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Farm Bureau Freaking Out On Proposed EPA Regs

August 28, 2014

The Michigan Farm Bureau is organizing a consolidated effort to shield it’s members from being held accountable for pollution in the Great Lakes. This summers total shutdown of the Toledo water system due to farm and sewer runoff has put the issue front and center in the minds of lawmakers and consumers. The Environmental Protection Agency is stepping in to expand its scope to include the rivers and inlets that lead to United States waters, including the Great Lakes. The prospect of this new accountability has factory farms and the Farm Bureau scrambling for cover as farm activities has been clearly identified as the prime contributor of the cause of the deadly blue-green algae that shut down Toledo’s water system.

Michigan’s Candice Miller threw her support to the Farm Bureau on the issue and publicly stated that she thinks the EPA is overreaching. However she has no answers as to what do do to prevent a similar catastrophe, like what happened in Toledo, from affecting Michigan’s Great Lakes. Lake Huron supplies fresh water to Detroit, Flint, Bay City and Saginaw regions. It could be a public health nightmare should this regions water supply suffer the same fate as Toledo.

Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay was identified as a Region for Concern by the EPA. Toxic algae blooms were visible from Noaa satellites in space.

Manure spraying on fields.

Michigan: Huron County

August 27, 2014


This author is virtually touring Michigan with a county by county review. Today he stopped in Huron.

Originally posted on Every County:

Huron County (pop. 33,118), on the Thumb of Michigan, has the waters of Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay on three sides. The only other Huron counties are in Ohio and Ontario.

With 90 miles of shoreline, Huron County is popular with summer tourists.

Albert E. Sleeper State Park

The Thumb Fire of 1881 burned more than a million acres in one day, killing 282 people in Huron, Tuscola, Sanilac, and Lapeer counties.

The shaded part did not burn.

The county seat of Huron County is the city of Bad Axe (pop. 3,462), which was named for a badly damaged axe that was found by surveyors at the site where the city was to be built.

The sports teams at Bad Axe High School are known as the Hatchets.

Bad Axe has the nation’s only Bad Axe Theatre; it is still showing first-run movies.

It opened in 1916.

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Minnesota DNR Lake Surveys

August 13, 2014


This activity is often overlooked, taken for granted, and hardly reported. Yet the outcomes of these surveys impact the fishing industry and tourism throughout the Great Lakes region.

Originally posted on Dr. Derek H. Ogle:

The St. Paul Pioneer Press recently ran an article about the use of lake surveys for management purposes in Minnesota.  The short article gives some insight into the importance of such common place efforts.  There is also a nice slide show from a lake survey on a St. Paul metro lake. The article is here.

Fisheries specialists Leah Weyandt and Jim Levitt of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources handle a live northern pike caught in a research gilll net during a survey of Bald Eagle Lake in Ramsey County Thursday, July 10, 2014. The state has some 5,500 waters with fishable populations of predators; about 4,500 have been surveyed. Many of those lakes have reliable data dating back to the 1970s. (Pioneer Press: Dave Orrick)

Fisheries specialists Leah Weyandt and Jim Levitt of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources handle a live northern pike caught in a research gilll net during a survey of Bald Eagle Lake in Ramsey County Thursday, July 10, 2014.

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Leave work for a year to go live on a remote island? How a TED Talk inspired me to take a mid-career sabbatical

July 9, 2014
Featured Image -- 1907


This is a particularly appealing story for many of us in stressful but stressful careers. I don’t think I could have done it but the idea is truly appealing.

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Winston Chen's son, then TK-years-old, walks across a beach on a stormy day. Photo: Winston Chen

Winston Chen left his job at a software company in Boston and moved his family to the island of Rødøy, population 108, for a year. Here, Chen’s son walks across a deserted beach on a stormy day. Photo: Winston Chen

By Winston Chen

Odysseus…Gauguin…Robinson Crusoe…and me?

Many people dream of the ultimate escape: throwing all the baggage of civilization away and taking off to live on a remote island. But few people—particularly professional couples with young kids—actually go through with it. And yet, that’s just what my family did: we left Boston, and my reliable job at a software company, to go live on a tiny island north of the Arctic Circle for a year, unsure of what exactly we’d do there or what we would face upon our return.

[ted_talkteaser id=649]The seed of this idea was planted three years before, when a friend made me watch a TED Talk by…

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Good Sailors

July 5, 2014


Found this and thought it worthy of re posting.

Originally posted on Poetry: Because Obscurity is a Sin:

At 73 he looks damn good,
what improves him even more
is her smile when she looks
at him.
He and I lean against the stone
and watch the big ships
come in.
“No pump works here,
the lake simply finds
it’s level.”
The level I think to
myself is as it pleases;
the docile walk along
the rocky shore and love
in the evening
the scream of the supernatural
and the breaking backs of
all tall and iron ships.
Not all good sailors make 73.

