From our readersIssue Date: August 23, 2017
In several recent articles in the Peshtigo Times, there were stories regarding the possible sale of the American Legion Building in Coleman because the building has become a "financial and maintenance burden", but not everyone agrees.
While it is true membership is down due to the loss of aging members, the financial accounts (over $40,000 in the bank) are strong enough to maintain the building and grounds for years to come.
Cost to operate the building was $2478 for 2015, which included electric, water and sewer and insurance for years. The Post took in over $22,000 in donations for 2015 which gave plenty to cover expenses.
The building need not be a "burden" to anyone. Services can be hired to help with maintaining the building and grounds so older, valued members can concentrate on their fellowship and brotherhood. After all, it was these members who raised funds for many years to keep the Post alive.
Legion Commander Ken Stodola sent a letter to Legion and Auxiliary members on June 26 thanking them for their loyalty with membership in military organizations over the years. He wrote that the membership numbers continue to dwindle, they are forced to make serious decisions about the future and more specifically, the future of the Legion Hall.
"Currently the hall is used for monthly meetings and for one or two dinner events per year. Although the hall is now air conditioned, we rarely get a request for a community party rental, mostly due to the inconvenience of the two story building, (kitchen and hall upstairs, bar and bathrooms downstairs) with no handicap access. The stairs are a major problem for older people, handicapped people and even for the few members that maintain the hall, he stated.
"In the year 2000, there were 225 members and many were very active. They are now down to 109 members, very few active, and that number is shrinking quickly as many are up in years and physically unable to help. New members are needed to replace the ones that we are losing and, for whatever reason, younger veterans seem to have no interest in stepping up to join or help out. The handful of active members that we have are all getting older and can't keep up with all the work anymore.
"This being said, we are seriously considering the possibility of selling the Legion Hall. Our monthly meetings consist of about 10-12 Legion members and about 3-5 Auxiliary members on our best nights. We could easily meet somewhere else so we don't see the need to keep the hall for that. Our annual Memorial Day dinner and Christmas Party could also be held somewhere else and would be a lot less work for the few people who do it all. Yard, hall and kitchen maintenance have become more than overwhelming. Our few active members struggle to keep the post alive, but we feel the hall is an unnecessary maintenance and financial burden. Although community members and organizations have been more than generous with donations and great support of our fundraisers, we feel the hall is just too much work and too much expense for the little that we use it.
"We will discuss this matter further at our Tuesday, Aug. 1 meeting at 7 p.m. at the hall. If your are unable to attend but have some thoughts you would like to be considered in our discussion, please send them in writing to me and I will be happy to share them at our meeting. Your letter can be sent to: Ken Stodola, 128 Meadowwood Dr., Coleman, WI 54112.
"Again, thank you for your loyalty. We are doing our best to continue to serve our country and our community. We appreciate your help"
Should we forget or dismiss the efforts so easily? Do we trample on the ideals our forebearers held dear and take away an important part of our community heritage?
All American Legion members of Post 280 in Coleman are urged to vote on this issue on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 10 a.m. at the Legion Building. A Legion Task Force Committee was appointed to come up with options, but it is unknown what options will be presented as many members have not been contacted by the "Task Force".
Don't let the few speak for the many. Whatever you believe should happen to this building, come out and vote.
Concerned members of American Legion Post 280
Mel Brault and Troy Blum.
Slavery hasn't existed in this country for 154 years, and the end of slavery came at a heavy price. A total of 400,000 young white men of the union army died to eradicate slavery, and their lives mattered.
No one living has suffered because of slavery, but if you need someone to put blame upon, it would be the democrats.
They were the party of slavery, the KKK, and they were the people who kept blacks out of schools.
Up until he died within the last 10 years, Robert Byrd, the esteemed Democratic senator from West Virginia, was once a grand dragon of the KKK.
It is the paid left wing rabble rousers who attack, burn and destroy. They are the party of tolerance?
Truth is alien to the anarchists, their sponsors, and the historically ignorant followers.
For those whose ideals are so high, do something to help those 40,000 kids in the Congo who are forced to dig through rock to find cobalt ore to be used for making batteries for electric cars. Many IPhones are made by slave labor. Will the social injustice people give them up?
l would like to commend BAMC for their response to the chlorine emergency at the Civic Center. It was reassuring to see that they are keeping current on disaster training especially chemical spills. If the MDEQ approves the permits for a sulfide mine and a cyanide processing plant on the Menominee River, they will surely need that training sometime in the future. But there is another area of training I hope they are current on as well...and that is a hydro-dam failure up river. I trained on just such a scenario years ago. If a dam failed up stream the wall of water would more than likely take out every other dam all the way down to the bay. When that wall of water reached Marinette/Menominee it would be about thirty feet high. I wrote to the Army Corps of Engineers to ask what threat a mine blasting into bedrock just a few miles down stream from a ninety year old mine built on that same bedrock would pose? The Corps did not answer me, but you may want to ask them yourself. Email Irepao@usace.army.mil. Or call 313-226-6413.
