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Open Forum

Thank You from WCYC

Letter to the Editor

On behalf of the Whitefish Chain Yacht Club I would like to thank Moonlite Bay Bar and Restaurant for their generosity in donating the proceeds from the 5th Annual Cardboard boat race to the Yacht Club.

The Whitefish Chain Yacht Club is the organization that is responsible for getting the buoys placed on all the channels on the lake and also the buoys that mark hazard areas. We also sponsor swimming lessons and boat safety classes each year.

So a special thanks to Rich and Jessie Eide and the Moonlite Bay Staff for making the Cardboard boat races such a successful event.

John Pribyl,
Whitefish Chain Yacht Club Board

Preserving our Tourist Economy

Letter to the Editor

Friends,
As you now probably know Enbridge is planning on building a pipeline (The Sandpiper) right through our most precious assets – our Lakes and Wetlands. If constructed, the pipeline would go through Itasca State Park (2nd oldest such park in the nation”), under both the Mississippi River and Pine River twice and through miles of watershed and protected land.There are better routing alternatives!

WHEN there is a leak, it can have a severe impact on our Tourism economy that we rely on so heavily, and it will also affect home values and destroy the environment as we know and enjoy it today. Travel and Tourism in Minnesota generates over $110 Million in direct expenditures and over $325 Million directly and indirectly spent on goods and services.

“If you are concerned about Northern Minnesota’s high quality watersheds, lakes and tourist economy, want to learn more and enjoy a delicious, locally made dinner with music and education, please join us for the Feast of the Wild Rice Moon (The Manoominike Giizis) August 27, 6pm at Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa, MN” .

Help protect our Tourism Economy and sign up for this event at www.honorearth.org. Go to Love Water Not Oil Tour/Slow Foods Event. Call 651 895 7461 for additional information. $40 per ticket or discount rate for table of  8. Support the Crow Wing County Whitefish Chain of Lakes, Pine River Watershed and other partnering communities that work to protect our largest economy – Tourism.

Patty Norgaard
Resident, Crosslake, MN

PUC/DOC Enbridge Line 3

Letter to the Editor

Friends of the Headwaters (FOH) believes that the State of Minnesota, the MN Public Utilities Commission and the MN Department of Commerce are premature in having scheduled a series of Public Meetings on Enbridge Pipeline Company's proposed Line 3 Replacement.

Given the data and evidence from recent spills and corrosion studies on young pipelines, FOH is urging a moratorium on the Sandpiper and Line 3 approval process until Minnesota has studied and analyzed the impact of high voltage electrical transmission lines (HVTL) near pipelines.

This study is critical because Enbridge plans to use existing HVTL corridors for much of the Sandpiper pipeline corridor. And Enbridge wants to place the new Line 3 “rebuild" adjacent to the Sandpiper from Clearbrook to Superior, Wisconsin, a distance of nearly 240 miles. Their preferred route winds through sensitive aquifers and valuable wild rice beds, through some of Minnesota’s most pristine lake country, and within one mile of Itasca State Park and the Mississippi Headwaters.

Recent events suggest that new technology and new pipelines are not the remedy pipeline companies think they are. The Keystone 1 pipeline built in 2009 was found three years later to have developed deep corrosion pits. In spite of modern, high-tech cathodic protection coatings similar to those touted by Enbridge as protection against such corrosion, these pits had corroded almost through the pipeline wall. They were caused by stray electrical voltage.

And last month, the one year old Nexen Pipeline in Alberta ruptured. This double-walled pipe leaked over 1.3 million gallons of hot tar sands oil and water into a wetlands. In spite of a new automatic monitoring system, the rupture might have gone undetected for as long as two weeks.

Unfortunately, no study has yet been done by any Minnesota government agency to determine if Enbridge’s new pipelines could have similar issues. In fact, Friends of the Headwaters’ detailed recommendations regarding the need for analysis and risk assessments have so far been ignored.

With the notable exception of people under contract to Enbridge, environmental experts including specialists in the MN DNR and PCA have all expressed concerns about the potential cumulative impacts to water and other natural resources along Enbridge’s proposed route. During the current and ongoing Sandpiper review, experts encouraged a careful look at more southern routes that went directly to the Bakken oil’s destination: the pipelines and refinery connections in Illinois. But neither the PUC or the Department of Commerce has ordered the thorough environmental assessment advocated by environmental experts.

Friends of the Headwaters has requested a full Environmental Impact Statement for Sandpiper and Line 3. This topic is in litigation on the Sandpiper. However, regardless of a court’s decision regarding the need for an EIS, Minnesota can order proper risk and consequence assessments, similar to what was accomplished on Keystone I. Such studies are entirely relevant to permitting and location decisions and the pipeline approval process. And, under existing regulations, they are within the purview and prerogative of the the PUC, the DOC, and the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board.

Minnesota citizens have a right to expect that the concerns of people charged with protecting our land and water resources—many of them experienced specialists in our lead environmental agencies— will have a role in determining whether the proposed Enbridge pipelines could jeopardize Minnesota lake country, the Minnesota economy, and the source of drinking water for millions of people. And Friends of the Headwaters wants to believe there are honorable public servants in Minnesota government who want to protect Minnesota’s future.

Melodee Monicken for Friends of the Headwaters

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Elected or Appointed

Letter to the Editor

Europeans, as illegal immigrants, began migrating to the Americas. Luckily for us, Indian people here weren't busily building walls to keep us out (as Republicans seem so bent on doing today!).

Reasons we fled our European Homelands and "Fatherlands" included escaping religious intolerance and persecution, and also freedom to govern ourselves, rather than answering to almighty kings, queens, and privileged royals.

We wanted to choose our own leaders, not have them chosen for us. We fought a very tough Revolutionary War (just like Cuba did), and we've fought a few more wars since then to retain that right of freedom. (We've also been suckered and hoodwinked into fighting dozens and dozens of other wars that had nothing to do with preserving our freedom, but everything to do with making life better for the rich. The Iraq war was one of those. See Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler's writing, "War is a Racket". He was the Commandant of the US Marine Corps!)

But sometimes losing freedom doesn't occur in one giant step, but by many small seemingly insignificant steps; death by 1,000 tiny cuts; the sort of thing that AR-15's, Glock pistols, and camo clothing can't guard against.

Our CWC commissioners, in my opinion, are making one of those cuts by eliminating 3 elected county offices, making them "appointed" by the commissioners: county recorder, auditor, and treasurer. This greatly increases commissioner's power over everyone.

Why? (Always ask 'why'.) Is ALEC or ACCE behind this??

A petition is circulating to put this issue on the next ballot. I hope everyone will sign it.

If these offices become appointive, is the next step privatization of our democracy; commissioners farming out those functions, maybe to 'favorites'? Private business doesn't work to do the best job, but to increase it's own profits.

A. Martin
Merrifield, MN

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