Week of May 21, 2007
|2nd Amendment Issues|
You can do something about gasoline prices: You can use less gas. As we’ll see, a relatively small reduction in demand can have a big impact on prices. So if you’re serious about doing something to lower the price at the pump, try these Two Simple Steps that won’t cost you a dime:
Simple Step No. 1: Stop driving like a jerk
You know who you are: You punch the accelerator the minute the light changes and cruise at top speed until the last possible moment before hitting the brakes hard at the stop sign. Just because you can go from 0 to 60 mph in seven seconds doesn’t mean you have to (unless you’re trying to merge onto a busy highway). Aside from annoying other drivers on the road, you’re wasting a lot of gasoline.
How much is a lot? According to fueleconomy.gov, you can save from 5 percent to 33 percent —depending on just how manic you are behind the wheel. The folks at Edmunds.com, a
car buying Web site, tested the idea, running a 50-mile course with four different driving styles from “aggressive” to “moderate.” Average fuel savings: 31 percent.
Simple Step No. 2: Slow down
Look, we’re not talking about crawling along in the right lane backing up traffic. We’re talking about staying within the posted speed limit — or even a little over it. There’s no magic number for optimal mileage; it varies from one car to the next. But if your car has a tachometer, try keeping it as low as possible in the highest gear. That’s where you get the best mileage.
According to www.fueleconomy.gov, your gas mileage drops off sharply once you blow past 60 mph. By cutting your speed you can save 7 - 23 %, depending on how heavy-footed is your usual driving style.
Chippewa insulted by banned author
BELCOURT, N.D.(AP) -- An Indian tribe on May 18 banished a man who wrote an article criticizing conditions on the reservation and calling for an end to ''cradle-to-grave entitlements.'' Rob Port, who visited the reservation for his article, said he doesn't need to go back anyway.
In his report: "The Appalling State of North Dakota Indian Reservation" Port says: Our government spends billions of dollars on creating education and employment opportunities for Indians, not to mention the billions spent on personal assistance for the Indians themselves in the form of housing money, food money, welfare money, etc. But none of this is working. Most of the Indians on these reservations eat up all of that assistance and still don’t manage to lift themselves out of the ghettos they’re living in. Why? I think it’s because they live without consequences."
Port ads: "Most of us would probably consider living in a squalid apartment in a nasty housing complex a pretty serious consequence for not getting ahead in life, but it seems to me as though most of these Indians are perfectly content to live there. Probably because they don’t know any better. They were likely raised in housing projects by their parents, who in turn were probably raised in housing projects themselves. The 'welfare mentality' has become so ingrained in these people that most of them don’t have any drive to reach for something better. It’s not that they’re incapable of education and holding down a steady job, it’s just that they don’t have to do those things to eek by in life. Like their parents before them, they leave selfish lives full of self-gratification and little achievement while the government subsidizes them..."
Port concludes with the admonition: "We can give these
people all the opportunities in the world, but it isn’t going to make a lick of difference until there are some real consequences for cashing in on those opportunities. The safety net needs to be taken out from under the Indians. The reservation system needs to end. The cradle-to-grave entitlements need to end. The time of tough love needs to begin because that’s the only way things are going to get better on these reservations.
Our government has tried to take care of the Indians for decades now, and all it has resulted in is rampant crime, rampant unemployment, rampant substance abuse and poverty. It is cruel to perpetuate the current system simply because the idea of removing assistance from these people seems cruel. What is cruel is putting them in a situation where there is no impetus to succeed. Now is the time to shift the responsibility for making it in the world to the Indians themselves. Not only to help them, but also to end the mean charade of the status quo. "
The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Council unanimously passed a resolution banning Rob Port from tribal lands for insulting comments about the tribe and its members posted on www.sayanything.com and published in the Dakota Beacon. The resolution was passed on May 10.
Others who have written critical essays about various tribal activities have also preceded Port in their banishment. It appears the nation's tribes do not include our hallowed Bill of Rights to the rights of tribal members.
Read the full article: http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/the_app/
Lake Level Conditions:
Currently, Lake Superior is 15" below its level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 2" lower than it was at this time last year. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 3 to 8" above their levels of a year ago. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to rise 4 and 2", respectively, over the next 30 days. Lake St. Clair is predicted to remain at the same level. Lakes Erie and Ontario are projected to drop an inch over the next month. During the next few months, Lake Superior is predicted to remain well below its water level of a year ago, while water levels of the remaining lakes are expected to be similar or slightly above last year’s levels.
Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:
Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be well below average for May. Flows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are also predicted to be lower than average this month. Flow in the Niagara River, as well as the St. Lawrence River, is expected to be above average.
Due to abnormally dry conditions on the Lake Superior basin
over the last several months, Lake Superior ’s water level is currently below chart datum and is expected to remain below
datum over the next six months. Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.
With over 3,000 world records caught on its gear, Shimano was honored with the International Game Fish Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the IGFA’s Fourth Annual World Record Achievement Awards celebration, April 28th. The ceremony was held at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Florida.
Other tackle, lure and line manufacturers were honored based on the number of records their products set in 2006. The event also recognized the 2006 records by men, women, juniors, and professional captains for the most world records recently published in the IGFA’s 2007 World Record Game Fishes book.
In accepting the IGFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Robby Gant, Sr. Brand Manager for Shimano said, “It just amazes me that anglers have caught more than 3,000 IGFA world records using our rods and reels. I really look forward to sharing this with everyone at Shimano in Irvine, California, and with our board of directors and management on my next trip to our offices in Japan.”
Shimano led among the manufacturers of rods and reels receiving firsts in three categories including saltwater reels used in world records (153) and reels used in freshwater records (88). They also took top honors for their rods with saltwater (23) world records and tied for second (12) with freshwater rods.
2nd Amendment issues
Gun Owners of America reports anti-gun Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) is continuing his assault on American gun owners. Dingell has been tapped by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to broker a compromise with Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) on H.R. 297, a gun control bill being pushed in the wake of the Virginia
Tech shooting. The bill provides about $1 billion to the states to "provide the National Instant Criminal Background Check System [NICS] with all records concerning persons who are prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm... regardless of the elapsed time since the disqualifying event."
Joe Biden: Voted against preventing gun manufacturers from being sued. Earned an F from the NRA.
Hillary Clinton: Made gun control a key issue of her 2000 campaign for the U.S. Senate, backing proposals to require the licensing and registering of all new handguns purchased in the United States.
Chris Dodd: Voted for requiring background checks at gun shows. Said U.S. needs to look beyond guns to ``issues of mental health, what's on our television and video things.''
John Edwards: Backed Democratic gun control measures when he was in the Senate, but said after the Virginia Tech shootings that he 'believes that the Second Amendment protects gun ownership and that we must keep guns out of criminals' hands.''
Mike Gravel: Raised his hand during recent debate when asked if he had ever had a gun in his home.
Dennis Kucinich: Rated an ''F'' with the NRA. Supports requiring background checks, licensing and fingerprinting.
Barack Obama: Said in a radio interview after the Virginia Tech shootings that he supported making it tougher for the mentally ill to own guns, but added, ``I'm respectful of people who want to hunt or sportsmen, somebody who might want to have a gun in the house to protect their home.''
Bill Richardson: Has said that gun ownership in the West is ''critically important'' though he supports background checks to detect criminal activity.
Sam Brownback: Voted against background checks at gun shows. Voted in favor of requiring gun makers and dealers to sell handguns with safety locks
Jim Gilmore: As governor of Virginia, touted a program called ''Project Exile,'' which calls for mandatory minimum five-year sentences for gun-wielding felons.
Rudy Giuliani: Lobbied for a federal ban on assault weapons. Criticized southern states as having lax restrictions on gun sales
Mike Huckabee: Said in a radio interview that a student or teacher carrying a concealed weapon might have reduced the death toll from the Virginia Tech shooting spree. A longtime hunter, Huckabee has consistently touted his support for concealed-weapon permits and his own license to carry.
Duncan Hunter: The NRA endorsed him last year and gave his lifetime voting record an ''A.'' Voted to protect gun makers from civil lawsuits.
John McCain: Voted against background checks at gun shows and a ban on assault weapons. Voted in favor of requiring gun makers and dealers to sell handguns with safety locks
Ron Paul: Received high ratings and tens of thousands of dollars from pro-gun groups. Voted against background checks at gun shows
Mitt Romney: When he ran for Massachusetts governor in 2002, said he supported the state's ''tough'' gun laws, and later signed an assault weapon ban. Designated May 7, 2005, as ''The Right to Bear Arms Day'' in the state
Tom Tancredo: Earned an endorsement last year from the NRA, which gave him an ''A'' for his lifetime voting record on gun issues. Voted to protect gun makers from civil lawsuits
Tommy Thompson: As governor of Wisconsin, signed legislation that increased penalties for gun violence near schools.
