The latest attempt by Tiffany to preempt local control over the rights of local governments to regulate local health and welfare of their citizenry
will occur in FALL 2014 BUDGET bill negotiations.
The balance of this page will TEMPORARILY reflect the state legislature's RECENT history of attempts to override local control in the interests of their corporate paymasters!
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This page content is provided with thanks to many people who testified at and reported on the hearing Monday March 3, 2014, INCLUDING State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, who arrived wearing several pounds of brace on her arm to testify in ringing tones about her opposition to this bill. Read her testimony in full below:
The following refers to the October,2013 hearing on SB349: Thanks to those who testified, or who rallied support for those who did come to the Capitol to beard the Senators in their den. In particular, I would like to thank the patience of those from the sand mining country who spent long hours on the bus from Chippewa county (among other places) and then had to leave without their voices being heard! Despite Senator Tiffany's best efforts to delay testimony from local folks living near the mines, some were heard!. And a special thanks to Rebecca Kemble (of MAMA) for most of the below links.
A bus load of people from NW Wisconsin headed out for Madison, WI, on Oct. 24, 2013 at 6 a.m. making scheduled stops along the way to pick up more friends. They were a adventurous, hearty and determined band of pioneers bound and determined to speak to the Committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and Revenue (Chaired by Senator Tiffany) about Senate Bill 349 and how it will affect changes in their local towns, municipalities and counties if passed . Senate Bill 349 ( also called the "Regulatory Certainty Act", "Regulatory Uncertainty Act", "Regulatory Confusion Act", "The Moscow Model", "State Power-Grab", "Kneecapping Local Communities Act" during the day) was designed to give the state the power to take over regulations of non-metallic mines in WI in most every aspect. Counties and towns have been largely responsible for decision making regarding health, safety and welfare of their constituents, but this could all change. You should have copies of the bill in your email files as well as information from Ron Koshoshek about his interpretation (please check the past mailings). If you haven't already done so, please read the information so you can have a strong base of understanding about the bill do you can use it to write to legislators and the writers behind this bill, make statements to the media, or pen letters to the editor of your local, regional or state press!
We arrived about 9:40 a.m., a little after the hearings started, but the chair (Tiffany) allowed all the bill sponsors to speak well beyond the the 3 minutes that would have been allotted to the citizenry. Their basic premise was that there is currently a mix of local ordinances that make for an environment of uncertainty and instability for these financially strapped and struggling frac sand mines who were being exploited by bullying local townships. After prompting from Senator Jauch, none could come up with an example of a local ordinance that had overstepped its authority; neither could they give an estimate of how many local ordinances would become null and void if this legislation passed. By the time these people had finished, the bus riders had to return to their homes without a chance of speaking although we were promised they would fit us in .
We had experienced a full day and returned home into the setting sun and darkness exhausted, but motivated to continue on our way, to motivate local and county boards to stand up and take control of their own destinies. This state "power-grab" is still with us, but the voices in opposition must be heard loudly and clearly. If we continue to persist( and we must) on many fronts and remain vigilant, we remain have to remain hopeful that this bill will not pass. We who attended this session are dependent upon you to express your views, too.
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online blog from a member of their editorial board - the bill needs adjusting since it removes too much local control: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/229282561.html
From the same source, the League of Women Voters of Ashland and Bayfield counties write to oppose the bill: http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/legislation-weakens-environmental-protections-b99127465z1-229296151.html
More from the same source: Sand mine bill author concedes changes are needed http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/sand-mine-bill-author-concedes-changes-are-needed-action-unlikely-until-2014-b99128280z1-229396271.html
From the Cap Times, Latest mining bill would mean no local oversight of 100 Dane County sites, including frac sand: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/writers/jessica_vanegeren/latest-mining-bill-would-mean-no-local-oversight-of-dane/article_763b81ee-3db1-11e3-a24f-0019bb2963f4.html
Since the argument IN FAVOR of the bill is that excessive regulation by local governments is strangling the industry, I am presenting the following joint labor-management editorial: from the Journal Sentinel online: http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/businesses-workers-need-regulatory-certainty-b99127437z1-229295601.html
and another Journal Sentinel story: Sand mine bill hearing gets heated, while GOP senator expresses doubts http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/wisconsin-sand-mine-bill-hearing-is-expected-to-get-heated-b99126640z1-229090011.html
This video is from Wisconsin Voices, regarding the Glenwood City case where a group of citizens is trying to recall local officials over the issue of a local sand mine being permitted in close proximity to the local high school. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4wA305f3_U
With thanks to the Crawford Stewardship Project's Forest Jahnke for this article.
