From our readersIssue Date: July 22, 2020
Can anyone tell me what is going on at City Hall in Menominee?
We had a pair of Sandhill cranes and they and their nest were wiped out. The community was outraged. The City Manager hemmed and hawed around changed his story a couple of times, until the uproar died down but we never really got a straight answer even though he authorized it. The Mayor and Council didn't know about it because he likes to keep them in the dark as much as possible.
There was a contract with Barley for rip-rap on Harbor Drive, no bidding took place. The Finance committee (Mayor, Plemel, Pohlmann, and Fifarek) said that even if the DNR was giving us $100K, we should bid this out to make sure that we are getting the most linear feet covered for the monies received as Barley's quote only covered some of the road. Tony couldn't answer the question "Why did you not bid this?" He found a wash to push it off with double-talk.
Mr. Graff seems to have an aversion to getting contracts in place for quite a bit of the City's outsourcing. It is going on two years that we have outsourced diesel repair and nothing is covered by a contract. Where is the transparency with this guy? Why doesn't the Council do something? That was a rhetorical question because I know why:
Tony lives in Chicago, rents in Menominee, and goes "home" as ofter as he can. He brags that he has five votes on the Council that keep him safe from any repercussions from rolling into City Hall at 10:30 or 11 a.m. in the morning, not accomplishing tasks that would be considered routine, and looking out for the best interests of this City. In fact, when his review score went down last year to just average, that didn't stop Councilman Robinson from recommending a nice, fat raise. The finance committee voted against it. In my opinion, this manager is the highest paid in our history and we are not getting our money's worth. Why have we been without a code enforcement officer for two years? All issues get stuck in Tony's inbox where they sit until the pile is reshuffled. Oh, he talks a lot and tells people what they want to hear and that will get them off of his back...until it comes back around. We are paying $114K for a guy that works about 3 days a week.
Com on, City Council: hole him accountable! The finance committee kept him from putting out a 20-21 budget with a half-million dollar deficit built in. He pulled almost a half million dollars out of the savings account for the overage on the current year. How many more times can he do that before he is vested in the City pension and motors south down Highway 41 toward home?
Have we handled the Corona Pandemic better than most countries? Are we a world leader or even close?
Comparing countries is useful if equalizing populations with individual statistics. For example, South Korea's population is about 50 million and their reported deaths are 269. The US population is under 350 million with over 120,000 deaths. If we equalized the population number, and gave S. Korea a population of slightly less than 350 million, their number of deaths would be 1,883, not around 120,000. This does not even consider population density which is much higher in S. Korea. This is a bit dated. Our numbers are now much worse.
This clearly shows despite the boasting of President Trump about how great our response has been and continues to be, we are failing miserably and people have died because of our flawed response. Do we want to lose more Americans because our President and his political supporters want to deny reality and give only good news that is manufactured when needed?
I hope we choose to demand a real meaningful response, and vote out those responsible for denial, ignorance, or political inaction to a killer Virus. We have a choice to believe the vast majority of trained medical professionals trained in diagnosing or the President and his Republican supporters.
I wonder if people remember that not all advice given by medical professionals and politicians has stood up over time? Some of the things that we were told include: Smoking is good for you. Bloodletting was once proven to cure most illnesses. Baby formula was recommended over breast milk. Hundreds of prescription drugs that were approved to be safe and effective were later pulled from the market due to severe side effects including deaths. Medical experts stated that diet has no effect on health but it does. The food pyramid that the US government recommended for many years has been proven to be bad for health. The earth is flat. The list goes on and on. Remember this when an elected politician or medical "expert" says anything.
Another thing to consider is how people use masks. Most people use the same masks all day and every day. So the masks are collecting germs and retaining them. The wearers put them on and off using their hands and fingers many times in a day. So hands and fingers are contaminated. Where do they store the mask? On the vehicle seat, in a pocket, on the counter, hang it on a coat hook or where? This storage spot is likely to collect germs from the mask and the mask gets contaminated by the surfaces it is placed on. Then they put it back on their face. What about all the times the wearer adjusts it during the day? Are they washing their hands every time? Some people's doctors recommend they do not wear a mask because their breathing will be impaired. If a mask impairs some people's breathing it is impairing all wearers breathing isn't it? Doctors do wear masks during surgery. The surgical mask is put on and taken off the doctor by the nurses in the operating room. After use it is thrown away. Proper medical facemasks are designed as a single use item. Most of the masks available are not medical grade. Perhaps we are better off not wearing a mask?
The people that want to wear a mask can still do it. However there does not seem to be much real scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of masks so people should be allowed to make their own choice. I don't shop stores or go in businesses that make me wear a mask. If the employees wear them I am fine with that. My employers will want me to wear a mask while working and I will but all the while thinking it is not a logical or necessarily the best or safest thing to do. What do you think?
These are difficult times for citizens, businesses and law enforcement agencies during this historic pandemic. In order to manage this pandemic, Governor Whitmer has issued 147 executive orders in an effort to curb the death count in the State.
Executive Order 147 requires the people to wear masks in public places, retail businesses and at outdoor public events. Businesses are directed to refuse services and deny entry to those not wearing masks and directs a misdemeanor offense for people and business operators who fail to comply with the order. The order claims to not violate constitutional rights but it also imposes upon business operators the obligation to enforce the mask mandate which will increase the possibility of conflict between the patrons and business operators.
This order poses a difficult dilemma for law enforcement and business operators. The order exempts people with specific medical conditions from wearing masks, but federal laws prevent law enforcement from asking persons about their medical conditions. The way the executive orders are written causes confusion and frustration among the public and the law enforcement professionals that serve you. I don't want you to mistrust us. It is important to me that you understand the challenges that we face together.
The Menominee County Sheriffs Office will not be issuing citations to people not wearing masks. Deputies will respond to complaints related to Executive Order 147. We will enforce local ordinances and State Laws, respond to calls for service, educate and investigate complaints with the intent to protect the constitutional rights of the public. If a patron refuses to wear a mask, and is asked to leave the business by a business operator, and refuses to leave the business, a trespassing complaint may be issued. Non-compliant guests who fail to leave a business when asked, may be prosecuted for trespassing and/or disorderly conduct under State Law. We will enforce in regards to threats and attacks against persons, assault and battery against persons and disorderly conduct. We will protect the constitutional rights of all people.
Please respect a business operators' requirements, by wearing a mask in their establishments and please be considerate of others.
Sheriff Kenny Marks
Menominee County Sheriffs Office
"A Few Precious Moments"
The clouds are motionless in the blue summer sky
On a dog day afternoon in the middle of July,
Some shaped like butterflies, others like purple dragons, and white stallions
Dreams are running rampant in my heart and eyes.
The perfume of the alfalfa in a just cut field
Invading one's senses in the whispers of the wind,
Almost like magic it takes me back in time
To a kinder way of life when dreams had no end.
The billions of heat reaching over the land
Creeping ever slowly letting each memory in,
I sit in serenity under the shade of the oak
Wishing I could be young once again.
The crackling of the field corn as I watch it grow
Stretching ever higher as the crows fly above,
I think back and wonder if I realized it then
That this lonely little farm was the land I loved.
We all have memories of our summer days
When life was simpler and we were free,
To run through the fields and play in the pastures
And gather dreams that were meant to be.
A bumblebee lands on the rosebush next to the porch
And sips it's sweet nectar before it flies away,
And off in a distance I hear the echoes of my memories
But for a few precious moments I returned to yesterday.
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