Sources: Vote Smart Project, On the Issues
The 2007-08 Illinois non-resident archery deer permit lottery application period will be June 1-June 30. Hunters will be able to apply via DNR Direct online through the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us or by phone at 888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The cost of a Non-Resident Archery Combination
Deer Permit (one either-sex/one antlerless) will be $366.00. There will be 20,000 non-resident archery combination tags available in the lottery drawing. The 2007-08 Illinois archery deer hunting season dates are Oct. 1-Jan. 17. For more information, check the web site at www.dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/07/archeryincludes.htm.
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich last week awarded more than $1.5 million in grants for eight recreational trail projects in Illinois communities to improve recreation opportunities for bicycle riders, hikers, joggers and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Funding for the grants is supported by the federal government's Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which provides up to 80 % of the cost of the trail projects. Local sponsors provide the balance of the funding. RTP grants may be awarded for the acquisition of land from willing sellers, for trail construction and rehabilitation, restoration of areas damaged by unauthorized trail uses, construction of trail-related support facilities such as picnic areas, parking and restrooms, and for educational programs.
The Illinois grant program is administered by the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Grant recipients are:
Bellwood (Cook County) - $214,080 to enhance 1.23 miles of the Illinois Prairie Path
Buffalo Grove (Cook County) - $152,320 for a biking, hiking and walking trail
Douglas-Hart Nature Center (Coles County) - $24,200 to re-construct an existing nature trail
Geneva (Kane County) - $156,000 to construct approximately one mile of trail
Glen Carbon (Madison County) - $225,600 to construct 1.8 miles of trail through a natural area
Johnston City (Williamson County) - $88,800 to construct 2.5 miles of trail
Lake County - $264,000 to construct a tunnel under Monaville Rd at Rte 59 and Fairfield Rd
Henry County - $444,960 to acquire 206 acres of vacant land for a public Off-Highway Vehicle riding area
Secret negotiations now ongoing between five Michigan Indian tribes, the federal government and the State of Michigan may be at a temporary impasse because of objections raised by one of the tribes – Leelanau County’s own Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
Since last year the tribes, the federal government and the state have been operating under a federal court-imposed confidentiality agreement to hammer out a pact that would clarify the rights of tribal members to hunt throughout much of Michigan and fish on inland lakes according to tribal rules – not the rules imposed on everyone else by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Like other tribes in Michigan, the Grand Traverse Band (GTB) has been issuing its own hunting and fishing licenses to tribal members free of charge since 1996 as part of an effort to assert rights the tribe claims under the historic 1836 Treaty of Washington.
Tribal rules for hunting deer, for example, differ significantly from those promulgated by the Michigan DNR. Tribal members may have greater opportunities to bag larger bucks than non-Indians during a tribal firearm season that runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. All non-Indian deer hunters are limited to a firearm season that runs Nov. 15-30.
Although tribal rules do not recognize quality deer management regulations approved by the DNR within Leelanau County, most GTB members voluntarily follow the practice, according to tribal Natural Resources officials. Of 12 bucks taken early in the 2006 firearms season by GTB members in Leelanau County, tribal officials reported that only three failed to meet the state-approved standard of having at least three points on one antler.
By the time the 2006 tribal deer hunting season was over, GTB hunters had reportedly bagged 19 bucks and 20 does in Leelanau County, representing about 34 percent of the 113 deer harvested by GTB members within the 1836 treaty area.
The 1836 treaty area encompasses some 13.8 million acres or roughly 37 percent of the acreage in the state. It includes the eastern Upper Peninsula and much of the Lower Peninsula north of the Grand River, including all of Leelanau County. A dispute between the state and the five tribes plus the federal government revolves around language in the historic treaty reserving the right of tribal members to hunt and fish in the area they ceded to the U.S. “until the land is required for settlement.” The 1836 treaty led to Michigan’s statehood in 1837.
The state is asserting that Michigan has been “settled” for some time and that hunting, fishing and other rights retained by the tribes in the inland areas covered by the treaty have expired in virtually all non-reservation areas.
Litigation over the meaning and effect of the 1836 treaty began in the 1970’s in connection with disputes over tribal members using large mesh gill nets on the Great Lakes. Courts found that the Great Lakes could never be “settled” within the meaning of the treaty and, therefore, the tribes’ right to fish in those waters according to their own regulations and practices would always exist. The courts did not, however, address the question of inland hunting and fishing rights.
