Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Killing waterways won't revive the economy

Toledo Blade Sunday, January 15, 2012 COMMENTARY BY KRISTY MEYER Some of our members of Congress evidently need a refresher course in clean water. From the mid-1800s to the late 1960s, many rivers in the United States — including Ohio’s Cuyahoga River — caught fire because of uncontrolled dumping of pollution. In the 1930s, algae blooms became a nuisance in the Great Lakes. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources concluded in 1953 that “long periods of pollution barriers to fish existed in the form of toxic material or deficient oxygen.” In the 1960s and 1970s, scientists declared Lake Erie biologically dead. As a result, the U.S. and Canadian governments passed two historic pieces of legislation: the federal Clean Water Act and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Our lakes and rivers rebounded. People flocked to Lake Erie and other waterways to fish, swim, and boat. Small businesses that depended on the lake’s fishery and water-based recreation flourished. The number of coastal marine businesses along Lake Erie’s coast has more than doubled, from 207 in 1977 to 425 today. In 1975, there were 34 charter boat captains. Today, there are about 800 of these small-business owners. The take-home message: Clean water

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Meetings Recap of LaFarga Copper LLC (Steel Dynamics Inc.)

On January 12, 2012, the Allen County Drainage board had their beginning talks about reconstructing the Bandelier Ditch #3.  Abby Frost-King and Celia Garza specifically requested from different contacts within the Surveyors office, to be informed of the day they would begin conversations. We were not called about this first meeting. They explained that this was only the introduction of the project and that there would be additional meetings. The Drainage Board meets the second and fourth Thursday of every month at 9:30am in the Council courtroom Suite 035 in the Garden level of Citizens Square. The next meeting will be January 26, 2012 at 9:30am. If they continue to speak and plan for this ditch improvement, it is imperative that we all attend to share our opinions…even though we have been informed that there will be a “public hearing” after the plans are in place and THEN the public who live in the area will be able to comment on their findings. Save Maumee had attended the last Allen County Drainage Board meeting of 2011.  We requested the review of the restructuring of Bandilier Ditch #3, since it seemed necessary to do this work before LaFarga Copper LLC (Steel

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2011 Tribute to our local Rivers

We wanted to commemorate our achievements for Save Maumee’s “Organization of the Year 2011” presented to us at Butler University by Hoosier Environmental Council. So, if you would like to see why we were chosen for the award, check out our video with local musicians Elephants in Mud. ALL pictures in the video were taken in 2011 ~ Click on the picture!

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"FortWayne.com" coverage of Save Maumee's Award

  The Lowdown: Save Maumee grassroots group named environmental “Organization of the Year” in Indiana Submitted by Jaclyn Goldsborough on Thu, 12/22/2011 – 12:06   Posted in http://fortwayne.com The Lowdown Fort Wayne is known for its three rivers — the St. Joesph River, St. Marys River and the Maumee River — but who is protecting them? The answer is Save Maumee. Save Maumee was honored in early December by the Hoosier Environmental Council as the “Organization of Year” for empowering the people of Fort Wayne to protect the extensive waterways by doing projects, events and legislation. Click here to see a photo gallery of Save Maumee initiatives. Founder of Save Maumee, Abigail King, started the grassroots organization in 2005 to raise awareness of the conditions of the three rivers and develop restoration projects to make sure the rivers are healthy. “I just started paying attention and reading about the rivers after we moved into a house near the river. The things I dug up in the river horrified me, and many people I talked to didn’t know what was wrong with the waterways. Many times with the government, it seems like one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. I

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Save Maumee Grassroots Org. wins "Organization of the Year Award"

