Email your letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page).
Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification. Faxed letters are not accepted.
The solution seems as easy as the following sentences to me. There are enough weekends in February that the Beer Festival and The Comedy Festival could both be held on different weekends without a conflict.
One wouldn’t interfere with the other and everyone wins and we can enjoy both Festivals. Enough of the good guy bad guy stuff, let’s all play nice together in the sand box. HEY NOW WHAT A GREAT IDEA IS THIS!!!!!!
Nancy Baumdraher • Maple City
H2S poses problems
A little after midnight on Christmas Eve morning, a valve failure at the Beaver Creek gas injection well in Crawford County owned by BreitBurn Energy Partners sent a plume of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas across Northern Michigan. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is deadly and often compared with cyanide. It is detected by a rotten egg smell. Higher levels of H2S destroy olfactory senses and can cause coma and death.
Luckily, when sensors at the Beaver Creek injection well site detected a blown needle valve, the H2S being injected into the well was shut down automatically. But sensors did not shut the injection well boreout, and H2S gas spewed back up from the injection well though a 1⁄4 inch hole.
BreitBurn estimated the release as upwards of 135,000 cubic feet. Winds carried the plume north. Complaints from citizens as far away as Petoskey and Cheboygan and emergency notification to BreitBurn from the Bear Lake and Fredrik fire departments sent the DEQ and emergency crews to the site at 6:30 am. Several persons in Elmira reported irritated throats. DTE reported 100 calls reporting gas odors.
While the DEQ and industry are downplaying the event as a “nuisance odor,” the DEQ has confirmed that this is a concentrated H2S release, NOT a natural gas release, and must be responded to as a hazardous emergency.
Luck and a brisk southerly wind dissipated the H2S cloud. In the late ’90s a Michigan release of 5,000 cubic feet of H2S killed cattle and injured people.
The fact that this major release was undetected for hours, the failure of the well equipment, warning sensors, and facility safety procedures, should require a shutdown until a full investigation and corrections are made. Luck was with Michigan on Christmas Eve. The Industry and DEQ must do better.
Rick Beemon • Charlevoix
New Reps needed
Every poll says you are fed up with congress and the entire federal government. Instead of taking action that could make a difference most people are falling prey to the distraction that is the Presidential Election. It is a circus purposely performed to keep you from paying attention to the election that could break the gridlock in Washington.
The president is one person with limited authority. The House of Representatives is 435 people who make the laws. It is so named because the founding fathers insisted on having representatives of the people.
The problem today is that the candidates you choose from are picked by a party and backed by big money. I found a way to make a difference. Join me and thousands of others who are excited about the possibility of electing true citizen representatives to the house. Get Out of Our House is a nonpartisan plan to remove career politicians from the House of Representatives. Learn how at www.goooh.com.
Irving B. Welchons III Charlotte, NC
For years, we have seen in other countries where their governments are able to arrest someone and hold them as long as they want without letting the arrested person talk to a lawyer, or indeed talk to anyone.
These people just disappear. In these countries it doesn’t matter whether the person in guilty or not. It is sad to say that this is now about to be the law in the United States. Our government has declared martial law here. They don’t call it that, but that’s what it is.
The Senate and the House of Representatives have both passed S1867. Part of it allows the U.S. military to arrest anyone in this country and detain him or her as long as they want without formal charges and without trial.
The senators and representatives that voted for this bill will try to tell you that this cannot affect American citizens, but in section 1032 (b)b (1), it states: (1) “UNITED STATES CITIZENS – The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.”
It says the REQUIREMENT to detain a person does not extend to citizens, but it does not say that the military is prohibited from doing so. They could have easily worded this so it excludes citizens. Some senators tried to have this changed, but it was not.
At one time, the sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution clearly gave citizens the right to a speedy trail. This bill takes that right away.
We as citizens need to do what we can to see that this is repealed. It is not likely this will ever be decided by the Supreme Court, because these people will never even have a trial of any sort that might be appealed to the supreme court.
James Dupont Berkeley Springs, WV
NOTE: President Obama signed the bill into law last week.
Free economy key
During Bob Downes’ trip to Australia he observed that perhaps the Aussies’ $15/ hour minimum wage is the reason for their prosperity and their ability to afford a $19 burger and $9 beer (although that doesn’t sound like a good deal to me).
Let me offer a better explanation for the Australian prosperity. The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org) ranks nations’ economic freedom based upon 10 categories: business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labor freedom.
Australia ranks #3 in the world behind only Hong Kong and Singapore. The USA ranks #8 in the world and behind Australia in 6 of the 10 categories.
Australia has much smaller government spending and debt and much higher exportation of natural resources than the USA. Our citizens could enjoy similar prosperity if our economy was as free as Australia’s.
Scott Roelofs TC