Findings of their 12-day tour have been released in a new DVD/video which will air on TC TV2 public television this month. The first showing was set for Sunday, Jan. 15 at 4:30 p.m., with broadcasts on Jan. 21 at 8 p.m., Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m.
The focus in Europe is on wind power and alternative fuels, said Steve Smiley, an energy analyst who organized the tour. In Germany, the group attended the largest wind power exposition in the world at Husum. In Denmark, they were guests of the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy. Sweden offered a look at alternative fuels courtesy of the Swedish Bioenergy Association.
Smiley said that TC Light & Power has launched a one-year study into what it would take to provide 100% of the regions heat and power needs with renewable energy. The study is backed by a grant from the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Northern Europe offers a model:
bus fleets powered by biogas made from local trash;
wind power providing 100% of a regions net annual electricity;
biomass plants three times the size of the old TC Bayside Coal Plant meeting 90% of the electricity and heating needs of a town of 70,000;
wood chip gasification for heat and power;
Smiley said the success of small towns in Europe inspired the Traverse City group to believe that renewable energy could work here.
A small community that cooperatively owns more wind power than in all the state of Michigan gave the local group confidence that it can be done, because it has been done, he said.
See for yourself in the broadcast of the DVD/video, written and filmed by Nicole Davenport and produced by Brauer Productions. TC Light & Power has copies for group presentations by calling Jim Cooper at 231-932-4560.
Fly like an eagle
Three bald eagles will be released on Sunday, Jan. 29 in Northern Michigan following rehabilitation from their injuries, according to Rebecca Lessard, director of Wings of Wonder, a raptor care center located near Empire. The public is invited to attend the eagle release.
Wings of Wonder admitted seven eagles in 2005, said Lessard, but four were badly injured and died. However, later this month two females and a male will be returned to the wild.
One of the eagles was found in July on the Old Mission Peninsula with wrist injuries which prevented her from flying. She had been abandoned by her parents and was starving to death.
Another eagle was found in Manistee County on August 25, ill from having eaten something contaminated. Therapy consisted of flushing her system with fluids, and she gradually recovered.
The third eagle, a male, was found in Evart, in Osceola County, on September 3, after having been hit by a car.
Weve never had this many eagles in a year, Lessard said.
Don Shikoski, president of the board of Wings of Wonder, attended an eagle release last year and said the event was quite moving. I saw people with tears in their eyes after last years experience, he said.
Details of the release have not been finalized, although Lessard said the location likely will be at Tippy Dam in Manistee County. Details and directions will be announced on the organizations website, www.wingsofwonder.org.
Rep. Dave Camp‘s ties
to the Abramoff scandal
Rep. Dave Camp is one of seven Michigan congressmen in the spotlight over the scandal involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has promised to sing like a canary over his dirty deals in the coming months in exchange for a reduced sentence.
In published reports it was noted that Camp received approximately $35,000 since 1999 from the Saginaw Chippewa tribe in Mt. Pleasant, which claims it was swindled out of $14 million by Abramoff and his business partner Michael Scanlon. Abramoff represented four American Indian tribes and reportedly was involved in secret double-dealings against his clients‘ interests.
Earlier this month, Camp said he would donate a 2001 contribution of $500 from Abramoff to charity, but did not plan to return any funds from the tribe. The Detroit Free Press reported that Camp had received $10,000 from the tribe when it was represented by Abramoff.
Mike Huckleberry, a Democratic candidate for Camp‘s 4th District congressional seat from Greenville, issued a statement calling for Camp to return the full wad.
We dont know where the Abramoff investigation will lead, but we do know that Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio is already implicated by Jack Abramoffs plea agreement, Huckleberry said. Rep. Ney is now in legal hot water and he received less money than Rep. Dave Camp did from Jack Abramoff and his clients. That amount includes $15,000 from native tribes outside the 4th District in Texas, California, Mississippi, not really Camps constituents. He should give that money back.