Awards Ceremony at The 4th Annual Greening the Statehouse Policy Forum will be held on Saturday, December 10th at Butler University’s Reilly Room at Atherton Union in downtown Indy from 8:30am-3pm.  So join us for education from Indianapolis policy experts and environmental groups. For reservations call Jesse Karbanda at 317.685.8800 ext. 103 The Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana’s largest environmental policy organization, has claimed “Save Maumee won Organization of the Year!”  Abigail King, Ryan Bailey and Jain Young will be accepting the award for the group. Supporters of the day include Sierra Club, Blue Green Alliance, Carmel Green Initiative, Indiana Green Business Network, Indiana Recycling Coalition, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Save the Dunes, City of Indianapolis-Office of Sustainability. Save Maumee has been chosen as a result of the positive impact on the community, the group’s great volunteer spirit, passion for the health of the rivers in the Great Lakes region, and ability to organize a number of very successful volunteer driven river clean-up and restoration events. Northeast Indiana Rivers Represented in Washington D.C. Save Maumee has been chosen by Healing Our Waters to represent Northeast Indiana for Clean Water Week during Great Lakes Days in Washington, D.C. The event will be held

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River Network explains the Clean Water Act

 Currently, the Upper Maumee drains (the first half of the Maumee that headwaters in downtown Fort Wayne from Combined & Sanitary Sewer Overflows Rain and snowmelt discharged from combined stormwater and sewer systems can cause serious pollution in rivers and lakes in urban areas. These sewer systems were designed to capture and treat both domestic wastewater as well as stormwater runoff. But in many places development has increased beyond the capacity of combined sewer systems which causes them to periodically overflow, sending raw sewage into surface water bodies (combined sewer overflows). In areas where stormwater drains were never connected with the sanitary sewer system, raw sewage overflows can result from substantial amounts of water leaking into old pipes, pipe blockages, pipe breaks, power failures or insufficient capacity in the system. Such overflows are called sanitary sewer overflows. Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) are leading causes of water quality impairment across the country. The EPA states that only 32 percent of communities with CSOs are implementing the minimum controls, despite a January 1997 deadline. Only 19 percent have completed their plans for controlling CSOs, and fewer than 10 percent have finished implementing CSO controls. The EPA estimates

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JOIN US for FREE River Loving FUN!

Upcoming Events:    ALL events are rain or shine ~ SATURDAY ~ September 17, 2011-  Save Maumee’s 4th Annual Canoe Clean Up, Can YOU Clean Up?  11am- 4pm Free canoes for the day at Fort Wayne Outfitters Bike Depot with ID.  Spend a fun day with family and friends on the river cleaning up and educating yourself! First come first serve Canoe Clean-Up Details HERE SATURDAY ~ October 22nd, 2011- Save Maumee’s 3rd Annual Seed Harvest at Fox Island Nature Preserve 1pm – 4pm, Come pick seeds that we will plant on our riverbanks for Earth Day 2012  Seed Harvest Details HERE Friday Sept. 30th and Saturday Oct. 1st.  ~ Northeastern Indiana Sustainable Living Fair and Market held downtown Grabill, IN Free attendance and if you would like to be a vendor or speaker please contact Julia Gorrell at juliagorrell@gmail.com or 260-418-0071 Friday Sept. 30th, Save Maumee’s Founder will be speaking~exact time will be updated the website here! Other Recent Events: **Save Maumee Grassroots Org. appreciates the recreational fun on the St. Joseph and St. Mary’s thanks to Friends of the River!  In 2011 Three Rivers Festival had its first local river event since I attended Northrop High School.  Progress is

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U.S. Army helps Save the Maumee!

July 16th 2011– United States National Guard helped Save the Maumee River! Lead by Staff Sergeant Grimm and Sergeant Michele Berkes-Adams along with a medic and 20 recruits removed large items in the Maumee River in Riverhaven, (a three mile stretch between Fort Wayne and New Haven). – The U.S. Army works on “green drills” several times a year and had chosen to help Save Maumee!  Items removed include a teddy bear, 10 tires and assorted car parts, steel drums, a sump pump, 2 children pools. Hats off to the men and women who keep us safe through cleaning up the large items that nobody else can remove without being put in harms way! Canoes were provided by Fort Wayne Outfitters/Bike Depot and Earth Adventures; two competitors working together to improve our rivers.   Here are two seperate stories from the Journal Gazette! http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20110717/LOCAL/307179893/1002/LOCAL Troops attack Maumee trash Published: July 17, 2011 3:00 a.m. Patrick Svitek | The Journal Gazette Fort Wayne– Ten tires, two kiddie pools, a sump pump, a microwave and a doll head were among items collected by Staff Sgt. David Grimm’s Indiana Army National Guard team Saturday afternoon in the Maumee River. As part of the National Guard’s nationwide

