Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Midland Daily News has an update

on the saga of the pitiful few who insisted on calling their own homes worthless in hopes of getting money from the big chemical company... Dow appeal of class action status one year old. Here's the latest quote from Ms. Henry...

"We are now almost four years into this lawsuit, yet the argument is still over whether we should be a class action lawsuit or not," Kathy Henry said. "Saddam Hussein has had a speedier trial in Iraq than we have had here in Michigan. There's something very wrong with that. "

Why should she expect 2,000 residents would want to be included in her battle for a free buck anyway? She and the rest of her Lonetree gang should have just gone ahead with their lawsuit without trying to include the rest of us on the Tittabawassee River floodplain. Her lawsuit would have been over by now! Of course we all know the class action suit wasn't really her own idea... she & her little group are really just pawns of the local professional environmental extremists.

Do you suppose she's finally getting tired of this silly game?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I went to a meeting Wednesday...

and planned to tell you all about it on Thursday... but then I brought in the day's mail. You must read this thing. What sort of person writes an anonymous letter anyway?
This person is not only semi-literate but doesn't even know anything about me! He or she was apparently all bent out of shape about a letter I wrote to the editor of The Saginaw News in which I explained my reasons for needing a change in Michigan leadership. He or she mailed it out the day after election results were final but nevertheless was too spineless to even sign the letter! Just for giggles, click here if you want to read it and the referenced newspaper letters in .pdf format.

I spent too much time putting together a response and then decided it doesn't belong here. I don't need to give you details of the November 8 DEQ/Dow meeting because, between the two of them, a couple of local newspapers did a pretty good job of coverage. In case you don't read both of these papers, I've saved the articles for you.

The new guy at Saginaw News seems to be interested only in the whining and complaining of local econutz. Read it here: Study critics seek results

Dioxin testing progressing, published in the Midland Daily News, is a nice straight forward report about the meeting.

What did I see at this meeting?

...employees of a large company and employees of a large bureaucracy working together to work out details to the satisfaction of a few disgruntled environmental extremists, the general population along the Tittabawassee River floodplain who just want the whole dioxin situation to go away, and a couple of litigious residents who are afraid their dreams of a big payoff from the 'chemical giant' might never be fulfilled! I was also disappointed to see another whole layer of bureaucracy added to the already overabundance of government involvement in my backyard. This group calls themselves 'NRDA (Natural Resource Damage Assessment) Trustees' whatever that is...and is apparently a representative group of government employees including the very boring lawyer who gave the presentation for another DEQ member who was not able to attend, admitting he knew nothing about what he was presenting.

God bless our veterans on this, their day, and a great big Thank You to our fantastic military personnel who are defending and protecting our families and our country today! I don't normally do much with those forwarded things but want to share this email I received from a friend this morning. Today I especially pray for my dad, Tony Grammatico, who served in WWII and my Uncle Arthur Hintz who served in WWI. We will never forget you.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Midland residential properties will NOT be labeled

no matter what the results of dioxin testing. Read why in this article from Midland Daily News October 24... Dioxin testing in Midland begins; city participating. Testing will be done in such a fashion that individual homes can not be identified.

Well la-de-dah!!!! It certainly didn't bother the powers that be at MDEQ when they decided to label our backyards along the Tittabawassee River floodplain as 'facilities' of The Dow Chemical Company! Of course the difference lies in the fact that a few individuals along the floodplain joined up with the Lonetree Gang to go after 'the big money' from Dow Chemical.

I recently noticed another letter in The Saginaw News from Kathy Henry. She just loves having her home called a facility! She said so in her letter. Weird, huh? Why was she complaining this time? ...because the Tittabawassee Township board decided to send another letter to Ms. Granholm requesting she remove the label from our backyards.

Granholm didn't listen to us when we asked her to sign the first bill approved by the Michigan House and Senate to remove the label 'facility.' She met with Lonetree Council but wouldn't even listen to the real residents here at Tittabawassee River Voice.

As much as the Henrys complain about not being able to sell their home - supposedly because of 'dioxin contamination', they are the reason DEQ gave us the label! I guess they're running scared right now because they're afraid they might not hit the big money jackpot from Dow. I heard they wouldn't sell it even when they received an offer to buy!

Folks, help us out with this mess. Scientists at all levels - local, national and international, recognize the fact that historical dioxin in the soil is not significantly affecting anybody's health. Jenny Granholm wouldn't listen to real, long term residents to the facts. She only let environmental extremists pull her strings and she vetoed the bill.

Vote for Dick DeVos and get Granholm out of office before she ruins the entire state!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mark Your Calendars for the Next DEQ/Dow Meeting...

The following was sent to attendees of the last MDEQ/Dow Dioxin Community meeting...

Subject: Date Correction Notice
November 8 DEQ/Dow Tri-Cities Dioxin Community Meeting
From: Cheryl Howe
Date 10/10/2006 6:20 PM

Please be advised that an error was made in the press release, agenda, and transcript for the August 9, 2006, Midland/Saginaw/Bay City (Tri-Cities) Dioxin Community Meeting regarding the date for the next quarterly meeting.

The Department of Environmental Quality and The Dow Chemical Company will host the next Tri-Cities Dioxin Community Meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8, 2006, at the Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State Street, Saginaw (rather than on November 9, 2006, as was erroneously announced in the documents listed above). The DEQ, Dow, and Dow contractor staff will be available a half hour before and after the meeting for questions and discussion.

A press release and agenda will be available prior to the November 8 meeting.

Please share this notice with others who might be interested in attending this meeting or forward their e-mail addresses to me for inclusion on the distribution list. If you should have any questions, please contact me

Friday, September 22, 2006

I prefer asparagus...

...grown in my own backyard - you know - one of those backyards in the Tittabawassee River floodplain... you know the yards our own Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and a few misguided people denigrated with their accusations.

I'm sure you've heard about the E. coli epidemic in foods grown in California. This article from Detroit Free Press actually doesn't cover the more recent information I heard this morning. Cleaner spinach starts in the field The latest news tells us some bodies of water in farming areas are contaminated with E. coli. They tell us that these dangerous creatures (bacteria are creatures, aren't they? - microscopic but nonetheless creatures) actually permeate the foods they invade. In other words, you can't wash it off like you can wash lesser contaminants.

Hmmmm! E. coli = makes people very sick and kills people! Dioxin = insignificant difference between our local backyards and the rest of the country and it hasn't been known to kill anybody even in gigantic quantities (remember Yushchenko?)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Today's Giggle...

can be seen in the Midland Daily News - Disposal site eyed by Dow? I was just about to say something nice about some of the people in this article but changed my mind when I read it! I guess it just goes to prove 'old hippies never die - they just continue to make themselves look silly.'

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A September 9, 2006 Midland Daily News article reminded me...

..so I searched my computer for this photo which I took in springtime 1962. It shows my husband Frank and our four oldest daughters, ages 6, 5, and twins aged 4. It was pretty cold that day so the 2 year old and 2 month-old baby were in the house. This was our second springtime along River Road and our second flood. Not sure how this pic survived since most of our family photos were destroyed in the flood of 1986.
photo of a springtime flood from the Tittabawassee River in 1962 - our second backyard flood experience
This photo depicts why I speak up against the faulty logic passed on by environmental activist fear-mongers. They say '...what about the babies & pregnant mothers?' and all that scare tactic stuff! Well, we were the mothers. Our children were the babies!!! ...and we weren't the only ones. There were generations before us along the Tittabawassee River plain. There were plenty of mothers... plenty of babies! Most of us were and are healthy! Past generations along this river plain lived long lives back before it became almost common to live for 90 plus years!!! We are the test and the proof that fear-mongering is just that - fear-mongering!!!

...so here is that article that inspired today's tirade:
The rain beat down for 27 days - so says the Midland Daily News. If you're even a few years more than 20 years old I'm sure you remember that year! I'll remember it. We had over five and a half feet of water in our house... and it stayed and it stayed. Guess who cleaned it up! We did - some of our children and my husband Frank and me!

