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The new Michigan fireworks law does untold damage to the environment, wildlife, pets and our personal right to quiet and safety in our own homes.
On July 7th and numerous times, between late June through September, I have been jolted out of bed by neighbors setting off extremely loud fireworks – the kind used in public displays.
I have had to rearrange my life to accommodate my neighbors “fun.” This includes getting my dog up to the house and into a closet at night before the fireworks start, which is always a guess. Then waking him up after midnight to pee because he was too scared to pee on the way to the house.
I have had to remain up till after midnight on evenings when I was not feeling well or just needed to sleep because I work long hours. I have heard others say that their children are scared awake in the middle of the night from neighbors fireworks.
Veterans with PTSD call the 4th of July “a day from hell.” Deer are reported to have miscarriages from fear after explosions and I can’t imagine the pain of birds or bats with sensitive hearing, not to mention the toxic heavy metal smoke from the fireworks that they are forced to breathe which can cause digestive disorders, cancer and asthma attacks.
The noise range is around 140 decibels - 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. My ears are still ringing. In Leelanau County, we have no noise ordinance, so it is now legal to shoot of fireworks of any noise level at any time. I hear, see and smell them going off on three sides of my property.
My question to you and your readers is, do I have any right to not experience toxic heavy metal smoke and noise violation in my own home and on my property? Should I have to move in order to be safe and get a good night’s rest?
The sheriff’s office can do nothing. Only tell me that it’s all legal and I have the right to set them off at 4 a.m. in front of the violator’s house out of revenge, should I so choose. That would simply escalate the violence as these neighbors obviously feel that it is their right to have fun more so than our right not to be noise-raped and lungpolluted in the middle of the night.
I am hoping that your readers can suggest a legal or political route to end this nightmare. Please know that this is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It affects many people in this area, no matter what their political affiliation. I look forward to the thoughtful response of you and your readers.
Rev. Julie Strong-Chai • TC
Too many losing homes (More feedback on Patrick Sullivan's foreclosure series: June 25 & July 2.)
On July 6 there was an eviction hearing to try to evict Evie Sawaquat from her property.
Evie is the widow of Lewis Sawaquat. When Lewis passed away in 2009, Bank of America refused to speak to her regarding her mortgage. She then tried to go through the Home Loan Modification Program with Tashia Winstanley and TLW. During this process, she was advised to not make her mortgage payments.
She did not take that advice and continued to make her payments to Bank of America. They placed her payments in an escrow account and never applied her payments to her mortgage. She had $20,000 in that escrow account, they refused to apply it to the loan.
During this time, her home had been foreclosed and went up for sheriff's sale.
Too many of our citizens are losing their homes to this process. Home Loan Modification Programs do not work and end up being foreclosure programs instead.
Banks receive $1,000 per month from the federal government for every Home Loan Modification they put their clients through for as long as their client is in the process of modifying their loan.
At the hearing, we (Joe Belton & myself) were shut right down by Fannie Mae's attorney, because we are not attorneys ourselves and the judge refused to hear anything we had to say.
We do have Power of Attorney to represent Evelyn Sawaquat regarding her house, but to no avail. This whole ordeal has been a nightmare for Evie and these stories need to get out, so others don't fall victim to the Home Loan Modification Programs or to Fannie Mae's strongarm tactics.
Audrey Ann Chambers • via email
‘The bird’ was a bummer
In your July 2 issue of Northern Express was a photo on page 54 with Mark Wahlberg giving the finger that I deem inappropriate. As I’m sure it was the highlight of the film, this was a bad decision to publish this picture. I moved to TC for civility, not to observe the media pushing the envelope. Let’s choose content wisely.
Jeff Campbell • TC
Poisoning Boardman Lake
I was riding my bike toward the library with my son when I was passing by the sailing school along the TART trail. I noticed a man spraying Round Up on weeds not 10 feet from the edge of the lake.
When I confronted the man about why he was spraying poisons near our beautiful lake, he told me to “Get out of here you hippy.” This man had a sailing school shirt on.
We got into a heated argument, and I left, furious that people can honestly have no care in the world what they are doing to our beautiful landscape.
It is no joke to say that the poison he was putting on those weeds will seep into the water where I see kids swimming all the time. The worst part is that the weeds could have been pulled with ease. When are we going to learn as a society to not taint our beautiful waters?
Clay Bowers • TC
Correction The photo of Nathan Schmall in a recent story was taken by Allen-Kent Photography.