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Botulism Report of Dead Birds still relevent

From the Emmet County Lakeshore Association Fall 2010 Newsletter: During the fall of 2007 there was an estimated 8,000 – 10,000 water birds that were believed to have died from botulism poisoning along the northern Lake Michigan shoreline.  These water birds included loons, gulls, and all ducks, local and migratory in Lake Michigan.   There is the chain of events leading up to the botulism toxin poisoning of sea birds: 1) Botulism is naturally occurring on the lake bottom. 2) Mats of Cladophora algae (the same algae that is thick along the Lake Michigan beach) are believed to be caused by clearer water, caused by the invasive zebra and quagga mussels’ filtration of plankton from the water and from the mussels’ excretions causing the fertilization of the algae.  These mats create an anaerobic condition on the lake floor which causes the botulism to produce a toxin. 3) The toxin is ingested by the mussels. 4) The invasive mussels are then eaten by the invasive round goby fish. 5) The dead round goby fish float to the surface and are eaten by sea birds. 6) The toxin causes a paralysis and the birds die from drowning or exposure. This past Summer

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Invasives: What are they and why do we care?

An “invasive plant” is another name for a plant which grows quickly and aggressively, displacing other plants as it spreads and harming diversity of other plants.  Usually invasive plants are not native to North America.  Of the roughly 2,300 plant species growing outside cultivation in Indiana, 25% are non-native. Most non-natives cause little trouble, but a few aggressive species are responsible for degrading and destroying thousands of acres of natural plant communities in Indiana and are costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in control measures.  Some of these invasives are still being sold by nurseries and well meaning Hoosiers – not realizing the damage it can cause.  There are MANY natives discussed in previous posts. Why do we care? Invasive plants hurt wildlife by eliminating the plants our native animals need for food and cover.  The invasives compete with nativeplants for sunlight, space and/or soil nutrients. Invasive plants destroy habitat for rare wildflowers and animals; they threaten 2/3rds of all endangered species. Invasive plants cost money.  Agencies around Indiana spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to eradicate these species and protect our natural areas. Each year the cost grows. Agriculture losses and control costs due to

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Fluoride

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Cited Work for 2011 Newsletter

<!– Facebook Badge START –><a href=”http://www.facebook.com/savemaumeeabigailfrostking” target=”_TOP” style=”font-family: “lucida grande”,tahoma,verdana,arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; font-variant: normal; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; color: #3B5998; text-decoration: none;” title=”Abigail King Save Maumee”>Abigail King Save Maumee</a><br/><a href=”http://www.facebook.com/savemaumeeabigailfrostking” target=”_TOP” title=”Abigail King Save Maumee”><img src=”http://badge.facebook.com/badge/1337492704.2191.1137400631.png” width=”120″ height=”222″ style=”border: 0px;” /></a><br/><a href=”http://www.facebook.com/badges/” target=”_TOP” style=”font-family: “lucida grande”,tahoma,verdana,arial,sans-serif; font-size: 11px; font-variant: normal; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; color: #3B5998; text-decoration: none;” title=”Make your own badge!”>Create Your Badge</a><!– Facebook Badge END –> http://www.in.gov/portal/news_events/64678.htm http://www.epa.gov/cgi-bin/broker?view=STCO&trilib=TRIQ0&state=18&SFS=YES&year=2009&_service=oiaa&_program=xp_tri.sasmacr.tristart.macro http://oaspub.epa.gov/enviro/ef_home2.water http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20100829/EDIT10/308299957/1021/EDIT A July report from the National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, found the amount of dissolved phosphorus in the Maumee River is at the highest level since monitoring began in 1975. http://www.environmentwashington.org/uploads/7a/43/7a43e4d24c84d12e2b881fe78bb1f6c5/Wasting-Our-Waterways-PRINT-vWA.pdf  Environment WashingtonResearch & Policy CenterTony DutzikFrontier GroupPiper Crowell and John RumplerEnvironment AmericaResearch & Policy CenterFall 2009 FOUND: Indiana topped the nation with over 27 million pounds of toxic chemicals dumped into the state’s waterways in 2007. Over 230 Million Pounds of Toxics Discharged into American Waterways Industrial facilities dumped 232 million pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s waterways, according to a report released today by Environment America: Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act. The report also finds that toxic chemicals were

