Monday, December 30, 2019

Subsidies for Foxconn weaken Trump's objections to China's many subsidies

I was taken aback by this summary of the lead story on the home page of The Washington Post website Monday evening:
Initial U.S.-China trade deal’s big hole: Beijing’s massive business subsidies
Subsidies, in the form of discounted loans, cheap land, inexpensive electricity and more, are marbled throughout China’s state-led economy. This edge often makes it difficult for U.S. businesses to compete.
I wasn't surprised by the recognition of so many business subsidies "marbled throughout China's state-led economy." 

What came to mind immediately were the similarities to the Foxconn deal Walker and GOP legislative leaders 'negotiated' forced on state taxpayers, local residents, utility customers statewide, and the environment - - another thing to keep in mind when you read about environmentally-damaging plants in China:

Gov. Walker exempted the Foxconn factory from any major environmental review. Last-minute changes by Trump political appointees at the EPA could keep Foxconn from making expensive improvements to reduce smog 
In other words, Walker, with Trump's encouragement, made sure Wisconsin was playing a record-setting subsidies-and-favor, dare I say 'China-like' game for Foxconn, including:

* $4+ billion in direct public or road-building subsidies - - perhaps even better than "discounted loans" - - to be provided by state taxpayers.

* Along with extensive, separate grants provided by The Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County now estimated at $911 million. That includes $88 million in water infrastructure spending pledged by Racine County to bring in a controversial Lake Michigan diversion - - high-quality water said to have been among the resources which made the region attractive to Foxconn in the first place.

* And "inexpensive electricity?" How about a $117 million new power transmission line to be paid for by 5 million customers statewide over 40 years.

* And project land described as greater than four square miles which is being acquired for Foxconn:

Foxconn is paying for the land through a $75 million special assessment included in a tax incremental financing district. A year ago, the Taiwanese tech giant also deposited $60 million into a village account for land acquisition.
Let's remember that these privately-owned acreages and homes were acquired for the project by government actions through pressure, threats of seizure through eminent domain, bogus categorizations of 'blight,' and other tactics not unknown to authoritarian governments elsewhere. 

So perhaps the land is not 'cheap' on a per-square-foot basis or handed over by a business-friendly agency, but we're talking about working farms, dream homes and multi-generational homesteads in Wisconsin, in America, which were certainly cheapened by political agendas and state power.

So while US-China trade discussions are being driven by the same Donald Trump who also pushed the Foxconn deal for his own partisan presence in Wisconsin--


-- let's not pretend that only the Chinese use state power to manage the economy pump up businesses to hand marketplace control or political advantages to their leaders.

I've been following the turns, twists and traumas in the Foxconn story for more than 30 months, and have collected hundreds of posts into a running archive, here.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Business writer sees Wisconsin falling out of Foxconn's 'plans'

The business news service Bloomberg carried informed commentary this week documenting the disappearing rationale for Foxconn ever building flat-screen devices far from Asia in Wisconsin.
Sharp's Japan Play Doesn't Bode Well for Wisconsin
The U.S. state increasingly looks like being squeezed out by Foxconn adding capacity elsewhere. 
Despite a ground-breaking ceremony in 2018 featuring Trump and Foxconn founder Terry Gou, however, the expansion hasn’t taken off and the state and Foxconn are enaged in a high-stakes game of poker over tax credits. Now, the Sharp and JDI deal could push the Midwesterners, who were promised 3,000 jobs, further to the sidelines.  
It's a scenario feared ever since Walker sketched out his doomed re-election campaign's Hail Mary on a paper napkin and for which Wisconsin taxpayers and Racine County residents are holding the bag.

Though I have to point out that Walker repeatedly promised Foxconn would bring 13,000, family-supporting jobs:
As he said on Twitter.
Foxconn is bringing 13,000 high-tech jobs to Wisconsin -- the biggest jobs announcement in our state’s history! 4:50 PM - 26 Jul 2017 
Oh, wait: On August 2nd, it's tweeted as "at least 13,000 jobs
Yet, of late, Foxconn hasn't been able to hit relatively minuscule or qualifying job targets. 

