From our readersIssue Date: December 6, 2018
Michigan State Senator Tom Casperson is clearly on a mission to destroy Michigan's pristine Upper Peninsula, one bill at a time. His most recent batch of bills have been rushed through the legislation before we, his constituents are able to review them and before governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer takes office in January.
And Michigan's waterways, wilderness and wildlife are in the crossfire.
Several of these bills are connected to issues concerning the proposed Back Forty Mine. During his time in office, Casperson has continually introduced bills weakening mining regulations and undermining ways to stop mines. Last week he introduced a bill (SB1210) that would remove zoning authority from local units of government. Obviously, this was in response to the zoning regulations relating to mining in Lake Township (and the location of the proposed Back Forty Mine). He just sponsored a bill (SB1211) that would remove protection from nearly a half-million acres of wetlands. This fall, he initiated a bill that would loosen regulations on road damage caused by logging trucks. This plainly opens the doors for his family's company, Casperson & Son Trucking, a logging transportation business, to work hand in hand with the Back Forty Mine.
Every sulfide mine has contaminated the waterways on which they operate, either during their operation or after their closure. They use deadly cyanide for processing. They produce, and in turn, store highly toxic waste. when an accident occurs, the river, aquifers, wetlands, and connecting waterways will be polluted, an entire ecosystem destroyed. The devastation to both the environment and the human population will be catastrophic.
Casperson's other bills also raise environmental concerns. One bill would increase the amount of allowed deadly radioactive waste brought in from other states for dumping in Michigan landfills. He also sponsored bills to create an Industry Advisory Panel (which would include representatives from solid waste management and the oil and gas industry) to supersede the MDEQ. In November, he introduced the bill (SB1197) which would turn the proposed Enbridge replacement pipeline and tunnel over to the Mackinac Bridge Authority, and in turn remove liability from Enbridge, the Canadian oil transport company, should a spill and suit occur, this will now fall on the tax payers.
Casperson has spoken openly that his Christian faith has sustained him throughout his stage four lung cancer battle as well as during his wife's two-time struggle with cancer. Doesn't Casperson realize that this beautiful world that God has created is in environmental jeopardy, and that his barrage of malignant bills and laws only escalate this kid of crisis? The earth's clean water is disappearing at an alarming rate, but Casperson still risks turning our waterways into wastelands. He should read Revelations chapter 8 vs 11 and Revelations chapter 11 vs 18 to learn the dire consequences of his actions.
Casperson seems to forget that it is still "We the People" that constitute of the state he represents, not "We the Big Corporations" or "We the Mining Companies". He has turned his back on us.
One has to wonder what legacy Senator Casperson wishes to leave for his children, his grandchildren, the people of the district he represents, and the people of Michigan. His dangerous bills play Russian roulette with Michigan's fragile environment and its people. Does he want to be remembered as the Poisoner of Pure Michigan?
Letter to Editor:
Is crime used as a political fraud?
Fraud is defined as deceit, trickery " the act of deceiving or misrepresenting. Donald Trump and the Republican Party claim crime was out of control during the Obama administration. President Trump claims that electing Democrats will increase the amount of crime. Those are just words. What does the experts and the evidence show?
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the crime rate peaked in 1993. It started sharply dropping in 1994. By 2001, it was at about 1/2 of the 1993 rate. There was a drop in all areas. By 2016, the crime rate had dropped again to about 1/2 the 2001 levels. Since these drops occurred during both Republican and Democratic administrations. Clearly, President Trump and the Republicans are making fraudulent statements since this information is readily available. I wonder if scaring the public is all they think they have to offer in this area.
Why are the crime rates falling in places like New York City? City of New York with a Democratic mayor has one of the lowest crime rates in the county (the lowest for big cities). The answers they found were not more guns, but investment in a focused use of police, community involvement, significant support for individual safety nets, and a holistic approach to families struggling with poverty and other factors.
As is typical with government building projects the Marinette Recreation Center is running well behind schedule for completion. I'm fully expecting it to be over budget too. The problems with the exterior will be blamed even though the lack of a project manager and lack of penalties for being tardy are the principal reasons why. If I was the first exterior siding contractor I'd blame the design and the lack of a professional project manager.
I read in your paper that now the "committee" is looking at membership charges and usage rates. Really? This was not done as part of the decision making process to build the new facility? Shouldn't a facility built with the tax payers money be free or close to it to use? To name a few examples of things that tax payers fund and are free to use how about the roads, parks and light from street lights, etc.. I could understand a small membership fee for users, maybe one rate for local users (tax payers) and one for out of state or out of area users. If membership fees are more than minimal they may limit who can afford to use the new facility. Remember Marinette County also borrowed money to the city to help indirectly fund the facility for less in addition to all the private donations made to build the facility.
High event user fees will insure that few if any out of area events will come to this new facility in an area not known for hosting or supporting these types of events in the past. Why would anyone take a chance on a new facility in Marinette?
The Crivitz area is lucky to have our own facility where the family membership fee is $40 a month so I doubt many people from my area will be members of the Marinette Recreation Center. Other county areas that are a long drive may not provide many users either. Good luck to the "committee".
Town of Lake
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