Branded for life
I just want to thank the Northern Express for telling my sons story (re: Branded for Life, 3/23). Countless lives are forever destroyed by these laws. It has been a crazy few years and I had nearly given up hope of anyone caring.
Special thanks to Anne Stanton for telling the real story. Her article will help the cause, and people have already contacted me with their stories. She went above and beyond for us and we are forever grateful to finally have our concerns validated.
Train to nowhere?
Great article on the proposed mag-lev train (re: Random Thoughts, 3.23). How do these proposals gain traction when there is no science to support them?
At Old Dominion University a demonstration project for two miles has failed after four years of trying a mag-lev train. The same company failed in Florida in a project that was supported by state and federal taxpayers. Is there any evidence of a successful mag-lev project in the U.S.? No.
D. Aussicker via email
Stop this train wreck
We are at a crossroads. For the first time, the plan to haul toxic wastewater from Bay Harbor Resort and East Park to an underground well in Alba is off the table. We sincerely hope CMS Energy will stop this train wreck and spare themselves a great deal of grief and money.
The cleanup methods that CMS has so far installed do not solve the problem. They merely transfer them to a distant pristine location and pass responsibility for them along to future generations.
Before I get to a saner proposal, consider this question: How long does it take for the substance of a mountain to be washed to sea?
In this case the mountain represents the huge piles of cement kiln dust, 2.5 million cubic yards of hazardous waste, improperly buried and hidden underground at Bay Harbor and East Park. This toxic leachate is so potent it can kill or maim on contact.
The current cleanup plan intercepts the leachate before it enters Lake Michigan, neutralizes its highly caustic pH with sulfuric acid and trucks it off-site for disposal.
Our calculations show that it would take thousands of years to clean up the mountain. Thats one million gallons of toxic leachate per week, collected, neutralized, transported and pumped down the Alba well. Now factor in trace amounts of toxic heavy metals. These traces become tons when the variables of time and volume are factored in.
It is immoral to pass these toxic problems on to future generations and to risk polluting our rivers and Little Traverse Bay.
In contrast, our cleanup plan is simple. Entomb the cement kiln dust (CKD) in impervious cells at Bay Harbor. Isolate and contain... the CKD, just like the 2005 EPA Order says (and to which CMS agreed).
The process of entombment is widely used and not much different from building a standard hazardous waste landfill. A hole is excavated next to one end of a CKD pile. The hole is then lined with a material that is impervious to water and CKD, which will last forever. Next, excavate a portion of the adjacent CKD pile and place it into the lined hole or cell. Once the cell is full, cap it with the same material as the liner and proceed to line the new hole in the same manner as the first. Repeat until all CKD is contained.
This simple process halts the ebb and flow of water through the CKD piles. Once complete, there will be no need to truck leachate anywhere. The CKD would only need to be moved short distances and the work requires just simple excavating equipment.
The costs of our plan, when factored over time, are a mere fraction of what CMS currently proposes and there is almost no risk of contaminating other places.
Dr. John W. Richter President, Friends of the Jordan River Watershed
The acrimonious debate over the role of government in resolving the economic crisis is complicated by the idea that only personal responsibility can lead to stability.
Supported by extremists on the right and left of the political spectrum, no collaboration seems possible.
Conservative influences, using values which extol a pioneering spirit and the self-reliant character of our earliest people, have translated that ethic into a free market economy where personal responsibility and opposition to governmental interference in all human affairs is demanded.
Regulatory measures threaten to stifle initiative and enterprise and are anathema to this belief.
By contrast, less conservative principles maintain that governmental oversight efforts at fixing irresponsibility are clear. Where there are threats of national dissolution, governmental intervention is not only required but demanded. This position is implicit in the Constitution.
There is no doubt that, when the general welfare of the nation is under siege, the government must intervene. To abandon this position is to encourage anarchy.
People must expect a supportive government to inspire hope and a sense of security where, at present, a feeling of uncertainty exists.
Frank Tosiello TC
When statistics lie...
Recent articles in many papers headlined two Gallup polls thus:
No Mandate for Criminal Probes of Bush Administration
While Americans appear to support some kind of investigation into these matters, no more than 41% favor criminal probes.“
Increased Number Think Global Warming Is Exaggerated
A new poll from Gallup suggests that 41% of Americans think that the threat of Global Warming is exaggerated, the highest such number in a decade.
The first poll concerned investigation of the Bush administration: Would you favor an investigation with criminal charges or without or no investigation?
Findings: All respondents favor one investigation or the other by 62%; all Democrats, 80%; all Independents, 59%; all Republicans, 44%.
Incredible! The headlines should be either:
Large numbers of Americans, Democrats, Independents and many Republicans favor Probes of the Bush Administration.
Democratic Congress Finds 80% of All Democrats Favor Probes of Bush Administration.
Re the second headline: The decade spans the Bush administration and reflects success in muzzling the scientists who have, we now know, been gaining unanimity. The globe is really warming. They have also muzzled the media or made administration claims to out-weigh the scientific facts.
Such mislabeling is really outrageous. Newspapers need aggressive, illuminated truth to succeed and stay in business--and it is essential for our democracy. Looks like they also need readers. Which is the chicken, and which is the egg?
The public needs much more sunshine, less obfuscation.
Robert E. Marshall