A while back I promised to share my comments on the August 15 University of Michigan meeting when Dr. Garabrant & his team discussed results of the two-year blood serum/soil study. I took a while, but here it is:

  • I saw the angry little pack who just do not want a solution. They only want revenge for a wrong that occurred before anybody knew it was a wrong. They want revenge even though actual scientific studies indicate there is no health problem. This is obvious in this article published in the Saginaw News Opinion page on August 20, written by a leader of that angry pack.
  • I saw a much larger group of people, including me, who were happy and excited to hear the good news. This group was hopeful that perhaps the 'problem', the labels on our properties and the eco-fearmongers lies would be put to rest. This was expressed simply and elegantly in this article by my friend Len on the same Saginaw News Opinion page.
  • I saw a group of brilliant scientists who had done a terrific job - whose work was now being denigrated by a few people who apparently want to 'make a name for themselves' based on pseudo-science and suppositions.
  • I saw employees of a large company (Dow Chemical) and regulatory employees of the state of Michigan (MDEQ) - trying to fix a problem the few fear-mongers created through their publicity and their need for recognition within their little 1970's anti-establishment greenpeace community.
  • I saw a situation that will not be resolved unless and until the company and the state ignore the squeaky wheels of professional environmentalist activists whose ears are closed to all but their own goals.

Now, just because I thought you might be interested, here are more articles I wanted to share with you:

  • These letters to the editor Saginaw News were published after the August 10 meeting at the Horizons in Saginaw. This pdf document includes: a letter from the scientific community, Dr. Varner and one from an individual who remembers the old days playing in, around and on the Tittabawassee River, with no side-effects in his older years as well as another letter from the local chronic 'aginner' (one who is against everything).
  • an article from Midland Daily News after that meeting, entitled Don't paint Tobico trails with a reputation. Gee, not that there should be a need to mention this but - did it occur to anybody that when one strays from a trail in our local parks along the Tittabawassee, we are greeted with giant signs, decreed as required warnings by our local econutz, scaring people away from those parks? ...and yet just a few feet from the Tobico paths.... no warnings? The 'powers that be' at Michigan Department of Environmental Quality have no qualms about giving our homes along the river plain a bad reputation!!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's been a busy past two weeks for the dioxin issue...

...and quite informative! Yesterday, local papers reported results of the University of Michigan study of a comparison of dioxins in the human blood with dioxins in their physical environment. Since all had the same info, I'm sharing here the one from Midland Daily News titled Dioxin in Midlanders' blood - even though it relates to the whole study. Here also is today's article in The Saginaw News, written by a new young intern reporter, Vince Bond Jr: What does it all mean?

Gotta tell you - I want to share what I saw at this meeting but this is undoubtedly one of my busiest Wednesdays in a long time! Attended business all morning and I'm trying to get this in before a mid-afternoon appointment. This evening - another commitment... so I guess you'll just have to wait until tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'd like to share the handouts from last night. You can find them all by going to the U/M Dioxin website.

...and just because I already saved this collection of local articles for those who do not read every page of every local newspaper, here is a variety of viewpoints for last week. In case you don't have time to read them all, you must read this one, published 8/6/2006 in the Midland Daily News - This article was actually written by enviro-extremist Terry Miller, with comment by Kathy Henry, to whom Yours Truly left a comment. In light of the general attitude of the majority of residents along the Tittabawassee and latest information from Dr. Garabrant's 2-year study, do they not appear quite foolish?: Forum: Looking for more than words; it's time for action

Published 8/11/2006 - Saginaw News article about the MDEQ/Dow quarterly informational meeting to the public last week at Horizons. - First soil sampling segment complete

...and these two, published 8/10/2006 in the Midland Daily News - Contaminated sediment won't be removed yet

The way the river moves: Dow is working to find out

Published 7/27/2006, this article covers Dow projects to clean up water around the world... even developing technology for third world countries without electricity. -
Dow re-energizes clean water efforts - Midland Daily News.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Midland Daily News - Dioxin meeting Wednesday ... and guess who made promises to be someplace else that day? Ah well, maybe I can stop in before it's over. I'm hoping we will be well represented without me there anyway.

I can predict this: The whole Lone Tree gang will be there enmasse and vocal! They seem to get all the attention they want by both Dow & MDEQ whenever any of them wants to speak - so I just won't have to listen to them, will I?

Please be there - 6:30 - 9:00 pm. I'll be there in time to take roll before the meeting is over.

Speaking of Lone Tree and attention - just read this article, published in Midland Daily News yesterday: Looking for more than words; it's time for action - a forum article written by none other than the long winded enviro-wacko Terry Miller.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Update... sort of.

Been doing loads of reading... just not taking time for the commentary, but what I heard on the news this morning... just gotta share! I haven't read it anywhere yet but the local NBC TV news people reported that Ms. Granholm, our current governor, attended a public function featuring... tah dah!!!... Michael Moore! Good heavens! Even more fodder for getting her out of office!

Here's my collection of current reading... comments graciously accepted:
Chemical & Engineering News: Latest News - EPA's Dioxin Review Is Criticized: "EPA's Dioxin Review Is Criticized
National Research Council report says agency may have overstated cancer risks
Bette Hileman"

Dioxin risk appears to depend on methodology
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
Updated 7/11/2006 9:51 PM ET

...this will not change:

Federal dioxin review flows downriver to Saginaw, Bay City


Dioxin Less Dangerous?By Erik StokstadScienceNOW Daily News11 July 2006
'Low doses of dioxin may not be as carcinogenic as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states in its draft risk assessment, according to a panel of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).'

Panel Says Dioxin May Pose Less of a Risk By BLOOMBERG NEWSPublished: July 12, 2006 http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/12/health/12brfs-005.html


Dioxin analysis results/exposure estimates -- Updated June 2006

Science academy joining dioxin debate
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dioxin bill passes in House; effect uncertain
Kathie Marchlewski, Midland Daily News

Major excavation of contaminated dirt clearing way for new Midland stadium
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Will a Dioxin Panel Bring Down EPA's "House of Carcinogens"?
By Gilbert Ross, M.D.

Call Off the Dioxin Dogs
By Michael Fumento

Midland Daily News - Dow re-energizes clean water efforts

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Midland Daily News - Dioxin, EPA and science: When will they meet?

Dioxin, EPA and science: When will they meet?:
Michael Gough, Midland Daily News

Michael Gough is a fellow at the George Marshall Institute. A former director of science and risk studies at the Cato Institute, he is an expert on environmental policy and risk assessment. He was a senior associate at the congressional Office of Technology Assessment and previously taught microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine and SUNY-Stony Brook. He is the author of Dioxin, Agent Orange (1986) and the coeditor of Silencing Science (1999), Readings in Risk (1990) and The Alchemy of Policy Making: Political Manipulation of Science (2003). His more than 40 publications on public policy have centered on cancer risk assessment and policy and on dioxin risks.

Reader comment provided by A North Carolina resident and disgruntled former Dow employee.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I won't say 'I told you so' but...

..have you seen our local newspapers today? We haven't read it enough to speak volumes about it yet but it appears that complaints by environmental extremists have been exaggerated more than just a little bit.

Academy review 'like the Supreme Court' (Saginaw News)

River remains toxic, but not quite as
(Saginaw News)

National Academy of Science review of dioxin due
(Midland Daily News)

Example of premature gobble-dee-gook: Tracey Easthope, who buddies up with MDEQ folks, some of the local environutz, and also has the ear of Ms. Granholm, had a comment already. She '... sees nothing ground-breaking.' Local econut, Terry Miller says, 'The review is yet another piece of science strengthening the call for cleanup of the riverbanks and riverbeds downstream from Midland.'

Strange they should feel that way since this results of this peer group review indicate TCDD is '... about 40 percent less toxic than believed during its 1998 analysis.'

Find out for yourself what the Academy says at national-academies.org. There you can read the news release, the full report or a brief version, or if you wish, you can listen to the briefing. Thank you Kathie Marchlewski, for pointing us in this direction with your Midland Daily News article.