News Clippings & Media Programs on Sand-Mining:
3 Articles : Wisconsin Industrial Sands Co (fairmount.inc)
Weekly Videos of:
Riverways Board Mark Cupp's Awesome On-site video Reports
(via facebook) of Hwy 60 Protected Lower Wisconsin Riverway
DeForest Area Progressives is learning so much about both Frac-Sand Mining and Open Pit Iron Mining, we are giving a great deal of time to sharing information, attending events, planning how to respond usefully and with wisdom to the challenges the mining issues are presenting us. We are trying to be responsible citizens, looking for a path to solutions and walking that path!
PENOKEE MINING - MIKE WIGGINS COMMENTS ABOUT SCIENTISTS AND 'PAID SCIENTISTS' and the Tragic 'Paid" Difference:
Mike Wiggins explains the threat to us all when corporations discredit career scientists whose whole professional careers have focused on examining the characteristics of the land forms, the minerals, the ecology of a certain section of our planet. In this case, the Penokee Region. The iron-mining company is claiming it knows more and has better scientists than the ones who have been focusing on the region their whole professional lives! Listen to Mike explain what is at stake with the disinformation pouring out or Gogebic's corporate expressions: The region is being put a risk by a campaign of lies: Thanks for watching and learning!
BASIC MINING IN WISCONSIN
Mining is a "boom or bust" industry that is driven by the market price of the commodity being mined and the cost of extracting, processing and transporting the commodity being extracted to where it is needed. When the price of iron ore is high, it becomes economical to mine low-grade ore. When the price is low, companies close mines with low-grade deposits. When oil or gas prices are high, hydraulic fracking of almost exhausted wells is attractive and frac-sand prices soar and sand mining in Wisconsin booms. When oil and gas prices drop, the expensive "fracking" of wells drops off, the demand for sand drops, sand prices drop and the sand mines shut down as inventory levels rise.
In both sand and iron mining areas, the mining companies try to sell "jobs" as the big community benefit that will offset all of the environmental negatives (loss of ground water to high-capacity wells, ground water pollution, surface water pollution, air pollution, noise and light pollution, loss of real estate value, degradation of roads and other municipal infrastructure, to name just a few). However, with the industry subject to boom/bust cycles, the jobs are rarely steady. In addition, the payroll dollars from those jobs are often not spent in the communities in which the mines are sited, particularly when the jobs require special skills not available locally.
Concerned, caring citizens group in northeastern Dane County WI-DeForest Area Progressives-come join us!
We are a great local group of Wisconsin progressives from the DeForest, Windsor, and Vienna area just north of Madison, WI. We are also part of the Wisconsin Grassroots Network. As a part of this larger network, we collaborate with other local groups of various types: widespread similar community grassroots groups, specific focus allied groups and national groups.
Our members and visitors emerge from those groups to teach and partner with each other. It is fulfilling, fun, and exciting to be connected with so many wonderful progressive citizens! A large proportion of our activities focus on participating in our community, county and state affairs. How we live and value the world around us is a strong aspect of bringing us all together. We do this in an effort to preserve and carry forward the traditional values of Wisconsin's history initiated by Senator Bob LaFollette! We really have fun while we take on projects and activities.
If you would like to know more about us, you are always welcome at our meetings:
Every Monday evening, 6:00pm. Location to be announced each week by midweek. Because we value community participation in our group, here are our participation values:
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The last two statements are not rules but show how we take action when we are well-informed and reach consensus.
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