Friday, July 29, 2005

A few heroes...

...turned out yesterday to once again defend the ordinary residents of our state. Yes!! These are the guys riding in on their white horses to protect homeowners in Michigan from the giant bully bureaucracy that goes by the name of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Representatives John Moolenaar and Roger Kahn, along with Senator Mike Goschka told us they are 'seeking a formal ruling by the Michigan attorney general regarding the legality of the state’s abrupt new tactic on designating contaminated property.' Read the press release - Lawmakers to AG: Did Granholm administration break the law? - at Representative Moolenaar's website. You can also view a Real Media video on his homepage.

These guys are Michigan homeowners themselves. They're fed up with the extremist elements in MDEQ who insist on disenfranchising homeowners by arbitrary rule-making. MDEQ leaders are going after homeowners with a vengeance as I have seen in reading the activities of MDEQ throughout the state.. from the sand dunes to the wetlands and of course in our own Titabawassee River floodplain.

Apparently the Powers That Be in DEQ feel a need to continue persecuting homeowners, ruling with an iron hand. As I've said before Mr. Chester, the director of MDEQ told me in company with others in a meeting with Lt. Governor John Cherry, that MDEQ could not change the 'facility' designation... that it must go through legislation. Now he has decreed a change in meaning of the word... AFTER House Bill 4617 was passed and Senate Bill 390 is ready to go through hearings and Senate vote! Why does he want to stop the legislation? Does it have to do with Power? I urge you... whether you live here in our area of concern or across the state of Michigan... Your property is 'at risk' as far as MDEQ is concerned. If they can rule what happens in my backyard, they can do it with yours.

Please contact your Senator and ask him/her to support Senate Bill 390. Locate your Senator here.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Put trust in stakeholders... playing catch-up... goes the heading in my letter to the Editor Saginaw News published on July 26. I wrote that letter in response to a guest columnist article printed July 17. (Reference my blog Tuesday, July 19)

Saginaw News has a new column, written by Brenda Weigand. She just began writing for SN this past week and she is so new that her name is not yet listed on the MLive version of The Saginaw News. Since I couldn't find her online you can read the copy I scanned for sharing with you. Titled 'Doc' Shaheen's Actions Show He Cares About Community, Ms. Weigand draws a picture of a caring man who happens to be a physician... especially remembering him as her own family's doctor for several generations. If you do not know Dr. Shaheen, you need to read this. It sure put the doctor's offer to purchase waterfront 'contaminated' property in perspective. Anybody who thinks he has ulterior motives just doesn't know the 'doc!'

and then, yesterday I read the Midland Daily News July 26 online edition. Our View discusses the decision by MDEQ's director to change the rule defining the term 'facility.' Since the litigant involved in beginning all this dioxin fear-mongering left a comment there, I just HAD to respond also. You will find the July 26 MDN 'My View' column at

Where will it end? I do not believe the people who started this thing want to know if dioxin actually causes serious health problems in humans. It is so much easier to extrapolate from animal studies and 'assume' and 'infer' results. So here I am... happy and very healthy in the Tittabawassee River floodplain. Where are the sick people?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Lawyers, Litigants and Money... 10 Years Ago...

.. according to The Saginaw News - Bygone Days - Monday July25, 2005:
"1995: Lawyers were ready to claim $1 million of the
$2.5 million settlement for 888 plaintiffs
in a class action
suit against CSX Transportation Inc. and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe for the
Freeland train derailment of 1989."
This left ~$1,690,000 for the litigants to divide among themselves before expenses of the lawyers... travel, room & board, cost of expert witnesses and other paper work which could add up to reducing the per litigant profit by at least $500/litigant for a balance of $1,190 or $198/year /litigant!!! Sure, some received a bit more and some received less, but isn't that what the lawyers are working with... averages?

Today: we have a lawsuit against Dow Chemical. 173 litigants want it to be a class action suit. Now, let me see... assuming just the 173 litigants are suing... let's say the average value of a home among litigants is $200,000... and there are 173 litigants. Gee, that's a lot of money!... $34.6million! Lawyers will collect about 40% of that... hey, they gotta make a living, don't they? Of course their expenses are not included in that 40%. Expenses... you know... travel, room & board, paper work... legal assistants and secretarial - and of course they travel & eat too... and then there are all the expert witnesses. They don't come cheap!

