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Petitioning Rick Snyder, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, Michigan State Senate, Michigan State House, Heidi Grether, Bryce Feighner, Matt Gamble

Limit Nestle’s Michigan Water Withdrawals

Our names are Yousef Emara and Nathan Koh. We are eighth graders in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Our class completes a Sustainability Action Project (SAP) by choosing a cause in which we can make a positive impact.  We have chosen to raise awareness of Nestle’s water pumping practices in Michigan and petition the state legislature and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to reject an increase in Nestle’s pumping rates in White Pine Springs, Osceola County, Michigan. Why This Issue Matters  In many countries, including the United States, there is little limitation on the rate at which water can be pumped out of aquifers (underground water reserves).  Water bottling companies have been pumping billions of gallons of water out of aquifers and impacting the watershed and surrounding environment and selling water bottles for 3000 to 5000 times more than they pay for it.  One such pumping site is Nestle’s well field in White Pine Springs, Osceola County, Michigan, which is part of the Muskegon River watershed.   What This Means for Michigan  Nestle runs a plant for its two water bottle brands, Ice Mountain and Pure Life, in Stanwood, Michigan.  The company operates three well fields with a total of seven wells, all within the Muskegon River watershed.  According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Nestle pumped more than 3.4 billion gallons of water from its three Michigan well fields between 2005 and 2015.  In 2015, Nestle was given approval by the MDEQ to pump 250 gallons per minute at White Pine Springs Well in Osceola County.  The company now wants to increase the amount of water it pumps from this well to 400 gallons per minute. Nestle would pay the state of Michigan $200 per year for this increase. According to a test conducted in August 2000 by Malcolm Pirnie Inc., Nestle’s White Pine Springs Well pumps water from an underground aquifer that is connected to the aboveground water system through a permeable layer of Earth, called a leaky aquitard.  Pumping water from the aquifer can drain significant amounts of water from above. This indicates that the wetlands and wildlife above the ground are at high risk of being harmed by Nestle’s pumping.  Residents, like Rhonda Huff, as reported by the MLive newspaper on April 9, 2017, noticed that water levels in Osceola County’s Chippewa Creek, which flows into the Muskegon River watershed, have significantly dropped in recent years, affecting trout populations.   Nestle needs a permit from the MDEQ in order to increase the rate at which it pumps water.  The MDEQ requires the use of a Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool to determine the impact of proposed water withdrawals on fish and wildlife in the area.  Nestle’s proposed water withdrawal increase to 400 gallons per minute failed to pass MDEQ’s Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool. However, the MDEQ can and did overrule the failing grade determined by the Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool. Nestle’s plan to increase the amount of water withdrawn to 400 gallons per minute would undo an agreement with environmentalists reached more than seven years ago for a well field in Sanctuary Springs, which is also part of the Muskegon River watershed.  In 2001, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation sued Nestle over potential damage to the system of lakes, rivers, and streams that its water withdrawal would cause.  An agreement was reached in 2009, limiting the amount of water the company could pump. What You Can Do To Help Please sign our petition!  Help us in reaching our goal of 10,000 signatures to present to the state legislature and the MDEQ. Thank you for taking the time to protect our most precious resource – water.  

Yousef Emara
69,770 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!

I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to  be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2017 creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children.  John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the  life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggle to connect to their American military fathers. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017 now!

Jenifer Bass
33,205 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Michigan Governor

Create a public registry for those CONVICTED of physical child abuse.

My son Wyatt was a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome when he was just a year old on November 1, 2013. He suffered a fractured skull, a major brain bleed, and bilateral retinal hemorrhages. He spent 7 weeks at Children's Hospital of Michigan and now has a permanent shunt in his brain. Since then he has had multiple tests, another brain surgery, and an eye surgery. He has been in, and is currently still in intense outpatient therapy. The woman who alledgedly abused my son is currently sitting in the Macomb County Jail as we wait to go to trial. This woman was my ex husband's girlfriend. When we were going through our divorce custody hearings, I had asked the judge not to grant my ex any overnights because I had my concerns about his girlfriend. It was all hearsay and of course even after searching her name on the internet, I found nothing to support my suspicions and therefore the judge granted my ex husband several overnights. After this horrific act happened to my son, I learned about her wrap sheet. She was priorly convicted of 3rd degree and 4th degree child abuse. If she was on a list similar to the sex offender list that showed she had been convicted of these prior counts of child abuse, I would have been able to find out and this would have never happened to my son. With as high as divorce rates/break up rates are, you can't always know who your child is around. With this extra source of information, I guarantee many lives would be saved. We need to protect our child, as they are our future. Child abuse will not be tolerated.

