2008.05.14 David Blesing

Written by David Green.

May 22, 2008 is a very important date.

For most of the last decade a small group of private citizens known as Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan have waged an uphill battle against the continuing pollution of the waters of the Great Lakes.

Most of the time they have fought this battle alone, standing in the brown contaminated waters of the ditches and creeks of southern Michigan. Alone in the putrid, stench filled air with sample bottle, air monitor and camera, documenting, documenting, documenting. Alone in the growing battle against polluting operators of the industrial agriculture entities most commonly known as CAFOs—Confined Animal Feeding Operations. I prefer to simply refer to them as Animal Factories. This they have done for us, all of us who call Ohio, Michigan and Indiana home. All of us who depend on the waters of the Great Lakes Watershed for our very existence.

Now it is time for us to stand with them, May 22, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. in the Hudson Middle School auditorium in Hudson, Mich.

This is the date, time and place where the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold comment hearings on permits for three Vreba-Hoff owned and operated factory dairies. This will be a defining moment for the states of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Will the Michigan DEQ and lawmakers stand with the polluting CAFO operators and their false promises or will they finally realize the costs are too high to the waters of the Great Lakes, the environment and the people of our states?

Please don’t miss this opportunity to stand with the folks who have been standing for us for so long now.

Contact [email protected] for more information.

I can live my whole life without milk. I can live little more than a week without water.

– David L. Blesing

Lyons, Ohio

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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