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?