Erica Hammel
25,516 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, Michigan State Senate, Rick Snyder

End Dog Breed Discrimination Nation Wide.

Pit-Bulls, and other "aggressive breeds", are constantly being marked as aggressive dogs and an unacceptable breed to have in rental or lease homes, making it very difficult for owners to find a place to live. They are also being banned from places, and towns are forcing owners to put down their loved animals as a result. These dogs have done nothing wrong and are blamed for the actions of people who wanted to make money off of dogs killing each other. I want to change this knowing that recent studies show that even the kindest of dogs such as Labrador retrievers have a slightly higher aggression rate. The racism against dog breeds is no different than judging people for their race or their sexuality, because, those dogs are actually raised to be aggressive by their owners. Yes, some dogs have appeared to just turn on their owners and cause harm, however, it is not just these "aggressive" breeds.   Pit-Bulls especially made great fight dogs because they do what they are told to do by their owners and family with great enthusiasm. If raised right and handed over to the right people, pit-bulls are the sweetest dogs you have ever seen. They can love with that same enthusiasm, and be loved back equally. Lets work together to give them a better chance at life and end the discrimination.  Thank you for signing and please share! (some of you may not wish to touch this because I have aimed for Donald Trump, I urge you to sign this! He is the best bet if we want a nationwide change because only he can make an executive order that can help thousands! I ask you to ignore the politics and help save those precious pups) 

Krystal Thode
17,478 supporters
Petitioning New York State Senate

Naturopaths are not doctors: stop legitimizing pseudoscience

The purpose of this petition is to voice opposition to legitimizing naturopathy through state licensure and mandated insurance reimbursement. Naturopaths are attempting to become legally recognized as "primary care physicians" in all U.S. 50 states and become Medicare providers. This is a dangerous future. UPDATE: This petition has expanded to include Canada, where naturopaths are also aggressively lobbying for licensure in all provinces and inclusion in healthcare programs. In Canada and the U.S., naturopathic education is shared across the border via a common accrediting agency, the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (see below). Thus, a naturopath who graduated from Bastyr in Washington state can then become licensed in Ontario. It is only natural that opposition to NDs should be applied to all of North America. Naturopaths are not trained similar to physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants. Naturopaths are trained in a hodgepodge of antiquated methods, mystical theories, and bare-bone fundamentals of medicine. Naturopathic students are required to master homeopathy, energy modalities, herbalism, chiropractic-like manipulations, and therapies involving heat and water. There is a strong emphasis on anti-vaccine promotion and alternative cancer treatments. This petition concerns naturopaths who graduated from programs approved by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. These programs are attempting to circumvent comprehensive medical training by misrepresenting their academic rigor to lawmakers and the public. This is our chance to make a stand against pseudoscience masquerading as legitimate medicine. Please sign this petition to show your support for blocking naturopathic licensure, scope of practice expansion, and inclusion in federal and state health care programs. Naturopaths are not doctors, and they should not be treated as such. Below is a list of references with data and expert opinion on naturopathic education and practice: Atwood, Kimball C., IV (2003). "Naturopathy: A critical appraisal". Medscape General Medicine 5 (4): 39. Atwood IV, Kimball. C. (2004). "Naturopathy, pseudoscience, and medicine: Myths and fallacies vs truth". Medscape General Medicine 6 (1): 33. Barrett, Stephen (2013). "A close look at naturopathy". QuackWatch. Wilson, K. (2005). "Characteristics of Pediatric and Adolescent Patients Attending a Naturopathic College Clinic in Canada". Pediatrics 115 (3): e338–e343. Busse, Jason W.; Wilson, Kumanan; Campbell, James B. (2008). "Attitudes towards vaccination among chiropractic and naturopathic students". Vaccine 26 (49): 6237–6243. Wilson, Kumanan; Mills, Ed; Boon, Heather; Tomlinson, George; Ritvo, Paul (2004). "A survey of attitudes towards pediatric vaccinations amongst Canadian naturopathic students". Vaccine 22 (3-4): 329–334. Mielczarek, Eugenie V.; Engler, Brian D. (2014). "Selling Pseudoscience: A Rent in the Fabric of American Medicine". Skeptical Inquirer 38.3. Boon, Heather S.; Cherkin, Daniel C.; Erro, Janet; Sherman, Karen J.; et al. (2004). "Practice patterns of naturopathic physicians: Results from a random survey of licensed practitioners in two U.S. States". BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine 20 (4): 14. "Testimony in Opposition to H. 1992 and S. 1205, An Act to Create a Board of Registration in Naturopathy". Massachusetts Medical Society. Massachusetts Medical Society. Downey L, et al. (2010). "Pediatric vaccination and vaccine-preventable disease acquisition: associations with care by complementary and alternative medicine providers.". Matern Child Health J. 14 (6): 922–30. Lipson, Peter. (2016). Naturopaths: Fake Doctors in White Coats? Forbes. Caulfeild, Timothy. (2013). Don't legitimize the witch doctors. National Post. Palmer, Brian. (2014). Quacking All the Way to the Bank: Naturopaths are winning insurance coverage for medical nonsense. Slate. Various authors. Naturopathy vs Science. ScienceBasedMedicine.org. Bellamy, Jann. (2015). 2014: Chiropractors, naturopaths and acupuncturists lose in state legislatures. ScienceBasedMedicine.org. Hermes, Britt. (2015). ND Confession, Part 1: Clinical training inside and out. ScienceBasedMedicine.org. Hermes, Britt (2015). ND Confession, Part II: The Accreditation of Naturopathic “Medical” Education. ScienceBasedMedicine.org. Hermes, Britt. Naturopathic Diaries.      

