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Re: E-M:/ Gerald Henning and MDA failure to respond: LSJ today



Yes, of course we are all on the same side and likewise expect our regulatory agencies to do what's best for the common good. However, when those agencies fail to respond to the complaints of the citizenry we can expect the complaints to become more demanding and less civil.  If particularly uncivil the cause is discredit as per the recent anti-sprawl ELF actions. But if appropriately measured the cause is furthered by the extra public exposure of the problem.

I say "Good for Mr. Henning" and If someone will send me the Gentleman's address, I will send a letter of encouragement and a few dollars to help off set his legal costs. May I suggest others do the same?

Rob Cedar
Director
HEAT- Hamtramck Environmental Action Team
Councilperson - City of Hamtramck

"Only through a combination of mass mobilization and effective leadership within the system interacting, can you get real change without violence." -

Port Huron Statement - June 1962 - Tom Hayden, --U of M Alumni, former California State Senator and Jane Fonda's first choice for husband.


In a message dated 6/23/2003 2:36:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time, SANDELLS@michigan.gov writes:


I'm with the DEQ and live across from a farm which doesn't operate on
this scale, but we have plenty of manure smells when the wind comes from
upstream.  I consider it a tolerable tradeoff for living outside the
city limits (and this is NOT meant to start the sprawl discussion
again!).  Since the news coverage and Anne Woiwode's note took opposite
points of view over who's more disagreeable, I was just throwing out a
question whether Mr. Henning had gone above the heads any of those he
had trouble with — and your note answers that question.

I prefer to think that we who care about the environment and about
other people are on the same side.  Whether MDA or DEQ let the ball drop
on this, I don't think that threatening some poor clerk who logs phone
calls accomplishes anything. 

>>> John Klein <john@winpublishing.com> Jun 23, 2003  1:51 PM >>>
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enviro-Mich message from John Klein <john@winpublishing.com>
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I am not sure which Michigan agency Susan Sandell is with, but the MDA

has provided no adequate response to anyone in the area concerning the

odor from these CAFOs. Every MDA department director, every local and

appropriate legislator, every health department and even the Michigan

Agriculture Commission ( I personally attended their meetings) have 
been informed of the devastation these CAFOs have inflicted upon their

neighbor. We have been ignored. Mr. Henning's frustration is clearly 
understood.

I had 4 straight days last week of being unable to open my windows, 
more in the previous weeks. When I filed a complaint through the 
"proper channels" called the MDA, they informed me that since these 
farms are in "escalated enforcement" they will not respond to any 
complaints "odor or water". They say it is in the hands on MDEQ. They

have washed their hands of these CAFOs.

When I call the MDEQ Air Quality Division, they tell me it is not in 
their jurisdiction. Nothing happens. Please tell what you would do.

For 16 years, there has never been an odor problem. When the CAFOs 
moved in, the problems began. More than 70 million gallons of feces, 
urine and milkhouse waste is spread on the local ground annually. 
Unfortunately I feel Mr. Henning frustration is just the tip of the 
iceberg.

Please move in with me and invite your friends over for a nice cookout

this weekend. Of course, you'll want to pray for the correct wind 
direction. If not, you can call them, apologize, and tell them not to

come over as we have to do.

Please imagine yourself living with these odor problems everyday and 
thank you for trying to understand.

On Monday, June 23, 2003, at 12:57 PM, Susan Sandell wrote:

>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

> --
> Enviro-Mich message from "Susan Sandell" <SANDELLS@michigan.gov>
>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

> --
>
> I wonder whether when courtesy failed (presuming he started that way)

> he
> attempted to go up the chain of command in MDA or through his 
> legislator
> rather than trying to get action through threats.  Speaking as a
> faceless state bureaucrat, I don't respond very positively to verbal
> abuse either — I wonder how many others have been motivated by it,
> government or private sector.  However, if I'm not doing my job (or
if
> someone thinks I'm not), it's perfectly legitimate to go to my boss,
my
> department director, or a legislator to call me on it.  He handled
his
> complaint inappropriately and should be big enough to take the
> consequences.
>
>>>> "danderso" <danderso@remc4.k12.mi.us> Jun 23, 2003  9:58 AM >>>
> Alternatively, if you really prefer to avoid Mr. Hennings situation
> hire a  competent lawyer with some integrity and sue the cow crap out

> of
> them. Of course, that costs a lot of money. Maybe Mr. Vermuelen,
> compassionate soul that he is would be willing to do some pro-bono
> work.
>   ----- Original Message -----
>   From: Kenneth Vermeulen
>   To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net ; anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org
>   Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 7:09 AM
>   Subject: Re: E-M:/ Gerald Henning and MDA failure to respond: LSJ
> today
>
>
>   Alternatively, if you really prefer to avoid Mr. Henning's
situation,
> avoid discharging firearms in the direction of others, and avoid
using
> profanity on recorded messages.
>
>   Ken Vermeulen
>>>> "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org> 06/22/03 10:56AM
>>>>
>
>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

> --
>   Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode"
> <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
>
>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

> --
>
>   E-M folks:
>
>   The story about the Ingham County Prosecutor going after Gerald
> Henning,
>   the 82 yr old farmer from near Hudson, MI, because of his
frustrated
> and
>   irritated voice mail messages on the Michigan Department of
>   Agriculture's Right to Farm complaint line shows up on the front
page
> of
>   the Lansing State Journal today.  Over the course of almost three
> years,
>   Mr. Henning lodged complaints with a virtually entirely
> non-responsive
>   MDA, while the problems continued totally unabated.
>
>   The LSJ story focuses on the free speech issues, and drastically
>   understates the horrific environmental and health consequences of
> the
>   CAFO next door that caused and continued to fuel Mr. Henning's
> response.
>   Prosecuting Gerald Henning is a classic case of blaming the victim
> --
>   the MDA folks who filed the complaints and the prosecutors should
> have
>   been forced to live in his house during the worst episodes before
> they
>   brought charges against him. If you want to know what life has
been
> like
>   in the Hudson area for Mr. Henning and his neighbors with 10 CAFOs
>   having plopped down there, go to www.nocafos.org which is the
website
> of
>   the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan
>   (ECCSCM).
>
>   The Lansing State Journal story is at:
>   http://www.lsj.com/news/local/030622_obscene_1a-10a.html
>
>
>   <<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->>
>   Anne Woiwode, Staff Director, Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
>   109 East Grand River Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48906
>   517-484-2372; fax 517-484-3108  anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org
>   visit the Mackinac Chapter on the web at
> http://michigan.sierraclub.org
>
>
>
>
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Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
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and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
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Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
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