In April of 2017 the Osceola Township Planning Commission denied Nestlé Waters North America a permit to build a new pumping station in order to double the amount of water they extract from the ground to sell as Ice Mountain Spring Water. The Zoning Appeals Board agreed with the planning commission, and now Nestlé, despite still not having approval from the state to double output, will drag the township before a judge on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

The push to increase output began in the fall of 2016 when Nestlé applied for a permit with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Public comment prompted a pseudo-hearing at Ferris State University on April 12, 2017. Six days later, the Osceola Township Planning Commission refused the permit to expand the pumping station at Spring Hill Camp.

While Nestlé and the planning commission are in court on Wednesday, a silent vigil will be held in Reed City in front of the courthouse at 301 Upton Street from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. There will be a press conference at 1:15 PM. The hearing begins at 2:00 PM.

Clearly Nestlé’s plans are not in compliance with the zoning requirements of the township. There is no error in decision, as Nestlé alleges, but a careful consideration of what is best for the township, and the people who live there. Nestlé pays a paltry $200.00 a year for the privilege of pumping millions of gallons out of the ground at the expense of the environment and quality of life for the people of the region. Nestlé profits selling Northern Michigan’s water while only 150 miles away Flint, Michigan, has gone without drinkable water for three years thanks to the enduring legacy of the Michigan Republican Party, the MDEQ, and Rick Snyder.

If you can attend the vigil, please do and show your support for the Osceola Township Planning Commission making the right decision for this Northern Michigan community.

On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, special elections will be held in Michigan. Only a few regions are electing candidates to fill open seats, but almost all parts of the state have millage elections for schools, 911, libraries, and other municipal services that must be approved by voters to continue. This year, it’s very important that all progressive voters head to the polls and vote.

In District 109, voters will be electing a new State House Representative to finish the term of John Kivela. Sara Cambensy of Marquette has the experience and energy to represent the people of the 109th District in Lansing. She will put her constituents’ concerns before special interests and ensure that Michiganians in the district will not be forgotten.

Check out your ballot with the Secretary of State office online to see what important issues are being decided on November 7. Millage elections aren’t as exciting as electing a new president, but emergency services, school districts being able to repair buildings, and the other services counties provide and we take for granted get their funding from the tax payers. Please remember to vote on Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

On November 2, 2017, the Wexford County Board of Commissioners voted 8 to 1 to draft a resolution opposing a permit for a deep injection wastewater well scheduled to be located in the Manton area. A tentative permit has been granted to Wexford Water Technologies LLC by the EPA, but the public has until November 22, 2017 to comment.

Wexford County sold the landfill to American Waste in 2010 to save money when it was discovered trichloroethylene had contaminated the ground water under the landfill. At the time, the county decided to sell the landfill to avoid paying the cost of closing the landfill down and cleaning up the contaminated water. Wexford County didn’t have $13 million dollars to cover the bill.

Local residents are not convinced the proposed injection site – 3,166 to 3,799 feet down into the Traverse Limestone formation – will provide enough of a barrier between the groundwater above and the well below to prevent the contaminated water from leaking into nearby aquifers. One well does exist in the zone, but it is plugged and abandoned. The EPA also ensures that the pressure for the proposed well, 1,038 pounds per square inch, is low enough to prevent the surrounding rock from fracturing.

It’s still unknown at this time the connection between Wexford Water Technologies LLC and American Waste. Wexford County would also be responsible for clean up if any other contamination is discovered with the old landfill, and not American Waste. Once the resolution is written and approved, it will be sent to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA.

To leave public comment, contact Andrew Greenhagen of the EPA by email at greenhagen.andrew@epa.gov by telephone at (312) 353-7648, or mail letters of concern to U.S. EPA, Water Division, UIC Branch (WU-16J), 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3590. There is at this time no plan to hold a public hearing, but people have until November 22, 2017 to comment on the proposed wastewater injection well.