Tribal, state and federal officials now manage Great Lakes commercial fishing under a 2000 consent decree that updated a similar agreement adopted in 1985 – all as part of the same federal court case now addressing the inland hunting and fishing issues.
The latest issues of concern in negotiations ongoing since 2003 appear to involve a motion by a coalition of non-governmental sport fishing groups who hope to intervene in the case. A federal appeals court in 2005 upheld a decision by a lower federal court judge to keep the Michigan Fisheries Resources Conservation Coalition and other groups from intervening in the case.
However, a renewed February 2007 motion by the non-governmental coalition to intervene in the case has been met by a negative response from the tribes. Meanwhile, attorneys associated with the case say that the tribes, the state and the federal government have apparently reached an “agreement in principle” on how a possible Inland Hunting and Fishing Consent Decree should be crafted under the 1836 treaty.
Sources involved in the negotiations say the GTB is the only party involved that is not yet completely satisfied with the “agreement in principle.” “Because of the confidentiality agreement, I cannot comment on the tribe’s position relative to the agreement in principle,” said Bill Rastetter, an attorney who has been representing the GTB in 1836 Treaty litigation since the 1980s.
Lansing attorney Stephen Schultz represents several of the non-governmental organizations hoping to intervene in the case, including the Grand Traverse Area Sport Fishing Association. Schultz told the Enterprise recently that he and the groups he represents remain frustrated by the lack of “transparency” in the ongoing discussions. “We wish the public had more access to this process, and it’s important to us that the public understand what is happening,” Schultz said. “Once a decision is made in this case, it will affect every fish and game species in Michigan that the public and tribal members want to hunt and fish.”
Federal court judge Richard A. Enslen in Kalamazoo has scheduled another “status conference” in the case in June. No one knows if any of the issues discussed at the conference will be made public, however.
Courtesy: Leelanau Enterprise
DNR officials on May 17 confirmed the presence of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in an inland lake in Michigan.
Budd Lake, a 175-acre lake in central Clare County, experienced a very large die-off of fish beginning April 30 that included black crappie, bluegill and muskellunge. DNR biologists responded quickly to the lake to determine the cause of the die-off. Potential natural and human-induced causes for the die-off were evaluated.
Fish collected from Budd Lake were taken to Michigan State U. for testing. The DNR learned this week that the fish from Budd Lake were positive for VHS. Although the exact cause of the fish die-off is yet to be determined, this is the first time that the virus has been found in inland waters in Michigan. Widespread mortalities in muskellunge and gizzard shad in Michigan waters of Lake St. Clair were observed in 2006 along with significant mortalities of yellow perch, white bass, freshwater drum and round gobies in lakes Erie and Ontario.
“We are disappointed that the disease has spread to Budd Lake, and clearly we are very concerned about protecting our inland waters from further spread of this virus,” said DNR Fish
Chief Kelley Smith.
As a result of this finding in Budd Lake, the DNR is modifying regulations proposed in the Fish Disease Control Order that was presented for information to the Natural Resources Commission May 10. The Fish Disease Control Order identifies restrictions on the use of baitfish and fish eggs for different disease management areas. These regulations are necessary to protect the aquatic resources of the state, minimize the spread of disease to uninfected waters and protect the DNR’s hatchery system.
“It is unfortunate that we have to take the steps required under the order, but those steps are similar to what other Great Lakes States and the Province of Ontario are enacting in an attempt to slow the spread of VHS in the Great Lakes Basin,” Smith said. “The order, however, will not prevent anglers from fishing as usual anywhere in the state this summer.”
Major changes to the order include an expanded certification process for facilities that maintain baitfish or other live fish that are known to be susceptible to VHS, as well as additional restrictions on the use of baitfish or eggs by anglers when fishing.
Officials find virus inland before it's found in Lake Michigan
State seeks to expand emergency rules containing deadly fish disease
MADISON – Surprise reports May 11 that a new viral fish disease likely killed fish in the inland Lake Winnebago System is spurring Wisconsin fisheries officials to expand the reach of emergency rules aimed at preventing viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, from spreading to new waters.
