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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From Our Readers

Issue Date: October 3, 2019

Letter to Editor:

Aquila Resources submitted a proposed contract to several Menominee County Township Supervisors offering their services designed to take complete charge of all negotiations required by law and Menominee County Township board members on behalf of property owners and voters they represent. Additionally, they offered the services of a grant writer, they, Aquila hired to write and apply for Grant money from the U.S. Government, State of Michigan and other sources from which "grants' are solicited. Talk bout "guts', a private foreign; Canadian Company invading our soil intending to mine and exploit our "natural' resources with their mine and your, money!

This entire process is added to the "injury' resulting from their mining and minerals processing activity for as long the "natural laws' apply to the planet Earth as it now exists. Their intent to mine and process minerals just 50 yards from the Menominee River, by their own admission will pollute up to 1,550,000,000 gallons of water daily that has taken billions of years to accumulate forming an aquifer reservoir of unpolluted clean water necessary for all forms of "life', both animal and vegetable. Fresh water in "glaciers' and underground, referred to as "aquifers' constitute a water supply greater than all of the "fresh' water in lakes and rivers throughout the world! Pollute this system and "hell' will end up as a "vacation' destination.

It is a sure thing, this mine "will' pollute, leak acid mine drainage, and otherwise contaminate millions of square feet of private and public land. And leave behind a "massive' toxic waste pond bigger than the combined area of Stephenson, Daggett, Carney and Wallace high enough to be seen for a distance of 20+ miles in all four compass directions and lasting "forever'.

Yet - Aquila's people are saying "trust us' we're using the most "up to date' engineering technology known to man. Well - Chantae Lessard, Director, Social Performance and Engagement Aquila Resources, if I were you, I would take your employer's lies, spins on half-truths, and enough of his "cash' to get out of "dodge', along with a good example of the "slime' pit dam failure in Brazil in January 2019 killing 275 people and polluting over 500 miles of fresh water in the adjacent river - and look for new work, more honest and necessary for human survival.

This is the MDEQ/Aquila approved design for the "Back Forty' project of which 89 were built by mining companies and reported by Brazilian officials having been recently "condemned' with future designs prohibited and punitive damages expected along with ongoing "criminal investigations pending and "serious' charges being considered'. If conscience considerations don't sway you - look into the Aquila's Balance sheet for the period ending 6/30/19 and see their deficit of $93,492,993 or a minus net value of 2/9 cents for every one of their outstanding 338,284,556 shares of ownership stock.

Is this being what they're "putting on the table' assuring us, their friends and neighbors, that they're financially reliable?? Why not use "food stamps' instead??? I compliment Ray Guard for his answer to Aquila's offer, "I would never support any such proposal from Aquila" etc. I would add a foot note to his answer and say to Aquila, Based on a 100% chance I'm right and a 100% chance "natural law' will prevent you from doing what you can say you dan do, I'll sit down and let you "negotiate' with me after you put the sum of $500,000,000 in an escrow account with the public being the escrow funds trustees and then we can talk???? If you can't do this, pack up your tent and slip away now - preferably, during the "middle of the night' You've played your stupid game in my arena too long and I must now direct my attention to developing better options to do better things?

And Dale Anderson, Daggett, Michigan, I'm turning around your quote from Proverbs 29:18 - "Where there is no vision, the people perish". It's plain ignorant to take a bible text or phrase out of context to use it as a "lie'. So, sue me and the truth will come out when you "swear in' with your hand on the bible???

William G. Boerner,

Marinette



Dear Editor,

I am writing to encourage members of our community to attend CONNECT. CONNECT Is an opportunity for members of our community to talk, listen, and learn from one another about the past, current, and future educational goals for students of the Peshtigo School District. Ideas generated from this organized discussion process will drive the School Board's goals for student education for years to come. The School Board has learned from previous experience that the pubic wants to be involved in discussions related to the school. This Is your opportunity to be heard.

The CONNECT conversations will happen overt he course of three days: Thursday, November 7 and Friday, November 8 from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., and Saturday November 9 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. Please plan to attend all these sessions as discussion will build from one section to the next. Childcare and meals will be provided. Contact the school at 715-582-3677 ext. 1030 or visit our website www.peshtigo.k12.wi.us to register.

Please plan on attending if you are able, because your input does matter. This Is a community-driven process that blossoms as we share.

Rebecca DeMarce,

Peshtigo School Board President



Dear Editor:

Way to go Peshtigo! We would like to compliment you on the recent Peshtigo Historical Day events.  We participated in the Historical Day Parade.  It was a fun event, that was well organized and very well run. Parade Director Kris Karpowicz and all involved did an excellent job.  Thank you for your hard work.  Peshtigo should be proud.

Scott Sequin, Treasurer

Friends of Jane Kopish Sequin for Judge

Marinette



Editor:

Protecting and preserving the Public Trust is the most important responsibility of state and local elected officials here in America. Perhaps their major responsibility is passing the necessary laws to protect the Public Trust, and to be sure employees of the various agencies and commissions hired to enforce those laws do so fairly and faithfully.

At state and local levels, protecting the Public Trust means protecting and preserving the paramount right of the public to navigate, fish and enjoy all inland lakes and streams that are navigable, and protecting and preserving the air, water and other natural resources of this state against pollution impairment that could ultimately destroy our way of life.

It is the duty of state government to protect the air, water and natural resources of this state against pollution impairment or destruction.

How has Aquilla demonstrated comPliance with any of the above?

They have not.