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Recycling

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Junk Ditch Buy out

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What IS Grassroots Organizing?

Caesar Chavez said it best, “Grassroots organizing is simply one person telling another person…and those 2 people going out and telling 2 more.” How simple a concept eh? Save Maumee has this similar mantra because we work as 100% volunteers – little money collected here and there at events for Earth Day erosion control materials.  We pick up ideas and use people for manual labor for our rivers though spreading the word.  People call to donate labor hours, encouragement, share ideas, offer services, or sometimes critique something that Save Maumee has written. I am so grateful for all the people who do their part; civic duty, spending your time for betterment of others, volunteering, manual labor etc.  Without these people I would have stopped working to fight for our waterways a few years ago, but people DO care.  If event planning falls apart, people flake out, or it rains…the work will continue and life will go on. My husband has always been supportive of my water activism.  He gives me two pieces of advice all the time 1) Get a thicker skin  2) If the work was easy, everybody would be doing it. So things change, life changes, we just

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overflow from tree removal

VIDEO AND COVERAGE HERE: Levee Tree Removal in Fort Wayne It has recently come to the attention of Save Maumee that trees along the Maumee River and St. Mary’s River are indiscriminately being cut down by order of the Board of Public Works and the US Army Corps of Engineers.  Apparently this area of the riverbank lies on a levee and during one of the last big floods in Fort Wayne, the riverbank and the trees fell into the water.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of regulating levees by setting the safety guidelines and according to city planners the US ACE directed the city to “remove the trees and make repairs or lose the acceptable rating of flood protection.”  This has resulted in the removal of hundreds of trees along the riverbanks of the Maumee River- in addition to trees removed from the St. Mary’s and St. Joe Rivers as well. Tree removal and stump grinding has been a hot discussion topic around town.  Between Ash Trees being removed due to the Emerald Ash Borer invasion (equaling 24% of the tree canopy in Fort Wayne) and the Oak Trees being eaten by the Gypsy Moths; no

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Sneaky Industry & More Pollution for Indiana

http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2011&session=1&request=getBill&doctype=HB&docno=1112 It is important to note that Indiana HB 1112 was signed by the Present of the Senate after passing through the House of Representatives.  Little do you realize, this bill was created by Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) and presented to Rep. Win Moses, but he turned it down because it was not good for the people’s health in Indiana…it was good for large corporations.  Phyllis Pond, however sponsored this bill and it was supported by Bob Morris.  Indianapolis Star reported this bill will allow Steel Dynamics to use its industrial waste as land compost material. So how would SDI benefit from this bill?  This bill, basically means industrial waste can now be spread on land as an “amendment.” Amended soil is a material added to soil to improve plant growth and health. A conditioner or a combination of conditioners corrects the soil’s deficiencies in structure and-or nutrients to improve soil fertility. SO this means that the department will allow the use of industrial waste products in a land application operation or as ingredients in a soil amendment or soil substitute on the same basis as other materials under the rules concerning land application and marketing and distribution permits.” I

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What Goes Up, Must Come Down ~ Into Our Water