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12 Things to Do Around Caseville if Your Bored with the Cheeseburger Festival

July 2, 2014

The Cheeseburger in Caseville festival will be a fun filled family event with plenty to do and see. However there is only so much grass skirt, trinket stands and cheeseburgers that one can handle for the multi-weekend event. What else is there to do in the Upper Thumb? Here are some suggestions if you, or more likely the kids, have had enough fun with the parrot head life.

Caseville Giant Slide1. Giant Slide – Refurbished in 2012, this offers classic fun and great photo and video opportunities The whole family or group of friends can race down a huge multi-lane slide. Great for working off that extra cheeseburger and fries. Located on the south side of Caseville toward Bayport.

2. Go Karts – For 2014 there is a full featured go-kart track in  Port Austin. As an adult you can take the little ones on a full throttle ride around a great winding track. Check out Family Go Karts in Port Austin south of town off of M-53 for sports a full racing track.

3. Miniature Golf – There are numerous classic Putt-Putt and other family friendly courses in Port Austin, Caseville and Kinde. While the adults think of these as trite and insignificant, the kids will remember these little family jaunts for a lifetime. Take advantage of these roadside attractions before they disappear to X Box video games. The biggest of the miniture golf circuit is Sandy Dunes Adventure Golf. It’s short drive east of Caseville this modern course sports Huron County’s largest, (and only), waterfall in the Thumb.

4. Giant Water Slide and Climbing Rock - Cool off going down a huge water jet slide or try your hand at climbing a 25 foot alpine rock. Open seven Kinde Water Slidedays a week noon to 6pm. This adventure is located in Kinde. Kinde is south of Port Austin on M-53.

Bayport Fish Company5. Bayport Fish Company - Visit one of the few remaining operational commercial fish operations on the Great Lakes. Purchase fresh fish on-site and watch the operations. (Hope you like the smell of fish). If your in Caseville you can see their vessel Osprey tied up south of the break wall. Open seven days a week.

6. Port Austin Farmers Market – Open Saturday mornings during the summer season. Crafts, fresh locally produced fruits and vegetables, craft foods and flea market items.  Considered the largest open-air market in the Thumb. Port Austin

7. Octagon Barn - The Thumb Octagon Barn Agricultural Museum is located in Tuscola County approximately 1 mile east of the Village of Gagetown along Bay City Forestville Road 1 mile north on Richie Road, just south of the Huron County border.

8. Huron City Museum –  See Huron County has it thrived in the late 1800’s. The House of Seven Gables, a beautifully preserved Victorian home, sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Huron. The General Store, a Methodist church, an inn and barns were built during the 1880’s. With a post office, general store, a rooming house and mills, Huron City was well equipped to serve the northern county farmer. Huron City.

Huron County Nature Center9. Huron County Nature Center & Wilderness Arboretum -A 280 acre Nature Center established on a tract of untouched land in Hume Township, Michigan, the Huron County Nature Center and Wilderness Arboretum  has been under the tender care of the Huron County Women’s Clubs since 1941. Located halfway between Caseville and Port Austin across from Oak Beach.


10. Hit the Beach – There are numerous public beaches throughout Huron County in which to cool off, enjoy a picnic while the kids play iHuron County Beachesn the playground. Most beaches offer ample parking with some with picnic tables, restroom and changing areas and grills for making your own cheeseburger.


Caseville Musuem11. Caseville Museum - Located just one block from Main Street in Caseville you can see artifacts and local treasures from yesteryear. Special events are often held weekly and it offers a quick diversion from the crowds.




12. Rush Lake and Sand Road ORV – Located just south of Sleeper State Park this unimproved road runs from Caseville to Port Austin by way of various roads and trails. If you have a 4×4  and want to try your hand at light off-roading this is worth an hour of looking around the woods. Sand RoaRush lake caseilled is found about a mile south of the cross streets of M-23 and State Park Road. Be prepared. The road is sometimes impassable after rain and the sand can get deep. Only the most adventurous find the ancient and reedy Rush Lake. There are numerous hiking and biking paths. As most of this is on state land its best to have your State Park Passport and ORV sticker in case the DNR stops you.




Michigan’s Arsenic Problem is One of the Worst in the Nation. The Thumb Area is the worst in the State.

July 1, 2014

Before you drink another drop of water from your well in the Upper Thumb read this report from Michigan Public Radio. Interactive maps show the Thumb region has the worst in the state for arsenic in well water.


via Michigan’s arsenic problem is among the worst in the nation. Here’s why that matters. | Michigan Radio.


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