And while company officials have said they can't find enough qualified workers for the Wisconsin facility, Foxconn is ramping up the use of robots in their other plants, as I noted in February, 2018:

I also saw this report today with a Wisconsin angle about the company's plans for using artificial intelligence and robots in its facilities:
Foxconn Details Five-Year Investment Plan For AI Development
Foxconn has been working on ways to fully automate its production lines for quite some time now, with around 60,000 of its factory workers being replaced by robots in mid-2016. 
Its new plant in Wisconsin which is currently under construction was also reported to be fully powered by robots once operational, so it remains to be seen how effectively Foxconn could combine the concept of automation with AI applications designed to support smart manufacturing.
I have long-believed that Foxconn's buildings will be eventually sold and re-purposed for cookie-cutter production and assembly work in the industrial park corridor along I-94 North/South served by overbuilt new interchanges pushed through the Legislature by hometown party Boss Vos, as I wrote in February:
Even if Foxconn disappears, Sprawl King Vos is a winner
WI GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos managed in a state without two spare potholes-filling nickels to rub together to steer to and through his district a quarter of a billion federal and state road-and-interchange widening dollars that will trigger sprawl beyond bulldozed Mount Pleasant farms even if Foxconn never diverts a gallon of Lake Michigan water to produce a single big screen LCD TV.
I've been following the Foxconn story for more than 30 months. 

Here is one post with more than 360 items and many more references and links:

From NBC Nightly News, 7/21/19
I also recommend following anything Bruce Murphy at Urban Milwaukee has to say on the subject.

As well as the the investigative online site The Verge: This piece, for example, weaves together and documents many of Foxconn's broken promises, shifting goals, abandoned ancillary projects and other troubles which Walker, company officials and Donald Trump have dumped on Wisconsin's new Democratic Governor Tony Evers, state and local budgets, Wisconsin law, natural resources and public expectations.

WI GOP public-trough overeaters keep rock-bottom min. wage frozen

Three Republican career politicians who have lived comfortably on public payrolls for decades are responsible for keeping Wisconsin off year-end lists of jurisdictions raising their legal minimum wages off enforced poverty-levels that include our state's $7.25 per hour.

Those career public trough over-consumers are named Walker and Fitzgerald and Vos - - the latter two in just the last few days killing a plan by Gov. Evers to boost the minimum wage to $15.

We feature Vos's photo because he has made sure the members of the State Assembly he leads got a bump in their taxpayer-supplied expense accounts, noted in this post which also lays out how Vos wangled a free trip to London.

Also, France.

Double-standards and self-dealing are a way of life with these up-by-their-own bootstraps-not hypocrites.
Robin Vos speaks at Racine Tea Party event (8378614585).jpg

234,000 reasons to donate to League of Women Voters of WI

Time to dig deep.

Read deeper.

Knowing the 5-2 right-wing WI Supreme Court majority will march in lockstep with the state GOP's 'traditional' voting suppression agenda, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is going to Federal court to block and undo a wholesale, Trump-friendly purge of voter registrations engineered in Ozaukee County Circuit Court a few days ago.

234,000 voters - - tilted to urban, Democratic strongholds - - are to be summarily deleted from voting rolls allegedly over address validation in a swing state where a few thousand votes could determine if Donald Trump gets a second term:

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Twitter railed against the ruling.
"I won the race for governor by less than 30,000 votes," he wrote. "This move pushed by Republicans to remove 200,000 Wisconsinites from the voter rolls is just another attempt at overriding the will of the people and stifling the democratic process."
GOP legislators have added more salt to voters' likely wounds by raiding the public treasury for money to pay private attorneys to meet the GOP's goals of the 'right' people voting.
The Legislature's Joint Committee on Legislative Organization, comprised of both parties' top leaders, voted Monday to hire outside counsel to represent lawmakers in the federal dispute. All six Republicans on the committee approved the move; all four Democrats voted against it. The committee didn't name the attorneys but gave Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate President Roger Roth the power to negotiate terms and compensation.
Which means that Democratic or independent voters will end up helping pay for their own disenfranchisement and further embedding the very policies and GOP control they rejected in 2018 when Walker and all other Republican statewide constitutional officers or candidates were defeated or booted out of office.
Flag of Wisconsin
Don't look for Republicans to behave like fiscal conservatives when drawing on your money to pay their legal bills. They spare no expense, the record shows.

