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The Dirty Dozen
The League of Conservation Voters have named Governor Mitt Romney (R), Dan Benishek (R), Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, and Representative Ray Franz (R), Michigan’s 101st District as consistently voting against clean energy, conservation, and oppose environmental standards. Each of these politicians have been identified as among the “Dirty Dozen.”
Representative Franz lives and represents one of the most beautiful stretches of shoreline along Lake Michigan. He has voted consistently to weaken laws that protect beaches, sand dunes and forests. His district is in the heart of our tourism industry. His votes have opened up sensitive dunes to expanded development. In addition, Franz’s votes remove permitting requirements that prevent the spread of invasive species along the Great Lakes.
Representative Benishek has not only been included in the nation's “Dirty Dozen,” but has also been included with the “Flat Earth Five.” The “Flat Earth Five” have the distinction of still rejecting the scientific consensus of climate change. As record temperatures ruined cherry crops, and produced parched crops, it is imperative that our elected officials at lease acknowledge the problem if we are ever going to solve or slow it.
It is time that we send Ray Franz back to his grocery store in Onekama and Dan Benishek back to hospitals in the Upper Peninsula.
We have two very qualified challengers to better represent Michigan: Allen O’Shea in Michigan’s 101st District and Gary McDowell in the 1st Congressional District. Both men will better “voice” the needs of Michigan in Lansing and Washington D.C.
Ron Dykstra • Beulah
What constitutes probable cause? This is one of many questions that has been going around in my head since my house was raided last Wednesday!
Last Wednesday should have been a celebratory day in my life. My boyfriend had just bagged a trophy buck and it was the eve of my birthday. My festive spirit was quickly halted when I received a call from TNT informing me that they were at my house. When I returned home from work, I found many police cars and officers at my house. My boyfriend was being detained in a police car, and officers were going through my personal belongings. I found out later that the officers busted into my house, and had held my boyfriend and house guest at gun-point.
I was told that based on two tips from informers and my boyfriend’s history, they felt just cause in raiding my house, instead of knocking on the door and politely asking, which they said was the usual protocol!
One of the informers told police that my boyfriend, Zach, had an illegal marijuana grow room and was manufacturing marijuana. The second informer, which was a recorded citizen tip, stated that Zach was selling crack-laced joints. Both of which were lies!
Zach told the officers as soon as they entered that there was a grow room. The room belonged to me, and I had my medical marijuana card. They proceeded anyway. If there had been an investigation, why didn’t the officers know this bit of crucial information before they came into my house? They found no evidence of illegal substances! They also found no evidence of any type of sales. They found nothing out of the ordinary, except a few immature plants over my limit and a few pills with no prescription attached.
The medical marijuana laws are “milky.”
Although there is a limited number of plants allowed, what really constitutes as a plant? The few that were removed from my house were small immature plants that contain no THC.
The point to my letter is why did the police feel justified in raiding my house? They raided based on hearsay and prejudice of my boyfriend’s history. I will admit that he had been in trouble in the past, but did his time. The past year and a half, he has stayed out of trouble, worked hard, and lived a quiet happy life. Nothing in his past was drug-related.
Now we can only speculate on who these two informants were. I have heard that people who get charged with drug crimes can have their charges reduced if they rat out other people. So am I to believe that all this went down, because of two liars who were hoping to get out of their legal troubles?
The officers interviewed Zach, my two house guests and me. Each of our stories completely dispelled the lies that the informants relayed to the police! And reconfirmed exactly the scene and evidence (or lack) of what that the officers found in my house.
I have suffered public humiliation, personal violation, emotional distress, and not to mention a pretty shitty birthday, all because a of couple unreliable informants didn’t tell the truth.
What the officers did was legal. They are protected by governmental immunity, or some such term, a lawyer told Zach. That still does not make it right.
In conclusion, I’m a very positive person who spreads peace and love everywhere I go. A little naive? Perhaps! My faith is being tested, as my life has now taken an unexpected turn, all at the hands of rumors and prejudice. Rumors and prejudice! Pretty much what is wrong with the world these days!
How are we supposed to defend ourselves in a society where cops believe the words of known drug users, as opposed to hard-working citizens, who are trying to make the best life possible, while abiding by the government laws, no matter how “milky” they may be. Was justice really served?
Laura Havens Irvine • Leelanau
Prop 3 & biomass
It pains me as a friend of the environment to vote no on Michigan ballot Proposal 3 to establish a renewable energy standard. The inclusion of biomass power generation is the reason for my opposition to this measure.
The adverse health effects of biomass power generation are well documented. Leading medical associations and public health advocates oppose biomass incineration and are demanding an end to taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for these facilities. Biomass power production is heavily subsidized at the federal level. The American Lung Association urges that the legislation not promote the combustion of biomass.
Burning biomass could lead to significant increases in emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide and have severe impacts on the health of children, older adults, and people with lung diseases. Please vote no on Proposal 3 on behalf of your lungs and mine.
Keith Breuker • via email
Dirty little secret
Speakers extoll the virtues of solar and wind energy and TV ads show us idyllic pictures. Where are the speakers and ads advocating biomass? It’s included in Proposal 3 too!
When wind and solar haven’t developed the technology to reach 25 percent of renewable energy by 2025, the rush to biomass will begin and nothing will stop it because it will be in the Constitution.
Remember when Traverse City Light and Power proposed burning biomass? They planned four or five plants around the City to supply three percent more “renewable” energy! How many more will be needed by 2025?
The 25x25 goal can't be met without biomass, but so far that’s a dirty little secret. Work towards a cleaner environment, but it’s dangerous to enshrine Proposal 3 in the state's constitution.
Margaret B. Dodd
For Robyn Sadowski’s MyStyle last week, the name of her store is 27 Stitches, not 27 Threads.
Next Week: A focus on candidate letters and the ballot