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently under the control of a man who justifies sweeping policy changes with bible stories. The EPA favors private business over public health, and according to Scott Pruitt, it pleases God to do so. Please take the time to voice your concerns about this permit and what it will allow this private company to do in Wexford County.

Alright everyone, play some relaxing meditative music, maybe light a few candles to set the mood. Find a comfy chair to relax in and close your eyes as you begin to visualize what it’s like to be a billionaire who bought her way into a cabinet seat in the United States Federal Government.

You’re sitting in your office in Washington D.C. because you’re no longer just a really rich, sheltered, privileged, religious fundamentalist woman who can afford to buy things like right to work, hijacking Detroit Public Schools, and lifting for-profit charter school caps; you run an entire government department – the Department of Education – and now you can do the damage God commands you inflict on an entire nation’s public school system. Something to do with pig bones, pagans, and those evil government-run schools.

You find out from your people who actually run your department there is an issue that needs to be addressed, and education is one part of that issue. Something about education is important because the issue involves competing with other countries. Of course, you have no idea what the issue is and how you’re supposed to fix it, so what do you do? Likely, one of those staff people who actually do all the work might suggest you contact the government agency who knows all about the issue and request a briefing.

The government agency’s representatives arrive to provide this briefing you requested. They’re smart, knowledgeable, and already aware of something they know but you don’t: They have gained lots of experience briefing complete morons over the past nine months, because they also have to brief that fat guy with the spray tan and gravity-defying comb over currently squatting in the White House between golfing vacations at luxury resorts he owns and the American taxpayers get to pay for.

Introductions are made, everyone gets settled into the conference room, and the agency staffers begin their briefing of how education is a vital component of the work their agency does, and what is needed from the Department of Education to make the United States internationally competitive with the issue at hand. You sit and stare at the staffers as they talk.

And stare.

And stare.

And stare.

The people doing the talking will never tell you this to your face, but they’re very quickly evaluating you and your ability to actually fix any of the problem they’re briefing you about. They’ve seen that glassy, deer in the headlights look before: At the White House. The fat guy with the spray tan and ridiculous gravity-defying comb over gives them the same look whenever they have to brief him too – except there’s one noticeable difference. He tries to hide his lack of intelligence by opening his mouth and speaking, and all that ever accomplishes is solidifying the first assessment of how much of an idiot he really is, and he wouldn’t understand what he’s being told even if they provided a pop-up picture book to illustrate.

You on the other hand, you’re sitting there without so much as an occasional “uhuh” or “okay” tossed into the conversation to hide how much of a moron you are. The briefing has nothing to do with you understanding a problem at all, it’s devolved into a humiliating assessment of your lack of intelligence and causing you so much shame, the only way to try and save your shattering pride is remain mute.

You’ve convinced yourself that your silence will save you, but you’re wrong. The agency staff going through the motions of pretending they’re explaining something to you already know their words are floating high above your head and will never connect. The only difference between briefing you and briefing the fat idiot squatting in the White House is you’re self-aware just enough to know you’re a complete moron, and the briefing is getting pretty weird and annoying for the agency staff. You probably aren’t aware of the fact that if staff from this agency are briefing you on something, it’s because there is an actual problem that you need to fix, and they’ve already figured out you don’t have the intelligence to even understand there is a problem.

The agency staffers end their briefing and leave your office. On the way back to their office, they’re shaking off the weird, annoying, wtf, she’s so dumb moment they endured with you. The complexity of the problem is beyond you, but you shake it off because God wanted you to spend all that money to get the fat idiot into the White House, and controlling the Department of Education is your heavenly reward.

And now, as we drift away from that vision, we open our eyes and refocus on the room we’re currently occupying in the here and now.

Congratulations, you just experienced a day in the life of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.


