Aug 27, 2016

Susan Turner: Witnessed Wisconsin’s Water Degradation over 18 Years

Lynn Utesch is a clean water fighter in northeastern Wisconsin.
Utesch is running for state assembly against Big Ag's man in
northeastern Wisconsin, Republican state rep. Joel Kitchens.
Image by Coburn Dukehart
Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

'Dreamed of retiring in Door County,' - No more

Iowa resident, Susan Turner, has a powerful letter in the Door County Pulse.

The Republican war against water is of course an act of insanity, even many Republicans may note water is necessary for life.

Yet, this fact does not stop Republicans from taking money from, and helping polluters pollute, driving families from their multi-generational homes with no remorse.

This is unacceptable.

Writes Turner:

The scale of industrial animal operations, concentration of manure produced in one location, makes this a crime against nature.

We shouldn’t be expected to compromise our water or hold our breath to accommodate agribusiness over community.

I’m a tourist of Wisconsin. I dreamed of retiring to the Door County area. That would be a foolish thing to invest in now. The idea of no swimming or consuming water, due to contamination, throws a wet blanket on vacations and investing in real estate.

April 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm, my three children and I were victims of hazardous gases as we headed south from the Wisconsin Dells on Highway12 between Baraboo and Prairie Du Sac. Center pivots spraying liquid nutrients made us close windows and speed faster as we searched for air that was not burning our lungs and nostrils. When we got a clean pocket of air, the caustic stench happened again. A service van on the opposite side of the road had pulled over with the driver sitting on the ground using an inhaler. He could not even operate his vehicle.

This past week my husband and I vacationed in Bayfield, Wisconsin. We chose Bayfield County because it has the cleanest water. We can swim, boat, fish, and drink the water, for now.
Republicans are destroying Wisconsin, and it's happening little by little, step by step, as implied by Turner. This ought to alarm everyone, particularly Door County, the Martha's Vinyard of the Midwest.

Two elections featuring leaders of the polluters' lobby in the capitol—state reps Joel Kitchens (R) and Scott Krug (R)—show toxic-toilet politicians against two lifelong environmentalists.

At some point, we will come to understand such environmentalists are saving Wisconsin.

Writes environmentalist, farmer, veteran and state assembly candidate, Lynn Utesch from Kewaunee County in northeastern Wisconsin, commenting on his run for Wisconsin's first district assembly race:

The 1st Assembly District is unique — an Island, a Peninsula, the Niagara Escarpment — all make this place we have chosen to call home special. Apart from the shared natural beauty that surrounds us, and the waters of Lake Michigan — the 1st Assembly District also has challenges that must be addressed.

Water is the #1 issue in the 1st Assembly District. Arriving in Kewaunee in 2004, one of the first things our family experienced was the poisoning of the Treml family due to the spreading of liquid manure tainting their well, affecting the entire family, and sending their infant daughter to intensive care.

In fall of 2014, in Jacksonport, a similar scenario played out with an infant and 16 people poisoned due to liquid manure spreading near a sinkhole. Currently in Kewaunee County 34% of the tested wells are unfit to drink due to high nitrates, e-coli, or both. 

Citizens would do well to heed the words of Ms. Turner and Lynn Utesch.

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