In February of 2017, County Road Commissions in Michigan were notified the MDEQ no longer allowed the use of waste water created by oil extraction for road brine. If you live on a dirt road, then you’re familiar with the process of the Road Commission spraying the road to keep dust down during dry spells in the summer. The MDEQ will no longer allow oil well waste water for brining.

What will the MDEQ allow as a replacement? That question has not been answered publicly, but it’s possible to find out if you ask the right people. You can contact your township supervisor, they’ve been informed of the change. You can also ask the County Road Commission.

The Up North Progressive went with the second option, and received the answer, “mineral water” with an invitation to contact the Road Commission by telephone to learn more. According to the MDEQ, mineral water comes from:

The DEQ Office of Oil, Gas, and Minerals administers Part 625, Mineral Wells, of the Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act (NREPA), 1994 PA 451, as amended. This statute and the promulgated rules govern aspects of well location, drilling, operation, plugging, and restoration for solution mining wells, brine production wells, certain types of disposal wells, and test wells associated with mineral exploration and extraction. Mineral resources such as metallics, limestone, salt, potash, and natural mineral brines are important to many Michigan industries.

Just like oil drilling waste water, mineral water means waste water produced from mineral mining exploration.

A public statement from the MDEQ explaining the switch has yet to surface. An old report from the 1980’s did appear at the top of a search engine query arguing oil well-sourced road brine leaches into ground water, and that’s not a good thing. The MDEQ decided using mineral waste water instead of oil well waste water will be better.

If anyone has seen a public statement from the MDEQ or their County Road Commission about this change, let the Up North Progressive know.

Put this on continuous loop or do whatever it takes to get it through your head this is Paul Ryan’s agenda for health care in the United States, and always has been.

Paul Ryan doesn’t like Trump, but Trump wants to repeal the ACA too, and if there is one thing we know about Paul Ryan, he doesn’t care how dirty and flea-ridden he has to become if it means poor people no longer get taxpayer money only the rich and privileged are entitled to.

What happens when repealing the ACA mostly impacts people who voted for Trump? Tell them the Democrats are coming for their guns again – that always works.

Only one short week ago, Gary Naeyaert, self-proclaimed warrior for Team Jesus and aldius of billionaire Betsy DeVos, vented his frustration at the Michigan State School Board because Natasha Baker who refused to roll over and do everything Gary Naeyaert Betsy DeVos wanted: Eradicate Detroit Public Schools and replace the district with for-profit cancer schools designed to enrich the lives of Betsy DeVos’s friends at the expense of Detroit’s children.

Can you see that lady’s foot behind Gary twist about stiffly? That’s the sign of a room full of people realizing Gary Naeyaert just confess he batters his wife over where to grab a burger. Go Team Jesus!

Gary has always been a horrible person. His personal twitter account as well as GLEP’s twitter account are both packed with Gary being rude and abusive to anyone who doesn’t agree with him completely.

And we will never forget this gem.

And how about Gary’s pro-child pro-family hashtag #endDPS?

This is the guy who DMed Up North Progressive demanding I only reply to @GLEP_MI tweets and not his personal account because he was “trying to keep things professional” as he was tweeting identical tweets at the same time on both accounts.

After five days of people being horrified and angry, Gary announced it was time to be religious in an attempt to dodge public criticism for being such a terrible excuse of a human, and announced he was giving up the internet for Lent. @GLEP_MI never missed a beat.

The House of DeVos revoked Naeyaert’s Yes Man status today, which means they let him resign. Gary losing his job in disgrace should have happened ages ago, but it took openly admitting he hates women to make it happen. Nobody deserves it more. He has been a voice of hatred and prejudice against Michigan’s public schools, children, families, and progressive politicians who defend public education in this state.

Good riddance, Gary.

Ignorant, insulting, and underhanded are words that best describe Betsy DeVos’s press release about historically black colleges and universities on February 27, 2017. You really have to read the whole thing to get the full impact:

“It sure was nice black folks had the option of attending schools for black people because schools for white people wouldn’t open their doors back in the day.”