Being conservative, I'd say the owner of a $200,000 home would get about $100,000 for his/her property! Not bad, eh? ..and of course they will have to wait for a long time, perhaps up to 20 years the way things are going, what with appeals and all... hmmm!

Of course if it's a class action suit - and all the property owners along the Tittabawassee River floodplain choose NOT TO OPT OUT of the suit... there will be a number of more expensive homes included in the average. Since payouts are based on the individual 'injury' owners of those extra homes will get the larger portion of the payout!

Jeepers, Gosh and Golly Gee! Any one of the litigants would do better going with a land contract at current prices, don't you think?

Monday, July 25, 2005

The King has Spoken...

and here are his words as published as an editorial in the Midland Daily News: New 'facility' policy brings clarity Just found out about this article. Obviously the king of Michigan felt a need to 'clarify' his decision to change the rule about definition of a 'facility,' so he went to MDN where only 150 or so residents are affected... as opposed to the Tittabawassee River floodplain in Saginaw County, where over 400 residents are affected. We cannot let this little dictator carry so much power over private residential properties in Michigan. We must move forward with the legislation and get it passed in the Michigan Senate.

Part of a facility?...

What do they mean... 'part?' There, on top of the pile of mail we picked up from our post office box Friday, was THE LETTER from MDEQ. Well it wasn't actually a letter; it was a list of 'Frequently Asked Questions' and labeled a 'REVISED Supplementary Advisory.' Don't know what day we received it because we do not go to the post office every day. Don't know when it was mailed because the envelope was not 'cancelled' with a date. Don't know when it was written or anything about an 'effective date' because MDEQ apparently doesn't consider it important to date information. Well, it DOES say July 2005, but when...July, 1? 12? 31?... What is this, the Rule of the Month Club? Who is next? Who knows... it doesn't matter. DEQ SAID IT!!!

To me, it is the height of arrogance for anybody to be so above the masses (that would be US) that they can write, change, and/or interpret rules affecting residents. What happened to the 'checks and balances' system of government in the U.S.? Who gave MDEQ the POWER to declare a whole segment of the population GUILTY by way of edict? This dictatorial attitude also prevails in the 'science' with which MDEQ makes their decisions.

The document? Read our copy of this latest edict from Chester's Gang, ' Frequently Asked Questions For Owners of Property Affected by Migrating Dioxin Contamination.' I'll be back another day with more about this document, since I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I can already ask one question. If my residence is 'part of a facility,' what 'facility' is it a part of? ...Dow Chemical Company? Is the only part of my property that is a facility that part which is dioxin-laden? Which part is that? Show me!

Sanity in The Saginaw News... Just this morning I had a chance to read the Sunday newspaper. What a delight to know some people in the news industry have common sense! Here, for your reading pleasure, is the online version of the editorial published in The Saginaw News yesterday, Sunday July 24, 2005 - Court cautious in dioxin case.

A Note to those who warned me that I shouldn't brag about my health in public: Here I am, healthy and happy in the Tittabawassee River floodplain! God bless you. We pray for you that your fears will diminish with common sense and knowledge.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals... the following .jpg was copied from the complete CDC .pdf document.

I think it is important to know the CDC is concerned about ‘Interpreting the Data.’ Published by the Centers for Disease Control Thursday July 21, I read about it yesterday in the Saginaw News. It wasn't published online but what could be better than the actual CDC Press Release.

I did a lot of reading yesterday. One thing I learned... we will be hearing a lot more about 'body burden' and 'biomonitoring.' You will not yet find these words in the dictionary. What do these words mean? In simple terms, biomonitoring is the ability to measure natural and synthetic chemicals in the human body in minute quantities by methods formerly not available because the technology is so new. The term body burden refers to the variety of substances found in the human body due to the new technology, some of which was previously non-detectable with the old technology. But don't take my word for it; read Biomonitoring and Body Burden in Perspective - By Jeff Stier, Esq, published July 21, 2005.

Here is a list of reliable information about the CDC Press Release, body burden and biomonitoring:

American Council on Science and Health (ACSH):

American Chemistry Council (ACC ):

...and if you have the time and inclination you can read the whole 475 pages - Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals at the CDC website.