Britt Marie Hermes
8,802 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Judge Lisa Gorcyca

Release the three Tsimhoni siblings from Children's Village juvenile detention center. #FreeTsimhoniKids

On June 24, 2015 Judge Lisa Gorcyca sentenced Liam, age 15, Rowie, age 10, and Natalie age 9 to juvenile detention until they turn 18 because the three siblings individually refused to spend time with their estranged father Omer Tsimhoni. Liam Tsimhoni apologized to Judge Gorcyca for violating her order but said in court that he couldn't be around his father because he saw his father hit his mother. (The father has not been charged with any abuse, and Liam Tsimhoni was not asked to offer any evidence to support his claim in the court proceeding of 6-24-15.) Even after Judge Gorcyca verbally berated, insulted, and threatened the children with a vile picture of what living in Children's Village would be like, both Rowie and Natalie Tsimhoni consciously and willfully told the court that they would rather go to juvenile detention than to lunch with their estranged father. The children have been incarcerated for 2 weeks now, barred from seeing their mother, anyone from her side of the family, and each other. Their father, the man whom they have expressed fear of in open court, is the only person outside of a therapist and their attorney's, who is allowed to see them and he left the country immediately following the proceedings. This gross injustice needs your attention and action. A court system that incarcerates children in an acrimonious divorce proceeding, but leaves the parents free, is broken at best and barbaric at worst. Above all else we have a duty, lawfully and morally, to protect the children in divorce cases, above all else. Their only real crime was being born to an imperfect marriage union. Locking them up for 3, 8 and 9 years respectively solves no matter, proves no point and heals no wound. Please release these victims and get them the proper therapeutic help that they need. Sincerely, "Miss Lori" Lori Kathryn Holton CEO of Miss Lori's CAMPUS, editor of MissLori.TV, Children's Television Host and Babble.com Bureau Blogger. #MLTVkids   Update: The father, Omer Tsimhoni, had his PR team send me an email asking me to remove the picture I previously posted on this petition from the FB support page. I have complied with their order.

Miss Lori Holton
6,763 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States

Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!

When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities

Dominick Evans
6,482 supporters
Petitioning California State Senate, California State House, Washington State Senate, Washington State House, Nevada State House, Nevada State Senate, Oregon State Senate, Oregon State House, Hawaii State Sena...