A quick wikipedia search would have been a good idea for Betsy before she put her white, privileged, tone deaf shoe in her mouth. Here, let me Google that for you, honey.

Only a school choice pimp like Betsy DeVos could deconstruct the reason why HBCUs exist in the first place and call it school choice. No, it had nothing to do with options for children and parents, Betsy, it was the ONLY option for black people to receive a higher education. Schools in the south, and in many cases in the north (like Kalamazoo, Michigan in the 1970’s), simply refused to open their doors to black people, and this was a problem not only with colleges and universities, but with the whole system starting with the primary grades.

What many Americans don’t know yet about Betsy because they haven’t had the privilege of being exposed to her not-so-subtle racism, is the term civil rights has been hijacked by the school choice agenda as a way to get black people on board and promote re-segregating public schools with “options” like charter schools and vouchers.

DeVos’s Michigan school choice organizations have a track record of using the phrase civil rights as a way to get minorities on board to help them push their agenda and shame anyone who gets in her way. DeVos’s Great Lakes Education Project tweeted this image of Michigan’s then State Superintendent Michael Flanagan back in 2014 when he tried to make charter school authorizers more accountable to the abysmal track record they have in the state compared to real public schools.

Gary Naeyaert, the DeVos-funded yes man who runs GLEP for Betsy tried to explain with more tweets that no he wasn’t really calling Michael Flanagan a racist before deleting the offensive tweet completely. What the tweet did do was expose the school choice agenda: Shame those who get in their way by declaring school choice the “civil rights issue of our time.” The bullying tactic didn’t work, and Gary Naeyaert, GLEP, or Betsy DeVos to this day never apologized to Flanagan for their blatant attack on him doing his job.

Hopefully now that Betsy DeVos continues to make the same mistakes with using the civil rights struggle to push her personal agenda to segregate the nations’ schools, people will have a better idea of what she’s really trying to accomplish. It was never about more options, it’s about forcing people into the only school option she allows. It’s the burden of every white privileged rich dominion theology prosperity gospel authoritarian in America to tell you what your choices are, not let you decide for yourself. This press release about HBCUs is just a taste of what’s to come for real education opportunity in the United States.

Highland Copper subsidiary Orvana Resources U.S. Corporation halted exploratory drilling on February 19, 2017, in the Porcupine Mountains State Park due to unusual warm weather for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Winter drilling is required by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources because the ground must be frozen. The ground in the western Upper Peninsula has thawed too much to drill per DNR requirements.

The company based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, leased the mineral rights from the Michigan DNR for the purpose of exploration of copper and silver deposits in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Currently, there are three projects underway in the park: White Pine, Copperwood, and Keweenaw.

The state of Michigan established the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in 1945. Mineral rights ownership however is separate from land ownership in Michigan, which means the owner of the mineral rights may legally lease to another company or mine for minerals regardless of who owns the land. Keweenaw Land Association retains the rights, and leased to Orvana Resources.

The Michigan DNR and DEQ both closely monitor the situation, to ensure no damage comes to trees, land or water in the park. The portion of the park where the company is working has seen core drilling in the past.

That the company had to stop work due to lack of frozen ground in mid-February must be a concern for Highland Copper. They have considerable capital invested in the three projects at the park, and according to the December 31, 2016 financial report, the company needs more funds to settle their current deficiency.

The conditions and uncertainties described above indicate the existence of a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. If the going concern assumption was not appropriate for these unaudited condensed interim consolidated financial statements, adjustments which could be material would be necessary to the carrying value of assets and liabilities, in particular an impairment of exploration and evaluation assets,as well as adjustments to
reported expenses.

What this means for the future of copper mining exploration in the Keweenaw Peninsula remains to be seen. With unseasonably warm temperatures in the Upper Peninsula making it difficult for Highland Copper to continue exploring for minerals, the likelihood of being able to resume drilling this season is poor. Highland Copper/Orvana Resources may have to wait until the winter of 2016/2017 before they can get back to work. Current weather forecasts for Northern Michigan don’t show any significant cooling trends that would refreeze the ground.