...and later this evening I found this little gem: Asbestos and dioxin and enviros. Oh, my! It's just a little blog... go ahead and read it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

'Sound Science' Bill...

photo of Frank among the phragmites at Bay City State Park - February 2005
Read it here first: Midland Daily News says:Moolenaar's dioxin bill passed by committee. Even the DEQ likes this one so what will the enviro-extremists not like about it?

...and in case you haven't heard about the U.S. Supreme Court (in)decision on the Rapanos wetlands federal case, here it is: High court muddies wetlands rules

I'm sure you're all aware of the giant weeds along the Saginaw Bay shoreline. These monsters are called phragmites and they were in the news last week. Shoreline residents worry that phragmite problem poses fire hazard

Michigan seeks beach agreement: Compromise would involve property owners, environmentalists.

DEQ claims to be 'doing something about...' this problem but hey, folks! We put my little boat in the water last week and all I saw up and down the shoreline was those nasty, six to seven foot tall weeds! Just in case you wonder what they look like, I'm sharing (again) a photo I took in February 2005 at the Bay City State Park. Somebody saw this pic on my computer monitor and asked me where I found the old 'muddy road' in that picture. Imagine his shock and dismay when I told him it was the State Park and the 'road' was actually a trail for snowmobiles to get out on the bay ice!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Precautionary Principle dictates...

..if gigantic amounts of anything causes cancer in rats or mice, it will cause cancer in humans!

You Dirty Rats! (from TCSDaily.com Europe) May 30, 2006 By Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.
Aspartame -- those little blue packets with the trade name NutraSweet -- cause cancer! It was official! Not so fast. Earlier this month, the European equivalent of the FDA said, "Never mind"...
Read what Dr. Whelan had to say at...

Mega amounts of dioxin only caused a bad case of pimples to our friend Yuschenko, so what do you suppose the decision should be concerning teeny tiny super-microscopic amounts of dioxin in soil? Duh!

Friday, June 02, 2006

All you really need to know about dioxin in Midland and the Tittabawassee River floodplain...

..is right here in the Midland Daily News online!!! The Dioxin archive contains articles from December 9, 2004 - Dioxin research meeting tonight to February 24, 2006 - DEQ agrees with EPA dioxin plan concerns. No, it's not all the MDN articles but if you're a late-comer and want to know what all the fuss is about, this is a great opportunity to catch up on the facts.

From time to time the lonetree gang has criticized MDN - accusing them of reporting bias in favor of Dow Chemical. If you read these articles you will clearly see that is not the case.

On another matter, 'anonymous' left the following comment after reading the letter to editor of the Saginaw News:

'what does this hugh guy know? please. the people at the deq have degrees. they work with legit scientists from universities and the federal government. i wouldn't trust dow chemical to give me correct driving directions. and the line 'watch the pistons' is so ridiculous. i'm sure you and this guy think global warming needs more study, too.'

This comment is an example of the mentality of the average lonetree council member/supporter. Who lies, 'anonymous'? I'll tell you! I have been present when lies were told by Steve Chester (the MDEQ director), a physician from Saginaw who happens to be a lonetree council supporter, and assorted others from your 'experts'! When brought to their attention they refer to these lies as 'lapses of memory' or 'interpretation of meaning'. The dioxin archive clearly shows a relatively fair and balanced collection of articles. I'm not so sure you'll find this sort of honesty in any of the enviro-extremist papers or websites!

On the subject of global warming, I suggest you read State of Fear by Michael Chrichton. It's a novel based on fact... and unlike your enviro-extremist friends, Chrichton even provides references to where he attained the facts he uses in the novel.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Letter to Editor in yesterday's Saginaw News...

view of Freeland Road bridge across the Tittabawassee River from the lowest level fishing dock ...wasn't included in the online MLive edition so I scanned it for you. Titled 'Minimal Risk' - I couldn't have said it better myself!!! Thank you Mr. Fitch... sounds like you've met some of the Lonetree gang and their merry band of MDEQ 'experts'.

BTW - perhaps this is just another of Ms. Granholm's attempts to 'create jobs' - as I observed a couple of DPW workers slaving in the hot sun to clean off the 'dioxin-laden soil' from the dock at Freeland's Festival Park the other day. Seems more like 'make work' than it does 'job creation.'

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Property Owners and MDEQ...

..and wetlands, 'the law' and money!
DEQ director gets earful on wetlands
You've seen MDEQ in the sand dunes, on the beaches, our rivers... and in all of these cases, our personal, private property! Our taxes put paychecks in their pockets but Michigan Department of Environmental Quality continues to persecute the homeowners... this time in the Sault Ste. Marie area way way up north! You can bet your booties Mr. Chester sings all the way to the bank with our hard-earned dollars as he grins at the homeowner and says... “The law does not prohibit building in wetland areas.” adding his agency issues permits on 90 percent of the requests. “If we can avoid wetland loss, that is our mission. If it's not feasible, then we need to minimize the impact to protect as much as possible while meeting the needs of the land owner.”

Thursday, May 18, 2006

potpourri - lots of potpourri....

Wednesday, May 10 – Meeting at Horizons – MDEQ/Dow to inform public of current status.
Kathie Marchlewski reported it in Midland Daily News. I don’t really have time to tell you my personal impressions overall but can tell you this: The enviro-extremist groups are becoming increasingly agitated with ‘progress’ because they don’t really want progress. They want Dow to ‘fix’ something that ‘ain’t broke.’ They demanded a great deal of the public comment time at this May 10 meeting. About every third time one of them spoke yet again… I insisted on getting my 2 cents worth in…

The environutz do not care about facts. They are all wrapped up in ‘what-if’s’ and ‘could-be’s.’ They are more concerned about possibilities – not probabilities!

http://www.ourmidland.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16621734&BRD=2289&PAG=461&dept_id=472542&rfi=6 Soil tests to begin this summer; dioxin resolution planned for 2017 Kathie Marchlewski, Midland Daily News 05/11/2006

While Dow will be out conducting testing this spring, summer and fall, the sampling program is a preliminary one. Samples will be used for a bioavailability study Dow expects to complete in 2010. From 2009 to 2013, the company is proposing a human health risk assessment and from 2012 to 2014, another round of soil sampling. The work plans suggest that potential remedies would be explored and selected in 2015, with a two-year implementation ending in 2017.

Dow spokesman John Musser. "The things we learn could shorten the cycle -- or make it longer.
---------------------------------------------------------- http://www.mlive.com/news/bctimes/index.ssf?/base/news-7/1147274135295910.xml&coll=4 Dredging spoils site may not be water tight after all. Wednesday, May 10, 2006 By JEREMIAH STETTLER

State regulators alerted Saginaw County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in December that the 281-acre disposal site - once presumed to have a thick, impermeable clay bottom - is spotted with sand ''lenses,''

Saginaw County has proposed improvements to the disposal site that should make it water tight.

May 13, 2006

DEQ bases their assumptions and decisions on their ‘fact’ that Tittabawassee River properties contain 1,000 ppt of dioxin. Dow spokesman says all assumptions are exaggerated and averages equal more like half that amount…Above and beyond all that MDEQ assumes we who live here eat lots of bottom-eating fish, turkey skin and deer liver!!! Ugh!
May 12, 2006


Ann Arbor Technical Services, experts in this technology labeled as ‘geomorphology. Will study and determine deposition and erosion patterns along the Tittabawassee River.

Geomorphology is the interdisciplinary and systematic study of landforms and their landscapes as well as the earth surface processes that create and change them.
One definition can be found here at: http://www.geomorph.org/

May 14, 2006


In case you don’t fully realize the reason we protest about the ‘facility’ tag in our backyards… the ‘Save Our Shoreline’ group has the same problem. That problem is the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The MDEQ has invaded our residential properties and keeps proposing and getting legislation passed to give them more and more control over our homes!
May 13, 06

Dow spokesman, John Musser responded to the many demanding questions by Miller & Rhidick that Dow might clean up any hotspots they might find during the soil testing processes.