And let's not forget that fewer votes cast for Democrats in 2020 means the brazenly-partisan GOP legislative gerrymander that helped Republicans 'win' a disproportionate share of Assembly seats in 2018 will be renewed for another 10 years after the 2020 census, as Isthmus of Madison explained
Despite Democrats winning every statewide office on the ballot and receiving 200,000 more total votes, Republicans lost just one seat in Wisconsin’s lower house this cycle. And that victory was by a razor-thin 153 votes. Democrats netted 1.3 million votes for Assembly, 54 percent statewide. Even so, [GOP Assembly Speaker Robin] Vos will return to the Capitol in 2019 with Republicans holding 63 of 99 seats in the Assembly, a nearly two-thirds majority.
The best thing people of good will can do in the face of this latest GOP power play attack on voting rights is to help the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin underwrite the cost of what may be protracted litigation.

I just made a donation to the organization and the cause.

League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and Two Registered Voters Challenge Voter Purge as Violating the U.S. Constitution
Can you do the same?

Here is the donation form.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Protecting birds is a Wisconsin priority; Trump OK's killing them.

Want dramatic examples of Trump's anti-environmental actions which are the direct opposite of local initiatives in Wisconsin?

* Buried in news dominated by impeachment and holiday shopping, Trump just unwound basic legal protections for birds, essentially removing years of common-sense protections for birds and thus their role in stabilizing the environment already under enormous pressures:
A Trump Policy ‘Clarification’ All but Ends Punishment for Bird Deaths
WASHINGTON — As the state of Virginia prepared for a major bridge and tunnel expansion in the tidewaters of the Chesapeake Bay last year, engineers understood that the nesting grounds of 25,000 gulls, black skimmers, royal terns and other seabirds were about to be plowed under. 
To compensate, they considered developing an artificial island as a haven. Then in June 2018, the Trump administration stepped in. While the federal government “appreciates” the state’s efforts, new rules in Washington had eliminated criminal penalties for “incidental” migratory bird deaths that came in the course of normal business, administration officials advised. Such conservation measures were now “purely voluntary.” 
The state ended its island planning. 
Compared the actions of the Trump administration to recent local efforts in Milwaukee, and elsewhere, that aim to preserve wildlife for future generations to appreciate. 
Milwaukee County Parks receive Important Bird Area status
With its Important Bird Area designation, the park system joins 92 sites in Wisconsin, 2,832 sites in the U.S., and 12,000 other sites worldwide as Important Bird Areas. The IBA program was launched by Birdlife International in 1985 to identify, protect, and monitor sites essential to the conservation of bird populations globally, Thompson says. 
The designation is voluntary and conveys no legal status or regulatory requirements but highlights the importance of the Milwaukee County Parks System for bird conservation and will catalyze using IBAs as a springboard to advance active site conservation at Wisconsin’s other Important Bird Areas, he says.
Geese on the Lake Michigan shoreline, Milwaukee, southeast of Lake Park  
Tern over Lake Michigan off Bradford Beach, Milwaukee
* Then there is the proposed Kohler golf course along Lake Michigan south of Sheboygan - - which is in another documented Important Bird Area, or IBA. 
The area south of Sheboygan, including the state park lands, has been recognized by others as an important resource for migratory birds....This area was recognized as an IBA due to the extensive use by birds as on-shore migratory stopover habitat and off-shore wintering waterfowl habitat. This area has also been identified by the Wisconsin Stopover Initiative as a Tier 1 area, the highest level of significance for migratory bird stopover habitat. (Grveles et al. 2011)
The project history and implications have been frequent topics on this blog.

Per the WI DNR:
Tree clearing would occur on the Property for each hole, the access road, the clubhouse/parking lot complex, the practice range, the maintenance facility, the restrooms, and the irrigation pond. Tree clearing may also occur in forested areas between tee and fairways to provide lines of sight. Interior forest bird nesting habitat is likely present within and adjacent to the Project boundary and would essentially be eliminated. Wildlife species inhabiting these areas would be permanently impacted by the loss of habitat. 
While opposed by a grassroots organization and stalled by a judge's order, the project would vastly reduce migratory bird and other wildlife cover, according to the DNR's environmental impact statement (EIS), excerpted here:
*  Pages 69-70:
Summary of Adverse Impacts That Cannot Be Avoided
The site’s nearly 100% forested canopy would be reduced by nearly half. Habitat value will diminish along forest edges near turf grass and human use areas.
Approximately 3.7 acres of wetland would be lost due to filling including impacts to approximately 1.36 acres of Great Lakes ridge and swale wetlands, a wetland type that is considered “imperiled” in Wisconsin. Additional wetland impacts resulting from alterations to wetland hydrology and the influence of increased nutrients could change the wetland type and allow encroachment of invasive species.
Reduction of the forest to 50 percent cover would result in a substantial reduction of available migratory bird stopover habitat on the Kohler Property. Interior forest bird nesting habitat is likely present within and adjacent to the Project boundary and would essentially be eliminated...
It is unknown to what extent storm water infiltration and nutrient and pesticide applications to fairways, tees and greens (for either establishment or maintenance) would impact groundwater quality in this permeable soil and shallow water table environment.
The full EIS is here. Note that many documents are in pdf format.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

