Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Today I had to bring in the trash can & recycling box - yes it was garbage day & who do you think takes it out? Yesterday my mom & I took one of my sisters out for her birthday dinner. Tomorrow, as usual, I am grandma so of course, this is where we have Thanksgiving dinner. Today my turkey is partially thawed... My house is partially cleaned...
..and today my boat was partially uncovered (thanks to the abnormally constant winds this year). #1 son-in-law had covered it but the twine was no match for Mother Nature's wrath! I planned to wait for the sons-in-law to cover it tomorrow but today the snow began... again. Don't want to cover a snow-filled boat so I covered it. The guys can fine tune it tomorrow.
I should be preparing for tomorrow's big dinner but first... You know how the environutz rely on rodent tests to 'prove' they are right whenever they want to get in the news? I quote Bruce Ames, Ph.D. and Lois Swirsky Gold, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley - "No human diet can be free of naturally occurring chemicals that are rodent carcinogens. Of the chemicals that people eat, 99.99% are natural."
Last year the American Council on Science and Health provided us with an analysis of our all-American Thanksgiving dinner! Here for your reading pleasure is... ACSH Holiday Dinner Menu. Thank you Dr. Neill! I really haven't had time to read all my favorite webs as often as I did in the past... and ACHS Health is one of my favorites!
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Until the science studies are complete, our region should consider economic development approaches to solve this issue. Science is great, but money is the bigger magnet to bring people together. Two alternatives to dredging are proposed in a quest to solve the dioxin issue. As additional benefits, these plans bring the Tri-Cities together in economic development harmony and put our region on the world map in a positive light.
We need to get our heads out of the sand and think creatively to replace dredging with draining and flooding.
IDEA #1 - DRAIN THE WATERSHED
If the area's rivers were drained and left free of water, we could have shore to shore testing and dirt scooping going on for years and overcome any unemployment in the region. THEN, we encapsulate the entire dry bed areas; must be over 500 miles of winding troughs, channels and wide bank ditches. This guarantees the nasty dioxin molecules are sealed forever (or at least until concrete resealing job is needed). The exact volume of concrete required is unknown, but local excavation companies would smile.
THEN, and this is the real exciting part, the whole river system area becomes a world class Olympic training ground for luge and bobsledding sports in the winter. Consider the economic windfall for the region!! The straight away along the downtown Saginaw area would be a wild ride if we left the Genesee and other bridge supports in place.
A champion could run the luge from Midland Tridge (where entrances fees are collected of course) all the way to the Saginaw Bay and even across over into Thumb area via the ice.
During the summers, it would be converted to the world's largest skateboard park system and be an intra-city transportation system for bikers and roller blade babes.
Plenty of riverbank areas for event viewing. It would make the fantastic Bay City fireworks event look like a opening prayer compared to this Vatican Council of economic transformation. I think the Governor could campaign on this one.
IDEA #2 - FLOODING
The solution to pollution is dilution. We should buy land in the surrounding high elevation areas so we could cash in when we flood the Saginaw Valley area creating a sixth Great Lake. People love lakes and want to protect them. Everyone is chasing manufacturing and research; but few states can draw a foot from their other lakes to create a great lake like we can. Again, the Governor could wear her bikini and the Lt. Governor a Speedo as part of their "wet and wild" re-election tour. Four Winns and others water sports manufacturers could get behind this one.
BOTTOM LINE ........ the Environmentalists harping for dredging are operating in the stone age. Plans to DREDGE pale to DRAINING or FLOODING. The Green Party needs to get with the times and start turning environmental messes into REAL Greenbacks.
Friday, November 11, 2005
..and I was there. They spoke to a crowded room... even had to bring in more chairs and folks stood around in the back. Great cookies! Thanks, Dow. Since both sides held true to the agenda, you can read the agenda and other information here.
The meeting was informative although, true to form, MDEQ took up more time than necessary to get their point across. They proudly showed us how they use modern technology in the form of Google Earth. Good job, guys! Now if you could just get your boss, King Steve, to use sound science in your analyses...!!! Where was Steve Chester, anyway? Is he afraid he might develop a case of chloracne from visiting along the Tittabawassee River floodplain? Oh, that's right... those of us who actually LIVE here don't have any adverse symptoms, do we?
