Albert Einstein Called Him "The Greatest Mind in American History."
Josiah Willard Gibbs 1839 – 1903
The second phase of Governor Snyder’s plan to restore Flint’s damaged water infrastructure was announced today. Michigan’s taxpayers will pay the pirates at Detroit Water & Sewerage $ 6 million to reconnect the Flint water system to DW&SD’s Lake Huron water supply. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation will ante up $ 4 million more and the City of Flint will will pay $ 2 million extra as well. Governor Snyder said: “The technical experts helping the city on its water advisory all agree this move back to the Great Lakes Water Authority provides the best public health protection for children and families.” Note that our devious Governor gives you the impression that the funds will be going to the GLWA. No, they will all be going straight to the pirates at DW&SD unless Flint’s new Karegnondi water pipeline is seriously delayed.
As we pointed out last week, the Flint water distribution system has been seriously damaged by 17 months of amateur chemistry and government incompetence after resourcing their water supply to the Flint River. Incompetent control of water chemistry after April 2014 has dissolved protective pipe linings, allowing lead, iron and steel corrosion which has released lead and iron compounds into Flint’s water on its way to customers. A process called leaching. The finished water coming out of the Flint Water Treatment Plant is seemingly fine, but it certainly isn’t by the time it arrives at their customer’s taps.
Because the damage to Flint’s water infrastructure commenced with this resourcing, a hue and cry went up to reconnect Flint to Detroit water. A logical fallacy. Detroit water did not damage Flint’s water infrastructure when it was used prior to April 2014, at least as far as we know. (Do we really know?) However it cannot – by itself – repair the damage done since. Flint pipes may not have been corroding before April 2014, but they certainly are now. Detroit water is controlled just enough to prevent damage to water infrastructure, but not enough to repair damaged infrastructure. Flint is going to require a distinctly different water chemistry than Detroit.
The technical experts are touting corrosion control plans to stop the corrosion in Flint’s water distribution piping. By corrosion control, they intend to load up Flint’s water with orthophosphate forming chemicals to prevent further corrosion and attempt to restore the protective scale linings in Flint’s water piping. This is the EPA’s stock recommended practice, derived from their statistical analysis of water systems across the nation. The problem here is those statistical analyses were made of more or less functional water distribution systems. Not a heavily damaged system like Flint’s. Flint’s water problems are an ex novo case. The only recent case of lead pipe leaching even close occurred in Washington, DC, but is enough different in its particulars that Washington’s corrective actions do not provide an assured plan of action for Flint.
“Former U.S. Senator Carl Levin will be recognized with the annual Milliken Distinguished Leadership Award at a reception in Traverse City this Saturday hosted by the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities. The award recognizes leaders who embody the legacy of Governor William Milliken and the late Helen Milliken ..”
New Poll: Peabody Up, Courser Tied For Third in Historic Special Election
You may remember that, a few days ago, I had made reference to the Courser-Gamrat saga – at least from the perspective of Todd A. Courser – playing out very much like a classic six-act Shakespearean-style tragedy, in which the catastrophic resolution for TAC was the modern “ritual suicide” of a Nixonian-style resignation, right as it became obvious that republican leadership in the State House had finally brokered a deal with democrat leadership to tally the votes necessary to expel him from their membership. I also mentioned that, unlike the theatre, real life doesn’t end with the final curtain, as we saw play out a mere week later. To quote Brian Began from an Inside Michigan Politicspress release from last Friday:
“Much like the residents of Elm Street and the campers at Crystal Lake, the Lapeer County Courser monster just won’t go away. It’s the sequel nobody wanted, and it’s coming to a ballot box near you this November,” said Brian Began, Elections & Research Director of Grassroots Midwest. “This is not a conventional primary, but a 30-day sprint. Courser has a steep climb, but should he convince enough of his allies to support him in November, Republicans could again be dealing with a nightmare scenario.”
So, instead of Romeus Montague, Began believes that we may rather be dealing with Freddy Krueger . . . yikes. Popcorn, anyone?
Both sides, along with Gov. Rick Snyder, generally agree on the need for $1.2 billion a year in additional road funding, but they’ll need 54 votes to get it done. Cotter’s willingness to at least consider $800 million in new revenue likely increases the odds of a deal.
“For me, it’s not just about the proportion — how much is new revenue and how much is general fund — but all the other details that go into making up a package,” Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant, said Thursday. “I want to see what are the forms of new revenue, where’s it coming from and to what degree, but then also what other pieces of the package exist.”
The governor and legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle have been meeting regularly – twice in each of the past two weeks, according to Snyder — in hopes of reaching an agreement they all can live with.
“The lieutenant governor and I, I think it’s fair to say we both think there’s been a lot of progress in these meetings,” Snyder said last week. “Issues are coming up [indeed], we’re having a healthy discussion and people are trying to be good problem solvers. People are trying to come to a good solution.”
Cotter said he thinks they’re “very close” to a deal, but he also acknowledged he’s said that before.
“I’ve been saying for some time now that I’d like to get this to the floor in October, and I think we’re on a good pace to do that,” he said.
In all fairness to EFM Kurtz, part of his rate increase was intended to replenish $ 15.7 million which had been transferred from the Flint water fund in 2007 to pay a sewerage overflow settlement. However this entire situation was almost certainly an attempt to quickly balance Flint’s books and wrap up emergency financial management. Lansing was certainly sweating EFM Kurtz to conclude Flint’s restoration in order to shut down the social justice warriors before our 2014 election.
So what is happening here, technically? Will Detroit water fix Flint’s problems? (Hint: No)
Don’t bother me. I’m letting people think that I know what I’m doing.
When he’s not busy assuaging his troubled conscience with other people’s money or letting terrorists into Michigan for the very same reason, Gov. Rick Snyder (along with his BFF’s Lil’ Guv Calley, Sen. Meekhof and apparently Speaker Cotter) are still working diligently behind the scenes to shake down Michigan Motorists and businesses to fix the perpetual joke that is Michigan Roads.
I should stress how important the latter is, because the guv’s crew often “forgets” that goods actually get onto those shelves at your local store via truck…not some transporter beam from Star Trek or magical fairies daintily waving their wands.
I also shouldn’t need to remind anyone here of Basic Econ 101, where my boss isn’t going to eat the cost of higher fees & taxes Gov. Snyder & Co. will eagerly impose on him. He (and I’ll venture a guess every other business as well) will pass most, if not all, of that cost along to you.
Just something to keep in mind the next time you run out to your local store for anything.
So where is MDOT flushing more of your hard-earned road funding down the toilet this week?