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Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Congressional Candidate Lon Johnson: Town Hall on Line 5 Pipeline attracts concerned citizens

First District Congressional Candidate Lon Johnson speaks at the March 5, 2016, Town Hall on Line 5, the aging pipeline under the Mackinac Straits. More than 100 concerned citizens attended the Town Hall, held at Little Bear Arena Community Center in St. Ignace, Mich. (Photos courtesy Lon Johnson)*

By Lon Johnson, Candidate for Michigan's 1st District Congressional Seat

This past Saturday, we held a town hall meeting in St. Ignace to talk about the threat the Line 5 oil pipeline is posing to our Great Lakes. I was so pleased that more than 100 community members came to the event to share their thoughts and concerns about this critical issue.

Aaron Payment (left), tribal chairperson of the Sault Tribe at Kewadin Casino, joins Lon Johnson in greeting community members during the March 5 Town Hall on Line 5 in St. Ignace.

Line 5 is a 60-year-old pipeline running under the Straits of Mackinac. It carries more than 500,000 barrels of oil and other petroleum products every day, passing through pristine, fresh water that supports fisheries, provides drinking water and sits at the heart of our thriving tourism industry.

The Canadian company operating the pipeline has a terrible safety record, having been responsible for major spills in Michigan and throughout North America. We can’t simply take their word that Line 5 is safe. We need an independent inspection to prove it.

As the member of Congress representing the U.P. and Northern Michigan, I promise to fight for the causes that matter to you. The people of the 1st Congressional District deserve a congressman who works as hard as they do.

* Click here to see more photos from the March 5 Town Hall on Lon Johnson's  Facebook page. He invites readers to share them on Facebook to raise awareness about this serious threat to the Great Lakes.

Visit Lon Johnson's Web site to see the list of communities that have passed resolutions calling for the shutdown of the flow of oil in the Line 5 pipeline.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Letter: Bernie Sanders is the real deal

By Mary Jane Williams*

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Two words on Central Florida's best reaction to Donald Trump: BERNIE SANDERS! He's the real and only alternative to establishment Democrat and establishment Republican wars in the Middle East and Libya, brought to us by the Clintons and the Bushes. It's these wars that have brought Radical Islamic terrorism to our country.

Neither Trump nor anyone else can stop people from coming to America for work and freedom. How about we put a couple million people to work digging up antiquated water pipes all over the country so we don't have more Flint, Michigan, type water poisoning. How about we put people to work rebuilding our bridges, roads, and subways? Bernie would spend money on projects like these rather than more wars.

Before I'd heard of Bernie Sanders I happened to attend a Senate hearing in Washington, D.C., of the committee supposedly overseeing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Every Senator in that room was licking the shoes of the Commissioners. Hardest question: "How come it's taking so long to license more reactors?" Bernie pulled the microphone over and gave a spontaneous talking-to to the NRC Commissioners, telling them the hard regulations they should be putting into place. Bernie's wisdom, command of the subject, and ability to articulate -- also his courage, his guts! -- were astounding.

Bernie Sanders is the real deal; sadly he's almost a unique deal: a passionate, extremely intelligent, informed person, elected to Congress by a citizenry that truly governs itself and self-educates itself on the issues. (Each Vermont town has a yearly Town Meeting where every citizen speaks his/her mind. Town Meeting articles become the law for that town.)


Editor's Note: The above letter was submitted recently to an Orlando newspaper as a comment on their website article on Donald Trump. It is reprinted here with the author's permission.

*The author of this letter, Mary Jane Williams describes herself as a "Reluctant mover (from the Keweenaw) to Florida last August following my grandson." She would like to be a snowbird back and forth to the U.P.

Inset photo: Williams is pictured here with her grandson, Jonah, in 2010. (Photo courtesy Mary Jane Williams)