Environmental Problems Increase in SE Wisconsin While the Racine Water Utility Acts Without Proper Authority

From Journal Times:

Coal dust confirmed near Oak Creek power plants

OAK CREEK — Independent testing has confirmed the presence of coal dust found Monday in a neighborhood north of the We Energies power plants in Oak Creek, the Clean Power Coalition of Southeast Wisconsin announced.

In a news release issued late Thursday afternoon, the coalition said independent testing confirmed coal dust from samples taken Monday by the Environmental Accountability Group and tested by Aspen Consulting. The black coal dust was found covering homes, cars and a playground in neighborhoods north of the Oak Creek and Elm Road power plants.

Coal dust contains toxic metals including lead, mercury and arsenic, the release states. The health effects of inhalable particulate matter include aggravation of asthma, respiratory symptoms, an increase in hospital emissions and increased mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and from lung cancer. “There is no safe level of coal dust exposure.”

“This isn’t the first time this has happened,” stated Greg Millard, a concerned local resident. “This is the first time they got caught. Coal dust blowing from the piles at these plants has been a problem for decades, and We Energies knows it. We want something done about it.”

Coal dust causes problems south of the plant, stated Bill Pringle, president of Environmental Accountability Group.

“I used to live in Caledonia just south of the plant,” Pringle stated. “Myself, my wife and my children became very ill, and after only eight years we had to move. We Energies did testing twice and said there wasn’t a problem, but when we hired someone to do independent testing, we found coal and fly ash in our house. I started EAG because it was clear that We Energies can’t be trusted with protecting our health.”

Meanwhile – City of Racine’s Water Utility has acted without proper authority or approval!

From Journal Times:

Residents pack iMET Center for Foxconn hearing on water

“A question was asked about why a water pipeline is in the process of being built despite the DNR not granting Racine’s application.

“I don’t have an answer to that question,” Pfeiffer said. “They are not allowed to serve water unless they have a diversion application or would be in violation of state statutes. They’re not allowed to serve water even if those facilities are being built.”

It appears that out of control and loudmouth Village President David DeGroot is not only having his way, but is being allowed by former environmental champion City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason, Special Needs Governor Scott Walker and State Rep “Boss” Robin Vos to force an environmental and financial disaster down the throats of Residents of SE Wisconsin!

Protecting the Great Lakes!

The Great Lakes hold nearly 20% of the world’s fresh surface water. And, more astonishingly, the Great Lakes hold more than 90% of North America’s fresh surface water.

But, this water is not unlimited. It can be depleted if we don’t take care to keep Great Lakes water in the lakes.

Great Lakes Compact: A regional commitment

The Great Lakes Compact was approved by all eight Great Lakes states, the U.S. Congress, and was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008.

The Compact bans the diversion of Great Lakes water outside the basin, with limited exceptions.

Only two situations allow a community located outside of the Great Lakes to apply for a diversion.

  1. A community that is located partially in the Great Lakes basin may apply for a diversion.
  2. A community that is located within a county that is partially in the basin, may apply for a diversion.

Any community applying for a diversion must demonstrate that it has exhausted all available options for getting water. In other words, a diversion must be a last resort.

Any diversion application must be approved by all eight Great Lakes states. The two Canadian provinces bordering the lakes are allowed to provide input as well. Any state may veto the diversion application.

Will Wisconsin allow Lake Michigan to become the next (former) Aral Sea?

The Aral Sea in the Soviet Union, formerly the world’s fourth largest lake in area, is disappearing. Between 1960 and 1987, its level dropped nearly 13 meters, and its area decreased by 40 percent. Recession has resulted from reduced inflow caused primarily by withdrawals of water for irrigation. Severe environmental problems have resulted. The sea could dry to a residual brine lake. Local water use is being improved and schemes to save parts of the sea have been proposed. Nevertheless, preservation of the Aral may require implementation of the controversial project to divert water from western Siberia into the Aral Sea basin.

Desiccation of the Aral Sea: A Water Management Disaster in the Soviet Union

During planning for a major expansion of irrigation in the Aral Sea basin, conducted in the 1950s and 1960s, it was predicted that this would reduce inflow to the sea and substantially reduce its size. At the time, a number of experts saw this as a worthwhile tradeoff: a cubic meter of river water used for irrigation would bring far more value than the same cubic meter delivered to the Aral Sea (6, 22-25). They based this calculation on a simple comparison of economic gains from irrigated agriculture against tangible economic benefits from the sea. Indeed, the ultimate shrinkage of the Aral to a residual brine lake as all its inflow was devoted to agriculture and other economic needs was viewed as both desirable and inevitable.

These experts largely dismissed the possibility of significant adverse environmental consequences accompanying recession. For example, some scientists claimed the sea had little or no impact on the climate of adjacent territory and, therefore, its shrinkage would not perceptibly alter meteorological conditions beyond the immediate shore zone (6). They also foresaw little threat of large quantities of salt blowing from the dried bottom and damaging agriculture in adjacent areas (22). This theory rested, in the first place, on the assumption that during the initial phases of the Aral’s drying only calcium carbonate and calcium sulfate would be deposited on the former bottom. Although friable and subject to deflation, these salts have low plant toxicity. Second, it was assumed that the more harmful compounds, chiefly sodium sulfate and sodium chloride, which would be deposited as the sea continued to shrink and salinize, would not be blown off because of the formation of a durable crust of sodium chloride. Some optimists even suggested the dried bottom would be suitable for farming (22).

