- Posted December 14, 2011 by
BATTLE CREEK, Michigan
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
Kalamazoo River Oil Spill Disaster-UPDATE 14 DEC 2011
We first saw John at an EPA meeting last year in which he spoke up before the meeting started, admitting his checkered past and telling the residents who he was and why he was speaking up. I had heard his name, and rumors, and seen him on the news channels. I had even been warned off him as he was seen as a trouble maker.
I have met a lot of people since the tar sand spill into the Kalamazoo river ( see my other posts) and to be quite frank I hesitated on talking to him.. but when I started looking at his you tube channel... he got my attention. He showed up here in the park where I lived and talked to several residents. If anything, I am protective of the residents and I wanted to make sure that he was not exploiting them for personal gain.
He challenged us to go and see what he was talking about... so we did.
Now I knew that the company responsible for the spill was not cleaning up the way it should be or taking responsibility for their errors the way I believe they should. We took photos and even took a trip to Morrow lake. I have watched him and judged and while at times I want to smack him upside the head, I believe his heart is in the right place.
He has challenged myself and I have slowly allowed him into my circle of friends. Some of my other friends don't like him.. says he is too full of himself and will hurt the efforts to deal with an environmental disaster. I push him to do better videos and he has made me consider things I probably would not have on my own. We bitch at each other like an old married couple at times..
However, as we entered the court on Monday (late because I had been told wrong info)(sorry Judge - won't happen again) he mentioned that he would be arrested after the hearing... LA boy and I looked at each other... crap... bail money is going to be needed.
While the contractor of Enbridge Energy (SET Environmental) lawyers argue for dismissal of the suit and his lawyer argues for it. I realize there are more lawyers in a courthouse than I could imagine 18... what the heck... are they Enbridge’s lawyers, other plaintiff lawyers, More suits than you could shake a stick at (yes it's one of those Midwestern sayings).
But the Judge does not dismiss the case (smiles all around ) and we exit the courtroom... John goes to speak to his lawyer and the rest of us cough up bail money in 20's. . I hand it to one of the guys who has Johns car keys and they take off. The officer is very polite and arrests John and leads him away. A local paper reporter is there and talks to his lawyer. A reporter who had interviewed me this past weekend... I am wondering what he thinks of all of this.
We go down to the bail office and ring the buzzard.. they laugh and explain we can't bail him out until he is processed will take an hour or so...LA BOY and I head off to chase down the guys with the bail money. 3 hours later we get the call he is out. the charge ... trespassing back in November on Enbridge property. I see it as an intimidation move on their part.
The rest of our week has been goodbyes to neighbors (3) as they move out of the park... they are fed up with all the crap going on in the park and the health problems. Another couple go to the hospital, and LA boy and I get one of the neighborhood kids to decorate our tree. He does a great job.
The interview comes out with me and one of the people I testified before congress with discussing the denial by ASTRA to do a long term health study... (which stinks worse than a dead skunk in your front yard) (yeah one of those Midwestern sayings) We are frustrated and ticked off... why can't they see what we see ??? More from Oily Creek later.... Happy Holiday's !