Just a note: I just read an email, written by the Henry’s (primary litigants in the wannabe class action suit against Dow Chemical) indicating that they are very unhappy about the situation… to the extent they propose voting against their environmentally too-friendly governor, Jennifer Granholm!!! No I wasn’t hacking their private email – don’t even know how! It’s available for anybody to read at http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/last30days/msg19089.html

May 16, 06

Many foodstuffs pose serious health hazard because of dioxin that burnt Yushchenko's face. I haven’t read this article yet but saved it here for reading later.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I've got lots to say...

...saved a flock of articles and will share what I saw (and did) at the last MDEQ/Dow townhall meeting. I just need a block of time... and that might happen Tuesday. Stop by tomorrow afternoon for a great big ol' update. ;-)

Monday, May 08, 2006

About that MDEQ/Dow meeting...

..I guess I didn't read the email very well. It didn't include the time. Here it is straight from DEQ's website.
'The Department of Environmental Quality and The Dow Chemical Company will be holding the next quarterly Midland/Saginaw/Bay City (Tri-Cities) Dioxin Community Meeting on Wednesday, May 10, 2006, at the Horizon’s Conference Center, 6200 State Street, Saginaw. The meeting is open to the public and will run from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Staff from the DEQ, Department of Community Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Dow, and their consultants, will be available one-half hour before and after the meeting for individual discussion with the public.'

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Aspartame Safety Confirmed—Again

By Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D. - Darn!!! and just when I've stocked up on that new no-calorie sugar product!

...why should this fact be related to parts per trillion of dioxin? Well duh! Where's the big epidemic of dioxin-related illness along the Tittabawassee River floodplain... or the Saginaw River... or even in the city of Midland?

Speaking of dioxin in our backyards... in case you're interested, here's a missive from MDEQ:
Announcement of May 10 DEQ/Dow Tri-Cities Dioxin Community Meeting
May 5, 2006

The Department of Environmental Quality and The Dow Chemical Company are hosting the next quarterly Midland/Saginaw/Bay City (Tri-Cities) Dioxin Community Meeting on Wednesday, May 10, 2006, at the Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State Street, Saginaw. This meeting is open to the public. The press release and agenda for the meeting are available at:



Supporting materials to be discussed at the meeting are available at the following locations:



This meeting has also been announced in the local newspapers. Please share this notice with others who might be interested in attending this meeting. If you should have any questions, please contact me.

Cheryl Howe
Environmental Engineering Specialist
Hazardous Waste Management Unit
Hazardous Waste Section
517-373-9881/517-373-4797 Fax

Waste and Hazardous Materials Division Michigan Department of Environmental Quality P.O. Box 30241, Lansing, MI 48909-7741

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What Do Beaches Have in Common with our Dioxin/Facility Problem?

This photo shows the 'beach' at Bay City State Park... February 2005. I'm guessing the big red pole was put there to show snowmobilers where they could find a trail out to the Saginaw Bay. All of that standing vegetation covers what I would guess should be the beach.

Summertime 2004 - I was just really becoming immersed in the dioxin controversy along the Tittabawassee River floodplain. Having tolerated floods in my backyard for the past 45 years, I never thought of our annual cleanup efforts as being hazardous to our health. Frank & I took a photo break with a visit to the Bay City waterfront and Bay City State Park. What we saw was desolate as you will see in my little online photo album titled 'Beach' - be sure to read the accompanying commentary... it tells a sad story.

Incidentally... on our way back to the truck I photographed this sign. I guess if I was a 'real' photographer I would have photographed the trash lying about the base of this sign... but my disgust would not allow that artistic endeavor. There at the base, as if to make a statement, was a beer bottle along with a wine cooler bottle, cigarette butts and what appeared to be a used condom! I guess it only accentuated the photos I actually took - of Mother Nature's trash - those undesirable weeds that get deposited along the shoreline where the MDEQ no longer allows us to clean up our beaches.

There was a meeting yesterday evening... in Bay City... the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was there to tell property owners along the shoreline what they can and cannot do on their own residential properties. MDEQ has already invaded our property along the river... testing a few isolated areas and then telling all of us that our property was contaminated and therefore named each and every property along the Tittabawassee River floodplain a 'facility.'

While our President encourages us to own our own homes... to own our own businesses, the Michigan bureaucracy is doing their utmost to take away individual property rights. In mid-2004 Steve Chester, director of MDEQ, told TRVoice and Midland Matters that we must change the legislation in order to remove the label 'facility' from our private property.

We did that!!! HB-4617/SB-390 (the Homeowner's Fairness Act) was passed by the House of Representatives. It was passed by the Senate. The bill went to Jenny Granholm's desk. She listened to the buzzing in her ears from a small group of enviro-wackos, including Stevey Chester. She went against the wishes of the majority of Michigan voters and vetoed HB-4617/SB-390! Right now there are three separate bills running through the House & the Senate... meant to protect homeowners from bureaucrats invading our residential properties. A few environutz oppose these bills as well.

What can we do? We can contact our Michigan lawmakers and tell them we support their efforts. We can contact Ms. Granholm and tell her we support legislation to protect homeowners from the MDEQ and their ilk.

Find your Senator

Find your Representative

Contact Jennifer Granholm, current governor of Michigan

What I saw at the MDEQ meeting in Bay City last night:

  • Hundreds of angry homeowners who are being told they need to get permission to mow their yards from bureaucrats who have never seen their property .
  • Hundreds of angry homeowners who do not want to tolerate the stink from decaying vegetation if they do not mow their yards.
  • Hundreds of angry homeowners who resent a bureaucratic agency of the Michigan state government telling them what they can and cannot do in their own residential property.
  • Hundreds of angry homeowners just like you and me!
  • I learned about a dedicated organization that truly cares about Michigan beaches... S.O.S. (Save Our Shoreline). You don't have to own private beachfront property to be a member... just join. Help these folks save our beautiful (and formerly beautiful) Michigan beaches!
  • I heard that MDEQ claims there are only two beaches in Michigan!!!! Then I heard the MDEQ definition of a beach. It fit none of these definitions I found on the internet.
  • Today I found this MDEQ list of Michigan beaches - which contradicts the statement by MDEQ individuals mentioned above.

If you are interested in listening to more MDEQ drivel, there is another 'town hall' dioxin meeting scheduled for next week, Thursday, May 10.

...and just an interesting data point: Ms. Granholm has just announced her plans for a third trip to Japan in order to create jobs in Michigan. This plan after the announcement that the Michigan jobless rate increased by two more points in March - up to 6.8%!!! How many more trips can she squeeze in while she's still traveling on taxpayer money?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Like Fishing? We have GREAT Weather for it in Freeland this Weekend!

This weekend is an angler's delight: and you can read all about it in The Midland Daily News! The sun's shining... the sales are on all over town... and there's all kinds of food and fun for the family!

I heard that you can find some pretty good hotdogs and cookies at Leaman's Green Applebarn! Stop by and try them. We had the peanut butter cookies and they're great! While you're out, do a bit of rummaging... bargains abound. You might even find a treasure or two.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dioxin legislation opposed...

According to this Midland Daily News article, the key litigants in the dioxin lawsuit are opposed to the new legislation proposed by state Senators Mike Goschka and Tony Stamas, and state Representative John Moolenaar. Of course they are! They want to spend the rest of their lives waiting for money to fall off the Dow Chemical money tree.

These are the same people, along with the ragtag lonetree gang, that Ms. Granholm, current governor of Michigan, listened to and insisted on gratifying by her veto of Senate Bill 390 - the homeowners' fairness bill. These are the same people who brought disrespect and the trashy label ('facility') to our home town with their unproven accusations about extremely minute amounts of dioxin that could possibly - not probably - be in our back yards.

These are the same people who put up skull & crossbones signs in their yards telling the world their property is worthless and then complained because they 'can't sell it'!!! These are the same people who want to drag all of us living along the Tittabawassee River floodplain into their petty, greedy little war against Dow.