Although a small number of scientists warned of serious negative effects from the sea’s desiccation, they were not heeded (14, 24). Time has proved the more cautious scientists not only correct but conservative in their predictions.

The former American Motors Manufacturing Complex located in Kenosha, WI.

Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave,  City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

 

 

Concerned Mount Pleasant Residents VOTE!

Garski: Mount Pleasant village election

As a former Mount Pleasant village trustee and past village president, I gladly served the people of Mount Pleasant for many years. I have seen Village Boards who are able to work together and others who simply cannot cooperate in a professional manner. The best trustees are those who understand they serve the people in our community first, not their friends, business associates and political allies.

This is why, as a former Village Trustee and President, I am endorsing Don Schulz, Gary Feest, Tom Giese and John Martini in the April 3rd election for village trustees.

Don Schulz is a previous town supervisor and trustee. We need him back. No one attends more meetings and keeps track of village business better than Don.

Gary Feest is one of the most conscientious and fair-minded trustees to ever serve the village. Gary deserves to be re-elected.

Tom Giese is an exciting newcomer. Tom holds advanced degrees in chemistry and business. His experiences abroad as a businessman in Asia gives him a perspective the board needs right now.

Dr. John Martini is a tireless advocate as a medical physician and chaplain. He has spent a lifetime solving problems and listening to people. He will bring civility and compassion to a board that has been in disarray.

Please join me in voting for these qualified and professional candidates on April 3rd.

Jerry Garski

Mount Pleasant

Why the Reindustrialization of SE Wisconsin Will Fail

CASE Foundry; Mount Pleasant WI

Reindustrialization is the economic, social, and political process of organizing national resources for the purpose of re-establishing industries. The process proceeds as a result of a need to reinvigorate national economies.

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Foxconn will simply fail because most of the cheap and easy to extract oil has already been exploited. It isn’t that there is no oil to power industrial civilization – it’s that the costs and EROEI (energy returned on Energy Invested) keeps increasing while returns fall. The World has been on the undulating plateau of Peak Oil since around 2008. Oil is NOT all the same in regards to quality, energy concentration, or what products can be made from it. The US exports LIGHT shale oil because US refineries aren’t set up to distill Light Oil – The US does not produce enough oil domestically to meet it’s demands – it IMPORTS heavy oil.

Porters of Racine TID 17

At what price does the demand for POL (gas, diesel, lubricants, etc) products fall? When the product can’t be sold for cost – the manufacturer eventually fails – or must be subsidized.

 

CGEP: Global Oil Market Forecasting: Main Approaches & Key Drivers with Steven Kopits

 

No affordable oil in large quantities = No gas/diesel/lubricants;  therefore  No cars/trucks or electricity.

From The Hills Group

Only by triggering the imagination can we begin to appreciate the statement: “we live in a civilization powered by oil“. If petroleum were to disappear from our lives we would no longer recognize the world in which we live; nor would we have the slightest  notion of how to exist in it. For the continuance of modern society, petroleum is an essential commodity.

To satisfy our ever expanding need for petroleum and its products, a vast interwoven worldwide work force labors arduously to extract, process, and distribute it. They work around the clock to ensure our supply. Battling against the hand maiden of resource extraction, depletion, their labors grow ever more difficult as time progresses. Each year the world’s petroleum industry lifts, forces, and pumps four and one-half billion tons of water, and crude oil from almost a mile below the surface. Each year the the water portion grows larger, and the oil less. The depletion of petroleum is continuing – and it is on a relentless march toward its completion!

Depletion is the inevitable consequence of resource extraction. As petroleum depletes it reaches a point where its ability to power the economy begins to decline; as the economy declines our ability to produce petroleum, and its products declines. The objective of this study is to determine when that point will be reached, and how the decline event will evolve.

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Pointe Blue TID 16

The future isn’t the Jetsons, it is the Stone Age; see also Venezuela.

Venezuela crisis: What is behind the turmoil?

Tension in Venezuela is on the rise again as the opposition and the government accuse each other of trying to stage a coup.

There has been a wave of anti-government protests and dozens of people have been killed in protest-related violence since April

Here, we look more in depth at the problems facing Venezuela and its president, Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela is split into Chavistas, the name given to the followers of the socialist policies of the late President Hugo Chavez, and those who cannot wait to see an end to the 18 years in power of his United Socialist Party (PSUV).

After the socialist leader died in 2013, Nicolas Maduro, also of the PSUV, was elected president on a promise to continue Mr Chavez’s policies.

Chavistas praise the two men for using Venezuela’s oil riches to markedly reduce inequality and for lifting many Venezuelans out of poverty.