Drive along any main road in Wexford and Missaukee Counties and you will see wooden billboards covered with rosy-cheeked, Caucasian infants and toddlers looking out to the road accompanied with slogans like “Had an abortion? There is forgiveness in Jesus” or, “Abortion – the ultimate child abuse.” The images and messages are designed to intimidate and victimize women, regardless of whether they are pregnant at the time they see the billboards.

The source of these billboards is Wexford-Missaukee Right to Life; an anti-choice group based out of McBain, Michigan. They operate a crisis pregnancy center and perform elaborate mourning rituals for fetuses on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which guarantees a woman’s Constitutional right to make her own health care decisions.
The messages on the billboards are horrific by themselves. See enough of the images however and it becomes apparent Wexford-Missaukee Right to Life targets victimizing Caucasian women. Not a single billboard image with a black, Hispanic, or Asian child exists in the two-county region. Don’t the lives of those fetuses matter as well?
The racism of Right to Life is well-documented, but recently their message has taken an even more sinister turn with the addition of the image above. “All Lives Matter” is a racist slogan that emerged to diminish the Black Lives Matter movement. Ironically; Black Lives Matter began as a protest against the murder of black people by the police, and works to educate about the value of the lives of black people in the United States. The billboard emphasizes the hypocrisy of Right to Life: They are only concerned for the fetuses of white people, and will erase minorities in their agenda of intimidating women.

Now with the Republicans in Washington working to ban abortions after 20 weeks pregnancy and banning insurance coverage for women’s contraceptive medication, the anti-choice movement works to not only shame women, but risk the lives of women as well. Women who are 20 weeks pregnant made the decision to carry the pregnancy to term. Abortions at this stage happen because the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. Birth control pills are used to treat women’s reproductive disorders like endometriosis and poly-cystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS makes a woman’s menstrual cycle irregular and can lead to infertility. Birth control pills are used to regulate the woman’s cycle so she can ovulate and conceive. The only risky sexual behavior happening with insurance coverage for birth control is from ignorant politicians putting women’s lives at risk, or eliminating their ability to have a baby.

The agenda of Right to Life has always been to shame, intimidate, and victimize women about the choices they make for their own health. If the life of fetuses brought to term were the real purpose, these people would care about actual children outside of the womb as much as when they are fetuses in the womb.

While rescue efforts continue in Houston and Hurricane Harvey continues to drop trillions of gallons of water on the city, people do what comes naturally in the 21st Century – head on over to social media to politicize a real-time tragedy. Trumptards, real and bot, are no exception; except as usual they don’t worry about facts or brush up on history before thumbing their rage onto the interwebs.

This is what @MacMaggies deleted:

And finally:

If you expand the tweet threads, you will see well-intentioned people attempting to help these woefully ignorant Trump supporters. Hurricane Katrina made landfall over New Orleans twelve years ago, and they can’t remember who was president. Here’s a few hints.

That last photo happened about four days after the hurricane while people trapped in the city survived on rooftops and stadiums. President Bush was too busy attending birthday parties and being gifted with guitars to even mention anything to the press about what happened in New Orleans on August 30, 2005. This is the same GOP-groomed base who insist President Jefferson sent the Marines to Tripoli to eradicate Muslims instead of the pirates attacking American merchant ships. They can’t remember what happened in the last decade, probably just unfair to expect them to have a clue what happened two centuries ago.

We elected Barack Obama president in 2008.

If you’re still trying to figure out how anyone can be so stupid they think Obama was president in 2005, these people voted for Trump. That’s all the explanation you need.

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled today to keep wolves in the Great Lakes on the endangered species list after U.S. Fish and Wildlife ruled enough animals lived in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota to remove them from the list in 2011. In 2014, a Federal Judge put them back on the endangered species list after state game management in all three states issued licenses to hunt wolves.

The state of Michigan had anticipated wolves would be taken off the list with today’s court ruling because the State Legislature passed laws during the 2016 lame duck session to allow wolf hunting in the state. On January 4, 2017, Rick Snyder signed a law designating the Gray Wolf a game species in the state. None of those laws cannot take effect with the ruling today that wolves are still federally protected.