DNR received news late May 11 that two drum, or sheepshead, from Little Lake Butte des Morts had tested positive for VHS, and that other dead fish collected from Lake Winnebago itself appear to have the virus was deeply concerning. The Lake Winnebago system is home to a $234 million fishery and the world’s largest lake sturgeon population, and it has dozens of boat landings and many boaters coming from other states and other parts of Wisconsin. Fully 90 % of anglers answering a 2006 survey said they do not own or live on waterfront property on that system but bring their boats there. Movement of boats from one water body to another is a likely path for spreading the virus.
There is concern the threat will impact the state's $2.3 billion sport fishing industry, which supports more than 26,000 jobs in the state.
Fisheries officials asked the state Natural Resources Board in a special session Thursday, May 17, to consider expanding key emergency rule requirements beyond Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, the Mississippi River and their tributaries.
“When we originally went to the Natural Resources Board in April, they made it clear to us that if VHS was found outside Lakes Michigan, Lake Superior and the Mississippi River, they wanted us to come back and they would consider extending the rules to new waters or statewide,” said Wisconsin Fish Chief Mike Staggs. “That’s what we’re doing now that initial tests indicate the disease has spread to the Lake Winnebago system.”
Based on their suspicions in April that VHS virus was already in or would soon be found in Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and the Mississippi River, fisheries officials proposed different special rules on fish handling, live well and bait bucket water handling and boat cleaning for those waters than for inland waters. They thought the virus would be in those three major water bodies and their tributaries because they are connected to eastern Lake Michigan waters where VHS had already been confirmed and where it had killed thousands of game fish and panfish in 2005 and 2006.
It can kill many fish species said Sue Marcquenski, fish health specialist with the state DNR. "We didn't expect to find the virus in the
Winnebago system first," she said. "We expected to find it in Lake Michigan first. "Our main concern is that this virus has caused infections in so many other species, too, from bass to perch to muskies, northern pike, walleyes and shad," she said. "In the next year we could lose much of those fish in the Winnebago system."
Representing a unique world class fishery going back to 1903 the Lake Winnebago system supports North America's largest and most popular recreational and self-sustaining population of lake sturgeon. "Fossil records show lake sturgeon have been around for 100 million years," says Ron Bruch, a DNR sturgeon biologist. "Whatever killed the dinosaurs didn’t kill the sturgeon," and that fishery is now in danger.
VHS is not a health threat to people who handle infected fish or want to eat their catch, but it can kill more than 25 fish species, causing them to bleed to death.
Until the Natural Resources Board considers expanding the emergency rules, Staggs urges boaters and anglers on all Wisconsin lakes and waters to take those steps that will help prevent the spread of VHS to more waters.
● Do not move live fish (including unused bait minnows) away from the landing or shore.
● Drain all water from bilges, bait buckets, live wells and other containers when leaving the landing or shore.
● Use live minnows purchased only from registered bait dealers in Wisconsin or catch it yourself in the same water you fish.
● Before launching and before leaving for the day, inspect your boat and trailer and clean both of all visible plants and animals.
In addition, Staggs urges people who have been boating on the Winnebago System to disinfect their boats and boating and fishing gear before moving to new waters by mixing 1/3 cup of bleach with 5 gallons of water. Apply the solution to the hull, trailer, live well, bilge and any other areas or things that may hold water or moisture. Leave the solution in contact with these areas for at least 5 minutes before rinsing off. Do not rinse the bleach solution into lakes or rivers.
Some of these steps are the same ones DNR has been asking boaters and anglers to take for years to prevent the spread of invasive species such as zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil.
Wisconsin DNR Fish Chief Mike Staggs on May 12 ordered the immediate closing of the boat lock around the dam at Menasha until an investigation provides more information about the spread of the virus up the Fox River to the lakes. Concern for the health of sturgeon prompted testing of tissue samples taken from 60 sturgeon in Lake Winnebago in February. The virus was not found at that time.
State fish experts suspect the disease is also in Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and the Mississippi River.
Last month the state enacted emergency rules to prevent the
spread of the virus to inland waters. The rules prohibit anglers and boaters from moving live fish; and requires them to drain their boats and live wells before leaving Wisconsin's Great Lakes waters, the Mississippi River and those waters' tributaries up to the first dam. The rules do not apply to the Lake Winnebago system, but anglers were urged to begin following them.
The DNR said it's unclear exactly how the disease is spread, but it appears it could be shed by infected fish into the water, particularly by fish that survive the disease and become carriers. The virus can infect fish of all ages. It might enter a fish through the gills or in food.
The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff.
Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given.
Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.
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