From Our Readers
As a sportsman I am getting concerned about the continuing efforts of the US Congress to sell or transfer our Federal public lands. In the last two years there have been several bills that have been advanced and in some cases passed one house of the Congress. Our National Forests like the Nicolet-Chequamegon in northern Wisconsin and our Federal Wildlife Refuges such as the Horicon Marsh, Meadow Valley and the Upper Mississippi River Refuge are really important to hunters and anglers in the state and provide many other recreational opportunities like camping, hiking and bird watching. In addition many people from Wisconsin travel and use the Federal lands in the western part of our country to hunt, fish, camp and other outdoor activities. It would be a tremendous loss for us and future generations if these lands are sold off.
It is really important for all of us to contact our Federal Representative and US Senators and let them know that they should oppose these efforts to sell or transfer our Federal public lands. Unless they hear from us we may wake up someday and it will be too late.
Thomas D. Johnston, MD,
N22930 Michelle St., Niagara
Re: Pure Michigan: Fact or Farce
Pure Michigan, the slogan adopted by the Michigan Department of Tourism. Pure Michigan, what does it really mean? It should mean the pristine beauty of our state, valued by all people of Michigan, who are happy to share that beauty with others. However, I feel the slogan "Pure Michigan" is nothing but a sham. Does the State of Michigan really care about how pure our state is, or does it only care about money?
The catastrophe in Flint, points to government officials trying to save money, in turn, contaminating it's resident's with lead tainted water, while telling them their water was safe to drink, knowing it was not. Tens of thousands of people were poisoned with lead tainted water. This is Pure Michigan?
Recently, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, began considering approval of a sulfide mine which would be constructed on the banks of the Menominee River, west of Stephenson, Mich. People opposing this mine were told by MDEQ Joe Maki, that as long as Aquila, a Canadian based exploration company, filled out the mining permit correctly, that the DEQ by law, had to issue them a permit. I would like to see the State Statute addressing this in writing. The MDEQ is now reviewing a permit submitted by Aquila, to dump contaminated water into the Menominee River.
This mine is proposed to be built no less than 150 feet from the Menominee River. There has never been a mine of this type, a sulfide mine, that has not polluted the environment. NEVER! Ground water and surface water will be polluted. It's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of when. The pollution coming from these types of mines is everlasting. All one needs to do is Google "Acid mine drainage" or "sulfide mine pollution" to read about the devastating effects of acid mine drainage.
There are also Native American cultural sites within the mine footprint that would be destroyed. These sites belong to the Menominee Tribe who occupied this area thousands of years ago. Raised gardens, burial grounds and sacred mounds would be no more. Respect for sacred sites don't exist when it comes to mining.
Granted, there are people who in favor of this mine. These are people who have a monetary interest in the mine, or stockholders, people who are under the impression they will be hired into high paying mining jobs and those who don't care as long as it's "not in their back yard".
What of the people who will be affected by this mine. Not only will the people of Michigan be affected, but the people of Wisconsin also. How will this affect the farmers in the area? How will the blasting, the constant noise, the toxic dust affect their crops and their animals? What will happen to Shakey Lakes recreation area? Who wants to be in an area inflicted with constant noise from blasting, trucks, machinery, along with toxic dust in the air, traveling as far as the wind will take it. Wells potentially could go dry or be contaminated. Seeing the night sky again with it's beautiful stars, the Milky Way and the Northern Lights will be a thing of the past, because of light pollution. The biggest fear of all, the poisoning of our water and the Menominee River.
Will the State of Michigan stand by its slogan of Pure Michigan and protect our environment and the people who live here or are we to be considered collateral damage, just as the people of Flint, for the sake of saving a buck or making a buck?
Shirley Prudhomme's column on the Berlin Wall in the Wednesday, Aug. 10 Peshtigo Times brought back many memories that I would like to share and to also thank Shirley for all her varied subjects, information and great recipes, too.
My daughter, Michelle Mattison Holland, now of Watersmeet, Mich. is a four year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Berlin, Germany from May of 1989 until November of 1991. She specialized in translation and intelligence. She was there when the Berlin Wall came down on her 20th birthday on Nov. 9, 1989. She was able to witness and experience the celebrations in that city.
My sister, Jean Smoczynski with my husband, Melvin and I, traveled to Europe in the autumn of 1990 to visit relatives in Warsaw and Gdansk, Poland for a week. We then spent two weeks with Michelle at a guest house on the Templehoff Air Force Base where she was stationed.
We rented a Volkswagon station wagon and toured Germany, Switzerland, Leichtenstein, France and Holland to view many of the beautiful sights in Europe.
I remember vividly the crumbled wall through Berlin and the crosses and stones with names inscribed representing those who lost their lives trying to cross the river separating East and West Berlin to escape Communism and to reach freedom on the Western side.
Another sad memory that still brings tears to my eyes is of the guard houses along the wall where armed soldiers had patrolled only a few short years before, preventing people from going through the big gates to visit families and friends on the other side.
We drove easily and freely through the big open gates, enjoying our family time together. The guard houses were empty. Berlin is one of the most beautiful cities I have visited. It was rebuilt by America after being bombed and leveled by America and its Allies in World War II. I have been blessed to visit all 50 states and traveled twice to Europe. The 1990 trip was a "Trip of a Lifetime". It also included a week stay in London, England and high spots of the surrounding English countryside and also Wales. But the best was Michelle's return stateside in November of 1991, home to AMERICA!!! Thank you, Shirley for your great column. It is much appreciated.
Rosella I. Smiley,
"Labor of Love"
Love is serving God
In your own special way.
Doing deeds of kindness,
To brighten someone's day.
It tells them that God loves them,
And that you love them too.
Giving them strength and courage
To face the things they're going through.
It isn't always something large
That means the most to others,
It's a smile, a hug, a helping hand,
It's being an extra sister or brother.
So call a lonely person....
That for them may be too hard,
You'll find that love is something
That's more precious each day your live.
For you get back more blessings,
Than you could ever give.
By Joyce Bedora,
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