowners' rights' legislation.

What a fantastic feeling it is to have our legislators... the people we elected to represent us.. actually listen to our plight about being dubbed guilty, with neither judge nor jury, by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Pray the legislation will be approved by both Houses of our Michigan government, and the Governor. At last our legislators know who the real stakeholders are in this dioxin fiasco and are aware that non-governmental organizations, who are self-appointed 'representatives of the people' do not really represent most of us! I am currently putting together an album of photos of this, my latest visit to Lansing. Miss Farrah (sp?) this album is for you too!. Brimming with information, I'll be back with more about this meeting.

I did not read my written testimony but went 'ad lib' because it just seemed right. I will print Bill's, Len's and my testimony asap. Our friend Doctor Neill Varner was there with his lovely wife, but was unable to testify due to time restrictions. I will print his testimony here as well.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Common Sense will prevail... suggested in the Saginaw News today.
Photo by Melanie Sochan and article by Jeremiah Stettler: Army Corps checks soil at proposed dredging site Soil has already been checked once - 80 feet of impenetrable clay was previously measured. I suppose the reason it's being redone is because environutz filed a lawsuit to stop dredging of the Saginaw River. I guess any delay tactic will do. It seems to be what they do best.

Just a reminder, whenever those people try to stop progress, it costs the taxpayers money. That would be you & me! Unlike you and me, most of them are being paid by more environutz for causing trouble and delays.

The Rhetoric/Miller organization proudly announced to the Saginaw News last week - Lone Tree files suit to block dredge plan - that their lawsuit to delay the Army Corps of Engineers Saginaw River dredging project was supported by the National Wildlife Association. Be careful where your donations go because you end up supporting extremism like theirs! We supported them for years, even subscribed to their Ranger Rick magazine for the grandkids. Never again.
Happily mowing & gardening in the floodplain...

More Toxic Release Data...

...this time from The Oakland Press: Local News: Auto plants tops in toxic releases It says mercury and dioxin actually increased during that time, not bothering to state which companies were responsible for the increases. Obviously, it wasn't Dow Chemical as it would have been used as 'relevant' data.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Lots of News...

..includes this article in yesterday's Midland Daily News announcing Hearing on dioxin facility bill set for Tuesday. I read this article online and, as usual with such articles, a couple of environmentally extreme pot-stirrers dropped off their lengthy dissertations on the issue. Since I prefer not wasting my personally paid for cyberspace with their blather, I will just tell you how I responded to them... as follows:
To name deleted & Kathy Henry - Victims? What victims? WE at Tittabawassee River Voice are victims of Lone Tree Council and friends who decided to make a dioxin sandwich - MDEQ on one side, Dow on the other, and residents along the Tittabawassee River floodplain in the middle! Where are the sick people? Where are the dead people? We are pretty much sick & dying at the same rate - or lower - than people in other parts of the U.S.

The current 'law' was never written to persecute residential property owners - was never written to condemn us all as guilty without a judge or jury! My yard is NOT a toxic waste facility. If yours is, well, I'm sorry for you.

Popping over to the Saginaw News, today there was another letter to the editor from Richard Maltboy, not worth repeating here but it is primarily quotes from somebody else - not even his own original thoughts or words! What a waste of trees that is.

...a beautiful dock in our future. In the 'Your News' portion of Saginaw News was the following note of interest to us all.
photo by shirley, Festival Park work begins
Freeland Festival Park is closed for construction. Crews have begun an $875,000 makeover of the township park to beautify and provide a barrier against dioxin contamination in the soil. Dow Chemical Co. is footing the bill. The park is expected to reopen in August.

article pasted from:
photo by Shirley Salas

The husband & I stopped by Festival Park yesterday and shot a few photos. We plan to stop back soon for more photos but I might say right now, I really like what I'm seeing!

Lone Tree at it again... they are out to get MDEQ. Lone Tree files suit to block dredge plan.

I wanted to point out yesterday's Midland Daily News article and another today but have no time now. We've been busy meeting with a representative of ATK Peerless and haven't really had time to update yet. (It's a good thing.)

Will get back for updates later, gotta go!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Latest Data - Dow Cleans Up the Air...