Call for Blue States to Move On

What happened to make this country the focus of judgment, laughter, and fear from the rest of the world? The industrialized world outside of the United States enjoys a better quality of life and general happiness that most of us can only imagine. First class education, comprehensive health care, clean food/water/air and an overall better relationship with their fellow citizens. And as a country, we have higher mortality rates at younger ages, poorer health, and an impoverished population who can't learn new skills without going deeper into debt. As much as we like to blame Donald Trump for our national problems; these problems were here before him, and they will still be here if Trump is removed from office tomorrow. We have a political system that centralizes power to a consolidated political center in Washington, DC and an economic center in New York City. Our Electoral System will isolate the power to determine the direction of our political system to a very small, easily manipulated portion of the electorate in strategic location. Worst of all, we have a large portion of the population who will empower a mentally unstable man to the highest office in the world; just so they can say “We Won”. This group is constantly complaining about a simple world with plentiful jobs in their communities that are extinct or never really existed. And now, they have the nerve to complain about losing the federal government programs they benefitted from and voted against. It's time we said “ENOUGH” and have Progressive States and Communities band together and share resources and ideas to provide a better quality of life for its people, that the Trump Administration wants to take away. And furthermore, we need to ensure that we only support States and Communities who will change their policies for its people. We can no longer provide assistance to Red States, just so they can abuse and neglect their citizens for business interests.    For the future of this nation, we need to explore every legal method possible to protect the people from an extremely dangerous President Trump.    A Values Based Alliance of the States (VBAS) is one way of resisting this new reality of government, and the dangerous changes that we all know are inevitable. I understand that the constitution will not allow us to directly stop this monstrosity, but it will allows us to devalue it. A VBAS of certain states with similar values and policy preferences can and will use its population centers and economic influence to co-op, share resources, and implement policies with other co-opted states, while not having to depend on or engage the federal government.  Examples:  There are certain states with a majority of people that believe single payer healthcare system (CA, MA, VT, NY, WA, OR, IL, HI.). If those states passed laws to provide single payer health care for it’s people, a Single Payer Healthcare VBAS organization of those states can share resources to improve efficiencies, expand medical training/education amongst the co-opted states, negotiate pharmaceutical/treatment, amend needed tax policies and petition the US Government. This would also force neighboring states to decide if they want to change their internal policies to provide single payer, so they can join the Health Care VBAS. A resident of Indiana might ask his state to join the VBAS, because he could literally see his next door neigbor in Illinois fully covered, and using a Doctor that just came back from his training at a medical school in California. Although the VBAS states can not legally sign the Paris accords, they can change their internal policies to abide by its recommendations. There could be an environmental protection VBAS, where the states involved agree to abide by the Paris accords, improve safety protocols within its states, take climate change seriously, and provide economic preference to states and nations that do the same. CA, OR, NY, MA, VT, WA HI, and NV could agree to be a preferred customer of states or nations that voluntarily reduces its carbon emissions and address climate change, instead of LA or TX, which most likely will not. Other issues could include minimum wage, education, trade agreements, gun control and virtually every policy not adjudicated solely to the federal government. As more VBASes are organized and more states agree to join them, Donald Trump and the ignorance of future presidents become less and less relevant. Please sign this petition and pass it on to as many people as possible. 

Blake Green
5,411 supporters
Petitioning Governor Snyder, Michigan State House, Michigan State Senate, Gary Peters

MUTE SWANS BEING SLAUGHTERED ILLEGALLY...MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY REFORM ACT NEVER RATIFIED