Dow brought us up to speed on progress... with the near-completion of Festival Park and placing of new signs. The park looks great... a wonderful ramp for the handicapped and fishing docks... a winding path throughout the park. Even the cobblestone wall is pretty but my personal opinion says walls do not have a place in parks! All I know is that when a guy on our lake up north put up a fence, he rerouted the turkey and deer from their normal pathways.
Apparently they are getting rid of the ugly yellow signs I've complained about in the past... replacing them with more permanent ones. Don't you think the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality should wait until we find out if there is any relationship between dioxin in the soil and dioxin in people who actually live here before putting up signs? As I've said before, those signs seem to be placed with the intention of scaring people away from the parks!
The litigious environutz sure seem anxious to get lots of things done before the U of M study results are complete!!! Is there something they know... or suspect..... that they don't like? Anyway, the City of Midland has the right idea. Don't put up signs warning against something until we know there is something the public needs to be warned about! Read New warning signs at local launch, by Kathie Marchlewski, published in the Midland Daily News yesterday.
Speaking of litigious environutz, they sure seemed even angrier than usual Wednesday. Why... I can't figure. Apparently even they are getting tired of all the bureacratic hoopla about nothing. Now that they have their class action status...Oh! I get it... they want money... NOW! You don't suppose Mrs. Henry wants to take down that scarey sign she has right next to the road so she can actually dump that little house of hers, do you?
You know, most of us are conscientous about our environment. We care. We want to keep it clean. People like the Lone Tree gang give the word 'environmentalist' a bad name. I've begun to feel that my condemnation of those out-of-date 1970's fanatics spreads an impression that I am anti-environment. This is not true. For that reason I've done a great deal of reading lately. Imagine my delight upon learning about the 21st century environmentalism. Here, for your reading pleasure I recommend... in the order listed:
- The Toxicity of Environmentalism Written in 1990, it was just republished in October 2005.
- The New Environmentalism I quote from this website: 'A project of Reason Foundation that identifies and promotes innovative approaches to addressing serious environmental challenges and creating a society of self-motivated environmental stewards'
- Ten Principles of the New Environmentalism - just because I found this first and thought it made sense.
There are many things to read about the new (or I might say real environmentalism) but so as not to overwhelm you, I'll share more later! Meanwhile, here I am in the Tittabawassee River floodplain... happy and healthy... speaking out for the rest of my neighbors who just keep encouraging me to continue! By the way, here's my personal opinion about parks in general... they should be natural, not concrete, stone and tarvey top! I like Festival Park and the improvements but really! I hope DEQ doesn't force Dow to improve all of our parks because too much concrete can not possibly be good for the environment. If it scares away the wildlife it's not my idea of a park.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Don't forget the DEQ/Dow 'townhall' meeting in Saginaw at the Horizon's Conference Center this evening. It's from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. with a chance to talk with Dow and DEQ personnel a half hour before and a half hour after the meeting.
Michigan State University have reported back to participants in a study they recently completed. Quoting this report, 'The goal... was to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of using citizen issue forums to engage local citizens in an exploration of contamination cases such as the Tittabawassee dioxin issue.' MSU is currently completing the technical report which is expected to be issued by EPA early next year.
Although researchers originally knocked on 1,042 doors, 378 answered the survey. If they were not involved in groups already involved in the dioxin issue (like Tittabawassee River Voice or Lonetree), they were invited to be in the forum. 348 were invited to participate; 145 agreed to attend forums; and only 53 actually participated!
I mentioned this study last week and now I'm here to tell you it's really not all that bad! First of all, it would appear the small neighborhood forum type of meeting works pretty well. These people had some pretty good ideas! More later...
Monday, November 07, 2005
'The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday passed Bill 390, deemed the "Homeowner Fairness Act," with a bipartisan vote of 11-2.
If the bill makes it through the entire Senate, it would amend Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, which designates properties having hazardous substances as "facilities."'
'Even as attorneys prepare a mass mailing, Dow officials have vowed to challenge Borrello's decision before the Michigan Court of Appeals. Spokesman Scot Wheeler said attorneys will file an appeal sometime this month.'
Dow asks judge to stop class-action
Preparations needed against avian flu outbreak, Sunday, November 06, 2005, NEILL D. VARNER
I'll be back!