Help us save our homes, water, and wildlife from a blasting quarry!

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Help us save our homes, water, and wildlife from a blasting quarry!

This petition had 272 supporters
Signe Gronbeck-Johnson started this petition to Joe Parisi Dane County Executive

Please help us to save our homes and wildlife from a blasting quarry!


I have never asked anyone for anything in my life, but I never anticipated this could happen to us, our whole lives work, our safety, and everything we love is being wiped out in a single land decision and we are fighting for our rights, our health, our homes, and our very lives. I am giving you as much information as I can physically get out, it is so painful.

We desparately need help to keep up the legal fight to save our home, our neighbors homes, and save the habitat of our wonderful natural wildlife. We have spent over $20,000 dollars, and have already suffered tens of thousands of dollars in damages trying to fight this by ourselves. Our neighbors have spent over $14,000 as well. We need help to either stop this now or fund as much as $40,000 more in legal action to beat this horrible quarry plan.

We have a good chance to do that, but we are a small group that includes elderly, disabled, and low income families that had little but their beloved homes for shelter, comfort, and for security for their retirements. Now we can't even use those homes to borrow against to save them, they are so diminished in value by this quarry plan. Please tell Dane County Executive Joe Parisi that his zoning department has ignored the laws of Dane County in passing this CUP #2260 without proper notification to neighbors and ignoring required standards to protect comfort, use, safety, and enjoyment of neighboring homes and properties, and without considering the extreme potential of irreversible damage to the protected wetland corridor and wildlife habitat of the Albion Prairie.

Our farm income was wiped out last year by dust migration pollution from only a few heavy trucks in light winds using this quarry access drive. We face daily use of this drive by as many as one truck per minute 12 hours a day if this is not stopped. We will lose everything, our homes will be worthless, and we will be trapped in those unsalable homes subjected to blasting, crushing rock, breathing dust clouds that cover everything, and hundreds of diesel trucks a day pumping deadly fumes into our homes, into the woods where the animals live, and into our barns where our horses will be now shut inside because of the extreme danger to them of being outside while this quarry is active.

12 hours a day, and 8 hours on Saturdays, starting at 6 a.m., right next to our homes, and draining into the protected wetlands of Albion, that is our water supply and the pristine home of eagles, otters, bobcats, owls, and migratory birds that inspired the great naturist Thure Kumlien and the author Sterling North!

My husband Dean and I bought our barely habitable historic home on the Albion Prairie in 1986 with the dream of saving this beautiful old home and raising a family there. We grew up in the city and saved for 10 years to be able to buy it. It wasn't even in mortgageable condition. it took four hours to fill the bath tub with rusty water, and the banister hung loose from the stairs. Our friends thought it was ugly, but well, we thought it was beautiful, we were seeing it as it could be.

The field where they are trying to put a stinking, polluting, blasting, quarry has produced full yields every year we have been here, yet the quarry operator obtained this permit by claiming there were areas of rocky outcroppings and zero soil depth, this just is not true. The quarry area they want is the size of seventy nine NFL football fields, just three hundred feet from our home!

We spent every extra penny and every extra minute restoring the house and barns to make it a home, but we were never blessed with the family we had planned for to fill it. For the next decade we spent everything else we had trying fertility treatments and searching adoption options to no success. The heartbreak was indescribable, but we made our family of our wonderful animals, and we cared for all our elderly kin, that filled the hole in our hearts. Now those animals will be confined to stalls up to eight months a year to prevent them from harm from this quarry activity.

During this time, we both had major life changing health issues, and we took vast amounts of our time from our careers to care for family. Things were very hard at times, but we still had our home, our sanctuary where the beauty of what we had worked and sacrificed so hard for was all around us. it embraced us, it made us feel as if something we had done had mattered. that even if we left no children of our own, someday happy children would fill this wonderful home again because of what we did to save it.

"The Farm", as we all call it, is our hearts, it is where our best and last memories of the loved ones we've lost will live forever. I only just need to step out the door to see my parents again; my father on the chaise under the big tree napping, covered in the barn cats that loved him so much, or my mother with her walker in the barn still feeding carrots to my old black mare. All the years of struggle, sickness, and going without to help others just disappear into the beautiful memories of the good times we had with our family here that were made possible by that struggle. I hear their laughter again in every squeak of a hinge, and my fathers voice in every creak of the floor in this old house.