But the opposition says that since the PSUV came to power in 1999, the socialist party has eroded Venezuela’s democratic institutions and mismanaged its economy.

Chavistas in turn accuse the opposition of being elitist and of exploiting poor Venezuelans to increase their own riches.

They also allege that opposition leaders are in the pay of the United States, a country with which Venezuela has had fraught relations in recent years.


Like yeast in a bottle, humans on a finite Planet discovered a substance which allowed them to grow exponentially and stripmine the Earth, only to fill it with waste and pollution. When the State of WI experienced De-industrialization the Politicians and Government Employees fought to retain the status quo and BAU (Business as Usual). Now they need WORKERS to PRODUCE – so their Tax-Farming practices can be maintained and increase. The deficits from borrowing to fill the gap between revenues and expenses only increases. Their schemes to fill the gap between Revenues and Expenses only grows in disproportion to the real economy to actually fill those budgeted expenses.

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It is interesting to note that City of Racine houses some of it’s Homeless at HALO – located in the Southside Industrial Park in a former Industrial building.

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The Olduvai Theory:
Sliding Towards a Post-Industrial Stone Age
Richard C. Duncan, Ph.D.
Institute on Energy and Man,
June 27, 1996

My Odyssey with the Olduvai theory began thirty-two years ago during a lecture series titled, Of Men and Galaxies, given at the University of Washington by cosmologist Sir Fred Hoyle.

It has often been said that, if the human species fails to make a go of it here on Earth, some other species will take over the running. In the sense of developing high intelligence this is not correct. We have, or soon will have, exhausted the necessary physical prerequisites so far as this planet is concerned. With coal gone, oil gone, high-grade metallic ores gone, no species however competent can make the long climb from primitive conditions to high-level technology. This is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned. The same will be true of other planetary systems. On each of them there will be one chance, and one chance only. (Hoyle, 1964; emphasis added)

Industrial Civilization doesn’t evolve. Rather, it rapidly consumes “the necessary physical prerequisites” for its own existence. It’s short-term, unsustainable. “This is a one shot affair…. there will be one chance, and one chance only.”

Energy-use per person is used as a measurable index of industrialization. In 1989, I proposed the Olduvai theory of Industrial Civilization, as illustrated in Figure 1.

  • Industrial Civilization can be described by a single pulse waveform of duration X, as measured by average energy-use per person per year.
  • The life-expectancy of Industrial Civilization is less than one-hundred (100) years: i.e., X < 100 years.

In 1989 I postulated that per capita energy-use had peaked and was already on the decline. But back then I lacked sufficient data to test the theory.

By 1996, however, I had successfully tested the Olduvai theory against numerous sets of data. Four of these tests are graphed in Figure 2. The following facts emerge.

  1. On the average, world per capita energy-use reached a maximum value (i.e., a peak) in 1977.
  2. The 1977-1995 rate of decline has averaged 0.90% per year.
  3. Per capita energy-use will continue to decline as long as the world population growth rate exceeds the energy growth rate.
  4. If the decline continues (and extinction is avoided), human societies will bottom out at the subsistence level of energy-use.

The Olduvai theory explains the Figure 2 data, but the exponential-growth theory (of mainstream economics) and the steady-state theory both fail.

The Olduvai theory cannot be overthrown (i.e., scientifically rejected) by outrage or indignation. However, it can be overthrown by either, (1) demonstrating that the four sets of data in Figure 2 are in error, or (2) by gathering additional data over the next few decades and demonstrating that the Olduvai theory cannot explain that data. In any case, the data will be the final arbiter.

Read the entire paper: http://dieoff.org/page125.htm

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Why Globalization will FAIL:

Nine Reasons Why Globalization Can’t Be Permanent

Since the late 1990s, globalization has seemed to be the great hope for the future. Now this great hope seems to be dimming. Globalization sets up conflict in the area of jobs. Countries around the world compete for development and jobs. If there is not enough cheap-to-produce energy to go around, huge wage disparity is likely to result.

We know from physics and history that economies need to grow, or they collapse. The wage disparity that high-wage countries have been experiencing in recent years is evidence that the world economy is already reaching energy limits. There are no longer enough jobs that pay well to go around. Any drop in energy supply is likely to worsen the job situation.

Most observers miss this problem, because they expect high oil prices to signal energy limits. This time, the signal is low wages for a significant group of workers, rather than high oil prices. This situation is possible in a networked economy, but it is not what most people look for.

Unhappy citizens can be expected to react to the wage disparity problem by electing leaders who favor limits to globalization. This can only play out in terms of reduced globalization.

History and physics suggest that economies without adequate energy supply can be expected to collapse. We have several recent examples of partial collapses, including the Great Depression of the 1930s and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Such collapses, or even more extensive collapses, might occur again if we cannot find energy alternatives that can be quickly scaled up to replace oil and coal in the very near term. These replacements need to be cheap-to-produce, non-polluting, and available in huge quantities.

The story that the economy doesn’t really need a growing supply of very cheap-to-produce energy is simply a myth. Let’s look at some of the pieces of this story.

