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Howard Steinmetz 11/11/04 (appeared in print, not put on-line by the Saginaw News)

Think About It

To the Editor, the Saginaw News

Recently I attended the funeral for my Freeland friend, Ron Wilkins who lost his battle with prostrate cancer.  Wilkins hiked, canoed, hunted, and ate the game taken from along the dioxin-laden Tittabawassee River flood plain.

Now the sad news is that another Freeland fried, Dr. Herbert J. Buchalter, has also died of cancer.  Doc "B" and his family have lived and engaged in recreational activities along the flood plain near the Midland-Saginaw County line for 37 years.

Only weeks ago he still struggled to his office in Midland to serve this under-insured and uninsured patients.  He was one of a few general practitioners in Midland who readily accepted and cared for this population.   The Buchalter household cooked with and drank only purified, filtered bottled water.

For the doubters continuing to live in harm's way, and choosing to remain oblivious to the poisonous environment that we are living in, all one can wish and hope is that your personal immune systems are strong enough to continue warding off the potential deadly effects of the dioxin exposure.

Every citizen has the inherent right to pursue a healthy life , and must insist that his or her elected officials enforce the laws that obligate corporations to operate in a safe and non-polluting manner.

Businesses must be required to follow rules and regulations that are meant to protect the citizenry from the corporate mad dash to profitability.  Noncompliance must lead to cancellation or denial of operating permits unit facilities are brought into compliance.

Stop and consider for a moment if the image and profits of a repeatedly self-serving corporation are more important than our lives and the health of all our children.  While your are at it, think about Ron Wilkins and Herb Buchalter - and hope and pray that your family's turn is not next.

Howard Steinmetz
Saginaw Township

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