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- December 7th, 2009
Rooster Ruckus
I would like to thank Noah Fowle and the Express for the article on
our pet bird, Beaker. A clarification on a couple things, however
-- Jim Tamlyn stated Beaker is outside crowing and the neighbors are
complaining, not noting it is only a small number of neighbors
According to Emmet County’s own investigators, who have been on
site several times -- they never heard the rooster. Beaker lives
indoors, has his own kennel (cleaned daily) in our basement. In
limited increments, Beaker does go outside after 12 noon, and is
brought inside if he crows excessively, just as one would do with a
barking dog (like the ones owned by our complaining neighbors).
The same zoning ordinance also prohibits planting flowers,
vegetables or trees on less than two acres. Yet, while Emmet County
chooses not to enforce this obviously ridiculous part of the
ordinance, it is heavy-handedly executing orders in another part of
the same ordinance.
This is a case of discrimination and unfair application of the law.
We have tried to place Beaker on three separate farms and each time
were requested to come and get him as the people feared he would not
survive because he was so stressed. He is deathly afraid of other
chickens. He has bonded to his human and animal family and would
likely suffer from separation.
If Beaker were a special needs child, I am fairly certain our
neighbors would not object. But, he is a ‘special needs’ animal and
our neighbors simply cannot wrap their limited imaginations around the
concept that a bird is a bird.
Keeping Beaker is no different from keeping a parrot or a cockatoo
for a pet, yet these are allowed and he is NOT. Where is the so-called
‘compassion‘ in that reasoning?

Andy & Sharon Peters • Petoskey

Leachate lesson
Friends of the Jordan River Watershed Inc. (FOJ) welcome the new
efforts to reassess the cleanup of cement kiln dust (CKD) leachate
contamination at Bay Harbor and Little Traverse Bay. We hope the
Regional Stakeholders Group (RSG) can correctly identify and
facilitate proper local cleanup alternatives.
We are heartened that in CMS’ recent public outreach, CMS recognizes
that trucking 200,000 gallons of leachate per day to distant injection
wells is not economical and poses increased risks.
CMS’ David Mengebier states: “Trucking the water, because of its
increased public safety and transportation risks, environmental
concerns and costs, is not a realistic long-term remedy. We absolutely
need... to identify a local solution to a local concern.”
Despite these positive developments, FOJ is concerned about CMS’
concerted efforts to “spin” the story about the extent of CKD
contamination at Bay Harbor and in Little Traverse Bay. Recent
newspaper ads, while professionally produced, fall short of a true
characterization of the problems, denying the public real choices and
facts needed to properly mitigate this Superfund Site.
One example is CMS’ improper use of the word, “water.” CKD
leachate is not water. It is no more water than coffee, milk or
household bleach. CKD leachate is strongly caustic and toxic. CKD
leachate is a public health hazard. CKD leachate is a highly regulated
industrial waste. Its physical and chemical properties bear little
resemblance to water.
To repeatedly describe CKD leachate as something as benign as
water is disingenuous and belies the fact that this toxic pollutant is
a serious short and long term environmental contaminant with direct
threats to public and ecological health.
Furthermore, our calculations indicate that it will take hundreds,
and more likely, thousands of years to dispose of the leachate based
on current methodology. None of the “alternative choices” proffered by
CMS consider this timeline. Neither do they answer the following
questions. Disposed of where? For how long? At what cost? Paid by
whom? How long is perpetuity? Is this responsible and ethical? Failure
to address these and other issues destroys the credibility of this
process and makes a proper solution unlikely.
As the RSG grapples with these difficult issues and the public is
finally invited to participate in the process, accuracy, transparency
and candor are requisite for a successful outcome. Smoke and mirrors
and pseudo choices will not suffice to solve these problems. They are
too large with ramifications so great as to be taken lightly. At least
now, the public is informed and engaged. Let us put all the issues on
the table and in the public arena and solve them together.

John W. Richter; president, Friends of the Jordan River Watershed

Money for energy
I am a Michigan resident who is discouraged by Michigan and the
federal government’s apathetic response to doing anything about our
energy woes.
I believe that the future of our energy production will rely on us
creating and putting into practice small and large scale renewable
energy producing facilities. In doing so we will inevitably be
creating well paying, stable, and local jobs while decreasing the
amount of carbon and other pollutants we put into the air. I am asking
for my state and local government to support any bills that allocate
funding towards renewable energy production and decrease the amount of
pollutants in our country. I am also asking for the Michigan
government to make Michigan a viable place for this kind of business
to happen by supporting federal bills that are in agreement with
renewable energy legislation and supporting it at the state level. The
current energy system in the U.S. is heavily subsidized by the
government so it is naïve to think that the renewable energy sector
will start up on its own without the same government help the already
“profitable” businesses receive.

Matt Tomlinson • via email

Great show
No way!
Recently at the Hagerty Center I attended the Zonta Fashion Show.
A woman of (too) many words, I am compelled to use them all here. This
show was red-hot, high class, unusual, New York-suave and beyond all
expectations. And what better cause than women‘s issues and
From the first model to hit the runway to the very last, these TC
ladies charged out six at a time and were choreographed to position
themselves and proceed to strut, pose, tease, pout and give the
audience a great show.
Beside the best of Traverse merchants clothing, we saw creativity
at its highest. Along with five-inch heels, we witnessed hand made
clothing made with such things as ribbons, men‘s ties and even a
stunning short cocktail outfit made with paper pulled from
magazines. My pet was the beautiful “Gone with the Wind” style hoop
skirt gown made out of real hair.

Ann Peterson • TC

A recent article, “Hugs Not Shrugs,“ incorrectly characterized
Great Start Specialist Mary Sue Wilkinson as a social worker. This
was the input of the editor and not the author of the article.
Also in that article, supporter and educator Jennifer Gadberry of
Gaylord writes to note that the correct name for the state-funded
program for at-risk preschool children is the “Great Start Readiness
Program” (GSRP) not the “Great Start Program” as was stated.
In addition, last week‘s article, “Inside Swing Shift,“ failed to
mention Matt Madion and Jennifer Howard who are dancing for Michael’s
Place, a local charity that offers services and programs for area
children, teens and families who have experienced the death of a loved
one. For info on their cause, call 231-947-MIKE.

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