Read more at: https://ourfiniteworld.com/2018/01/31/nine-reasons-why-globalization-cant-be-permanent/

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The Universe is infinite and eternal and swarms with life. The Ancients knew this – and we have forgotten it.  There will still be life on Earth after Industrial Civilization collapses.

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Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowingcGovernor Scott Walker, Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave,  City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

Make Your Voice Heard! As the WI DNR and PSC Solicit Public Input Into Their Decision Making Process

Concerned Residents of Racine County will have an opportunity to add their voices and valuable input into the decision making process of both the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in regards to:

(PSC) Allowing the American Transmission Company (ATC) – Mount Pleasant Tech Interconnection Project;  and

 

 

(DNR) Allowing the City of Racine to remove an additional 7 million gallons of water per day from Lake Michigan to serve the proposed  Foxconn LCD TV manufacturing plant.

 

First – from the Journal Sentinel:

Foxconn would get $140 million electricity project, use more power than any plant in state

American Transmission Co. will seek state approval for a $140 million project to run electrical power to the huge manufacturing complex Foxconn Technology Group plans to build in Racine County.

The massive plant is expected to draw an enormous amount of power — six times more than the next-largest factory in Wisconsin, according to ATC, which declined to identify that factory.

 The project would affect the rates of residential electric customers in Wisconsin.

Before adding power lines and building the new substation, ATC will need approval from the State Public Service Commission. The utility says it will file an application with the PSC in February and ask for a decision by August.

If the commission approves the project then, construction would begin late next year on the substation and in early 2019 on the transmission lines, according to ATC. Power would start flowing by late 2019 or early 2020.

ATC is co-owned by Wisconsin utilities including We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Alliant Energy, Madison Gas & Electric and Superior Water, Light and Power.

To get power to Foxconn, ATC would add a second 345 kilovolt transmission circuit along 12 miles of existing lines from Pleasant Prairie north to Mount Pleasant.

That would take power to a point 1.2 miles east of the new substation. To connect the existing system to the substation, ATC would build new transmission lines, strung on 16 steel poles, 120 feet to 160 feet tall, set along an east-west corridor south of Braun Road.

 The utility would need easements through the new corridor, either by negotiating with landowners or, if necessary, acquiring the right-of-way by exercising eminent domain authority.

ATC also would build an underground line beneath Highway H to connect to a Foxconn-owned power station on the factory site.

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Residents can voice their concerns by filing a comment with the Public Service Commission – screenshot below:

The link to the Public Service Commission Comments section is: http://apps.psc.wi.gov/vs2010/dockets/comment.aspx

Concerned Residents then need to select a Case – specifically: American Transmission Company (ATC) – Mount Pleasant Tech Interconnection Project; then click on the FILE A COMMENT prompt, which opens the window to file a comment.

From the prompt:

137-CE-188 –Application of American Transmission Company LLC to Construct and Place in Operation a New 345/138 kV Substation in the Village of Mount Pleasant, 345 kV Transmission Lines to Interconnect it With ATC’s Existing 345 kV Transmission Network, and to Construct or Reconstruct Other Lines and Facilities in the Area, to be Located in Primarily Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin

To file comments in this case fill out the information below and click on the File Comments button.

A comment may consist of the writer’s personal knowledge or personal opinions only. A reference document, newspaper article, professional journal article, white paper, study or any other prepared material not written by the person commenting is not considered a public comment, but may be referenced in a person’s comment.

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Comments range from being supportive of MTP using Eminent Domain to confiscate private property for State purposes, granting questionably superior rights over  residents to privately owned Mega- Corporations  and being in favor of raising  rates for electricity to those who disfavor such questionably, and hastily rushed  legislatively mandated and potentially unconstitutional State actions.

Comment:
I do not understand why ANY ratepayers other than Foxconn are proposed to be charged for Foxconn’s transmission lines. This is reportedly an extremely profitable company. Part of that profitability must be massive subsidies to Foxconn paid by governments and citizens in the areas in which Foxconn locates. Please direct the ratepaying charges directly to Foxconn, the main customer for whom this transmission line is intended. If as quoted in the newspaper the cost to ratepayers is “pennies per month, pennies per year”, Foxconn can surely afford this.

I also have serious concerns about environmental impacts by Foxconn on my local environment. I would request that they abide by or exceed all current regulatory requirements and not be granted any exceptions to existing water or air quality laws.