Now I will spend the weekend in the great outdoors... right here in my own backyard along the Tittabawassee River floodplain. Even though Mr. Chester has proclaimed my backyard one of the few that is definitely dioxin-laden (being labeled Priority 1 and all), he hasn't been around to prove it with his little dioxin-measuring crew! Until then I remain healthy & kicking... Shirley.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Rights and Privilege...

Property rights: We in the United States and other civilized countries have the right to own property. The dictionary defines it as a 'right of ownership' which really means, if we have enough money to buy a home, we can do so. Then we must pay taxes on it in order to keep living there. If you pay for your house but don't pay the taxes, you can't live there anymore and a bureaucratic government employee can make you homeless.

Eminent domain: means 'The right of a government to appropriate private property for public use, usually with compensation to the owner.' The compensation part is only there because it was added to the U.S. Constitution in the 5th Amendment. A bureaucratic government employee can make you sell your home so they can build an expessway. There is now a new extension of this term based on a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Now a neighbor or business can get a bureaucratic government employee to make you sell your home so they can build a condo or a mall or whatever that will generate more taxes than you are paying for the privilege of living in your own house.

Privilege: A special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste. The principle of granting and maintaining a special right or immunity. Translation: A bureaucratic government employee has a special advantage... that being the second definition: a bureaucratic governmental employee has the power to give homeowners permits to do certain actions on their property.

Not only can they tell you what you can and cannot do on your own property which you continue paying for the rest of your life through property taxes, they get to make the rules and change the rules. For instance, the Director of the MDEQ (Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality) has looked me square in the eye in front of his boss, Jennifer Granholm's 'second in command,' John Cherry, Lt. Governor of Michigan, and said he could not CHANGE the rule that calls my home a 'facility.' He said it could only 'change through legislation' so my friends and I went to our Legislators and began getting the rule changed. That legislation, referred to as 'homeowners' rights legislation' passed in the Michigan House of Representatives by 77-29, with special thanks to John Moolenaar, our fair and balanced District 98 legislator.

Just yesterday I read in the Midland Daily News that Steve Chester, Director of MDEQ, redefined the rule. I can't say he lied when he said he couldn't change the rule, but he couldn't 'redefine' the rule until after we got our legislation going. Semantics... it's all about semantics. Read about the latest edict from the King of Michigan right here...'Facility' redefined by DEQ. I hope his boss, Ms. Granholm, is aware of this guy's antics. He is, in my very humble opinion, equatable to things that slither in the wetlands.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

'Facts' - 'Truth' - and Kudos about Dioxin...

jpg. copy of Dr. Varner's July 17 letter to the editor of the Saginaw News. Click to read it. Facts: Just now getting caught up on the newspapers. Frank & I had a great 4-day weekend vacation at the lake, entertaining and visiting with some of our daughters and their families. Imagine my surprise when I read the Sunday July 17, 2005 Saginaw News and found an article by 'guest columnist,' Dave Linhart! This guy doesn't even live in Michigan! What business does he have attacking Dr. Shaheen, an icon and role-model to people throughout the entire Saginaw valley. You'll find the article here:
Column downplayed the dangers of dioxin

The guy really is an example of listing 'facts' with no regard for 'truth.' I will say no more because after writing this blog I need to get a letter out to the editor of Saginaw News and don't want to 'scoop myself.'

Truth: Could not find Dr. Varner's letter to the editor on MLive version of SN so you can read it right here. Click on the version shown to the left and you can read it in actual size. Dr. Varner, like Dr. Shaheen, knows the difference between 'facts' and 'truth.' I haven't read Greg Iles' book, mentioned by Dr. Varner but the doc sure gets his point across in a few words.

Kudos: Another email from our friend Bill.
Reader response to your most recent TRVoice blog .... and responding to your insightful question: Is dioxin only dangerous 'because the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says so?'

BINGO! and because the source is supposedly those big, bad evil corporations who must have no conscience or consideration for the community."Dioxin now comes from individual people (the #1 source today from burning barrels) and notice the disregard, apathy and total lack of interest the enviros exhibit over this SOURCE of dioxin."

Double head in sand by enviros, who continue to solely chase corporations about legacy dioxin emissions, stopped over 20+ years ago, while not lifting a finger about CURRENT release of dioxins into the environment by the masses with burning barrels.