This weekend, April 28 - 30, 2006, the friendly little town of Freeland will be hosting the Walleye Festival. If you're not a fisherman there will be loads of other activities - including a township-wide rummage sale. You can hardly drive down some of the streets for the traffic and crowds, so even if you don't want to join the fishing contest, join the crowd! Come on over to Freeland. Stop in at some of the rummage sales and other activities. Meet our real residents and find out why so many people actually want to live in our town!!!

photo of the walleye festival flags in downtown Freeland

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Redneck gets another petition going...

You'd think even the MDEQ bureaucrats would get tired of her ranting after a while, wouldn't you?

I just read an article in the Saginaw News - Groups seek dioxin tests downstream - and another in the Bay City Times - Concerned citizens fishing for help from Feds. It seems the Lone Tree Council has gathered up a few fishermen, residents and enviro-wackos from the Bay City area to petition the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) to conduct a 'health consultation' to evaluate health impacts of eating fish from the Saginaw River. Is this another attempt at 'reinventing the wheel' or is Michelle Hard-Redneck just trying to scare another group of residents?

Hmmm - let's get this straight now.

First Ms. Heard-Rhetoric wanted to get lifetime health surveillance for litigants living along Tittabawassee River floodplain. What happened? Michigan Supreme Court said no to their class action status.

Herd-Retorik also wants class action for litigants along Tittabawassee River floodplain to make Dow pay them an overblown amount of money for their property. This case is currently sitting in wait in the Michigan Court system.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sam Shaheen, a prominent local physician and developer, has bought at least six properties along the river for a total of more than $800,000, and says he actually bought more than that... this in a time when house sales are DOWN across the nation! See Doctor follows through on offer to buy Tittabawassee River land.

Hurd-Rednek would really really like to make Dow Chemical do all sorts of expensive remediation and clean up along the Tittabawassee River floodplain quickly - before results of various tests (U of M dioxin in soil vs. dioxin in humans in area and assorted wildlife tests by MSU) are reported. Actually, based on her continual comments about the company, she would like to chase Dow Chemical right out of Michigan. After all, her group, the Lonetree Council, was created primarily to 'get Dow' - back in the 1970's.

She seems to think she knows more about dioxins than the scientists in Midland who worked with dioxins most of their lives and developed the means by which dioxins can be measured in tiny quantitites. She seems to think she knows more than Dr. Neill Varner, medical director for the Saginaw County Health Department, who is also quoted in the Saginaw News article. Dr. Varner was learning everything he could about dioxins back in the 1960's when Ms. Riddick was still just a tadpole in her local nursing school pond.

According to the Saginaw News she said 'Contamination now threatens anglers and subsistence fishermen who rely on the river for food. This God-given source of protein (fish) should be accessible to everyone.'

Is that a stretch... or what? We know dioxins do not float around in water... they are deposited in soil and in fat. I guess that means pretty much only bottom-feeders will carry any levels of dioxins in them. That would be primarily catfish, bullheads and carp. Take my word for it...
  • Freshwater catfish aren't all that tasty (there's sort of a 'dirt' flavor in them). I've actually eaten them when friends caught them in the harbor.
  • Bullheads have to be skinned and I don't know any fishermen who bother doing that.
  • ...and carp? - Ever since I was a child nobody wanted to eat those. That was back when you could see human feces floating in the Saginaw River... and anyway, they are a really fatty fish! yuck!
For your convenience I've combined both of today's news articles and you can find them here in .PDF form.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Still hope for all of us who own a 'facility' along the Tittabawassee River floodplain?

Maybe... Today the Midland Daily News published an article: Lawmakers propose trio of bills to deal with dioxin issue. If you missed it, read all about it now. Sounds like there are three separate bills currently going through Michigan Congress, in various states of completion.

I sure hope Ms. Granholm signs this time. It just seems unAmerican for the State of Michigan to say my property is a 'facility' without confirming it is contaminated, don't you think?

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Local boy stirs dioxin brew...

Midland Daily News - News - 04/09/2006 published a biased opinion titled - Governor should hold fast in her decision to clean up dioxin. It was written by a local Freeland boy known by many of us (probably most) as the guy who is against 'it' if mainstream U.S.A. is for 'it'! Should we be surprised it took him three months to construct a biased response to the letter we wrote to Ms. Granholm and published in MDN 01/22/2006?

Which reminds me: Don't forget Thursday, April 13, 2006 - Ecological Risk Assessment and the Tittabawassee River, Why, How, and Who Cares? This is first in a series of presentations by a group of dedicated graduate students from Michigan State University about their wildlife studies along the Tittabawassee River floodplain. All presentations will be held at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland. See this PDF file for details.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

No WONDER MDEQ rules Michigan under the 'because we told you so' rule!!!

Their counterpart on the national level, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, operates in the same fashion! I just read this article by ACSH > Facts & Fears:"We Should Expect More from the EPA"

ACSH and another group jointly filed a petition calling on the EPA to eliminate "junk science" from the process by which it determines whether a substance is likely to cause cancer in humans. They petitioned that EPA eliminate guidelines wherein the EPA labels 'likely' human carcinogens based on results attained by feeding rodents enormous amounts of chemicals to induce cancer in the rodents.

When EPA finally responded to the groups they dodged the issue by '...claiming that their Risk Assessment Guidelines are not statements of scientific fact -- and thus not covered by the IQA -- but merely statements of EPA policy.'

Sounds a little like MDEQ's definition --- and then redefinition --- of 'facility', doesn't it?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Why the 'Fish Advisory'...

... because the bureaucrats are increasingly aware that living with dioxin in the environment does NOT make a significant difference in the bodies of human inhabitants! The fact is the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) has been conducting studies on individuals in Louisana for the past 6-7 years to discover if there is any significant difference in dioxins in the human body in people living in an industrial belt compared to others. They just published their results on March 15, 2006. They found NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE!!! Must be Louisianans get their food at supermarkets just like we do here in the mid-Michigan area along the Tittabawassee!

I'm sure the University of Michigan study will produce similar results. I'm sure Mr. Chester and his jolly band already have a pretty good idea of how that study will turn out. Read all about the Louisiana study here:
Meanwhile, along the Tittabawassee..... the floods came... the floods stayed long enough to worry us a bit... the floods are receding... by tomorrow it will just be a dirty muddy mess along the floodplain. Although it reportedly crested at levels compared to March 2004, it did not come up as high downstream in Freeland, thank heaven. It actually didn't have me worried until Thursday when it peaked here.

I dutifully phoned AKT Peerless, the environmental company hired by Dow Chemical to do the temporary cleanups. The young lady came out and took photos of the flooded area, although it came up even more after she left. I don't think they'll clean up all the yard trash and miscellaneous other trash that landed in my backyard.

The paperwork handed to me by AKT Peerless representative highlighted they would clean mud off any paved surfaces... and would clean up any carpets, etc. that might have been muddied by flood waters. Shucks! I didn't have the lower half acre paved yet! I guess my family and I will have to clean it up ourselves just like we always have in past years!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Chemistry in Michigan...

Note to Ms. Jennifer Granholm and all of your enviro-extremist friends: Here is a bit of trivia I learned today at a website called americanchemistry.com: Michigan:

"27,738 jobs are directly created by the chemical industry in Michigan.
Chemical industry average wages in Michigan are $71,857 - 28.2% higher than other manufacturing wages in Michigan."

P.S. The river is still rising. Regulate dams instead of science.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Apparently the MDEQ thinks we 'river rats' along the Tittabawassee River floodplain are a bunch of Neanderthals!

Today I stray from my usual method of commenting about the DEQ/dioxin news. Below is a copy of the Saginaw News article published yesterday. My comments - in color and bold - are interspersed with the article - for reasons that are obvious as you read it.

Eating fish from river not healthy, DEQ says
Friday, March 10, 2006
State health officials say living and dining along the Tittabawassee River may increase a person's dioxin exposure up to 3,900 percent, a brochure mailed to about 500 riverside resident suggests. Wow! Talk about scare tactics… the MDEQ is now using the same type of exaggeration as their buddies in the eviro-extremist organizations!!!
The Department of Environmental Quality brochure, sent to property owners eligible for landscaping and house cleaning because of dioxin, paints a startling picture of what contamination a riverside resident might consume by eating sport fish and wild game from the floodplain.