WI GOP still playing 'Haha, no-confirmation-hearing' game w/ Evers' Cabinet

The State Capitol's little GOP dictators continue to play a self-serving and fixed game after having fired Brad Pfaff, Evers' fully-qualified nominee as Ag Department Secretary.

He was dismissed without cause, because these GOP 'leaders' consider being a Democrat a firing offense.

Their game is just another hyper-partisan way which power-grabbing Republican Legislative officials will undermine, hamstring and de-legitimize a Democratic Governor and his agenda.

Evers' offense? Fairly and squarely defeating a sitting, two-term GOP Governor whom Republicans believed to be Governor-for-life invincible.

And note in this summary story about the disappeared confirmation hearing process the's poisoned that GOP State Senate leader and congressional candidate Scott Fitzgerald offers no substantive reason for his Mitch McConnell-inspired disrespect for Evers' cabinet nominees other than 'because I can.'

Unfortunately, this sick charade has been going on all year.

As I reported nearly five months ago to the day:
The GOP monkey-wrenching duo of Fitzgerald and Vos running the Wisconsin State Legislature is approaching the seventh month of holding hostage the confirmation of any and all Tony Evers' cabinet secretary nominations.
I was getting ready to blog about the State Senate's refusal under pre-Trumpian little dictator and GOP Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald
Wisc Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.jpg
to confirm Acting DNR Secretary Preston Cole despite his degree in forestry, management of Milwaukee city environmental public works and chairmanship of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, but the State Journal beat me to it with a more comprehensive story.
The reason that the Legislature won't hold confirmation hearings has nothing to do with nominee qualifications, resumes and actual, credible vetting; rather it's just another partisan move by Republicans determined to de-legitimize Evers' tenure and appropriate to themselves as many of the Governor's powers as possible.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

If Fitz talks tax cuts, media must mention his congressional run

Fitzgerald keeps promoting a 2020 WI state property tax cut, and Gov. Evers has a proper response that is almost complete:
Evers in Monday end-of-year interview with the Cap Times said it is "way too early" to commit spending potential surplus funding when Wisconsin has "issues around clean drinking water" and "our schools not having enough resources." 
Two things about the story:

1. Evers is on point with his remark about clean water.
2. The story does not mention that Fitzgerald is running for a congressional seat - - something he announced on September 17th
Wisc Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.jpg

So he's been making these very premature but politically-loaded noises about a tax cut for more than three months - - which was also a mere five days after he declared his congressional candidacy, as the headline on this September 22 story correctly makes clear:
Wisconsin Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald, who is running for Congress, floats new tax cut
Let's not create the impression that when Fitzgerald talks about tax cuts or other hot button issues these days that his words are strictly those of a state senator, even one in leadership.

I'm not out to bash the reporting. I'm just hoping that media and others will consistently mention Fitzgerald's candidacy because influences and colors his statements.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Kelly's voter rolls' case recusal stirs up earlier voting rights memory

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly - - a Walker appointee who will be on the ballot next year - - has recused himself from hearing the appeal of a judge's recent order to delete 234,000 names from election rolls.

Image of Daniel Kelly

I remember that Kelly played a roll in a Federal redistricting case as an attorney for GOP gerrymandering legislators several years ago, as I noted at the time on this blog:
When the case went to trial last month, lawyers for the state argued that the redistricting plan was the state's domain, according to the AP on February 24th:
Daniel Kelly, an attorney who defended the maps, said they were prepared as they should have been - by lawmakers. He said the Legislature's decision should be respected, not interfered with by the courts
"Drafting them is the province of the Legislature. It's a political act," he said. "This is their judgment, and it is inappropriate for a small group of people to attempt to reverse a legitimate politic, you know what happened...." 
Well, you know what happened. The Federal court agreed to hear the case and issued a decision a few weeks later that slammed the secrecy with which the redistricting was handled and ordered that [two] districts be mapped to comply with the US Voting Rights Act.
To which the state responded Friday by saying to the three-judge panel - - hey, you folks can go ahead and do our job for us because our Legislature won't. 