Part 301 of Permit 324.30106 states that the department (EGLE) shall issue a permit if it finds that the structure or project will not adversely affect the public trust or riparian rights. In passing upon an application the department shall consider the possible effects of the proposed action upon the inland lakes or rivers upon waters from which or into which its waters flow and the uses of all such waters including uses for recreation, fishing, wildlife, aesthetics, local government, agriculture, commerce and industry.

The law states that the department shall not grant a permit if the proposed activitiy will unlawfully impair or destroy any water or other natural resources of the state.

This part of the law doesn't modify the rights and responsibilities of any riparian owner to the use of his or her riparian waters. It does state that a permit shall specify that a project completed in accordance with this part shall not cause unlawful pollution.

This brings us to the proposed Aquila Resouces Back Forty Mine in Lake Township, near Stephenson, Mich.

Direct placement of fill within 253 linear feet of a channel or waterway will result in permanent loss of a river or stream habitat and function. The project proposes that the fill material tailings will remain in this location permanently. Forever. The result will be complete loss of the resource function and value of life.

The Aquila application does not acknowledge the loss of flows to regulated streams and rivers as a result of the proposed dewatering of mined materials into privately owned wetlands.

Our politicians swear an oath to protect and serve, not to destroy our way of life.

Their simple and obvious responsibility?

Do what it takes to ensure that there will be NO MINE.

Jeffery J. Budish



Dear Editor,

I read with interest Doug Oitzinger's letter regarding PFAS legislation on September 11th. I appreciate Doug's work on this issue " one that presents our community with a unique set of challenges.

I also appreciate S.O.H2O's support of legislation I authored with Senator Rob Cowles to restrict the use of firefighting foams containing PFAS. This is the only bill that will turn off the spigot on the primary source of what has impacted our community.

However, no bill is an easy lift. We need to be deliberative, work with stakeholders, and incorporate input from affected parties. Sen. Cowles and I have engaged in all of these activities. For example, we met with the DNR to incorporate some of its recommendations.

AB 323 is a bipartisan bill and I have worked with a diverse group of individuals to improve it. In fact, we reached out to Rep. Melissa Sargent, from Madison, to co-sponsor the bill, knowing her constituents face similar contamination issues.  

That is why I was disappointed that the CLEAR Act was introduced without bipartisan support. The fact the authors held a press conference on the bill without working with Republicans seems to underscore the actual goal of the bill.

Regardless, I recently sent a letter to Senator Dave Hansen outlining areas of agreement and concerns with the bill and offered to meet to discuss the CLEAR Act. I believe that when we sit down and discuss the issue without political motivation, we can find common ground and a solution that will benefit everyone. You can read that letter here: legis.wisonsin.gov/assembly/89/nygren/press-releases/.

Like me, you have probably heard that without the CLEAR Act the DNR cannot regulate or clean-up PFAS chemicals. Much of what the CLEAR Act directs, however, the DNR may already do. While there are parts of the CLEAR Act that I support, there are also parts that need amending.

Under current law, the DNR may set standards for groundwater, drinking water, and air quality for any substance. Last month, the DNR began setting standards for drinking, ground, and surface water for PFAS chemicals.

It has also been said that the DNR cannot begin clean-up effort without the CLEAR Act. State law gives the DNR broad authority to take any action necessary for investigation and clean-up. This is, in fact, currently happening in Marinette and Peshtigo. 

I look forward to working with Sen. Hansen on the CLEAR Act and AB 323. I believe there are many areas of agreement in the two bills and that we can work together to address areas of disagreement. In the end, the State of Wisconsin and Marinette and Peshtigo will be better for it.

Rep. John Nygren



Dear Editor,

After reading your front page story "Co. Zoning Denies Fence Variance, DNR & DOT Ok" I cannot say I was surprised that the kangaroo court (zoning board of appeals) and Marinette County Zoning Administrator denied the permit.  I feel that the county zoning board of appeals and zoning administrator should be replaced. The current county administrator was the zoning administrator when the whole debacle started in 2015 I'm pretty sure.  The county administrator should be suspended without pay for a month or so to think about promoting another unqualified administrator (zoning) and appointing a board that does not have or use common sense.  Their "opinion" that allowing the fence would set a "precedent" is crazy.  The zoning laws and board of appeals can decide each application on a case by case basis which is why the process and board is in place. The Town of Porterfield Building Inspector issued a building permit, State Representative Jeff Mursau, the DNR and DOT were in favor or had no issues with the fence placement and issuing the after the fact county permit. No neighbors objected to the fence.  The DOT even paid the $2,250 after the fact county variance application fee.  A $2,250 fee seems rather high for a fence.  So the tax payers actually paid this fee as the DOT gets its money from the tax payers.  The fence is on Highway 180 so the county administrator and zoning administrator should have noticed it when it was put up.  The county may have even done the road work.  It is not the responsibility of the land owner to know all the laws the county has dreamed up.  The county was well aware of the sale as it was recorded with the county.  The petitioner did the state, county and the tax payers a favor selling them the land they needed and his reward is punishment by the Marinette County hierarchy four years later.  If you do an open records request to the human resources department for copies of the employment applications, resumes and position requirements of the County Zoning Administrator and County Administrator you can decide for yourself if they are qualified for the positions they are paid generously for.  The three member zoning board of appeals are appointed positions so they don't need any qualifications. I smell another lawsuit the county zoning office (i.e. tax payers) will lose or settle coming if the owner wants to hire expensive lawyers and use the very slow legal system.  The last lawsuit the county zoning department had was over the land fill which they paid out $250,000 of tax payer's money. OUCH!

Pete Pfankuch

Marinette County


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