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) held a Mute Swan Management Plan public hearing. During this meeting, many prominent people spoke against the DEC's plan to kill New York  Mute Swans. One of those people was NY Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of Committee on Environmental Conservation and also a supporter of the DEC in the past. He expressed on record his deep dissatisfaction with the actions of the DEC and their Mute Swan Management Plan.  However, it was Regal Swan Foundation that provided the legal bombshell that the Reform Act of 2004 to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, was entered into Congress inappropriately, and was never ratified by President Bush. Therefore, it is null and void. Therefore, any and all acts perpetrated against Mute Swans (and other birds covered by this Reform Act) are in violation of international law.  Hundreds of thousands of Mute Swans  have been slaughtered throughout the United States, including Michigan because they were removed from the Migratory  Bird Act in 2004. With this new information, we want congress and our state legislators to place an immediate moratorium on all Mute Swan killings and to investigate the illegal way the Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 2004 was pushed through Congress and also hold the Michigan DNR, US Fish and Wildlife, USDA, and anyone else who has killed Mute Swans in Michigan accountable for violating the original Treaty. THIS BOGUS TREATY REFORM ACT  IMPACTS ALL MUTE SWANS AND OTHER BIRDS IN  EVERY STATE!  PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN AND ASK THEM TO STOP  THIS OUTRAGEOUS HOAX THAT IS COSTING TAXPAYERS BILLIONS AND KILLING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BIRDS ILLEGALLY. PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES CAN HELP US BY SIGNING AND SHARING THIS PETITION AND LETTING THE WORLD KNOW THAT THE UNITED STATES IS SLAUGHTERING MUTE SWANS AND OTHER  BIRDS THROUGH A REFORMED TREATY THAT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN REFORMED IN THE FIRST PLACE.   MICHIGAN MUTE SWAN BACKGROUND INFORMATION: On January 13, 2011, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources presented a proposal for Mute Swan Management to the Natural Resource Commission.  Their proposal not just denied the waterfowl rehabilitator to take in any injured Mute swans, but it also forced them to render any Mute Swans they had in their possession and euthanize them. This cruel plan now leaves any Mute Swan that has been hit by a boat or jet ski, or is wrapped in fishing line, or hooked in the mouth by a fish hook left behind, or ripped open by a turtle, or shocked after hitting a power line, to suffer a cruel and long death without receiving any help from humans. Many of these unwarranted injuries are from human error and not nature. The phrases used by the DNR “Let nature take its course” or “survival of the fittest” do not apply with these types of injuries. This GOVERNMENT agency was appointed to protect our wildlife and, instead, they are behind the most cruel and inhumane plan to eradicate a species that has been in North America since the late 1800’s and in Michigan since 1919. On February 10, 2011, The NRC not only voted 3 to 2, to not allow the rehabilitator s to continue treatment on injured Mute Swans, but they also voted to eradicate all Mute Swans but 2000 in our state claiming the Mute Swan is now "a non-native, invasive species" . The DNR stated that they are working to remove Mute Swans from all state land and eventually public and private lakes.   "The Mute Swan Management and Control Program Policy and Procedures contains a goal to reduce the Mute swan population to zero on DNRE lands. We will continue management activities to reach that goal." -Barbara Avers, DNR Waterfowl and Wetlands Specialist. The problem with this plan is that it has been on-going since the late 90’s at taxpayer expense.  The reasoning behind the killing is that as Barb Avers stated at the 2014 International Swan Symposium is that they want a “native swan”.  The Michigan DNR also stated that the Mute Swans were non-native, invasive, aggressive, detrimental to other waterfowl, eat copious amounts of sub-aquatic vegetation and that the need to kill the Mute Swans was necessary for the health of Michigan wetland habitats. These points have been dispelled by international swan and wetland habitat specialists and current valid reliable scientific research. Fossils have been found throughout the U.S. showing that a Mute Swan ancestor existed in North America, meaning that the Mute Swan is a native swan. At a local DNR presentation, Ms. Avers stated that the state was concerned that what occurred in Maryland, might occur in Michigan. Destroying an entire species of swan based on speculation of what could happen is not exactly “Sound Science”, something the DNR tries to assure people they are all about. Also, keep in mind, Maryland has not one natural lake. Michigan has over 11,000 inland lakes according to the Michigan DNR website.   So, let’s look at what actually occurred in Maryland regarding Mute Swans as stated at the 2014 International Swan Symposium by a Maryland DEC official, Mr. Larry Hindman. Maryland wanted to kill the Mute Swans because “scientific research” showed that the Mute Swans’ fecal matter was producing high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous and the birds were eating too much aquatic vegetation. This was based upon a graduate’s students’ research, funded by the Maryland DNR that only tested what amounted to 3/100ths of an acre and generalized to 3,000 acres of the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. No further research was ever conducted to validate this DNR funded “graduate student’s findings. According to Mr. Hindman, Maryland never conducted a required NEPA study issued by a Federal Court and in 2004, went “under the radar from politicians, citizens and the media” to kill all Mute Swans except 2 nesting pairs.  