How do experienced enviro movement elders explain this logic to their newbee children entering the movement?!? The SOURCE is more important than the actual contamination?!? This must be some high level Enviro Logic #700 level course that I cannot comprehend.
Bill Egerer

Monday, July 18, 2005

Yuschchenko - Birnbaum - and dioxin ...

Yushchenko is healthy according to his doctor in Geneva. Doctor: Yushchenko in 'Very Good' Health: "'His external appearance doesn't reflect on the health of his internal organs,' Saurat said."

Linda Birnbaum's PowerPoint presentation from last week can be found here: Thank you Bill!

Dioxin: If Viktor Yuschchenko is very healthy, having been fed extremely high dosage of dioxin, does that mean dioxin, even though it is very toxic, is not a problem in the environment?

If there are no sick people in the generations who have lived along the Tittabawassee River floodplain, does that mean dioxin, even though it is very toxic, is not a problem in the minute quantities in which it exists here in our environment?

Is dioxin only dangerous 'because the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says so?'

Friday, July 15, 2005


..of yesterday's TRVoice blog posts - News sources:
Michigan Department of Community Health Dioxin 'Study' of 20 Volunteers: Michigan Supreme Court Opinion on Henry v Dow Health Maintenance Lawsuit:
Birnbaum Speech: I realize there was some sort of 'Technical Information Meeting' yesterday concerning dioxin. I chose to attend a presentation given by one of my Ph.D chemical engineer friends at the SVCA meeting last night. We had a good turnout. The subject was 'HTML Tutorial' and Larry, all I can say is GREAT JOB!!! Thank you!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Jeremiah's Saginaw News Input on MDCH Results & the Michigan Supreme Court Opinion...

First we have his article on the MDCH study results: Contaminated properties increase dioxin risk Definitely an insignificant study as far as science is concerned. 5 tested above 90% of the 'background' population. Ah well.

The other article: Dow applauds court decision on liability echos how the majority of folks on the Tittabawassee River floodplain feel. With all these little knots tied, perhaps we can take a little break now? Yeah! Right!!!
Still motivated and a bit happier & healthier on the Tittabawassee River floodplain, Shirley

The MCDH Dioxin Study of 20 Volunteers...

is in and here's what Kathie at Midland Daily News has to say about it: Study shows raised dioxin levels. As Kathie points out, these volunteers represent 20 residents living on 15 properties along the Tittabawassee River floodplain. I doubt there were any vegetarians in the sample. Here for your reading pleasure is a copy of the pdf file: Exposure Investigation Report from MDCH.

If you really want a dose of dioxin-overload, check out another Midland Daily News article, Kathie's read on Supreme Court: No injury, no case. Nothing new and lots of rhetoric from the litigants.

In The Heart of the Tri-Cities...

..what a crowd last night! This is where the people of the Tittabawassee River floodplain, Tittabawassee Township, and the surrounding area like to be on a hot summer evening!

Pictured is part of the crowd enjoying music by The Renaissance Jazz Band at the Tittabawassee Township Park yesterday. What an evening. Good music... good company... and for the hungry among us, good food!

Oh yes.. there was a gathering intended for this same population the prior evening as well. That meeting was held in Midland at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library Auditorium. Our friend Bill Egerer told you about it right here yesterday (
Birnbaum guest blogger Bill Egerer). In case you haven't read it yet, I saved the Midland Daily News article for you:
Dioxin expert questioned in Midland.

I promised my version of Birnbaum II. I can sum it up in four words... New slides; Same message. Actually, she was more impressive when she gave her lecture earlier this year... as a kick-off speaker for the Lone Tree 'series of speakers.' The April 13, 2005 lecture showed us a well-composed, self-assured, honest woman telling us what she knows about an undesirable chemical and it's effect on living organisms. Although her presentation was equally well-done this week, she appeared to be nervously defiant during the question and answer period.

The audience was not unruly... mostly because there was not much of an audience present! I guess there's another technical information meeting today.

Meanwhile, the next concert in the park in Tittabawassee Township will be Wednesday, July 27 - 7:00 pm, featuring Duke Tumatoe & The Power Trio!

'Twas a BIG day for the State of Michigan yesterday. Here's another bit of news: MDCH Releases Findings Of Pilot Exposure Investigation In Tittabawassee River Flood Plain.

