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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: August 30, 2019

Dear Editor:

Gilas Lake No Wake

My name is Maggie Christens; I live year-round on Gilas Lake. I also am the current president of the Gilas Lake Association.

I would like to thank Dave Bedora, Jerome Fendryk, Vernon Gisenas and Barb Patz for having the meeting and giving people time to speak on the topic, which is very important to a lot of people.

The original no wake ordinance was past in 1987, that's 32 years ago. Many people, including myself bought property on the lake because of this reason. We enjoy and value the quiet time. We didn't want to be on a lake with extended wake hours.

Doesn't seem fair to change something with no notice to the people it would affect the most, the property owners on the lake.

One of you supervisors could have easily contacted me to at least make us aware this meeting was happening. People should be heard, it's the democratic process. As board members I believe you should follow majority of the people most affected by a law or ordinance you want changed. This happened at a Special meeting, and was only posted 24-48 hours in advance. Dave Bedora told me this and said he is the one that posted it. That is not proper procedure which we will cover later. (Wisconsin Statue Laws)

Speaking of Dave Bedora he also told me over the phone a few years back when I asked him how this ordinance could be changed if someone wanted to and he said that every property on the lake would first have to be notified by mail so they were aware it was going to be on agenda for upcoming meeting. This was not done.

Couple other points"

Jerome has made the remark to several people here that us "rich people" on Gilas lake think we own the lake. First off, Jeff and I are not rich, I don't clean houses for the fun of it. Second, we all of course realize the lake is for everyone and anyone to use, which is exactly how it should be. We just expect everyone to obey the no wake hours just like we are all supposed to follow other rules and laws such as a speed limits for example. Couple other points you may not have thought about. If hours were extended by 2 hours per day, times 180 days (summer months) that is an extra 360 hours of waves hitting shoreline causing more erosion.

People do have an option very close to Gilas Lake for skiing and tubing later, White Potato Lake. Diversity is a good thing, a big lake that you can go make a wake on after 4 p.m. and a lake that fisherman or people that want to Safely swim, kayak, snorkel or any other activity that doesn't create a wake can come to Gilas.

Another reason so many of us feel strongly against this change is because we hate to lose any more wildlife the lake has been home to. We already have lost most all of the beaver, otters, large turtles etc. We certainly don't want to lose our loons, which we see out on the lake after 4 p.m. when the activity calms down. Who doesn't love a loon, or watching an osprey or eagle swoop in and catch a fish.

Of the 43-property owner on Gilas lake 95% are in favor of keeping the no wake hour as they have been for 32 yearsŘpm-10am.

When we became aware of this proposed change, myself and several others asked the fisherman on the lake what wake hours would they like to see. Over 90% wanted the no wake hours to remain the same 4pm to 10am.

When the ordinance was first adopted 32 years ago the Gilas Lake Association paid for and installed signs stating the ordinance. Cost was $357.

So, the signs belong to the Gilas Lake Association, and the Town of Beaver truck pulled into landing and changed the hours". Can't do that. It is not your property to change.

Jerome also stated to people that fisherman want to get across the lake faster. We timed going from the boat landing to the 3 furthest points at full speed and no wake speed. You are talking a difference of 2-3 minutes. Its not a large lake If you can't spare 2-3 minutes, I'd say you don't have time to go fishing in the first place.

Thank you.

Maggie Christens



Editor, Peshtigo Times:

My husband and I attended the Mellen Township Meeting on Aug. 21, 2019. During the public comment portion of the meeting many residents spoke regarding the mine. It appeared those that attended had concerns regarding Aquila Resources' contacting the Townships to request a Community Contract be signed. This contract is irrevocable and auto renewing. Aquila Resources has hired a grant writer with promises of equipment and services for government bodies in exchange for signing the contract. Once the contract is signed the government bodies would not be able to make statements against mining and the pollution of our water and air. Why is Aquila Resources doing this, it is because they do not have a social license (public's trust) for operation of the proposed metallic sulfide mine on the banks of the Menominee River, less than 150 feet from the water. It appears they are trying to buy our approval. The State's decision to approve this mine weighs heavily on the public's trust. By signing this contract, you are giving Aquila Resources a social license to operate and approval to pollute our water and air.

Every speaker spoke of not wanting the mine and that our water and air is most important. We all live in this area because of the clean water, fishing, hunting, wildlife and the sheer beauty of the area and have concerns for our future generations. These points were spoken of often at the meeting.

When the Township Meeting was concluded each board member spoke in response to a request from one of the speakers asking the opinion of the board members regarding the Mine and the Community Contract. All members stated they felt the same way as those in attendance. Township Supervisor, Thomas Philipps, stated Aquila Resources had contacted him regarding the Community Contract and Aquila Resources was told the Township was not interested.

It is reassuring to have the entire Township Board state our water and air is not for sale. Thank you goes to all board members for protecting the people of Mellen Township.

A. Piontek,

Mellen Twp. Resident



Letter to Editor

Follow The Law!

Aquila Resources is proposing a local agreement in regard to its Back Forty Mine in Michigan Township of Lake. Named parties are Menominee County, City of Stephenson, Lake township, Holmes, Daggett and Village of Daggett. The agreement calls for creating of a "work product capacity building team".

Language used in the proposed local agreement tries to make it appear to be a cooperative effort. Then there is a statement about obligations for signees. The arrogant agreement is not likely to be accepted by local units of government.

In essence, it attempts to strip away the rights of the people and local units of government.

This "agreement" at first reading seems to be an offer from Aquila Resources to help all the affected communities communities avoid the "Boom and Bust" that is typical of historic mining, set operating rules for the proposed Back Forty mine, and gain public trust. In reality, it attempts to strip the rights of the people and local units of government.

One statement in the agreement stipulates that all participants agree not to oppose the mine or take any action which would serve to delay construction of the mine. For that reason alone, all the communities should reject the proposal, but there are other reasons to reject it as well.

One of the stated purposes is for each of the elected bodies to name representatives to meet as a committee in closed session and negotiate with Aquila Resources on their behalf.

This appears to be an attempt to circumvent Michigan's Open Meetings laws.

(Editor's Note: Unconfirmed news reports are that Lake Township and Holmes Township have sent representatives to the closed door meetings of Aquila's "Capacity Building Team," which are held by invitation only at the company's offices in Stephenson, Mich. Other reports are that Mellen Township, though not invited to join, has unanimously agreed they do not want to get involved.)

Demands that participants agree not to oppose the mine or take any action which would serve to delay the construction of the mine.

There is no public trust in this project. Public trust is part of 632 mining agreement and is this an attempt to create an illusion of public confidence. There is none.

Government must comply with the Open Meetings Act. All transactions must take place int he public forum. There are concerns members of Lake Township that meetings behind the door, private meetings are highly inappropriate for governmental units.

No Transparency - If only the final agreement terms are made public without public input then it is a private agreement without public input. Is this bribe money?

Aquila has stated they do not like OMA rules of government meetings.

Several items the company has set up dates to make presentations then cancelled after meetings are set up recently as late July 2019.

Scope of the agreement - To date there have been no positive impacts . Presented adverse issues and concerns have been ignored. What about the People - their health, safety, welfare, property values and the air and water that are the two basic forces of life. There is no social license to operate.

Follow the Law - Whatever you do to the Earth you do to your children.

Jeffrey J. Budish


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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