Now we have no one but each other, and our lifetime is getting short, but we planned to be here, at "The Farm" together until our last dying breath, enjoying the peace, and the beauty, and the nature. We were looking forward to retiring, we only had one real vacation in 28 years. We considered the rest of our lives in our home we loved so was to be the vacation we were saving for. We planned on working our little retirement antiques and flower business side by side so we could stay here. Taking in animals that no body wanted as we always have. Just to have what time we have left with our animal family. Was that too much to ask?

Now all that is being ripped away from us by two large corporations Crazy Acres Inc. and Yahara Materials, with millions of dollars to spend. We can't even get our government to follow and enforce the laws that were in place to protect us without hiring crushingly expensive legal help to try to force them into enforcement. Our laws are being violated and our rights are not being protected. This could happen to anyone of you if we lay down and let this happen, it is happening to us because others did not fight it before. By helping us you will be helping others and yourself. This is happening everywhere, and the case law that will come of our fight will be used to stop these abuses in your own backyard.

The beautiful little girl in the photo of our campaign is one of our neighbors daughters. they are a young couple just starting out in their dream place, a little horse farm. They just had a new baby, another girl. Their older daughters love to play and ride their horses, now it will never be safe for them to be even near a horse on a sunny afternoon again. Their home will be just 800 feet from an unfenced and open quarry hole with loud sudden sounds and vibrations happening on a constant basis. These innocent children will be shocked awake every morning by blasting horns, explosions, and heavy machinery. These are not farm sounds, these are not noises and movements that thousand pound horses get used to. They are a fight or flight animal. Even the best trained horse will bolt when it is startled.This could result in the death of a child, and if their parents try to leave, they will be underwater on their mortgage and have to walk away with nothing but a black mark on their credit that will follow them for years.

Our neighbor to the south is 84 years old, recently widowed, and has had heart trouble as a result of the stress of this fight. He has lived in the home he loves and built with his dear wife for 68 years. Now who will buy his lovely home, and his little business shop with a blasting quarry just hundreds of feet away? His security has been wiped out. Doesn't he deserve to live out his life in peace in his home? Well, the Dane County ZLR board and zoning department don't think so, they ignored his pleas and granted a conditional use permit to Yahara Materials that will destroy his enjoyment of his home for the rest of his life.

Another neighbor couple built their retirement dream home with their living room positioned to overlook the wildlife, woods, and wetlands. There view now will be a massive quarry.

This was passed by our own town board without legal notification that is required to be sent to neighboring property owners! Through grass roots efforts we have managed to unseat two of these supervisors, but we do not have a majority yet that will follow the requirements of the law and nullify this conditional use permit that was passed without the required regard to others property rights that is written in the zoning standards. We are not a wealthy township, and Crazy Acres Inc. has bought up thousands of acres, torn out the hedge row wildlife habitats and trees, exposing the soil to high winds that at times have blanketed everything that is struggling to hang on. Now they want to run hundreds of trucks a day down a thousand feet of an unpaved road. Making that dust storm a daily occurance. Entering a safety restricted highway with school buses traveling at 55 miles an hour within barely minimum site from a blind curve! Cutting us off from reasonable emergency response in case of fire or accident.

In one day last fall with just a handful of those trucks using that road in light wind. Dust coated our home, our animals and their hay, our ornamental floral crop, and our cars and it ulcerated and scarred our 5 month old puppies corneas.

How will we be able to stay here breathing this harmful dust all day everyday?It will be in our food, on our clothes in our homes, on our childern, in our eyes, and in our lungs, permanently! We can't even sell our homes to escape it.

Since we have refused to give up the legal fight against this, we have been vandalized, we have been threatened, and we have been trespassed on.We continue the fight, and work 16 hour days to try to fund it by ourselves. We do manual labor, it is killing us, we need your help so desparately. We are afraid we won't make it through this without losing one of us to accident or illness, we have slept so little for the past 20 months.

We have donated our work and materials to help charitable organizations all our lives, even when we did not have it to give, and that is one of the great reasons why we cannot help ourselves now. We have gone without health and dental care to keep this funded. Even if we could get out, we don't want to leave our neighbors who can't. I hope someone will help us now.

Please visit our website to see more of the documented horrible hazards we and our wildlife will be forced to live with if we can't win this. It is , please call the Dane County Wisconsin politicians that are ignoring the laws and our civil rights and tell them to nullify CUP 2260.

Please I am begging you to help if you can. Thank you for your time and kind consideration in reading this.

Signe and Dean Johnson

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