By eating walleye for dinner one night and deer the next one time a month, a riverside resident would increase dioxin exposure 320 percent over what the average adult experiences, even if the person abided by every state precaution for avoiding contact with the soil, the brochure says.

Change that diet to one meal of catfish and another of deer, deer liver or wild turkey and the exposure rises 1,000 percent higher than that of the average adult, the document says.

The worse-case scenario is a person who eats seven meals of sport fish from the Tittabawassee River a month -- a diet that also would include bottom-feeders such catfish and carp -- and ignores all recommendations for avoiding dioxin. That person would increase exposure to the contaminant 3,900 percent. Oh yeah… us'ns livin' along the Tipadawas floodplain are all livin’ off the land… killin’ and eatin’ off the land – all the deer meat and fish we can kill – the big delicacies bein’ them thar carps ‘n catfish!!! The deer meats we like the best is livers ‘n all them inner organs… and ya know what? The specialty on our dinner plates is a good ol’ mess a’ squirrel brains ‘n eggs! …and a’course thet tar wild turkey is a reg’lar feature on our Sunday supper tables!

State officials say they are trying to spread facts, not fear, about a persistent pollutant that Dow Chemical Co. historically released.

"This isn't a scare tactic," said Robert McCann, spokesman for the DEQ. "What this is doing is presenting some scientific data in a real-world scenario so people can understand it."

Dow officials call the advisory a distortion of the facts -- an objection they raised before state regulators approved the document.
"We don't agree with everything in that brochure, least of all that graph as being a true depiction of the risks of living on the floodplain," said Dow spokesman John C. Musser.
Nevertheless, the chemical giant's operating license requires the company to distribute the brochure to properties with elevated dioxin levels.

Dow officials contend that riverside residents face no "imminent health threat." They argue further that the state's assumptions in developing its advisory -- such as the amount of dioxin absorbed into the blood when a person swallows soil -- are extreme. Man, yer right there, Dow-guys!!! We-uns eats thet dirt a lots ‘n we be's jist fine anyhow! We washes our hands in the river water whilst we’re out there catchin’ supper! Thirsty and we run outa beer er moonshine? We jist dip our jugs er bottles into the river and drink up a slug a that good ol’ fresh runnin’ water!

State officials stand behind the data. Toxicologists such as Linda Dykema, manager of the Toxicology and Response Section of the state Department of Community Health, say the numbers are based on hard science. While the brochure does not speak to health effects, Dykema said it is reasonable to assume that people with higher exposure have a greater likelihood of developing health problems. Hey Ms. Community Health lady!!! Have ya ever looked at health statistics fer us’ns along the Tipadawas???? ‘ceptin fer a few strangers who done moved in, bringin’ their sicknesses with ‘em, we ain’t as sickly as most city folk!

Studies have linked dioxin to reproduction problems, birth defects, diabetes and some forms of cancer in laboratory animals. Studies also link drugs ordered by are docters to some'a this here stuff too! Ya know... feed a rat er a mouse enough a anythin' an' he's gonna get some kinda sick! Same thing prob'ly happen ta us'ns if ya feed us enough a it... 'ceptin the Russian guy done got lotsa dioxin an' a bad dose a pimples! Does thet mean folks ain't reactin' the same way as rats 'n mice?

"We're trying to drive home the point that people should adhere to the fish advisory," Dykema said. "We hope to reach those people who are taking their catch home for dinner."
The state has advised anglers not to eat carp or catfish out of the Tittabawassee River and to limit their consumption of smallmouth bass, white bass and several other species because of dioxin contamination.

The brochure also encourages residents to abide by the state's recommendations for reducing dioxin exposure at home -- such as removing shoes before coming indoors, vacuuming frequently and washing hands and clothes after working outside.
Copies of document are available online at www.michigan.gov/deqdioxin. I dun went ta the link here and had a hecka ‘a time tryin’ ta find thet document yer talkin’ ‘bout. Thet deq website makes ya read all kindsa stuff in order ta find what yer really lookin’ fer!

Saginaw News:

Well, taday the weather is jacket-y instead of many layers-y and I dun got a river in my backyard again. Guess I'll go fishin' & catch supper. Don't gotta go as far taday!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Addendum - Safe to eat MORE fish from Saginaw River...

State fishing advisory cloudy: Following excerpt from this article in today's Saginaw News - "Some of the latest data say it's OK to eat fish more often from some areas, such as small walleye in the Saginaw River. Other data add advisories, such as one for brown trout in Lake Michigan, said Kory J. Groetsch, a toxicologist with Community Health in Lansing who works on the guide when time allows. " Notice how things sound out of context? Enviro-extremists do it frequently! Just thought I'd share...

The Tittabawassee River will rise... the dioxin controversy will continue to flow...

...and I've been catching up on my reading. There really isn't much new going on along the river except:

  • Snow is melting; it's melting fast. Ditches are filling up and runoff is headed toward the river. Weather people are predicting rain - lots of rain. Coupled with the runoff this would be enough to make the river rise even before the dams let loose - or perhaps the 'powers over our northern dams' are releasing water even as we speak. They should have done it as soon as there was water flowing... but no, they wait until it will cause a really significant flood downstream toward... well, that would be us - residents along the Tittabawassee River floodplain. In my experience living here, I can honestly say the flooding is a much bigger problem than 'historical dioxin' is.
  • John Musser, the Dow employee who works with MDEQ employees, wrote a letter to the editor of Midland Daily News. He states that MDEQ & Dow have worked together and points out results to date... amounting to a great deal of time, manpower and dollars.
    It appears that Dow is interested in people and science, neither of which appears to be necessary components within the MDEQ bureaucracy, nor of concern to the enviro-extremists' queen of Michigan, Ms. Granholm. Dow is aware of the needs of the people living along the Tittabawassee River floodplain (owners of MDEQ-designated 'facilities') and owners of Midland properties, residential and otherwise, existing 'downwind' of Dow (labeled Priority 2(?), but NOT 'facilities' - yet.)
  • Chief litigants in their consuming desire for big money from the chemical 'giant' added their own comment to Mr. Musser's letter. Following is directly as they wrote it:
    'Mr. Musser should check out today's Saginaw News editorial. You may be able to fool some of the people in Midland, but the rest of us aren't buying it. KATHY HENRY
    gary henry'
  • The Saginaw News as an authority concerning science? ...and WHO does the lady think is being fooled? Here is the Saginaw News editorial they refer as the scientific dioxin authority; it is titled Dioxin cleanup plan falls short, published in SN March 7.
  • Oh! Here is the original OurView from Midland Daily News that prompted Mr. Musser to send a letter to the editor... the title: Our View: Compromise will be in order. Actually I also commented on this one... right at the site - online Midland Daily News. For that reason I'm sharing my copy of the article... highlights and all. Just for emphasis, I repeat my main point here:
    '(we residents)...believe that most of the 'historical dioxin' has been redistributed and spread into such small amounts that it's foolish to be concerned dioxin is a problem ...(we) believe there would have been a 'historical problem' of disease if that 'historical dioxin' was a problem.

    The only problem we long term residents see is an interfering group of enviro-extremists with an agenda and an overly zealous bunch of bureaucrats.'
  • I'm sharing my copy of this last article... from the Bay City Times, just because: Some not convinced it's a good place to spend a lot of time. This is about Tobico Marsh, where even MDEQ admits existence of lead and arsenic - alongside public trails - and yet they let it go by as a non-problem. It's all about, as the article says: '...harmful pollution from an old landfill that's been seeping into the wetlands... out to the Saginaw Bay.'

Friday, March 03, 2006

Did you miss the MDEQ/Dow Town Hall meeting on February 9?

So did I. Now's our chance to get caught up. We can watch the whole thing on MCTV-3. Here's the schedule:
  • Tuesday, March 7 - 11:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 8 - 12:00 Midnight (Thursday am)
  • Friday, March 10 - 10:00pm
  • Saturday, March 11 - 1:00pm
  • Saturday, March 11 - 12:00 Midnight (Sunday am)
  • Sunday, March 12 - 8:00am
  • Sunday, March 12 - 8:00pm

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Another Day... Another Roadblock to progress in the alleged dioxin problem along our Tittabawassee River floodplain.