Litigants Can't Sue Because They're Not Sick From Dioxin...

..what a concept! Read all about it at MLive Flash News: Michigan Supreme Court rules in Dow's favor in dioxin case If you're really into reading all that legaleeze, you can find the opinion here. When you get there, move your cursor down to October 6, 2004 and you will see the case 'Henry v Dow Chemical Co.'

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Today - a guest blogger..

..but I have plenty to say as well. My friend Bill just summed up last night's meeting so well I wanted to give him top billing. My observation of Birnbaum was - ‘nervous but firm and inflexible.’ I liked her better at her previous presentation earlier this year, where she actually was believable and sounded like she was being honest with her audience. This time, the presentation was very confident but she showed a hesitance and caution in her carefully worded responses during the Q&A period.

Now to mundane daily chores. In between laundry loads, I will sum up 'what I saw' at the Birnbaum lecture and publish it tomorrow morning.

Birnbaum II... guest blogger Bill Egerer

Total attending “body count” about 75
Estimate of composition:
  • 19 - Regulators (MDEQ, MDCH, EPA) - REQUIRED
  • 5 - Regulated (Dow) - REQUIRED
  • 6 - Media and Recorders - REQUIRED
  • 15 - Legacy Scientists, Technical, Medical Friends - USUAL
  • 5 - Resident Group Members - REGULAR
  • 3 - Community Leaders - REGULAR
  • 10 Enviros - REGULAR
  • 10 - General Public - NEW

As forecast, this meeting did NOT attract the public. Almost 90% attending were REQUIRED or part of a REGULAR group active on this issue.

For MDEQ, this should register as a flop for impact or influence towards “educating” Midland, which was their stated goal. Let’s see, on May 2004, we had 1500-1700 attend and tonight, Dir. Chester’s event draws about 5% of that total.Were people “peeking in the window” and trying to get in? Were people deliberately boycotting it? Were people afraid to attend? Was the meeting not adequately publicized? NO, NO, NO, NO. People didn't show up because it wasn't important to them; it had little value or meaning to them because they don't think Midland has a health problem with dioxin. It’s that simple.

Our problem with dioxin ain't health related; its REGULATORY without using sound science basis for public policy.


Started and ended on time. It was one hour of PowerPoint slides by Birnbaum and one hour of Q&A. Professionally facilitated Q&A with written questions read by the facilitator and about 10 minutes of open floor for a few comments. Extremely well handled, fair, balanced, all parties got an opportunity to voice a question or comment.Minor problem with low volume on mic, but overall, it was an excellent format and well carried out. The army of regulator staff was available prior to, and following, the meeting for individual discussions. MCTV taped the entire event. Handouts available. This high quality format is unprecedented, for a MDEQ meeting, but should be continued for any future “technical info meetings”.


Dr. Birnbaum has “cleaned up” her traditional presentation with both some new professionally prepared slides and eliminated many of the blatant emotional/nonscientific claims. She’s grown more savvy in her answers and rhetoric. The average lay person would leave scratching their head if there is really a serious risk or not. SOUNDS like it ……. COULD BE!! Just don't have all the proofs in yet.

As expected, EPA continues to turn up the volume about REGULATION as what has caused the current low levels of dioxin today. Without REGULATION, we'd be swimming in a sea, dust bowl and smoggy air of dioxin mush. Good thing, the REGULATORS caused the dramatic shift in dioxin levels from 1970 to today. Every single dioxin exposure incident is morphed into a success story of regulation. EPA is even an expert on Ukraine poisoning and knows that “thank goodness” he didn't die, but we'll “never know” if his future health ailments are caused by this poisoning.

Forget the facts that EPA and regulators have made colossal misjudgments and screwed up the public policy on just about every single dioxin related accident, poisoning and exposure .Dr. Birnbaum was poised, more articulate and more careful in her selection of words, than her previous presentations. One would expect that as she spoke in a hall of her elders.


Qualified scientist or technical Midland people submitted about 75% of the roughly 15 questions. Most questions challenged some aspect of Birnbaum’s science or risk interpretations and judgments. Some more complex i.e. the use of TEQ as a non-analytical measurement. But ALL questions were of serious and tangible technical nature. Very few, if any, were any emotion, political or smarmy in nature.