..according to an article in the Saturday, May 14 Midland Daily News - Amount of toxic chemicals in air, water, land declines... Why MDEQ's 'latest data' is from 2003 is beyond me, since they are constantly on Dow's tail, but that only speaks to the subject of getting things done by a bureaucracy, I guess.

Dow has newer data however. The article includes information from Dow:
[Dow in 2004 reported a global reduction of persistent bioaccumilative and toxic chemicals emissions of 81 percent since 1994 and a nearly 50 percent reduction in chemical emissions overall. "We were very proud of this progress," said David Graham, vice president for environment, health and safety. "We've been a major contributor to this success across the nation and the world."]
Dow had their annual stockholders meeting last week. No, I wasn't there but I guess a few bedraggled looking people dressed in black & white skull & crossbones t-shirts showed up. See Locals protest Dow meeting For those who don't want to sign in to read it, here's a sample:
["Oh, look, a blue BMW," said Betty Damore as she stood on the front lawn of the Midland Center for the Arts.]
Another remark, even more inane:
["This is the third year of known contamination on the Tittabawasee River," said Damore. "And we’re not seeing a drive for remediation."]
???!!???? Are these environutz in a time warp or what?

Shirley neighbors are healthy TOO!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Dioxin designation damages area.....

Try crossing the Tittabawassee River any weekday between the hours of 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm. If you're doing this on Tittabawassee Road or Freeland Road, it can be quite a wait!
We wanted to capture the flood at Tittabawassee Road. Sure, you can see the log pileup at the bridge but what really caught my eye was the amount of trash accumulated along the roadside.

You see it everywhere. Otherwise responsible citizens think nothing of throwing their fast food garbage out of their car windows as they head for home after a hard day's work. I guess if nobody sees you do it, it doesn't count, eh? This litter, floating at the edge of what is usually just a hillside, was only a small part of the garbage accumulated between the bridge and North River Road!

A week later, it was gone. Why? My friends & neighbors, Len & Cheryl Heinzman, who live along the Tittabawassee River floodplain, went for a walk... wearing gloves and carrying garbage bags! They cleaned up the whole mess along the strip and put the garbage out with theirs on collection day.

That Len Heinzman is the same person who wrote this letter to the editor of The Saginaw News, which was published yesterday. If you missed it in the paper, you can read it now.

Leonard cares about our community. He is a good neighbor. He's the kind of guy who will clean up somebody elses mess just because it's there. He's the kind of guy who will help a neighbor bury a wild critter that ended up in a backyard after being hit by a car. Leonard is an active, contributing member of Tittabawassee Township. He is also the co-founder of Tittabawassee River Voice. Leonard is a 'stakeholder' in the dioxin controversy in our town. He has met his neighbors, young and old. He has observed firsthand that long term residenst are still healthy. These are people who lived along the floodplain way back when the river would not freeze over in winter... way before Dow started cleaning up after themselves.

Yes, we agree. Dow needs to clean up their own mess, so let's just sit back and watch as they proceed to do it!

Happy & Healthy along the Tittabawassee River Floodplain

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Dioxin Matters Matter in Saginaw Valley...

.. so says Bill Egerer in this Midland Daily News article. I'm sure glad Bill told me this was printed in Sunday's paper because it is not available in the online version.

Bill is a 'stakeholder' because he lives in Midland and cares about his community's economy and health. That is why he founded Midland Matters a year ago when the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality decided to add Midland residences to their list of 'facilities.' It might appear he was successful... MDEQ did not actually call Midland homes facilities... but three areas were defined 'priority one' in the Interim Response plan.

Read what Bill has to say. Think about it. Aren't you tired of non-residents' involvement in the dioxin debacle? It started with Lone Tree (non-residents - what Bill defined as nongovernmental organizations [NGOs]). Then the local NGOs invited in their friends from the bigger cities in Michigan... and others from further away!!! Bottom line: These NGOs are mostly composed of environmental extremist fanatics with one line and one goal.

They are well trained by other environutz to stick to their party line at all costs. They do not vary. They do not compromise. They do not listen or accept reality; they terrorize others. They hypothesize. They create chaos and artificial problems. They terrorize residents, hoping they will believe their pseudo-science. They take facts and twist them into their own reality, surreal as it is
Still healthy and smiling (yes, and kicking if you will) on the Tittabawassee River floodplain
... Shirley Salas.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Wildlife Advisory - Tittabawassee River Floodplain...

