Dear Readers,
    Whether you farm for a living or are more of a hobby farmer, it’s important to beware and be aware of the very real danger of the electric infrastructure that is all around you. Power lines crisscross the yards, farms, and neighborhoods that span the vast landscape of our communities, and we tend to be oblivious to their existence.
     Midwest Energy & Communications shares the following basic harvest safety tips for farm workers:
     1.  Maintain a 10-foot clearance around all utility equipment in all directions.
    2. Use a spotter and deployed flags to maintain safe distances from power lines and other equipment when doing field work.
    3. If your equipment makes contact with an energized or downed power line, contact us immediately at (800) 492-5989 and remain inside the vehicle until the power line is de-energized. In case of smoke or fire, exit the cab by making a solid jump out of the cab, without touching it at the same time, and hop away to safety.
    4. Consider equipment and cargo extensions of your vehicle. Lumber, hay, tree limbs, irrigation pipe, and even bulk materials can conduct electricity, so keep them out of contact with electrical equipment.
    Electricity is an integral part of life and living, but it’s also very dangerous. Beware and be aware.
    Patty Nowlin
    Vice President
    Corporate Communications
    Midwest Energy & Communications


    Congratulations to Walmart! Yours may be a “voice in the wilderness;” but, it is a voice. Thank you for limiting the sale of ammunition and some fire arms. It isn’t the answer to the whole problem of gun violence, but it is a step in the right direction. That is more than we can say for our President and Congress.
    No one has the whole solution - we have to start someplace. The signers of our Constitution could not have imagined the problems we are facing today. Their problem was how quickly they could reload their single shot weapon. Assault weapons should not be allowed for non-military reasons. No one “needs” an assault weapon. Hunters do not use assault weapons. The wild life is already at a disadvantage because of high-powered weapons and scopes.
    Contact your Congress person. Tell them to DO SOMETHING!!
    Thank you, Walmart. Sam would be proud of you.
    God bless,
    Barbara Ewing


Dear Editor,
    I attended two meetings sponsored primarily by the Army Corps of Engineers, who have taken over a lead role in the merger with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for the removal of toxic materials embedded in our waterways. My purpose for attending these meetings was to become familiar with their projects and to establish personal contact with some of their decision makers.
    The first meeting dealt with the problems and progress with dredging the Kalamazoo River by the Army Corps, running from Kalamazoo to Allegan. The primary technique is to use special backhoes. The toxic sediment is dumped on the river banks. In the past, Michigan DEQ ruled that we could not do this on our Paw Paw River and Maple Lake waters. They wanted us to haul our toxic sediment away to an approved Detroit landfill. With the Army basically taking over, our planning may be approved.
    The second meeting was in Grand Rapids with the Army conducting the all-day meeting. The meeting objective was to brief the 300 attendees on the Army requirements relative to the content of organizations or individuals seeking project approval. We heard from their engineers, environmentalists, limnologists, fisheries, etc., each outlining their requirements.
    I had the opportunity to talk with the meeting manager, Katie Otanez, and showed her pictures of our sediment problem. She directed me to talk to the manager of their Detroit District Regulatory Office, located in South Bend, and gave me their number, 517-232-1952.
    We should call Katie at 313-26-5479, if we encounter any problems.
    The environmental agency will conduct a meeting in Otsego on the Super Fund. I plan to attend.
    With my thanks,
    Ted Major    
    Paw Paw


Dear Editor,
    For the past couple of years, I have been traveling to Paw Paw to watch family members play in different sporting events. It has been a real joy to see the dedication of coaches, support staff and administration. I have been especially impressed by the many stories I have heard of the dedication of Paw Paw’s athletic director Rick Mitchell. After seeing hands-on how he interacts with not only athletes, but also the community, he has lived up to his reputation.
    Paw Paw Pride is alive and well.
    Gary Williams


Letter to the editor:
    Since the courthouse paintings are over 100 years old, maybe the County Commissioners could install placards giving insight into the paintings’ meanings.
    The stairway painting can be described as an allegory: For as alluring the Goddess of War may be, the only reality of war is human anguish and death.
    The courtroom painting is also an allegory depicting the cornerstone of justice.
    1) As far back as 5 B.C., there is reference to the Goddess of Earthly Justice.
    2) For hundreds of years the sword has been a symbol that justice is swift (a.k.a. Speedy Trial - Article 6, Bill of Rights).
    3) The severed head relates to a type of capitol punishment - remember the French Revolution and the fate of Aristocrats, including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
    4) The man and woman are naked because no matter - female/male, poor/rich - the seat of justice should be equality sans trappings.
    Michael J. Calay


The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-5080

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