Birnbaum held her ground, didn't back off on many of her stated opinions and adopted a rather silver tongue at being able to take a barrel of “possible” and “iffy” information and put it into an answer of SERIOUS PRECAUTIONARY CERTAINTY.

People should NOT think the Q&A was anything even remotely close to scientific peer review, debate or discussion. Dr. Birnbaum enjoyed the bully pulpit, that's a fact. And considering she is speaking at virtually the world's headquarters of dioxin knowledge and expertise, she SHOULD be concerned that she "get it correct". There was a mountain of science horsepower in that small audience last night and Birnbaum would be buried and overwhelmed had the format been a GENUINE science peer review meeting versus the bully pulpit she enjoyed.

One audience member tried to "defend" Dr. Birnbaum by stating the questioning was "attacking" in nature. This gentleman apparently has not seen any peer reviewed science processes when stark, harsh data, facts, citations are all expected to be part of making a scientific document move from "opinion" into reliable statements of fact. This Birnbaum presentation was a cakewalk compared to any official scientific peer review steps.

Dr. Shaheen's analogy sums up the value of her message when he says " ... She went through a litany of maladies that may be an imagined complication of dioxin exposure. It was no different than reading a drug insert or reading the Physicians Desk Reference on any drug sold through a pharmacy. If you read any drug insert, you would not take any pill.

"Likewise, if we listen and apply every Birnbaum opinion, we'd have every river and property dredged and dug up for NO realistic benefit.I decided this evening; Dr Birnbaum has credentials for a second career in politics or as a trial attorney. One has to admire her ability to handle the questions from experts who were making science advancements at a time when Dr. Birnbaum and me were still children. It was apparent; her previous “wipe em up in an emotional drum beat” was NOT on her radar. Rather, she put forth a pretty slick message of POTENTIAL “dread”.


There is a scary part of tonight’s event. Not so much for Midland, but for other communities that have the misfortune of being heavy handed by a regulatory agency. We had a POWERHOUSE of scientific expertise engage directly with this event. Some even “world class” talent. Some DEPTH of experience that few, if any, other locations could muster.YET, this one toxicologist credentialed regulator, with the backing of a fiefdom operating State agency, stood up to and answered all the questions posed, without relenting from her stated position. I don't think she “won” in delivering compelling answers, but she did not “give up” any of her stakes in the ground either.

CONSIDER the community that doesn't have the science wells of Dow Chemical or Dow Corning; they would be bamboozled and led to the chopping block with little recourse. Probably receive regulatory enforcement before they even know what hit them.

I've seen this happen, 1st hand, with endangered species act using over reaching enforcement in rural areas and the stakeholders don't even know it happened. THIS is the scary part about our government regulatory system!!


Midland 1,700 to Chester 75 How come it doesn't it “feel” like we’re winning ;-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Old CAP - Why Environutz Don't Like the New One...

Lone Tree does not like the new MDEQ/Dow CAP concept. Find their explanation of the original CAP at: the website created and maintained by the lead litigant against Dow in the local wannabe class action suit: The TRWatch diagram for success with DEQ. Beyond the fact that they figured they will 'direct traffic' in these meetings, look at the box titled 'Community Advisory Panel' shown here. I attended the last 'original' CAP meeting last year and observed the Who's Who.