Good news everyone! Bill Huizenga’s going to be in Baldwin on Saturday, February 25, 2017, at Baldwin High School to meet with District Two constituents in Lake County:

Today, Congressman Huizenga announced he will be holding a stop on his listening tour for residents of the Second District in Lake County on Saturday, February 25th at noon. The town hall style listening session will be held in the cafeteria of Baldwin Senior High School. [b]This event is reserved for Second District residents.[/b] Media is asked to RSVP with Congressman Huizenga’s Office.

  • Who: Congressman Bill Huizenga
  • What: A Town Hall Listening Session
  • Where: Baldwin Senior High School located at 525 4th St in Baldwin, Michigan
  • When: Saturday, February 25th at noon

Why the distinction that only District Two residents are invited? The Republicans spread the fake story that all of the angry people showing up at the town hall meeting s are paid shills and not real constituents. If you’re not part of the GOP echo chamber, Bill Huizenga doesn’t represent you.

It‘s a sad state of affairs when an elected official declares he only cares about the people who agree with him. He’s supposed to represent every one in his district whether they voted for him or not. He’s also aware of what’s been happening around the country, like this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

And this, saving the best for last:

Toby’s on his way to being a great progressive.

None of these people were paid to yell at their congressmen. Really, a seven year old is on the Soros payroll? The GOP wants people to think so, which is why rooms full of angry voters are showing their photo IDs now to prove they live in the district.

Elected officials can avoid the angry crowds if they only realized they’re supposed to do what their constituents want. This is why people like Bill Huizenga are called representatives. This means every one in District Two, not just the rich people in Ottawa County who donate large sums of money to his re-election war chest. Most of us don’t even have the last name DeVos.

Hopefully, many people from Lake County will make it to Baldwin High School on Saturday to let Bill Huizenga know what his constituents think of the GOP’s plan to take away health care coverage for thousands of his voters.

Two times a year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources offers a free fishing weekend for people who would like to fish without a license and hopefully give people who have never fished the opportunity to discover how fun fishing can be. The winter fishing weekend is this weekend, and with temperatures in Northern Michigan ranging anywhere from the mid forties to the mid fifties, people may be more interested in fishing in February.

Unfortunately, the bad thing about bright sunshine and warm temperatures in February is that ice melts quickly in those conditions. It may not be safe on all Michigan lakes to try ice fishing during this free fishing weekend. We’re days away from the deadline to remove ice shanties from the lakes in some parts of the state, but with the warm temperatures waiting until the last day may be too late.

The warm weather we’ve had in Northern Michigan also means snowmobiling has been down as well. Like ice fishing, fewer people enjoying the outdoors up north means fewer people stopping by their favorite restaurants and shops. Businesses rely on that income to stay open over the winter.

Most of all, the warmer weather means our congressmen who have annual snowmobiling runs on our lovely state trails canceled their plans due to the weather. At least that’s what they’re telling us for now. They’re on break and supposedly back home in their districts; what else do they have to do other than spend time with their constituents asking questions in person? The warm weather means more people will travel to town halls to ask questions and expect answers. that’s what we pay them to do, right?

The weather is going to be unusually warm and sunny in Northern Michigan this weekend. Head outdoors, have some fun, and try not to think too much about how warm it might be this summer.

Trump is such an insecure little bitch he has to knock people over to feel superior.

Better bring the herd on in, big one’s about to blow.

So while everyone was watching Mike Pence break a tie in the Senate and allowing turbo checkbook writer Betsy DeVos buy herself an entire government agency, Congressman Thomas Massey of Kentucky introduced this bill into the house:

The seven co-sponsors of this bill include Michigan’s Justin Amash (no kidding), Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jason Chafetz of Utah, Florida’s Matt Gaetz, Jody Hice of Georgia, Walter Jones of North Carolina, and Idaho’s Raul Labrador.

This is something Republicans insist needs to happen, and have been since Reagan was president. Funny how it never happens though. Conservatives tell their constituents they’re in favor of state and local control of schools, but yet they continue to push policy nationally designed to undermine the party that supports public education. Do as I say, not as I do.

Let’s watch this one and see how far it goes.