The Comment section, which also collates the contents of many documents which are required to be filed, prior to approval, may be found at this link:

http://apps.psc.wi.gov/vs2015/ERF_search/content/searchResult.aspx?UTIL=137&CASE=CE&SEQ=188&START=none&END=none&TYPE=none&SERVICE=none&KEY=none&NON=N

From the Case Summary:

American Transmission Company (ATC) – Mount Pleasant Tech Interconnection Project
Applicant(s): American Transmission Company LLC (137)
Project Description: ATC proposes to construct new electric transmission facilities to serve the proposed Foxconn development. Facilities to be constructed include: a new Mount Pleasant Substation to provide electrical service for the Foxconn campus; two sets of double-circuit transmission lines along a 1.2-mile corridor to connect the new substation to the existing 345 kilovolt (kV) electric transmission system; an added second 345 kV transmission circuit to an existing 12-mile transmission line between the existing Racine and Pleasant Prairie Substations; modifications at the existing Racine and Elm Road Substations, and at the existing Pleasant Prairie Switchyard; and, a new 138 kV underground transmission line to connect the proposed Mount Pleasant Substation to a new substation to be owned by Foxconn. The Commission’s review of the project is limited to the proposed electric transmission facilities.
Case Coordinator: James Lepinski

Stacy Schumacher

Now Accepting Public Comments

Link: http://apps.psc.wi.gov/vs2010/dockets/content/detail.aspx?dockt_id=137-CE-188

Let your voice be heard:

From JT:

The Foxconn deal keeps getting worse and worse. From 3 billion to 4 billion and now to at least 4.5 billion of taxpayer dollars. That’s not including taxpayer water, sewer, power infrastructures and highway expansion costs.

Recently the details of the power project that Foxconn and various politicians expect you to pay for were revealed. It’s a 14-mile long, mostly above ground, high-power line with various substations and their lines.

The City and County of Kenosha wisely said no to Foxconn. That means the 10 or 12 miles of new high-powered power lines that are proposed to run across Kenosha (south to north) don’t belong there.

The lines and substations belong in Mount Pleasant and Racine County. Period. They wanted Foxconn.

Additionally, and just as important, residents of southeast Wisconsin shouldn’t have to pay the power needs of a foreign corporation that’s overflowing in money, assets and anti-suicide nets. If not stopped, these costs will be on our power bills for years to come.

The Foxcomm deal is built on faulty legal ground, bad ethics, and greed. Special laws allowing destruction of local environment, thoughtless cruel winter evictions, homes seized, and the sickening perversion of the court system to benefit a single foreign company. Now add a subsidized expensive ugly high-power line to the list.

To make your voice heard and make a comment with the Public Service Commission, contact the PSC. Call 608-266-541. Write. Or comment on webpage under “American Transmission Company (ATC) — Mount Pleasant Tech Interconnection Project” http://apps.psc.wi.gov/vs2010/dockets/comment.aspx.

Vince Mutchler

Kenosha

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Meanwhile the DNR is getting ready to approve an application for City of Racine to extract another 7,000,000 + gallons of water daily, from Lake Michigan:

From JT:

DNR sets hearing on Foxconn water diversion

MADISON — The public will get a chance to sound off in March about Racine officials’ request to pull 7 million gallons of water per day from Lake Michigan to serve a massive Foxconn Technology plant.

The state Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that they’ve scheduled a public hearing on the request for March 7 in Sturtevant.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at the SC Johnson iMET Center, 2320 Renaissance Blvd., Sturtevant.

The agency also will take public comments on the request through March 21.

Under the Great Lakes Compact, all water diverted from Lake Michigan must be returned minus what’s lost to evaporation or what’s used for Foxconn’s manufacturing process. The city’s application estimates about 2.7 million gallons per day will be consumed and wouldn’t return to the lake. All wastewater would return to the Racine wastewater treatment plan and then the lake. Foxconn has struggled with pollution problems in China.

Defining “Qualified Immunity” For The Mental Midgets Who Rule Racine County

Gotta LOL! When the JT is reduced to publishing this drivel (but watch Governor Scott Walker and his complicit and malfeasant WI DOJ remain silent):

From Journal Times:

Mount Pleasant asks for dismissal of lawsuit over Foxconn

MOUNT PLEASANT — The Village of Mount Pleasant wants a lawsuit filed over land acquisition for Foxconn Technology Group’s manufacturing development dismissed.

The village, represented by Alan Marcuvitz of the law firm von Briesen & Roper, argues the plaintiffs’ claims are problematic and should be dismissed. The eminent domain process has neither started nor finished, according to the court filings.

“This lawsuit is not based on the notion that the procedures of that statute were not followed or were defectively implemented,” Marcuvitz argued for the defendants. “Instead, it seeks to avoid them entirely, having this court take on the entire role of a state administrative and judicial process.”

If the court will not dismiss the claim, the defense requested it pause proceedings so that the lawsuit does not interfere with the eminent domain process.

Qualified immunity

The defense also asked for the claims against Village President Dave DeGroot to be dismissed, stating that he is entitled to immunity for his actions. A claim against him would require the property owners to show he violated “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights” while acting in his capacity.

“Plaintiffs’ sole allegation is that Mr. DeGroot was acting under ‘color of state law,’ ” the filing states. “Of course he was — that was his position. If stating that a public official or employee acted under color of state law is sufficient to state a claim against that person, the concept of qualified immunity would be meaningless.”

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Village President David DeGroot is clearly lost and confused while his legal team attempts to blow more smoke up MTP Residents anal sphincter valves!

And YES! The claims are “Problematic” Can you define that term – Dave?