Here is where I saw the most concise and accurate advisory about eating game killed along the Tittabawassee River floodplain: Federal regulators lay out wild game consumption guidelines: I read it from WOOD TV online, as contributed by Rob St. Mary, WSGW radio.

Other News: Shirley Wrote a Letter to the Editor, Saginaw News...
... titled The other side. (It's the second editorial at the Sunday, May 8 SN site.) ...this one in response to a letter published last Sunday by one of the environutz. Just received the following note from one of my favorite people...
[Shirley…I enjoyed your letter to the Saginaw News Editor……well written and well represented viewpoint………there is an old saying that…” If you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break a few eggs….”]
FYI... I'm a subscriber to the free version of The Midland Daily News online. Although you can read the headlines, you must subscribe if you want to read the articles. Although I've been sharing dioxin-related articles by copying to my domain, you will need to subscribe in order to view this article, which has several beautiful photos - Four Corners of the County: Jasper - a photo story by Brett Marshall, Midland Daily News.

Another favorite person sent me information about a new website created by an adversary. This website contains a whole webpage dedicated to me... I think. Although my name is misspelled, he quotes directly from specific blog entries at Tittabawassee River Voice. This person then twists and turns the truth, trying to make me out a blatant liar. As our faithful readers know, this is the way of a dedicated environmental extremist wacko! However, I can't help but smile when I think about it. After all, isn't imitation (no matter how twisted) still the simplest form of flattery?

It is my belief that the surname Silas is a good old New Englander name... which is fine. It gives me visions of a Norman Rockwell painting. My ancestors came from New England with a bit Welsh and a bit French as far as background goes. My husband's surname however, is Salas. He is a proud son of Mexican heritage, with a bit of Indian, French, German and Spanish tumbled together. God bless America!
Still healthy and kicking in the Tittabawassee River floodplain... Shirley Salas.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Remediation is happening... says the Saginaw News article - Dow uses white-glove test... Crews cleaning up property along Tittabawassee River, reported by Jeremiah Stettler. According to Brian Eggers of AKT Peerless Environmental Services, 75 appointments have been set up with residents to date, about 17%.

I cannot say absolutely about anybody else but, as one of the resident families in a 'priority one' area of the Tittabawassee River floodplain, my husband and I have not yet contacted AKT Peerless per instruction in their cover letter.

Just being on 'the list' has put us in an uncertain position.
  • Both of us are as healthy or healthier than many people our age, here or elsewhere.
  • We both cleaned up the flood debris in our back yard as soon as we could get down there after the flood.
  • I've already mowed once... and should get out there again - I'm waiting for a warmer day!
  • We have no air ducts to be cleaned because we heat with hot water and solar.
  • We've cleaned house since the last flood.
  • We have no vendetta with Dow Chemical... don't have a need to 'get them'...
  • We do not believe any small residual of dioxin presents a danger to us, our children or grandchildren.
Even over 1,000 ppt is a small amount! Can YOU visualize 1,000 parts of dioxin in a trillion parts of soil? Furthermore, to my knowledge, there is no dioxin in my backyard that wasn't caused by our endeavors... burning springtime debris from upstream of us during annual floods.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Dr. Garabrant Arrives in Jackson and Calhoun Counties...

..and the citizens are ready for him! The Jackson Citizen Patriot headlines: Researchers from UM to collect local data for dioxin study I was pleased to find this article in my news feed this morning!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Dioxin in perspective...

Can you count to 1 thousand? How about 1 million... 1 billion... okay go for a trillion! Just add a few zeros, right? The Midland Daily News today printed an article by another real down-to-earth scientist explaining another way to look at those part per trillion numbers... The ppm ppb, ppt, dioxin dilemma by Dr. Norman Skelly.

I would say Dr. Skelly has forgotten more about dioxin than all the environmental extremists in the world have ever known... I would say that but I can't because, well... Dr. Skelly doesn't forget anything! He has a photographic memory, so I guess I'll just have to say he knows more about dioxin than all those extremist wackos will ever know! I think it's time we all stop throwing around all those ppt's and teq's and get real. Read Dr. Skelly's article. He will put it all in perspective for you.

Okey dokey kiddies... start counting... No! Not by 10's... by 1's!