Residents: The only participating residents were the Henry's and one loud-mouthed guy in a faded t-shirt who acted like he was running the meeting until Cheryl Howe reminded him that she was the meeting facilitator. Frank & I & Howard Vasold were there but were repeatedly encouraged to ask no questions. There were a couple of other interested parties not on the litigant list and many who ARE.
Environmental Groups: Michelle Heard-Rhetoric walked about as the gracious hostess. Since that meeting I notice they've pulled in as many other environutz as they can muster... these groups, of course, are NOT local stakeholders/property owners!
Local Governments: Don't recall seeing anybody from Midland or Saginaw. Freeland was represented by Brian Kischnick, Township Manager, and Rick Hayes, Trustee responsible for Parks & Recreation. Ken Kasper, Township Supervisor and a litigant in the frivolous lawsuit, was noticably not present but one of his two appointees was present and spoke up when called upon. Both of Kasper's appointees appear to be friends of the Lone Tree gang, a matter which Len Heinzman and I were attempting to remedy by asking Kasper to appoint us for a 'fair and balanced' group. This did not happen although Kischnick and Hayes are supportive of our efforts and were instrumental in gaining support of the entire Tittabawassee Township Board of Trustees, minus Ken Kasper who doesn't seem to be available for votes associated with the dioxin issue.
Local Health Departments: Don't recall any at that meeting, although the Saginaw County Department of Health representative had told me he would be unable to attend that meeting. This meeting did include, however, a presentation by a member of the Michigan Health Department.
County Boards of Commission: Huh?
County Parks: I observed representatives from Saginaw and Freeland were present. Since then... at the NEW MDEQ/Dow CAP, Ruth Averill, who is no longer an elected official in Tittabawassee Township, noted that she was 'representing county parks'... obviously her effort to stay involved.
Business Interests: Saginaw Chamber of Commerce - Veronica Horn.
Others As Identified/Needed: That would be Frank & I and Howard Vasold. Len Heinzman was out of town and unable to attend this particular meeting. I guess you might say we were definitely NOT Identified... but definitely NEEDED!
Midland Matters and Bill Egerer were busy getting ready for a meeting that same evening at the Midland Center for the Arts in which MDEQ, who had 'wet their feet' by trampling on little ol' Tittabawassee Township, planned to make their grand march into Midland immediately following the CAP meeting.

Don't Forget there is a meeting this evening, set up by MDEQ and Dow:

Tuesday, July 12, 2005
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Grace A. Dow Memorial Library
Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D. will speak on "Health Effects of Dioxin."

Monday, July 11, 2005

Doctor Shaheen on dioxin...

Doctor Shaheen was guest columnist in the Sunday, July 10 Saginaw News. Sounds like he's been reading the same letters to the editor and other articles about dioxin and the so-called 'problems' associated with it that you and I have been reading. Since his generous offer to purchase any property along the Tittabawassee River for a fair price, he has been criticized by environmental extremist fear-mongers in our area. He speaks with such simple truth and honesty you must read what he has to say. Take advantage of my highlights or forgive them. He had so much to say in such a concise manner I felt a need to highlight what I considered most important. Even without the highlights, the article is colorful!

Job preservation behind offer to buy riverfront land

  • Shaheen began his article with ' more than 50 years of medical practice I have not seen an illness that stemmed from dioxin poisoning.' Who would know better than a physician, eh? This Doctor does not have weird 'lapses of memory' like the guy who calls himself a doctor and couldn't remember going to a mobile unit to have his blood tested for dioxin. Remember that Brasseur guy at one of the meetings?
  • Shaheen's use of the term 'mass hysteria' is well-placed. This mass hysteria is caused by a few well-chosen actions on the part of extremists accustomed to using terrorist tactics to develop a following... and obviously are not afraid of planting a bit of misinformation here or there to aid their cause.
    Brasseur was one such plant. Then there was Gary Henry at the meeting where the extremists told me to 'shut up!' He started the falsehood to which I was responding when his cohort started the verbal mass attack on me... and retracted it after the meeting in private discussion. A prominent citizen along the Tittabawassee River floodplain told me he received a phone call prior to the lawsuit from a person inquiring whether he was worried about having all that dioxin in their backyard. This was during the environutz' litigant-shopping portion of their dioxin campaign. Well they found a few individuals to lead the hysteria parade, didn't they?
  • Shaheen pointed out that Dr. Birnbaum's list of possible effects of dioxin are similar to the precautions inserted with prescription drugs.
  • He also responded to people accusing him of false promises to buy their homes. So far he has made arrangements to purchase more than $1 million of riverfront property... completely by himself, he adds.

God bless you Dr. Shaheen. You are a pearl in a sea of sharks!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

This 'n That...

... from the Tittabawassee River floodplain. Guess we'll have to start reading the Bay City Times if we want to know what Jeremiah has to say about our township news. If you didn't read it before, read it here... State House passage of dioxin bill draws mixed reactions The Saginaw News cut out half of Jeremiah's article! Jeremiah, fair and balanced, reported words from the primary litigant in a lawsuit against Dow AND our own Len Heinzman, which were left out of the SN version.