As of 2014 and other current studies, the nitrogen and phosphorous levels are still high and the levels are now attributed to run-off from animal waste farms, pesticides and other pollutants.  This was the exact same information that was provided to Maryland, Michigan and other states at the 2000 International Swan Symposium but was completely ignored. So, we need to ask Ms. Avers, what exactly happened in Maryland that caused the need for Michigan to kill all Mute Swans by 2030? According to Michigan DNR officials, Barb Avers and Dave Luukkonen at the 2014 International Swan Symposium, they have no scientific research showing that the Mute Swans are any more aggressive than any other wildlife species, only anecdotal data.  They also stated that they had no scientific research showing any detrimental harm to the habitat or other wildlife. Many international swan and wetland habitat specialists presenting at the same swan symposium stated that the Mute Swans were no more aggressive, did no more harm to the environment and did not exponentially increase in numbers as stated by Michigan DNR and other state and federal wildlife officials. In fact, most current research and these same swan and wetland habitat specialists state that the Mute Swans are actually a Sentinel species indicating the presence of heavy metals and harmful microorganisms in the environment. Still ignoring this research, Michigan DNR officials are continuing to kill the Mute Swans by shooting, decapitating and stomping cygnets to death in the nest and in areas that boaters, fishermen and others do not want to encounter the swans. Over 9000 Mute Swans have been shot and slaughtered since 2011. This number comes from information gathered through the Freedom of Information Act. Here are the notes taken from the presentation by Dave Luukkonen and Barb Avers, Michigan DNR at 2014 Swan Symposium that totally dispute and/or contradict their claims to the public:  DAVE LUUKKONEN, ET. Al - MICHIGAN DNR   Mute Swan Population Growth in Michigan in Relation to Management Intensity.  SPONSORED BY US WILDLIFE SERVICES AND MICHIGAN DNR              Introduced to Michigan in 1919 Mute Swans 47 birds in 1949 estimate 500                birds in   1974, < 15, and 0000 birds by 2000 estimate. Fixed wing survey since 1991-2013 by US Wildlife Services some surveys had variants that caused ranges rather than true estimates (In a previous presentation by a U.S. Wildlife Services pilot, the pilot stated that due to glare on the water, they could not discern the species of swan while conducting counts of swans, he also stated that although his job was to count, he never saw any aggressive behavior between the Mute Swans or other swan species such as the Tundra swans  Annual CV’s range from 20-90% (most years 25-30%)  The Swan survey is conducted after April when Tundras leave.  Michigan DNR estimates: 1994  Dismissed the count because of large Tundra Swan presence. (So, Michigan DNR just arbitrarily threw out this year, just like many other research projects, if the DNR or US Wildlife Services do not like the data, they either ignore, remove, or come up with another set of parameters or rules to fit their data to cull the Mute swans).               Most Culling was on state lands.Their original plan was to reduce the numbers by 2000 in 2030.  However, stated that presently, the numbers are stable.  However, in  2007, came up with another plan to kill more by 2030. They have already killed 26,000 birds.  2006< 50 individuals; 2006-2009;  200-425 killed;  2012- 2,628 dead; 2013, 2,177    AVERS, MICHIGAN DNR ASSOCIATE &  LUUKKONEN ABOVE - Using Public Engagement, outreach, and collaboration to support management of a rapidly increasing Mute Swan population in Michigan (AGAIN Sponsored by MDNR & US Wildlife)  Basically, the DNR educated the media and public through canned information so that could limit misinformation, population guides, negative impacts, management policies and goals, etc.  They stated the following negative impacts:             Ecological impact- Sub Aquatic Vegetation (SAV)             Displaced native waterfowl and other waterfowl             Aggressiveness toward Humans  (The problem with this “canned information is that is a total misrepresentation of facts). Reduce to 0 on state lands Less than 2,000 by 2030 – Avers stated they would never get to this number under the Present plan, Policy revision in 2010, (again another policy revision because they did not get the results that they had hoped for). Avers spoke about doing things differently than Maryland by engaging public, got public and private property owners, hunters, wildlife biologists, animal activists, etc. to buy into plan. Used canned same consistent message. Politicians had to be presented framed risks for decision making. They were more interested in other invasive species such as fish, plants, etc., and had to be given frame by frame risk to get them on board: the framed risk: aggression, invasive species, etc. Reached stability with present plan. Then, revised plan to cull more.            ASKED BY PARTICIPANT:  Were they going to go ahead and kill more than was      agreed upon if it still was not socially or politically acceptable. The Answer was   probably. So, even after getting agreement with the above public and private sector,  they revised the plan and will go forward without their acceptance.           ASKED BY PARTICIPANT:  WHAT was the overall cost of controlling Mute Swans and reintroducing species?  LUUKKONEN stated he did not know.  The participant pressed again and these figures were given by Avers:  US Agriculture paid $100,000-125,000 to control the Mute Swan species.  Not counting staff Michigan DNR $25,000.  No cost of reintroduction was provided.  They also noted that this program was going to run out of funding in the next few years.  