 Meeting 05/17/2011– Many local homeowners spoke out at the meeting because of their concern with the smoke (sometimes blue, sometimes yellow) that comes from Superior Aluminum.  Their concerns for their health and their families well-being were many, but Denny Luma (President of Superior Aluminum) says, “I can’t tell you what the yellow smoke is,” giving little comfort to attendees. Testimonials heard that night were heartbreaking. “Our entire area has a tremendously high rate of cancer…everyone on my block suffers from several types of cancer.” “These are our homes, please understand our concerns.  You come to work everyday for a few hours, but get to go home to clean air in your neighborhood.  We cannot escape it.” “If smoke is not meant to escape, why is it when I call the Hotline number the smoke stops coming out immediately?  If it is that easy to make it stop than why is it smoking to begin with?” The community has already suffered from previous problems in their neighborhoods from Superior Aluminum.  In April 2010, 10 families evacuated their homes due to a chlorine spill.  Article located here: “Chlorine escaped the building and 10 families had to leave their homes.”In order to offer

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Steel Dynamics Inc. MEETING for Building Copper Foundry in New Haven

On April 27, Steel Dynamics Inc. held an open meeting to discuss its plan for a new copper foundry to be built in New Haven, IN.  It began with a short presentation about the site, giving details of the furnace, what routes trucks would use and so on.  Afterwards, they opened the floor for questions.  Although only a few were informed of this meeting in advance, over 150 residents came to voice their concerns over the pollution this plant will likely produce. SDI, together with OMNI Source, has run Superior Aluminum since 1998, and has many of its neighbors worried.  In April of 2010, a leak of chlorine gas forced those nearby to evacuate their homes for several days while the haz-mat was cleaned up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKcjqH26DoM.  At the meeting, questions were asked about the day to day problems, like noxious odors, and blue smoke blowing for miles around the plant.  One man even had video footage of this, but the members of the board refused to acknowledge these claims.  Instead of attempting to answer the concerns, or giving detail how their new plant would be different then their old one, they pled ignorance of the environmental issues at hand, and

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6th Annual Save Maumee's EARTH DAY FUNNY VIDEO!

Well, we are considered a good natured bunch, with a sense of humor… See our attempts at getting some nationwide attention!  We gave a funny shout out to Ellen DeGeneres, John Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel, Steven Colbert & Oprah.  We figured any media attention is good attention, even if it is a little tainted!  We think that all the trash we pull out of our Three Rivers in Fort Wayne is ridiculous and wanted to share a little satire in our Earth Day efforts.  We have been accused of being “rough around the edges and a little crass,” so we did not want to disappoint!  Remember, we are a 100% unpaid volunteer group, so you get what you pay for!  Dirty rivers, however, are no laughing matter.  Let it be very clear though, we only want clean water, clean rivers and reduced pollution and we are willing to do something about it.  It is one thing that brings us all to a consensus.  Thank you for your continued support! Thank you to everyone who make our events a complete success….AGAIN! The first 30 seconds are specific to the celebrity, and the rest of the 2 minute video are basically the same.

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Information from Earth Day Happenings…Update to follow soon!

Save Maumee’s 6th Annual  EARTH DAY 2011 Celebration! Coordinated by Save Maumee Grassroots Organization           Safety Sheet – Please take a moment now and read! o       DO NOT PICK UP ANY BOTTLES CONNECTED TO A TUBE: IT MAYBE     A  METH-LAB *DO NOT TOUCH*DANGER*Find someone in a Save Maumee shirt. o        Go on your walk with a buddy so you can help and watch each other! o        Do not walk on unstable stream banks, disturbing these banks-including the vegetation growing upon them-can accelerate erosion and lead to a collapse.  Some of the plants you step on may have been planted by another participant! Be part of the solution, not part of the problem! NO STEPPING ON PLANTS. o       Don’t pick up any hypodermic needles, or other medical or hazardous waste or animal carcasses’ or manure but please notify someone to dispose of anything in question.  DO NOT TOUCH DEAD BIRDS. (bird flu & notify someone) o       We only want adults picking up sharp objects like glass because we do not want any children handling anything on which they may accidentally cut themselves. Adequate adult supervision is required at all times for anyone under 18!                                    **DO NOT LEAVE YOUR