Also, Aquila's Communications Director failed to communicate that they were given yet another extension in order to get their wetlands permit correct. This is not the first time during the life of this permitting process, and you would think that it would send up some red flags at the MDEQ. You may want to pose that question to Kristi Wilson, Water Resource Division at the MDEQ who stated in the EagleHerald that she would allow Aquila to keep resubmitting that permit until they get it right. You can contact her at DEQ UP District Office, 1504 West Washington Street, Marquette, MI 49855. 906-236-0380 and/or WilsonK17@michigan.gov.
There has also been a lot of talk about the number of people pro and con, and their motives. Let's look at who is for and who is against. I have been to almost every public meeting and have read every letter. Those who are opposed to this mine are local residents, taxpayers and property owners. Many of whom have put their life savings into purchasing a little piece of heaven that they hoped they could enjoy in peace. Others opposed are the tourists, visitors, and sportsmen who come to this area for its serenity and beauty. The Menominee Indian Nation is also opposed because of the fear of the loss of many ancient sacred tribal sites in the area. Those who have spoke for the mine are employees of Aquila, a few local residents with special interests and groups and businesses from outside the area. And what is their motive...money!
In closing, those of you who have not gotten involved because "It's not in my backyard'...better look over your fence! Mining interests have the mineral rights to thousands of acres in Menominee and Marinette counties and a million acres throughout the U.P. Chances are much of that ore may be brought to the processing plant on the Menominee River.
Are we descending into tribalism?
The progress towards inclusiveness along racial and religious lines that seemed to be slowly happening is being tested. We are becoming more selective in our treatment and accommodation of various non- Caucasian and non-Christian groups not based on good data but largely on fear. We seem to be trending toward racial, religious, and political purity. Along with this is the loss of the political system's ability to function as a real representation and governing body of the whole. We appear to be governing along a solely partisan agenda. This has left a lot of the people feeling disgusted with our political system and feeling irrelevant in any decisions. For example, the recent health care bills included no democratic amendments or input unlike the Affordable Care Act with around 200 Republican amendments included. More people voted for the democratic presidential candidate than the President, but no attempt was made to find a middle ground. That would have taken "regular order" and courage on the part of the Republican congressional people.
Countries around the world when descending into tribalism become dysfunctional and unstable over time. Are we heading in that direction with our Republican/Democratic divisions, white/minority divisions, paranoia and fear of differences in people who don't look like, dress like, worship like, or talk like what we define as normal. This is tribalism. This President in his verbal behavior, lack of historical perspective, and expansive narcissism seems to be trying to move us on that destructive path.
On Wednesday, Aug. 16, I attended the re-dedication of the Menekaunee Harbor. It was a beautiful day, full of many impassioned speeches praising how well various agencies worked together for years to restore the Menominee River and the Menekaunee Harbor. It was noted this project took decades to complete, along with millions of dollars spent on the restoration.
After all the accolades were over, I remembered how Aquila Resources, a Canadian mining company, has plans to put an open-pit sulfide mine along the Menominee River in Stephenson, Mich. The proposed mine would be located 150 feet from the river.
The following questions then popped into my mind: Why would anyone think putting an open-pit sulfide mine on the river would be a good idea after the Menominee River had just been cleaned up, taking decades to do so? What about Aquila's plans to use cyanide in their mining process? What about the ancient burial grounds of the Menominee Nation? Would they still remain intact? Would this be the last time Cabela's would sponsor a fishing tournament here?
I asked a female member of the Lower Menominee River Citizen's Advisory Committee those very same questions. Her replay? "We're remaining neutral about the Back Forty Mine." To say I was appalled by her answer is an understatement! How can this organization remain neutral about the ramifications that this mine will have on this area's water quality and the surrounding land?
I live about fifty miles south of Flint, Mich. where the citizens are still using bottled water three years after lead was discovered in their water system. After the Aquila mine is operational, do the residents of this area want to reply on water from plastic bottles for their drinking and daily usage?
I learned that Menekaunee means "village." All of us in this "village" community should be concerned about the future of our water and land. Do we really want Aquila Resources to come in and operate an open-pit sulfide mine 150 feet from the Menominee River?
Perhaps all of us should take pictures of this beautiful area and the fish caught by area fishermen now, in case this mine really comes to pass.
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