What is most important about the Michigan DNR’s premise that there are too many Mute Swans and they eat too much vegetation is debunked by the following statements: Hindman, Maryland DNR stated that there has never been a collaborative systemic count of Mute Swans in North America.  So, how can Michigan DNR state that Mute Swans are exponentially increasing when a U.S. Wildlife pilot also admits that they cannot discern species while counting swans?  As Avers and other DNR officials were stating that the Mute Swans eat approximately 8 lbs of subaquatic vegetation daily,  Larry Gillette, from the Trumpeter Society, interjected that “the 20 vs 8 lbs was commonly misquoted by many and it had started with his raising Trumpeter Swans. “The juveniles required 20 lbs of aquatic vegetation for sustenance, but that may not equate to adults”.  So, a juvenile Trumpeter Swan eats twice the amount of sub-aquatic vegetation on a daily basis. Michigan DNR states the 8 lb sustenance by a Mute Swan as the reason behind the killings of the Mute Swans. Michigan DNR wants to save the depletion of the sub-aquatic vegetation.If the Trumpeter Swan juvenile eats twice the amount sub-aquatic vegetation than a Mute Swan, then why is the Michigan DNR and other wildlife agencies replacing the Mute Swans with Trumpeter Swans? Many mute swan advocates believe it’s because the trumpeter swan is a game bird and can be hunted. It is the largest game bird and would bring in lots of money to the DNR wildlife division.  Finally, it has been noted that there has never been an independent NEPA study conducted regarding Mute Swans in the U.S., so the information regarding their detriment to the environment or other negative impacts are not substantiated by federally or state funded “graduate studies”.  Here is the real reason behind the killings.  There has been a concerted effort with former U.S and state wildlife officials to form the Trumpeter Swan Society. The Society’s mission is to introduce Trumpeter Swans throughout the U.S., including into areas that they have never existed so that they can eventually be used for Trophy Waterfowl Hunting. Trophy Waterfowl permits are more expensive than regular hunting permits and will help increase state and federal wildlife coffers as their budgets are now decreasing. This re-introduction/hunting program has been in existence since the late 80’s at taxpayer expense. Think of this, Ms. Avers stated that in 2014, the cost of the Mute Swan killing program was $100,000- $125.000 to the U.S. Wildlife Services, $25,000 to Michigan DNR and did not count staff and other ancillary expenses.  FLINT, Michigan and other areas are having a water crisis in which fresh clean water is now a major concern.  How can the Michigan DNR justify this much money being expended to kill one entire species of swan only to introduce another for hunting purposes at taxpayer expense? Even though Michigan DNR may state that hunting and fishing permits fund this program, this is highly doubtful as DNR staff could be used for better more sustainable programs such as testing for actual man-made pollutants and other run-off into wetland areas and their effects on waterfowl and other wildlife.  Does the Michigan taxpayer want to continue funding this program that Ms. Avers states is unsustainable? Is it safe to enjoy the waters of Michigan if the Michigan DNR is scapegoating Mute Swans instead of diagnosing other problems with the sub-aquatic vegetation growth caused by man-made pollutants?  Do tourists want to continue traveling to Michigan if the state’s major intent is to kill a species that is wrongfully implicated in polluted waters while Michigan DNR and EPA officials continue to place blame on anything other than the actual cause or try to clean up the actual pollutants?  The above questions should be asked of state officials before any more taxpayer money is used to kill any Mute Swan under the guise of conservation instead of the real cause, Trophy Waterfowl Hunting . USE TAXPAYER MONEY TO CLEAN THE WETLANDS, NOT KILL WATERFOWL BECAUSE MICHIGAN DNR OFFICIALS DO NOT WANT TO DO THEIR ACTUAL JOB:  CONSERVING, MAINTAINING WILDLIFE AND THEIR HABITATS.  MICHIGAN DNR LIKE OTHER WILDLIFE AGENCIES ARE ONLY CONCERNED WITH INCREASING THEIR WILDIFE BUDGETS! The Michigan DNR gave a conservation award to Wilbur, Joe, Johnson for his participation in bringing Trumpeter Swan eggs from Alaska into Michigan to start a population. He is also responsible for establishing the resident Canada goose population in Michigan as well. The Michigan DNR manipulates our wildlife so they can profit. Give the hunters more animals to shoot and the DNR will prosper. After all, Russ Mason, Chief of the DNR Wildlife Division, will tell you to your face that your Michigan tax dollars do no fund them that hunter and fishermen monies do. From The DNR website: In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act – a landmark law that changed the way conservation is funded in the United States – the Department of Natural Resources thanks hunters for their role in conserving Michigan’s wildlife. “A tremendous ‘thank you’ goes out to Michigan hunters – their contribution to the conservation of our state’s natural resources is immense,” said Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief. “Many people believe that their general tax dollars fund the work we do, but it’s those who participate in hunting, fishing and sport shooting who support the vast majority of our wildlife conservation work.”   “If you are a hunter, have bought a hunting or fishing license or have purchased a firearm, bow or crossbow, thank you for investing in Michigan’s wildlife. You have made a difference for 75 years and we sincerely hope you continue to support conservation in Michigan.  https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDNR/bulletins/521843  WHY ARE WE PERMITTING THIS GOVERNMENT HUNTING AGENCY TO “MANAGE” OUR WILDLIFE?

