Aug 19, 2014

Wood County Health Dept Closes Multiple Beaches as Ecoli Breaks Out

Beaches closed in Wood
County suggest a problem
politicians will ignore
Update II: Update on Scott Krug's threat to file a libel suit; Krug backs off with a whimper.

To no one's surprise, Scott Krug's threat to pursue legal action has proven to be as credible as his claim to be working for the interests of clean water and the environment.

Krug is refusing to answer his office phone at his capitol offices, several writers contacting Krug, have said.

Krug is motivated by two things in his ill-considered libel suit threat: Stunning ignorance of libel law; and an appalling incapacity to say 'No' to Scott Walker and ALEC on Big Ag's liquid cow manure runoff gifted to the people of Wisconsin with all of its pathogens and toxins vectored into our waterways and aquifers.

With the support of the Gannett Co news and editorial editors at the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, the rightwing Krug is still trying to portray himself as a champion for clean water and the environment.

Krug faces a head-on challenge in the November general election from Dana Duncan, a disability rights attorney from Nekoosa, who has made Duncan's opposition to a massive proposed concentrated agricultural feeding operation (CAFO) a centerpiece of his campaign.

Krug continues his support for the CAFO, and Scott Walker's policies at the DNR that encourage the CAFO.

Update: See also State Rep. Scott Krug finds Madison freelancer's blog post libelous (Jessica VanEgeren, The Capital Times), and Idiot WI state senator is idiot, does not understand defamation (Crooks and Liars).

"The Wood County Health Department has announced the immediate closure of White Sands Beach, Red Sands Beach and Nepco Beach due to high counts Escherichia coli, commonly known as E.coli," reports Deb Cleworth of the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune. "Routine beach samples collected on Friday prompted the closure, according to a news release from the health department. The samples exceeded the maximum E.coli level considered safe — 235 colonies per 100 milliliters of water. The tested counts registered at 6,400 to 6,500 cfu/100 ml."

No one can say they have not been warned.

Citizens' groups such as Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors and citizens such as Gordon Stevenson, Chief of Runoff Management for the Wisconsin DNR from 2001-2011, among many other folks have been sounding the alarm for years.

I asked Stevenson over breakfast earlier this month how he would go about quantifying and verifying that the "carrying capacity" of cow manure runoff of two Wisconsin regions has been exceeded in the Central Sand Plains (central Wisconsin) and the Green Bay and Fox River Valley watersheds. 

Stevenson told me to "look at the water," and proceeded to explain how lakes, streams and ponds can be measured for pathogens, including Ecoli, and we will eventually see "Dead Zones" of lakes become Dead Lakes because of oxygen deprivation and toxic pathogen saturation.

We see this Do-Not-Swim, Beaches-Closed condition all over Wisconsin now (Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

Wisconsin folks can look up their local bodies of water and see how they fare at the Department of Natural Resources' Impaired Water list, but the site is poorly designed and not user-friendly.

Meanwhile, policymakers in the Wisconsin Legislature and Scott Walker front for the polluters, toe the GOParty line and destroy community control of Wisconsin municipalities like the Town of Saratoga and the City of Nekoosa in Wood County.

As Erin Brockovich said recently, "Public Health must and always should be a priority," pointing out that Phosphorus runoff directed into lakes is horrible public policy.

The poisoning of our waterways of course does not happen without political protection of the polluters for whom public health is a nuisance to the special interests for whom politicians work.

In the Wood and northern Adams counties where the beaches are now closed, State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids and ALEC) still plays his cynical, corrupt game providing political cover for the polluters and assisting Scott Walker, Walker's DNR and the Dairy Business Association in their project in which one objective is to contaminate and literally toxify Wisconsin lakes and other waters—which means your families' health is the cost of doing business.

Scott Krug says he will sue me for libel for pointing out the above, absent a retraction. [No retraction is coming for this child badly in need of adult supervision.]

Krug claims his independence and says he has "dealt DBA (the Dairy Business Association) and WMC (Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce) a big loss," in an email to Wisconsin citizen, Donald Ysted, copied below, taking credit for killing SB 302, which would have changed the law regarding the DNR procedure for granting high-capacity well permits but had strong opposition in the State Senate.