Is it problematic because it is a complex problem with no simple  solutions – in regards to the environment; sustainability; practicability; cost vs. benefit ratio; Equity and implementation? Perhaps it just creates a greater dilemma for Racine County Residents – Dilemma defined:

So just what is QUALIFIED IMMUNITY?

From Cornell Law School:

Qualified immunity

Overview

Qualified immunity is a type of legal immunity. Qualified immunity “Qualified immunity balances two important interests—the need to hold public officials accountable when they exercise power irresponsibly and the need to shield officials from harassment, distraction, and liability when they perform their duties reasonably.” Pearson v. Callahan .

Specifically, qualified immunity protects a government official from lawsuits alleging that the official violated a plaintiff’s rights, only allowing suits where officials violated a “clearly established” statutory or constitutional right. When determining whether or not a right was “clearly established,” courts consider whether a hypothetical reasonable official would have known that the defendant’s conduct violated the plaintiff’s rights. Courts conducting this analysis apply the law that was in force at the time of the alleged violation, not the law in effect when the court considers the case.

Qualified immunity is not immunity from having to pay money damages, but rather immunity from having to go through the costs of a trial at all. Accordingly, courts must resolve qualified immunity issues as early in a case as possible, preferably before discovery.

Qualified immunity only applies to suits against government officials as individuals, not suits against the government for damages caused by the officials’ actions. Although qualified immunity frequently appears in cases involving police officers, it also applies to most other executive branch officials. While judges, prosecutors, legislators, and some other government officials do not receive qualified immunity, most are protected by other immunity doctrines.

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Astute Readers will already recognize that even the Wisconsin Legislative Bureau claimed that the Foxconn Legislation is largely UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

 

The entire document is available by clicking on:  foxconn_legcouncil

Nonpartisan Attorneys Say Part Of Foxconn Law Could Be Unconstitutional

 

Law Governing Judicial Process For Foxconn Could Face Court Challenge

Lawyers in the state Legislature’s nonpartisan legal office say part of the $3 billion incentives package for Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn passed by lawmakers last week may be unconstitutional.

The incentives package, which was signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker on Monday, includes language that creates a unique judicial process for legal challenges involving Foxconn.

Under the provision, decisions in those cases by circuit court judges would be immediately stayed, or put on hold, if an appeal is filed to a higher court. The law also creates an expedited process for the state Supreme Court to take up cases involving Foxconn, and requires them to give those cases preference.

“It appears that certain aspects of that appellate procedure could be subject to challenge,” senior staff attorneys for the Wisconsin Legislative Council wrote in the memo.

A challenge to the law would center on whether it constitutes the Legislature infringing on judicial powers or unduly burdens or interferes with the judicial branch of government.

The memo was requested by Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, who said the law erodes public trust in courts.

“We should not be giving a foreign corporation preferential treatment in our state courts,” Shilling said in a statement.

See also:

Mount Pleasant is Served With It’s First Foxconn Related Legal Challenge While Forced Evictions Are Rushed and Cruel

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Does David DeGroot qualify for “Qualified Immunity” when he acts beyond his statutorily defined authorities? The answer is – Of course NOT! But that’s not going to stop the Politically Connected Criminal Element who have assumed control over SE WI from claiming otherwise – and as always –  at taxpayer and Residents  expense.

HEY DAVE – Welcome to The Jungle!

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Foxconn Costs Escalate to $4.5 Billion, While Wisconsin Residents Say NO to Republican Sponsored Corporate Welfare and Hand Governor Walker a Stunning Defeat!

The Top Stories say it all – costs continue to escalate, up to $4.5 Billion (and counting) at this time, while Wisconsin Voters take heed to the fact that “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is“.

From Assembly Democratic Leader Representative Gordon Hintz:

More from the Hintz Press Release:

“We already knew that the FoxConn deal represented the largest taxpayer giveaway by a state to a foreign corporation in our country’s history. And we knew that due to the Man and Ag tax credit, FoxConn is already not paying any taxes, therefore making these new tax credits cash payments.

What this memo details is a bad deal is getting worse.

Since the FoxConn deal was announced, the pattern has been predictable:

FoxConn asks Governor Walker to jump, he asks ‘how high?’ Whether the request is to lower environmental regulations or raid $134 million from the state high rehabilitation fund to pay for local roads supporting

FoxConn, the Walker Administration has given blanket approval.”

Governor Walker’s track record on large-scale job creation and economic development projects shows one failure after another.

Each of his failed economic development plans also happen to coincide with upcoming election cycles.

  • Kestrel received $25 million in tax incentives to create over 600 jobs in Superior. Few jobs were created and the Superior community is left holding the bag on loan repayments.

This deal was announced the day before the recall petition was filed against Governor Walker.

  • The Governor tried hard give Gogebic Taconite the kitchen sink to bring mining jobs back to Wisconsin. They left in 2015. No jobs were created. And the miner on our flag remains a symbol of our past.
  • During his first campaign, he said over and over that he was going to create 250,000 jobs in four years, a number he still hasn’t achieved in over seven years.

“The costs of this project should alarm every Wisconsin family. This memo shows a 50% increase from the initially reported state investment. We will be pay for this now and long into the future, both in the direct costs and opportunity costs in cuts to K – 12 education and the UW System in upcoming budgets.”