Karen Stamper
3,097 supporters
Petitioning United States Supreme Court, Barack Obama, California State Senate, California State House, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Texas State House, Texas State Senate, New York State House, N...

Get Pit Bull Breeds off of the aggressive breed list! It's the owner, not the dog!

The Pit Bull breeds, American Pit Bull Terrier/American Staffordshire Terrior/Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Bull terrior, are really misunderstood dogs. It is never the dog who chooses to be aggressive, it's the owner who makes them aggressive. Any dog, any breed can bite. Any dog, any breed can attack. If you think about it, how many times does a small dog such as a chihuahua bite? Every day, but they're not on the BSL. Pit bulls are actually a mix of terriers and English Bulldogs. Have you ever heard from someone that Pit Bulls have lock jaw? Well, that's not true. Pit Bulls just have really strong jaws. In fact, German Shepherds actually have stronger jaws then Pit Bulls. German shepards got off the list not too long ago. So why not this beautiful breed with a weaker jaw? When it comes to temperament, these breeds are actually really patient animals. They are great with family's, babies and children. So great that they were once called "Nanny Dogs." The American Temperament Testing Society has proven that Pit Bull breeds can be less aggressive than Beagles and Golden Retrievers! These loyal pups can be trained to be service animals, therapy dogs, and if you want, police dogs!  During WWII, this amazing breed was used as a symbol of bravery. They were the symbol of our great country during that tough time. All of the people out there that say Pit Bulls are mean, have clearly never owned one. Yes, horrible people fight dogs, but it's not the dogs fault. Once they are rescued, they should be given a second chance at life. It's the dog fighter who should be euthanized. Not the dog. These companions are smart, therefore they are easy to train and learn fast! They are naturally sweet, cuddly, and love their humans unconditionally.

Andrea Brown
2,887 supporters
Support Elementary Music in Michigan's Schools

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for increased access to music education throughout Michigan. I am proud to represent such active and engaged citizens. I wholeheartedly agree that music education plays a critical role in fostering our students’ creativity and developing well-rounded individuals. Please be assured that as State Senator from a district that countless performers call home, I will continue to advocate for additional pre-K-12 funding to preserve music programs within our education system, and keep your thoughts in mind as I review proposals regarding state standards and curriculum requirements. Above all, know that I remain committed to supporting measures that advance and maintain our cultural communities for years to come. Once again, thank you for your correspondence. If you have any questions, or need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-2406 or senrwarren@senate.michigan.gov. Sincerely, Rebekah Warren State Senator 18th District RLW/mjh

— Rebekah Warren, State Senator
2 years ago
Petition for Gov. Rick Snyder to resume efforts to settle Syrian refugees in Michigan

Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to Governor Snyder’s recent announcement that he is suspending efforts to accept Syrian refugees into Michigan. Although the recent attacks in Paris were devastating, I share your concern over the reactionary nature of the Governor’s decision, and agree that Michigan should do its part to accept carefully vetted Syrian refugees and give them a fresh start in a new home. In spite of the Governor’s statement, individual states are not ultimately empowered to reject immigrants granted refugee status by the federal government, but they can make resettling much more difficult for those who are admitted. As conversations regarding this matter continue, please be assured that I will continue to call for Governor Snyder to cooperate fully with this process, and work with my colleagues to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved. Once again, thank you for your correspondence. If you have any questions or need any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-2406 or senrwarren@senate.michigan.gov. Sincerely, Rebekah Warren State Senator 18th District RLW/ad

— Rebekah Warren, State Senator
2 years ago
Michigan, stop the attack on rooftop solar

Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to Senate Bill 438, which, with SB 437 would amend Michigan’s Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act, including the repeal of Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, changes to the definition of clean energy, and the elimination of energy efficiency programs. As always, it is a pleasure to hear from you. I share your apprehensions regarding the potential negative consequences that these changes could have on Michigan’s energy market and local job creation. As the Democratic Vice Chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, I believe we must do everything possible to increase our investment in alternative energy sources, including solar, and establish Michigan as a leader in green energy. As you may know, on July 1st, SB 437 and 438 were introduced and referred to the Senate Energy and Technology Committee. While SB 437 is still up for discussion, following three days and fifty speakers, the Senate Committee has concluded taking testimony on SB 438 and I expect a substitute bill will be considered shortly. Please rest assured that should this legislation reach the full Senate for consideration, I will be sure to keep your advocacy in mind. Moving forward, and as discussions about Michigan’s energy future continue, know that I will remain committed to promoting sensible and forward-thinking energy policies, and I will encourage my colleagues across the aisle to do the same. Once again, thank you for your correspondence and your advocacy on this important issue. If I can ever be of assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me at (517) 373-2406 or senrwarren@senate.michigan.gov. Sincerely, Rebekah Warren State Senator 18th District RLW/ad

— Rebekah Warren, State Senator
2 years ago