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Re: E-M:/ Senator Birkholz: Don't worry, be happy



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Enviro-Mich message from "William Tobler" <WilliamTobler@CrittersWoods.org>
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Chuck,
The real point is that water problems in Monroe County and in Saginaw have not been "sudden" events, where excuses of non action are perhaps good excuses because of the suddenness of the event.


The water problem in my area affected thousands of families in five townships at least, removing their opportunity to have ANY safe water in their homes for 24/7 for nearly 10 years. Emergency? Did they do anything then? No. Did they do anything since? No. Have they shown any evidence that they intend to do something (helpful)? No. The damage to these families and these communities has been huge. Can you say $50M? Can you say one or two decades?

Instead of dealing with the problems in some kind of timely way, legislators such as Sikkema and Birkholz have avoided the issues, avoided serving the public, avoided making any obvious progress whatsoever. Instead, they continue to hand over the jewels to private interests for private profits. Instead, Senator Sikkema chaired (and co-chaired by Senator Hammerstrom) what I can consider to be little more than a party publicity scam, where they claimed to have sought out public input to a variety of environmental problems, including aquifer depletion from industrial activities operating way beyond of weak environmental permit limits. How is it, that the environmental community in Hammerstrom's own district knew nothing of the "public" hearings, even though we are on her emailing list?

And what action has their legislature taken upon the recommendations in that report? Anything but delay, defer, and study? Or go backwards, using the budget that they created and control as a tool?

These legislators should be ASHAMED of their performance, and they should be PUBLICLY flogged for their performance.
When Senator Birkholz took the chair position of the Senate environmental committee, I publicly said "oh great" on EnviroMich, because her legislative "rating" for environmental results was poor. Just what one wants is a leader with a poor rating. I was heavily criticized on EM for criticizing Senator Birkholz, because others considered Senator Birkholz a very kind, concerned individual - hence my remark about "baking great cookies", because where it counts, I didn't see any performance, and I still don't see any performance. I have always made myself available - has Senator Birkholz approached me about what to do with these water problems? No. Zero. Am I surprised?


While other environmental groups and individuals serve the role to reach out politely to these legislators to show them the way, I have grown weary of being polite, and weary of watching corruption and incompetence at local, county, state and federal levels. And lest you say, "don't criticize, get involved", I have served on our Planning Commission since 1980, and also now have been elected to the Board of Trustees in addition. Plus I have more than a full time, regular job. I, and a few others, fought against local, county and state corruption and inaction (although responsibility was theirs) with regards to the water problem in our communities that was intimately affecting the health and welfare of thousands of families. I probably spent 10 or 20 hours a week on this for eight years. All because of the likes of the legislators and politicians in Lansing that don't want to serve public interests.

And now, we have other water problems, due to the lack of reasonable stormwater management regulations, and the lack of onsite sewage disposal regulations that are "actually" enforced. Or the lack of soil & erosion standards that are enforced. Or wetlands protection.

These are very basic environmental and social concerns, with very simple solutions. But not in Lansing. Not in the last 10 years, not in the next 10 years. There is too much money involved for the benefits of the Senators to do otherwise.

No one should be running to their defense. To say that it irritates me, is putting it mildly.

Bill








----- Original Message ----- From: "Chuck Cubbage" <charles.cubbage@comcast.net>
To: "Julie Griess" <jgriess@provide.net>; "William Tobler" <WilliamTobler@CrittersWoods.org>; <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
Cc: <SenPBirkholz@senate.michigan.gov>
Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2005 3:46 PM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Senator Birkholz: Don't worry, be happy



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Enviro-Mich message from "Chuck Cubbage" <charles.cubbage@comcast.net>
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Julie,
Thanks again for the ref to the Mich At Risk video. I watched it.
The specific areas that were discussed are hydrogeologically distinct and the water problems and solutions are based on site specific details.


I agree that studying doesn't do a blooming thing for the "emergency needs" that clearly exist in W Saginaw Co, Monroe Co and other places. Legislators are not known for moving with that sort of speed. Even the courts can be painfully slow.

It is clear that we need policy changes via legislation, etc. That takes a lot more than one Senator and given the record of the previous administration ........ You know the litany. It is foolish to begin to label Birkholtz as the problem when there is a slew of other Senators that keep her from going where I bet she would be willing to go. At the same time, she does indeed represent more than just Mich natural resources They (the resources) are presently in conflict with not mutually exclusive from other interests.

E_M is a place where we all blow off some steam as well as share concerns and have opportunity to become educated and actually do work together toward Mich resources. What is also needed is a lot of work outside of E-M by E-Mers with others to bring to fruition common goals on policy needs like this one.

Once again, thanks for the website reference and for the chance to put my dimes-worth in.

Regards,
Chuck

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ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
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