Krug is lying, and would not cross his patrons, WMC, who "recently [in 2012] honored Representative Scott Krug with the prestigious Working for Wisconsin Award at Heartland Farms Inc. in Hancock." (WMC, October 2012) Heartland Farms is a potato growing operation, big contributors to Scott Walker, and an avid opponent of local control.

"A Legislative Fiscal Bureau report in June identified 64 measures the (Republican) legislature and the governor have approved since 2011 that force communities to pay for state mandates or seize their authority to make decisions about public health, environmental, land use, transportation and other matters," notes Michael Buelow in the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign site (August 6, 2014). Krug followed the Party line on the votes listed by Buelow.

In 2009, Roger Bybee sounded the alarm about concentrated agricultural feeding operations (CAFOs): "John Peck (of Family Farm Defenders), only half-joking, suggests Wisconsin's longtime slogan, '"America's Dairyland,' may need to be updated. The new slogan: 'The Land of 10,000 Animal-Waste Lagoons.'" (Isthmus)

Five years later, we have to say we should have listened.

Meanwhile, citizen activism continues.

Donald Ystad, the candid citizen from Nekoosa, Wisconsin, forwarded the following email exchange as Scott Krug works for the polluters while Krug pretends to be fighting them. [Email addresses omitted.]

From: Scott Krug
Date: Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 10:08 AM
Subject: Re: FW: Citizen Ystad Hits Sacred Cow, the Dairy Business Association, as Wisconsin Lakes Perish
To: Donald Ystad
Cc: , Nancy Koch, Criste Greening, Rhonda

"The elephant" is obvious. DBA (Dairy Business Association) will try to do many things you may not like for many years to come.

If the goal of this group is to push away someone who has already dealt DBA and WMC a big loss you are succeeding. You know my record and you know where I stand.
I wish I could understand why some believe a minority party rep can solve all the area problems. It just doesn't make sense.
Criticism is part of the process, I'm more than happy to take my lumps when deserved, helps me learn from mistakes and become a better legislator. I won't stand for outright lies simply because there is some truth surrounding them.
On Aug 18, 2014 8:36 AM, "Donald Ystad"  wrote:

I wondered what your reaction would be when I forwarded his (Mal Contends) blog post to you. Your response regarding this issue is what I question about you as my Assemblyman, Scott.  No mention of the fact that he's right about the DBA trying to take away a community's right to regulate pollution of their waterways.  Instead, you totally ignore that and focus on his supercilious comment about you and Walker.  I've seen that before when I've e-mailed you requesting support to bring in other agencies to help preserve our recreational/tourism area here.  You totally ignore the elephant in the room and focus on some trivial comment.  While no one really believes you are scheming with Scott Walker to pollute our lakes, many believe the Walker administration and those connected with him side with ag way too often where our environment is concerned.  And that's why our lakes and groundwater are suffering.  You've seen the recent blue/green algae warning for Nepco Lake.  Your award from the League of Conservation Voters makes you the "best of the worst", so to speak.  With a lifetime conservation voting record of 38%, you have the best Republican record, but it's far from a good conservation voting record.  And, as a voter concerned for my recreational area, that is what concerns me. (emphasis added)
So, your sharing the threat of the party going after Mike Leon for his post does nothing for me.  I continue to be torn regarding whether I'm better off with a questionable representative of the party in power, or a strongly supportive representative of the currently weaker party.  Time will tell.
Don Ystad

On Sun, Aug 17, 2014 at 8:56 PM, Scott Krug wrote:
We've informed Mr. Leon of the libelous nature of his forwarded blog post and we will be persuing legal action.
Scott Krug
On Aug 17, 2014 8:45 PM, "Rep.Krug" < wrote:

From: Donald Ystad
Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2014 10:22 AM
To: Rep.Krug
Subject: Fwd: Citizen Ystad Hits Sacred Cow, the Dairy Business Association, as Wisconsin Lakes Perish

An example of what you are up against.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Leon
Date: Sun, Aug 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM
Subject: Citizen Ystad Hits Sacred Cow, the Dairy Business Association, as Wisconsin Lakes Perish

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