I just left a response to another Our View on the editorial page of Midland Daily News. This article, published yesterday is titled Compromise will be in order. It's in reference to EPA's input about the inadequacy of Dow's workplan. Click it and read it... if you haven't already. Well, click it anyway so you can read my no-nonsense response!

You know, there's an old saying, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' For some reason this saying doesn't appear to mean anything to bureaucrats and enviro-extremists who go around looking for things to complain about. I guess it must provide them with a feeling of job security. Is this Ms. Granholm's idea of creating jobs? This non-problem creates a lot of busy work where an actual PROBLEM is NOT IDENTIFIED.

Yes, you heard that right!!! If there was no pocket of disease along the Tittabawassee River floodplain back when dioxin allegedly flowed into the river uncontrolled way before brilliant Dow Chemical scientists found a way to measure teeny tiny minute amounts of the stuff, and there is no pocket of disease today now that even bureaucratic scientists (is that an oxymoron?) can find the stuff, then where is the problem? Wow! Ol' Sister Mary Whoever sure would be on my case for THAT sentence, wouldn't she?

Anyway folks, this is how we long-term residents in Freeland feel about the whole alleged dioxin problem. Nobody has proved it is a problem because nobody has looked at actual PEOPLE who live here. If longevity of residents with a history of ancestry right here in Freeland is an indicator, there is no problem. That's right folks. It ain't broke!!! Get the government out of our backyards. They are causing anxiety and problems where none existed before their interference.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

DEQ agrees with EPA...

Well, yeah!!! Why not? Bureaucratic birds of a feather and all that...
Saginaw News version and here is the Midland Daily News version.

I STILL think the whole dioxin situation is overblown. It is a non-problem that was brought about when Dow Chemical scientists discovered a procedure by which they could measure dioxin in extremely tinier than microscopic amounts. (Correct me if this is wrong. I no longer have my 'live in source' to verify this kind of information.)

This is a political issue brought about in our area along the Tittabawassee River floodplain by enviro-extremists who convinced a few people - some gullible, some greedy, and some a little bit of both - to sue the Dow Chemical Company in order to get their environmentally extreme goals accomplished. Their goals appear to be 'zero tolerance' of any and all substances that they think should not appear in the environment 'naturally.' Not sure what they mean by 'natural' because for one example, dioxins occur naturally as results of fire such as forest fires and the wildfires in California.

The enviro-extremists and their litigious friends do not want to know if dioxin actually harms humans. They will be happy with tests where tiny animals are fed humungous amounts of dioxin and, if the critters develop diseases, they want to extrapolate that information to humans and the tiny amounts of dioxin that may or may not occur in a given backyard. Incidentally, if they find some animal not affected by this type of testing, they disregard it.

For example, they want to say humans will develop cancer from possible exposure to dioxin because mice develop cancer from gigantic amounts of dioxin. Conversely, bullfrogs are unaffected by dioxin, so there is no way they would allow a bullfrog experiment!!!

Oversimplified? - yes.
Wrong? - NO!!! Think about it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Been out and about AND reading...

...and really don't know where the time goes! Here's what I've been reading lately but just haven't had a chance to just sit and talk about it yet. Yes I have a few comments for each and all of these articles. I've heard this will be another snowy blowy weekend so perhaps I'll get time to come back and bring a bit of 'Shirley's Perspective' to these latest media releases.

Midland Daily News - News - 02/22/2006 - EPA raps dioxin plan

EPA criticizes Dow plan

Rapanos case will make history

Today’s Oral Arguments in U.S. Supreme Court Wetlands Cases Suggest Court Is “Concerned About Federal Encroachment”

EPA raps dioxin plan

So how are all these articles related? It's all about the rights of private individuals and our property. It's all about government control. It's all about the ruination of the American dream!

You know what? There IS hope. Get political! If you don't like what you see happening to our properties and our dreams, get it changed. Let's use our political freedom to vote - before 'they' try to take that away from us too.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

How did I ever miss this one?

I guess Mr. Chester is a bit perturbed by Dr. Reitz' article last week. He had to scurry to get his lawyerly viewpoint across about his 'scientific' empire!

Ya know, he just keeps referring to how well the Michigan Department of Community Health & MDEQ do their jobs. Really? If all that dioxin out in my backyard is so bad, why hasn't the MDCH identified it as a 'pocket of disease' caused by dioxin? After all... isn't that what they do? - keep track of disease in Michigan? After all... that dioxin has been here a long time... it is referred to as a historical problem, isn't it?

MDCH hasn't identified a big bad area of dioxin-caused disease because there is no big difference. This is NOT another Love Canal, Stevie, no matter how much you want it to be! ...and you don't want to give much credence to the U of M study because you're afraid the results will say there is no significant difference in levels of dioxin in people living along the Tittabawassee River compared to people in the control group.

Oh, I almost forgot... if you haven't seen Steve Chester's response to Dr. Reitz, find it here: DEQ goal: Protect public, environment: Midland Daily News - 02/19/2006.

Okay 'Priority 2's' - It's Your Turn...

Dow expected to enter round 2 of cleanup - Midland Daily News - 02/19/2006.

...but hey, to paraphrase the primary litigant in the 'wanna get rich by suing the chemical giant' bunch, The mighty Tipadawas done come up again already folks! Y'all come back now, hear?

Perhaps this is Ms. Jenny Granholm's idea of 'creating jobs.' As we try to put the big company out of business we will increase the lower paying jobs provided by all that environmental cleanup... again.............. and again................................. and yet again!

Oh yeah!.... and I might add - make lots of work for state employees. Duh! Where does the state get its money? Of course!!! ... from the taxpayers, who we might add are increasingly unemployed - only in Michigan - because hey, Jennifer is making LOTS of jobs - but pretty much mostly for state employees who are paid by - who? Oh, yes... the taxpayers, who....

Monday, February 13, 2006

Dr. Reitz addresses need for use of scienctific process at MDEQ...

Scientific, legislative oversight needed, please - Midland Daily News - 02/12/2006. Dr. Reitz has worked with other world-reknowned scientists. He knows the scientific process. Part of that process is oversight by another scientific group. If you haven't already, read what Dr. Reitz has to say. He KNOWS what he is talking about!

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is a political entity - NOT a scientific entity - with a lawyer, Steve Chester, running the whole shebang! It's possible that some people who work for MDEQ are scientists but they are not the ones who make decisions. Furthermore, their science is not looked at by scientists outside of their bureaucracy for relevance or authenticity. MDEQ, however, as a political entity, has taken it upon themselves to tell a scientific business entity how to do scientific studies. It's sort of like the artist who paints horses telling the veterinarian how to treat the horse for an ailment or injury!

Wondering where I've been? Following is an excerpt from my article for the March issue of the Blue Chip News, newsletter of the Saginaw Valley Computer Association.

March – springtime; sunshine, renewal. Is it just me, or is it true that winters are growing longer? For me this winter was one of realization that I have fears and weaknesses that just never surfaced until I found myself really alone in this great big old house. The doctor says my body decided it had enough, resulting in a weakened immune system.

A virus had been lurking in my body for years waiting for this moment and it struck – with a vengeance. The result is called herpes zoster, more commonly known as shingles. The virus snuck in, probably in my childhood, when I was exposed to Chicken Pox that never developed. Unlike Chicken Pox however, shingles is NOT contagious. You can only ‘catch’ it the way I did. However, now that it’s been here I’m vulnerable to more attacks. We are now medicating to fight that possibility… and yes, the muscles under the area of attack are still quite painful at times. I’m told this will lessen.

