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?