Further on 'God Bless America' - my July 3 blog... this one called 'God Bless My Town' -
  • where we still have freedom of religion and the freedom to express it…
  • where the 'silent majority' is not afraid to speak out...
  • where our police officers actually serve and protect…
  • where the majority strives to retain homeowners' rights…
  • and where we still have freedom of speech…

Again I remind you of two dioxin-related technical information meetings next week - Tuesday and Thursday. I will attend at least one of them and hope you will too.

Still healthy and glad of it on the Tittabawassee River floodplain... Shirley

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The 'Fear of Fish' Controversy...

..continues as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently announced - Farmed fish safe to eat, published in . The big story, based on one study last year by Pew Charitable Trusts, has created fear and concern about eating fish for people throughout the world.

The EFSA study found U.S. farm salmon to be safer than European, although salmon farmed in Chile is the safest. EFSA also concludes farmed salmon is safer than wild salmon, no matter where the wild salmon is caught. '..EFSA panel focused on methylmercury and dioxin-like compounds in salmon, herring, anchovies, tuna, mackerel, pilchards, rainbow trout and carp.'

I love a good salmon steak or filet. How does this affect my consumption of fish? Not a bit, although given choices, I will buy salmon raised in Chile.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Mark Your Calendar...

Among other topics at last week's MDEQ/Dow CAP meeting, DEQ passed out the following information about the next technical information meetings. They set up these meetings to inform us, the stakeholder residents. Maybe we cannot attend every meeting, but I intend learning as much as I can about this issue and will be there whenever possible. Suggesting y'all do the same.

Upcoming Dioxin Information Events Sponsored by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the United States Environmental Protection Agency

MEETING #1 - Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D. will speak on "Health Effects of Dioxin."July 12, 2005 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library
Currently, Dr. Birnbaum is the U.S. EPA's Director of the Experimental Toxicology Division at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and is the 2004 - 2005 president of the Society of Toxicologists.
Dr. Birnbaum and the MDEQ and U.S. EPA corrective action staff will be available from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. for informal one-on-one discussion.

MEETING #2 - EPA SITE staff will speak on dioxin testing July 14, 2005 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Saginaw Township Fire Hall Classroom,
155 North Center Road, Saginaw

The U.S. EPA Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program staff will speak on "Testing of Monitoring and Measurement Technologies for Dioxin and Dioxin - like Compounds in Soil and Sediment."

This talk will discuss the results of work sponsored by the U.S. EPA to evaluate methodologies to complement high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) to determine the dioxin-like toxicity of soil and sediment samples. The SITE program looked at a number of methodologies that are more affordable and faster than the highly accurate, but costly and time consuming, HRMS. The high cost of dioxin analysis is an important issue in the characterization of dioxin levels in the Saginaw Bay watershed. Many of the samples that were used in this study are from Midland soils and from sediments and floodplain soils from the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers.

A more detailed technical presentation will be held the same day at the State of Michigan Library in Lansing from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Please call or e-mail AI Taylor at 517-335-4799, to if you have an interest in attending the Lansing seminar.

Technologies for Monitoring & Measurement of Dioxin and Dioxin-like Compounds in Soil and Sediment (WAko Pure Chemical Industries, Ltd., Dioxin ELISA Kit)
(PDF, 1,045 Kb, 109 pp) 508 Compliant Version
March 2005

Thanks to Bill Egerer for preparation of this article.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Happy Independence Day... and Weekend

God Bless America... Natalie created this angel with PSP7
  • where the extremist minority wants to erase Christianity from our schools and public places but encourage inclusion of other religions…
  • where an extremist minority can burn the American flag but complain that military prisoners from a mass-murdering cult should be coddled...
  • where a biased police force can falsely arrest citizens and get away with an equally false apology…
  • where the extremist minority encourages removal of homeowner rights…
  • and a Supreme Court with a liberal bias makes it legal for any corporation or person to take a residence away from a citizen because they can generate more taxes into the state coffers…
  • we still have freedom of speech…
Midland Daily News gave us equal time today… Many refusing dioxin cleanup

Friday, July 01, 2005

This Made ME Giggle Today...

..If you are on the highways during this busy holiday weekend, be careful. ...And Watch Out For This Guy!

More MDN Reader Commentary...

If you read the Midland Daily News article Act could help frustrated homeowners yesterday, you should go back today. There is more reader comment, including words of wisdom by Bill.

It is a known fact that smiling is not only good for the soul, but it also helps promote a healthy body!