Enough about that. I was down - but not out! Every day is better than the day before - thanks primarily to modern SCIENCE. Some of the medicines I take today were not available for treating this disease twenty years ago. If the Luddites had their way, modern medical miracles would not be possible! You should SEE the string of possible side effects these meds have!!! Enviro-wackos don't want any possibility of side effects in our lives. Enviro-wackos want to 'protect' us!!! Oh! BTW - all of the wonderful modern medical miracles are created by brilliant scientists - just like Dr. Reitz and his cohorts. Furthermore, scientists in the pharmaceutical industry have oversight groups advising them.... and wouldn't you know? Those oversight groups are NOT lawyers and politicans!!! Golly, they are actually other scientific organizations!!! (Just a little back-up info for Dr. Reitz article from a simplistic viewpoint.)

My comments on other events surrounding our little dioxin issue here in the Tittabawassee River floodplain:

  • the lawsuit - I'm glad it's back in the higher courts. The more this thing is delayed the more I feel like the majority of folks living here are not shoved into a lawsuit we do not want to support. Maybe common sense will prevail after all.
  • MDEQ/Dow meetings - As long as these meetings conflict with my normal life, forget about seeing me there. The meetings appear to be planned for the same days as my SVCA meeting schedule. I now have a new vice-president who will fill in for me whenever I really feel a need to attend a dioxin meeting instead of our computer association.
  • Dow decision to sample Midland property - I'm glad my Midland neighbors have choices. They can have their soil sampled if they want but it would appear they are still not labeled automatically as 'facilities' like their downstream neighbors! I personally feel persecuted by the MDEQ for their automatic and unscientific labeling process.

Enough for now. I will try to show up here at least once a week... but gonna take care of Shirley first! I remain.... healthy and kicking in the Tittabawassee River floodplain (finally again).

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Beware: If you're lucky the following blog entry might be worth 2 cents...

This morning I switched my tv channel over from Martha Stewart to a news channel where yet another citizen was railing away at our president! It amazes me that there is so much HATE in our United States of America today... and so much of it based on misinformation and bias. That is not, however, my topic for the day. This is:

I tuned out that woman's tirade because of her rage, her hatred, and her overall non-grasp of the American English language. The words I heard from this indignant and angry woman's mouth were '...conversated with...' Prior to commenting on this topic I checked out the accuracy of her word conversate at dictionary.com. As suspected, there is no such word!

How often does this happen? Too often. What's my point? Years ago there was a tv show called 'Grace Under Fire.' It was about an ordinary woman, perhaps undereducated and definitely 'blue collar,' and despite her lot in life, pretty darned intelligent. I will always remember these words from Grace on that show... 'Why is it the news always interviews the village idiot!??!!!'

Here's my answer to Grace. Many news reporters have forgotten their job is to REPORT the news as it is. Instead they want to MAKE news by featuring the dramatic, the accusations, the mistruths, and the misguided.

In my neck of the woods, reporters have every opportunity to listen to and interview some of the most intelligent scientific minds in the world. What do they do instead? They interview the crackpots who seem to enjoy destroying 'big business' because they think 'big business' can afford to share the wealth with them.

Yes, we get our 2 cents worth in on occasion but we really have to push to be heard. Meanwhile, there is a meeting next month. I'm sure the press will be there. I'm sure some of our scientific superstars will be in the audience. Who do you think the reporters will seek out? I'll bet real money on this one... they want to know what the econutz have to say.

What's my point? Good gosh! There I went rambling again!

Oh yes - the point - Don't you just love it when somebody with less than a pea-sized brain goes about changing the language? I'll bet next time the dictionary is revised I'll find conversate in it!!! Scarey, huh?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

We're in the news again....

...but first, would you buy a used car from this guy? I sure wouldn't! This is Steve Chester, director of MDEQ. They tell me he's a lawyer by profession and he is the one standing by his mantra that our homes are facilities because the law says so!!! His mantra has nothing to do with science. Not only that, the law says so because the MDEQ got the legislators to put that law there in the first place. Chester and his diggers are in backyards all over Michigan telling citizens what they can and cannot do with their property.

We, the taxpaying residents of Michigan, are paying this guy to go into a few of our backyards and then judge us all guilty of owning toxic facilities. He won't even tell us what percentage of the total homes in the Tittabawassee River flood plain he has actually tested - or whose - but I know the Henrys had their property tested. Their testing pictures were in newspapers. I haven't seen any MDEQ workers in any yards near my home and he says my home is priority one - implying it's loaded with dioxin just because it's in the high water area for the big 2004 March flood!!!

Maybe you should just cancel spraying the dandelions in your yard this year because your neighbor in the next block sprayed his. You would be using the same kind of science Mister Chester uses.

I hope you have read the forum piece by Midland Matters and Tittabawassee River Voice in the Midland Daily News today. If not you can find it here at http://www.ourmidland.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=15977446&BRD=2289&PAG=461&dept_id=472539&rfi=6. The same sorry three sent MDN their same sorry opinions. Just for fun I'll respond to them here:

  • Mr. Linhard: You are partially correct. Common sense is a rare commodity in the leadership at MDEQ and apparently in the governor's mansion. MDN did pretty good in enforcing the 300 word rule - Bill, Len & I each used less than 300 words!!!
  • Ms. Henry: It is insulting to the majority of residents that you should want to include ALL 2000+ of us in your personal vendetta against Dow Chemical.You may choose greedy tort lawyers over legislation through our elected representatives but most of us prefer changing the wrong. I see you finally admit '..there isn't a study that gives absolute proof that people in the area have more illness because of the dioxin...' and the way your lawsuit is going I'd say it's you who are 'beating a dead horse.'
  • Mr. Stoll: Pay attention. We don't want individual tests. We just want to be treated like U.S. citizens. We want to be called 'innocent until proven guilty.' This could be done by removal of the label 'facility' from our residential properties.
  • Mr. Bergman: Your solution sounds good but here's what you don't know. Most of the residents along the Tittabawassee River floodplain can not afford the money up front for their own dioxin testing. We are mostly working stiffs with families, as well as farmers and retirees. FYI some of the litigants had their properties tested by the MDEQ in order to get the ball rolling on their litigious venture.

Monday, January 09, 2006

What a Week it WAS!

Our friend and cohort, Bill Egerer, founder of Midland Matters, had a chance to speak out for all of us Friday as featured speaker on Off the Record - Weekly Edition #2006-28. Just click on the little icon at beginning of the article to view this PBS presentation. If you don't have time to watch the whole clip, Bill's portion is probably a little past half way into the program. Just scoot the little slider over with your mouse.

Bill was cool and calm at the roundtable with three totally uninformed but biased people. As he presented the facts to this group, they failed to 'trip him up' with their tunnel-visioned questions based on environmental extremist propoganda. It would appear that Bill was the only one of the four prepared for this interview.

The Saginaw News Thursday, January 5 headlines Dow submits cleanup plan. State regulators and Dow Chemical will discuss the plan during a community meeting running from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, February 9, at Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State in Saginaw Township.

Here is a link directly to the .pdf file of the Dow Remedial Investigation Work Plan. It's a pretty big file so if you have dial-up you might want to download it at the library or somewhere else with high speed internet. Dow & MDEQ will discuss this at the next community meeting, planned for February 9. This article also informs us that the transcript of the November 9 meeting presented to us by Dow and MDEQ is now available online.

I'm sure you've heard about the fine by now... Here's the Midland Daily News article, published 01/06/2006: Dow fined for conducting unreported dioxin tests

Watch Jenny and Stevie play with Michigan under the enviro-extremist's direction!Bill, your deserve a break for surviving the den of liberalism called Public TV. This one's for you! (the picture, but I'm sure you'll enjoy the article as well)

You know, lots of residents notified Ms. Granholm that we wanted her to sign the Homeowner's Rights legislation, but she was only hearing her special friends, wasn't she? Don'tcha think she & her friend Stevie should quit playing with our state?

Just had to share this article by Dr. Gilbert Ross as he gives us another new look at skewed 'facts' and resulting fears. in this articleNever Mind: From Soda to Psychopharmaceuticals, Science Marches on with New Data. How often do our Luddite environmental extremist neighbors try to deter science in order to protect us from the bad guys? Dr. Ross gives us a couple more examples.