“Governor Walker is in an election year. He will say and do anything to get re-elected, even if it means selling Wisconsin’s future for the FoxConn deal. Despite the Governor’s political motives, every Wisconsin family deserves to know how much higher the price tag of FoxConn will go.”

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The Memo is available by clicking on: Hintz Memo

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Meanwhile, from The Intercept:

Stunning Special Election in Wisconsin Shows Scott Walker’s Foxconn Deal Isn’t the Political Winner It Was Sold as

Scott Walker, who is running for a third term as Wisconsin governor this November, thought he had found political dynamite by wooing tech manufacturer Foxconn to Wisconsin with billions in taxpayer giveaways.

Yet this week, Democrats ran in special elections against the corporate welfare project, with one pulling off a stunning upset and another losing a race by 14 points after Hillary Clinton had been beaten in the same district in the 2016 election by more than 40.

Walker took to late-night Twitter, warning that the upset should be a “wake-up call” for his party, whose supporters in groups like Americans for Prosperity spent some $50,000 trying to keep the seat red.

Medical examiner Patty Schachtner was only able to run for the state Senate seat because Walker had plucked the incumbent out and appointed him to his administration, confident that the seat, which Republicans had held for nearly 20 years, would remain safely red. Schachtner won in a landslide.

In 2016, Donald Trump carried the same district, SD10, by nearly 20 points. The surprising win — combined with other progressive victories and Randy Bryce’s populist campaign against House Speaker Paul Ryan — is being viewed as a bellwether for both Wisconsin and national politics, injecting hope into the idea that Democrats can contest for seemingly safe GOP offices.

“The thing to remember about the state tax portion of this is that these are tax credits. It’s not just that Foxconn won’t pay taxes on their profits,” Brown told The Intercept. “The state of Wisconsin is literally going to be writing a check to Foxconn, and that’s money that won’t go to supporting Main Street businesses, public schools, or maintaining roads and bridges.”

“Wisconsinites are seeing businesses leave their communities without any effort being made to keep them there,” he said. “Those are good-paying, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs that are now gone. Where was the state package to try and keep those jobs here?”

The budget for the Foxconn project has ballooned recently. Originally pitched by Walker as a $3 billion state investment this summer, official estimates released this week suggest that the project will end up costing around $4.5 billion in public funds. Thanks to measures passed through the legislature in September, Foxconn will receive the largest tax break that a U.S. state has ever offered a corporation. Communities around the proposed plant will shell out, too, including $764 million from the tiny village of Mount Pleasant, where the factory will be located. Since there isn’t currently the infrastructure to support the massive campus, municipalities in the surrounding area will need to invest in costly upgrades to things like roads and water systems. Walker also hopes to spend $6.8 million on an ad campaign to bring in out-of-state workers. In return, Foxconn has told Wisconsinites their plan could create some 13,000 jobs, though exactly who gets those jobs — and how many of them will actually materialize — remains to be seen.

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While WILL – the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty continues the good fight for demanding that local governments stop abusing and misapplying TIF laws in order to protect Taxpayers and Communities, and reestablish the Rule of Law, Equal Rights, and Equal Protection for ALL!

WILL Press Release | WILL and Voters With Facts Challenge Eau Claire TIF District #12

January 16, 2018 – Eau Claire, WI – On behalf of Voters With Facts, an Eau Claire volunteer organization, and multiple individuals whose taxes will be affected, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a notice of claim with the City of Eau Claire on Friday, challenging the legality of newly-created Tax Incremental District (TID) #12.  The challenge comes as the Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to review the legality of Eau Claire TIDs #8 and #10.

Tax incremental financing is an extraordinary mechanism that cities may use only in precisely limited situations.  Cities are allowed to create TIDs, borrow money to pay for improvements within the TID to encourage new development, and then dedicate the taxes paid on that new development to repaying the loans.  Among many other requirements, a TID can only be created if the new development within the TID wouldn’t occur unless a TID is created.  In other words, if new projects would happen in the area anyway, then creating a TID is not only unnecessary, it is not allowed.  Those new projects should be placed on the ordinary tax rolls like any other property.

Eau Claire is claiming that without TID #12, the Aspenson Mogensen Hall, at 222 Water Street, would not be built.  But the Hall is already built.  The building was completed in 2017 and UW-Eau Claire students had already moved into the upper-floor apartments before city government approved TID #12.

“It is unlawful to approve a TID project plan that relies on ‘incremental’ tax revenue from property that was fully developed before the TID was enacted,” explained Rick Esenberg, President and General Counsel of WILL.  “Capturing existing developments in a TID removes the property from the allocable tax base, and burdens other taxpayers with taxes that would otherwise be allocated to the new property.”

A copy of the notice of claim can be found here.  More information about VWF’s and WILL’s challenge to TIDs #8 and #10 can be found here.

