Letters to the Editor 01-21-14

NEW HABITAT A BAD IDEA
On Jan. 9, the mayor and Findlay City Council held a public meeting for residents in the Lye Creek area to hear rationale for a planned Lye Creek wildlife habitat.
It was explained that while the new habitat would cost about $100,000, it would save the city maintenance costs for the city/county-owned area in the floodway. Also, the funding for the project would come from grant money that would otherwise revert back to the grantor.
Let’s deal with each point separately, along with the issue of the effect on flooding.
The city claims there will be negligible impact from the planting of over 200 trees, shrubs and native grasses. Wait a minute, aren’t we paying over a half-million dollars to clean trees, limbs, and shrubs out of the rest of the Blanchard River floodway? And doesn’t FEMA prohibit adding even a single fence post in the floodway due to its potential impact on flooding?
Where does this grant money come from, and what limitations are placed on this land in the future? I believe this is public, state EPA money, so it’s your tax dollars.
And if the EPA is involved, won’t this new wildlife habitat impact our future flood mitigation actions, just as the mussels are doing now?
Grants, commonly viewed as “free money,” are going to be the downfall of this nation. The reality is that most of these grants are funded by the state or federal government, which is out of money and is either borrowing it from China or printing it at the expense of our children and grandchildren.
Haven’t we all heard the old maxim, “There is no such thing as a free lunch?”
As for the maintenance savings, any landscaper will tell you that mowing grass is the easiest landscape to maintain.
Mr. Schmelzer admitted the city wouldn’t be cleaning out fallen limbs and other natural debris. Eventually, this will become a tangled mess, especially when debris from the next flood gets stuck in it.
What’s the cost to the city at that point?
Susan A. Thompson
Findlay

HEMP: THE PERFECT WEED KILLER?
Other readers have discussed hemp, but I wonder if most know when and why industrial hemp was demonized.
In colonial times, farmers were required by law to grow hemp. It was used for many things, including rope, clothing, lamp oil, and ships’ sails.
In 1916, USDA Bulletin No. 404 showed that hemp produced four times more paper per acre than did trees. In 1938, reports stated “new developments in processing technology could use hemp to manufacture over 25,000 different products, from cellophane to dynamite.” See: http://hemphistoryweek.com/timeline.php
This good news was upstaged in 1937 by passage of the Marijuana Tax Act HR 6385, which required a $100 transfer tax on the sale of marijuana.
Those thought to gain the most were Hearst, who owned large timber holdings which fed the paper industry; also DuPont, who dominated the petrochemical market, which manufactured plastics, paints, and other products of fossil fuels; and Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, the owner of Gulf Oil, who pushed legislation through Congress giving tax breaks to oil companies.
The conspiracy was against hemp. It threatened certain vested financial and industrial interests, especially those in the paper and petrochemical industries.
Through the Hearst newspaper chains, propaganda messages were published, and it was Hearst who coined the phrase “Marijuana Madness.” Following this campaign against hemp, it was not long before the complete prohibition of hemp was enacted. See: http://www.globalhemp.com/2001/01/hemp-history.html
Perhaps it is time to think reasonably about this crop. Eight states have passed laws legalizing industrial hemp. http://www.ncsl.org/research/agriculture-and-rural-development/state-industrial-hemp-statutes.aspx Might this be a boost to Ohio’s economy?
Ironically, industrial hemp, planted nearby, will destroy marijuana. What a perfect “weed” killer!
Naomi Cherry
Findlay

ROTTED POLES LITTERING CITY
Over the past year, the electric company has been replacing many old rotted poles here in Findlay.
They transfer the electric wires over from the old pole to the new, but if there are phone or cable wires on the old pole they won’t transfer them over.
I talked to one of these contractors and they told me the appropriate company will have to do the transfer. As a result, many rotted poles are standing next to the new ones because no one is doing the transfers.
I’ve had these two poles in our yard for almost a year now. I’ve called the cable company, phone company, electric company, and the mayor’s office, and none seems to know anything about old poles.
It’s a shame our town will be littered with these rotted-out poles.
Terry McGuire
Findlay

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