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Sunday, May 15, 2011

TROUBLED BRIDGES OVER BEAUTIFUL WATERS—LOOK TO THE FUTURE



We now see the beginnings of a long heralded bridge & plaza constructions project in Port Huron. A nine lane bridge on the Black River will replace the current dilapidated four lanes. Unfortunately the traffic projected up when the planning started in the late 90’s, has instead plummeted, due to an economy driven down by bank, mortgage, and war fraud, so it’s uncertain we’ll need so many new lanes. But at least something is being done.
Yet judgment is still suspended. Does this bridge construction benefit local jobs in any way? A local talkline caller [R-Mac, 5-10-11] to the Times Herald complains he’s a qualified worker, applied to all companies involved, and been denied. So who’s getting the jobs? What percentages of the contracts and wages are going to any county companies or workers? Investigative reporting is needed.
The huge overwrought Bridge Plaza plan has evaporated. Again, lack of funds, but also common sense is taking hold. There may be some additional space taken for truck inspections {blue area}, but the whole new array of “outbound inspection booths” disappeared {was going to go into the green area}, and the heavy hand of national Homeland Security bureaucrats is loosening its grip. Maybe there will be more consideration for our real local needs.

s of now we’re left with a whole neighborhood, 125 homes & 16 businesses, 30 acres demolished, with no real need now for all that space {the green area}. The tax base lost to Port Huron at this juncture is at least $137,546 per year [estimate in 1-3-11 email from Matt Webb MDOT project director]. What further property is still on the tax base chopping block remains to be seen [a $500,000 tax base loss was originally forecast]. Rep. Candice Miller {of both Homeland Security, and Transportation committees} who was instrumental in bringing this albatross upon us, tried to mitigate this past January, requesting from MDOT that it would only be fair, to sell the abandoned land back to port Huron for $1. Maybe we could turn it into a nice park? Right next to a nine lane bridge. An obsession with manufacturing a mammoth-sized national security has left us locals less secure.

To truly represent us at this point, Rep. Miller should expedite acceptance and installation of the seven extra inspections booths that in April were reportedly offered our Blue Water Bridge Plaza, for free, from our neighbors in Canadian Customs. This should be happening now--as summer traffic backups approach. Then our representative should insure that all 20 booths are fully staffed to meet their needs. This would be proper use of her Homeland Security clout. Less transient plum construction contracts, more permanent secure local jobs.

And what should we the people of Port Huron be hoping for next, envisioning a turnaround economy? Proposals for casinos, aquariums, a "portplex" center of marine & trucking customs & commerce, and renewed tourism efforts have been on the table for years. Perhaps they will mature, but they can only be sidelines, as they focus on people passing through. What better hope for the future than developing SC4 into a four year university [as Jeff Hedberg proposed in a column almost 2 years ago] Lake Huron University? Make it a world class institution focused on producing the new ecology of earth responsible energy.

Acheson Technology Center-------------------------- Toronto Hydro Windmills

Nature provides us unexcelled water and wind resources, solar to a less extent. Lake Huron University could draw talent from all over the nation, and be developing our own, as we further create the windmill and hydro- in- river systems, battery and energy distribution systems which have already begun in Thumb, great lake and river. These professors and students would live here, and transpose learning, into gainful activity for the whole community.

Wind turbines--Ubly, MI

This university would go beyond the science, to the best management and practical production methods, moving from prototypes, to developing the manufacturing of these energy devices right here. To make this happen there are many political problems to solve. Let’s get busy. Candice Miller and friends, here’s something worth helping deliver to your constituents.

We have the manufacturing history and ingenuity that made independent auto transportation possible, and tuned on light bulbs around the planet. Why not fully develop our local capacity for creating energy independence? It’s time to stop watching windmill parts pass us by on internationally flagged freighters. We should be shipping these, and many more new energy machines, from our port to the rest of the world.



Illumination by Kathy Brahney
Click on any image to enlarge.
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Words that give hope for a world that builds the infrastructure of peace, instead of the monstrosities of war.

"Above all we want to make the voice of Jesus heard. He was always a man of peace. It could be expected that, when God came to earth, he would be a man of great power, destroying the opposing forces. That he would be a man of powerful violence as an instrument of peace. Not at all. He came in weakness. He came with only the strength of love, totally without violence, even to the point of going to the Cross. This is what shows us the true face of God, that violence never comes from God, never helps bring anything good, but is a destructive means and not the path to escape difficulties. He is thus a strong voice against every type of violence. He strongly invites all sides to renounce violence, even if they feel they are right. The only path is to renounce violence, to begin anew with dialogue, with the attempt to find peace together, with a new concern for one another, a new willingness to be open to one another. This is Jesus’ true message: seek peace with the means of peace and leave violence aside."
—Pope Benedict XVI, Good Friday, 2011






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