Of the 3,800 wolves living in the Great Lakes region, the Michigan DNR counts 656 living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Dairy farmers and hunters insist the wolves are doing serious damage to the deer herd population and to livestock. This is a common argument used in most states where wolves struggle to make a come back in historical habitats once occupied in much larger numbers.

In their ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals cited that U.S. Fish and Wildlife based their decision to delist without considering all data, and cherry-picking results to justify the decision. What this ruling means today is U.S. Fish and Wildlife must provide more thorough and accurate data proving the wolf population is healthy enough to maintain large enough packs to survive without federal protection.

For now, it is a federal crime to shoot wolves in Michigan. This does not stop some people willing to defy the law with SSS practices in Northern Michigan, however. The Michigan DNR and local law enforcement must do more to ensure wolves are not illegally killed in Michigan.

The election scheduled for August 8, 2017 will provide voters an opportunity to make their voices heard on local issues in many Michigan counties. In the state house 1st and 109th districts, primary elections for new state representatives will take place. Former District 109 State Representative John Kivela died on May 9, 2017 after committing suicide in Lansing. The candidate who wins the election on November 6, 2017 will finish Kivela’s term until 2018.

Four candidates seek the Democratic nomination in the August primary election.

Marquette City Councilwoman Sara Cambensy lives in Marquette and is the Director of Adult and Community Education for Marquette Area Public Schools. Her public experience comes from working in the Register of Deeds office, as the City of Marquette Zoning Enforcement Officer and the Marquette City Planning Commission. Issues Cambensy wants to address in Lansing are jobs and the economy, The Headlee Amendment and Title A’s damage to state school funding, and energy independence for the Upper Peninsula.

 

Tom Curry of Trenary, Michigan has been a Township Supervisor for 25 years. He and his wife own Rollin’ Smoke Barbecue. Curry moved to Michigan in 1988 and entered public office in 1992. He enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors with his family. Issues Tom Curry will work in Lansing include repealing right to work, helping small business, supporting veterans, the environment and supporting public schools.

 

Joe Derocha of Marquette is a lifelong resident of the Upper Peninsula. Originally from Ishpeming, he lives in Marquette with his wife and children. Derocha is a small business owner and held public office for over 15 years. Currently, he’s the Vice Chair for the Marquette Board of County Commissioners. Issues he will work on include the “Dark Store” tax issue, illegal drugs, lowering energy costs and promoting economic growth. Derocha is endorsed by Mike Prusi, 110 State District Representative Scott Dianda, Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese, members of the Marquette County Board of Commissioners, members of the Alger County Board of Commissioners, members of the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners, and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Council.

 

Jeremy Hosking is an Upper Peninsula native currently living in Negaunee Township. Born in Ishpeming, he attended Negaunee Public Schools and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Northern Michigan University. His background is in Public Administration. Currently, he works for United States Senator Debbie Stabenow as the regional manager. He has held this position for over six years. Issues important to Hosking include supporting and funding public schools, updating and strengthening infrastructure in the Upper Peninsula to create jobs and remain competitive in a quickly changing economy, and ensure the social safety net remains strong for the most vulnerable citizens of the 109th District.

The primary election for the 109th District is on August 8, 2017. Make sure you vote and support these Democratic Party candidates.

The Kalkaska Village Council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, to discuss the economic impact of Village President Jeff Sieting’s social media hate speech on area businesses.

Sieting’s support of Trump and his calls for genocide against a religious faith are not the first time racist speech or actions came to light in Kalkaska. In 2007 a Ku Klux Klan/Confederate flag was raised over a picnic held in Rapid City. The man responsible for raising that flag is currently the chair of the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners.

Concerned Kalkaska residents are ready to face Sieting, demand he resign from his office and put the economic survival of the town before his irrational racist statements.