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Save Maumee's 6th Annual Earth Day Celebration

~ Save Maumee’s 6th Annual Earth Day 2011 ~ SUNDAY April 17 ~ WE are here for the cause….CLEANER WATERWAYS AND AWARNESS ~ 11AM – 4PM ~ All Ages ~ Rain or Shine ~  Action & Education ~ Seed Planting & Large Scale Erosion Control Project ~ Free Fun Open-Non House…working on improving your rivers with only citizen sponsorship and 100% volunteers since 2005!  Looking for your back muscles! See where to find the Earth Day fun CLICK HERE: **Sign in and REGISTER FIRST and listen/read any information being presented about your rivers in Indiana – please sign the liability waiver, or you cannot participate.  (just keeping the lawyers happy :))Save Maumee Grassroots Organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the conditions of the 3 Rivers in Fort Wayne, Indiana while facilitating ecosystem restoration projects; ultimately repairing and improving the St. Joseph, St. Mary and Maumee Rivers. Revitalizing the St. Joe/Maumee Watershed will protect and restore the environment, while improving the economic, aesthetic and recreational value.  We are organizing hypothesis driven restoration projects, which place a high priority on monitoring, developing and restoring rivers with a positive environmental impact. Research into historical importance of our navigable waterways and current pollution

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Bill Watch 2011

Indiana Wildlife sent me their bill watch.  Keeping laws transparent and legislators honest should be demanded by the we the people. Wildlife Management SB 0017 Exotic animals. Support restricting release of exotic animals into the wild. Hunting/Fishing SB 0153 Disabled veteran hunting and fishing licenses. Opposed to new lifetime licenses HB 1036 Exemption from hunter education course. Opposed to new exemptions HB 1299 Animal hunting facilities Opposed to any hunting within fenced area HB 1448 Lifetime senior hunting license. Opposed to new lifetime licenses Water Quality SB 0113 Confined feeding operation approvals. Generally support improved water quality protections from excess nutrients, E coli and other pollutants SB 0118 Ordinances regulating fertilizers. Support local communities’ prohibitions on fertilizer pollution of waterways SB 0200 Environmental general permits. Generally support proper NPDES permit requirements to protect water quality SB 0202 Environmental approvals and other issues.Generally support for proper requirements to protect water quality SB 0236 Septic tanks and sewer systems. SB 0556 Confined Feeding Operations and CAFOs. Generally support for proper requirements to protect water quality HB 1134 Confined feeding operation manure. Generally support for proper requirements to protect water quality HB 1169 Soil and septic system education and research. Generally support additional

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Millions of Dead Fish/Birds; First week in 2011

The expression, “like a canary in a coal mine” was used to describe the alarm system for coal miners in the late 19th and early 20th century.  The small birds were brought down into the mines to be a zoological early warning to alert miners of toxic gases or fumes.  The canaries would choke and die earlier than people so the men knew they should take action! Explanations of large scale bird and  fish deaths over the past 7 days are as follows: hail, lightening, heavy winds fireworks, disease, tornado, upper atmospheric disturbance, mass confusion, hit by something, bird government experiments, power lines, extreme temperatures (hot or cold), massive trauma, struck by a car or my personal favorite, the 2nd coming of Christ.  I think we should add chemicals to the list ~ Don’t you?  The experts may be overlooking several chemicals because they do not consider these chemicals to be deadly.  Why? Because the same chemicals are found in 90% of every man, woman and child in the USA.  One more thing, pollution and poison HAS been ruled out.  I believe that ruling out “pollution” is unwarranted and too early. New Years Eve ~ between 3,000-5,000 dead red-winged black

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FUN on Fort Wayne Rivers!

Happy New Year…2011 here we come!  The Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day has a great turn out in Fort Wayne! Check out the video!    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOfdDsDpS70&feature=autofb

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