Maybe Trump can extend his pardon powers & save Saudi killers

After all, their victim was a journalist/enemy of the people and a legal US resident, so shouldn't Trump be able to intervene? I mean, on humanitarian grounds, like he did with the war crime convicts he pardoned?

Surely he has standing.
Saudi Arabia says five sentenced to death in killing of Jamal Khashoggi
Jamal Khashoggi in March 2018 (cropped).jpg

Sunday, December 22, 2019

WI pol and foodie without achievement or substance suddenly spots 'thin gruel'

This justice failure, and potential impeachment witness/juror, and all-around Senatorial flop

decides to keep on selling half-baked policy and serving Dear Leader Donald:
House impeachment case is 'thin gruel,' Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson says on 'This Week with George Stephanopoulos'

Aren't traditions great? Like the GOP's use of voter suppression, "traditionally."

Republicans have a voter suppression history that is both past and present, but rarely do you hear them own up to it.

But thanks to one GOP campaign official, we have confirmation.

Trump campaign adviser: Republicans "traditionally" relied on voter suppression
Usually you get some variation of deflected, projected, B.S., like this tweeted chaff:
Historically, the Left often pushed maps that divide communities of interest & dilute minority voting power as they gerrymander districts to gain more power. The GOP must fight for fair maps. If we have fair maps along with quality candidates & engaged grassroots, we win!   
By the way, voter suppression goes hand-in-hand with election nullification, by the way.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

White GOP legislators keep on twisting Black culture

Remember when now-Congressman Glen Grothman decided that attacking Kwanzaa was smart politics and good for his image?

Now we have Rep. Scott Allen, (R-Waukesha County), deciding he is just the right person to introduce a Black History Month proclamation that honors certain white and Native American people, too.
Wisconsin lawmaker proposes resolution honoring white people, among others, during Black History Month
The episode is the third time white lawmakers have intervened in how black lawmakers should honor their own history. 
Other than being trouble-makers, thoughtlessly showing off their majority privileges and underscoring 'base' in base politics, why?

Picture of Representative Scott Allen
State Rep. Scott Allen
State Republicans, whether it's Sensenbrenner, Johnson, or the twin threat of Fitzgerald and Vos just can't stop posing as parodies of representative government while putting Wisconsin is the worse light possible.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Another WI Republican joins others on 'They Hate Trump' train

This time it's Sensenbrenner launching the typical Trumpist chaff with a New York Times op-ed. Begin with this steaming pant-load: 
The investigation against President Clinton was thorough and nonpartisan. The Trump proceedings have been the opposite in every way....
Then move to...: 
Charade...bunk...railroad job...Vitriol and blind hatred aside, President Trump has been robbed of his constitutionally protected due process rights.
Jim Sensenbrenner.jpg
Sounds like he was channeling his more junior Badgerland colleague:
Rep. Grothman: Impeachment Driven by Extreme Trump Hatred
Scott Fitzgerald, the WI GOP state Senator who wants to succeed the retiring Sensenbrenner, says the impeachment proceedings were just as Trump labeled them - - a "witch hunt."

Ron Johnson, our senior senator, potential Senate trial witness and conflicted juror, publicly scorned key impeachment witness Lt. Col. Andrew Vindman.

* Update: PolitFact finds key Sensenbrenner remarks "Mostly False." 

44 years in the US House and still can't tell a straight story.

Two illegal elk kills lands WI woman a fine

Killed out of season without permits, a Wisconsin woman must pay a forfeiture of more than $6,000. 
A Mukwonago woman has been issued a $6,150 citation for mistakenly killing two elk while deer hunting
As I read the story, she will not loose hunting privileges or the .44 cal. semi-automatic rifle with which she killed the elk.

Keep in mind that elk 
DMAP Brochure
and other Wisconsin wildlife are held in trust by the state for all the people.

Also keep in mind that deer are roughly to elk, as, say, Black Angus steers
A black angus bull seen here side on
are to Texas Longhorns:
A Texas Longhorn cow

Which is why the DNR says know what you're shooting at!
dont shoot an elk

Why WI GOP legislators skipped Evers-called homeless aid meeting Thursday.

Because no frozen bodies were found on Wisconsin sidewalks overnight, as far as I can tell.

And because temperatures eventually rose above freezing, so GOP leaders felt free to pull another disappearing act after Evers called them to meet on appropriations to combat homelessness.