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Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

 

Mount Pleasant is Served With It’s First Foxconn Related Legal Challenge While Forced Evictions Are Rushed and Cruel

From Racine County Eye:

Mount Pleasant neighbors sue over eminent domain

Seven Mount Pleasant property owners have sued the village in federal court over how it is handling property acquisitions for Foxconn Technology Group.

The landowners who filed the lawsuit own property located within the footprint where Foxconn wants to build an LCD manufacturing facility. Expected to generate 10,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent positions, the $10 billion project is the largest economic investment in the state and one of the largest in U.S. history.

The property owners’ attorney Erik Olsen, of Eminent Domain Services LLC, filed the complaint in the federal court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The lawsuit, filed Monday, names the village and Village President David DeGroot as defendants.

Further, the complaint alleges that the Village of Mount Pleasant is: The case shows “violations of the Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to equal protection, private property, and due process,” the complaint states.

  • acquiring the property owners’ land for “the benefit of a private corporation,”
  • that the state has passed legislation allowing the project to skirt environmental impact studies and wetland permitting requirements,
  • that village staff treated landowners differently by offering different purchase prices –  some up to 10 times the value of their property – and
  • it is acquiring property for a non-public purpose.

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According to Eminent Domain Services:

You never considered selling your property–now you are suddenly faced with trying to navigate the uncertain waters of eminent domain law to ensure you are fairly compensated. However, this is easier said than done. We can help you through this unfamiliar process and make sure you are treated fairly.

Make sure you receive
“Just Compensation”

Your property is being taken from you. It is property that you own, make monthly mortgage payments, pay property tax on and even cut the grass! Now, all of a sudden, the government or a for-profit utility company knocks on your door and tells you they are going to take all or some of the land. Many would agree that this doesn’t seem fair.  However, this is the power of eminent domain.

While the prospect of eminent domain may seem daunting at first, you have a inherent Constitutional Right ​to receive “just compensation.” In fact, you have many rights under both state and federal law. Many times, however, you must take action to ensure that your rights are respected. Government and utility companies continue to stretch its use of eminent domain.

Make sure your rights are protected

The government, such as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and utility companies, such as American Transmission Company or ATC are very very well versed and experienced in eminent domain law. Their agents travel all over the state taking property from Wisconsin landowners. They are very good at this and frequently acquire property for less than fair market value.

Eminent Domain Services LLC are Wisconsin lawyers dedicated to defending Wisconsin landowner rights against the government and utility companies. Just as the government or utility company is well versed in eminent domain law–you need someone on your side to represent your interests.

​We only represent property owners and do not do any work for government agencies, utility companies or other organizations who utilize the power of eminent domain. We are committed to helping Wisconsin property owners and ensure that they are treated fairly.

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There are 7 Plaintiffs who are suing The Village of Mount Pleasant and David DeGroot in both his individual and official capacity.

The entire Complaint can be viewed by clicking on the link to the PDF Viewer: Jensen Complaint Main

According to the Complaint:

Of great concern to Residents should be the complete lack of potentially willful ignorance by the WI DNR of the future pollution problems and environmental degradation which will likely result from Foxconn:

In addition to the pollution and degradation of the environment by Foxconn, offers for purchase were based upon faulty logic and reasoning:

As for the Defendants, The Village of Mount Pleasant, and David DeGroot, they are alleged to have acted under the color of state law:

For the readers information – “Acting Under the Color of Law” is defined as:

Color of law” refers to an appearance of legal power to act that may operate in violation of law. For example, if a Village President acts with the “color of law” authority to take property by Eminent Domain,  the taking, if it is made without due regard for it’s ultimate use, may actually be in violation of law.

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As the Village of Mount Pleasant and David DeGroot were being sued,land buying operatives for Foxconn were demanding that Tenants be given short notice and thrown out of their homes within 30 days!

From the Journal Sentinel:

Renters face eviction with minimum notice, then Foxconn, after inquiry, offers more time

After landlords started proceedings to evict four Sturtevant families on minimum notice to pave the way for land purchases by Foxconn Technology Group, the company took action to give the families more time to move following a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel inquiry about the situation.

Instead of the 28 days the tenants originally were granted in hand-delivered notices they received Thursday afternoon from two landlords — one of whom said he acted at Foxconn’s direction — the company said it will try to let the renters stay for at least 90 days.

Four families — two with school-age children and one with an adult woman and her 79-year-old mother on fixed incomes — rent houses on the land. Tenants said late last week that they were surprised and dismayed to be handed letters telling them they had to clear out by Jan. 31.

“I feel like I’m living in a nightmare right now,” Jennifer Le Viseur, who said she has rented her house on Braun Road for nearly 13 years, said on Friday. “… Like I’ve been slapped in the face.”

Also upset was Veronica Roussett, who lives nearby with her husband and their two daughters, who are 7 and 8 years old.

 “We felt like the notice was just sprung on us and we weren’t given any type of option … it just seems so unfair,” Roussett said Friday.

But after a reporter asked a Foxconn spokeswoman about the matter, Louis Woo, top assistant to company chairman Terry Gou, said by email that Foxconn will work to give the tenants at least 90 days to find new homes and to move.

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Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

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