Also: the WI GOP legislative leadership had to remain consistent. They've already balked at releasing homeless aid, and strengthening other safety net basics, therefore dare not look weak, or worse, empathetic, while what remains of their party is firmly in thrall to a cruel and overcompensating fraud.

Fitzgerald and Vos began honing their shameless, 'you can't make us do anything/no-show tactic when they publicly took a hike without discussing Evers' gun safety legislation

Screenshots do not do justice to the video posted by Madison TV station NBC15 of Fitzgerald's contemptuous, cowardly adjournment in mere seconds of a special legislative session called by Evers to debate better citizen protections against gun violence.
The walkout will live forever as 'How a Bill Does Not Become a Law.'
From Medicaid expansion to gun safety to homeless assistance to minimum wage increases to medical marijuana to full food stamp availability and urban drinking water pipe remediation, it's #Never for the Wisconsin GOP.

And while we're discussing their no-never attitude, let's not forget that GOP leaders began immediately after Walker lost the Governor's race to undermine, marginalize and otherwise disrespect Evers for winning an office they believed was theirs forever as if they'd gerrymandered that one, too. 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

County Board Committee meeting Tuesday on Kletzsch Park, river issues

12/19 Update: The office of Milwaukee County Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman confirmed Thursday afternoon that the item regarding the construction of a fish passage, viewing stand and other proposed changes to Kletzsch Park was tabled this morning until the next meeting of the Parks Environment, and Energy Committee. That date is January 28, 2020, at 1 P.M.
You may remember that Milwaukee County continues to consider making controversial changes to Kletzsch Park which threaten historic lands for the installation of a fish passage and a public viewing area on the tree-lined west bank of the Milwaukee River.

Though the version of plan now under consideration is less destructive than what was originally proposed - - the modifications came after considerable opposition - - park activists call your attention to the plan's continuing deficiencies and urge participation in a key Milwaukee County Board Committee meeting beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

People are urged to make electronic contacts prior to 10 a.m. Tuesday, and/or attend the 1:00 p.m. meeting, though it cannot be predicted exactly when the committee will actually open the discussion.

Some participation suggestions:

* 1. Email your friends who also are concerned about saving Indian Prairie and Kletzsch Park, and ask them to follow your lead.

* 2.  Write an email to five county supervisors on this committee (list below) to voice your concerns. Make those contacts by 10 a.m. Tuesday. A committee list with email addresses in links is at the bottom of this post. Sorry about the spacing; coding issues I am still trying to overcome.

* 3.   Attend the meeting to voice your disapproval.  Come prepared with a short, two-sentence statement of your concern to read to the committee. Several issue summaries are below; express your opinions and concerns in your own words.

The meeting is at 1:00 pm - - try and come a little early - - in Room 201B in the County Courthouse downtown. In the meeting room, put your name on the sign-in sheet if you want to read your statement. 

The proposed project:
a.     Ignores the historic site. The county park’s plan not only does not honor but does not even acknowledge the remarkable site of Indian Prairie. From Sunny Point Road north to Good Hope along the Parkway were Indian ceremonial mounds, rare intaglio effigies, Indian burial mounds, garden beds, sacred springs, a canoe landing, and Menomini bark lodge villages.
b.     Not a last chance. Contrary to what the project team says, this project is not a “last chance in this generation” to put in fish passage.  It can be build later. There is as yet no provision for removal of the contaminants backed up behind the dam if fish passage is built, no provision for keeping out invasive carp, and the sturgeon are years away from spawning.
c.      Too destructive of the bank. Though less destructive than the first plan, this current plan excavates a large amount of the historic west bank potentially inhibiting fish spawning within the park.
d.     A slow kill for the oaks. The excavation of the west bank and the installation of sheet piling would damage oak trees which, though spared the chain saw, would begin to decline in five to eight years, taking hundreds of years from their potential life-span.
e.     Too hasty. The rejection of a less expensive east-bank fish passage was hasty. We need time to get an independent engineering assessment for east bank fish passage. (When last year the county’s initial engineering evaluation recommended demolition and replacement of the historic bridge in Lake Park, an independent firm hired by Friends of Lake Park showed that the historic bridge could be rehabilitated.)
f.     First, do no harm. To improve overlook and access to the river, begin with removal of the invasive buckthorn from the river bank from the trestle to the pavilion.
Committee members' contact information:

Vice Chair