Flood relief: Take action now and help locally or from afar

Here are ways to help with the flood relief effort in the Keweenaw, whether you live here and have been directly affected by the flash floods, or you live far away, but still want to help.

 

Volunteering

If you would like to volunteer for flood relief efforts, please register at the Houghton County Flood Volunteer Reception Center, located at Evangel church (1114 College Ave. in Houghton). You can register in person or by requesting a form via email coppercountrystrong@gmail.com or via their Facebook page. the VRC asks that you register even if you have been volunteering on your own because “it’s important for the assessment of disaster financial need and agency funding.”

Call the VRC at 906-233-6621 to get started as a volunteer & find out where your help is most needed. If you are volunteering at a site, you can also call the VRC to request supplies.

Donating supplies

If you would like to donate supplies, you can drop them off at the Dee Stadium in Houghton.

Update as of Saturday, June 23 via Houghton County Flood Volunteer FB page:

“FOOD AND WATER DONATIONS NO LONGER NEEDED

GENEROUS SUPPORTERS: We have all the donations of water and food that we need. Thanks to all who have so generously provided them. Please do not bring or send more at this time as we’re running out of room. If you are looking to donate material goods, consider waiting until early next week when we will be able provide you with a more comprehensive picture of what our needs are moving forward into the next phase.”

As of Friday June 22, list of needed supplies included:

  • Fans
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Long sleeve rubber gloves
  • Face masks
  • Eye protection
  • First aid kits
  • Squeegees
  • Coolers
  • Extension cords
  • Power strips
  • Boots
  • Place to do laundry
  • Pry bars, crowbars
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Pic axes
  • Ear plugs

If shipping supplies from Amazon or other retailers, please ship donations to:

VRC
c/o Evangel
1114 College Ave
Houghton MI 49931

Financial support

Disaster relief funds have been established by the Keweenaw Community Foundation and by the Portage Health Foundation.

Contributions to the Keweenaw Community Foundation can be made online at https://www.gofundme.com/kcf-disaster-relief-fund or mailed to Keweenaw Community Foundation, 236 Quincy Street, Hancock, MI 49930.

Contributions to the Portage Health Foundation can made online at http://www.phfgive.org/contribute.php. or mailed to Portage Health Foundation, 400 Quincy Street, Hancock, Michigan 49930.

Supporting individual families

GoFundMe pages have been set up for several local families who sustained especially heavy losses. Here are the ones I’m aware off; please let me know of others:

Cards and notes for the Markham family can be dropped off at the Houghton Elementary School or Middle School offices.

Please email me with any updates. For up-to-date news and information about flood recovery efforts, see the Keweenaw Report. Also, see coppercountrystrong.com

Stay safe and stay together, Keweenaw. Much love.

M

 

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May 3 Federal Actions: Oppose AHCA/MacArthur Amendment, provide feedback to EPA

Good morning, FAM! I hope you are all enjoying the long-awaited arrival of Spring in the Keweenaw today. But on to less sunny topics:

As you are no doubt well aware, the GOP is renewing its efforts to revive and pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a.k.a. Trumpcare. Here is an excellent overview from FiveThirtyEight of the biggest changes to healthcare in the latest version of the bill, as well as those proposed by the MacArthur amendment. (Spoiler alert: they’re not good changes. They’re bad. Bigly bad).

This week, please call Representative Bergman (DC: 202-225-4735; TC: 231-944-7633; Marquette: 906-273-2227) to voice your strong opposition to the latest version of the AHCA, including the MacArthur Amendment. If you would like a script to follow, you can use this one courtesy of Indivisible and Families USA.

Also, as a result of Executive Order 13777, the EPA’s Office of Water is “seeking public input on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced or modified to make them less burdensome.” You can join a Public Listening Session that begins today at 11:00, or you can submit comments online. For more information or to submit a comment, visit this page.

Thanks for your good work.

M

April 18 actions: turn out in defense of science, the environment, and Georgia!

There are lots of opportunities for action this week, FAM: let’s turn out to defend our environment, march for science, & make calls to flip a congressional seat in Georgia. You might even consider a spur-of-the-moment road trip to Escanaba tomorrow afternoon…

Local. Don’t forget that the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District vote is taking place at their annual meeting this Thursday, April 20 at 5:00 at the Orpheum Theater (426 Quincy St.) in Hancock. It’s too late now to request an absentee ballot, but if you can’t make their meeting you can also stop by their office to cast your vote: 711 W. Lakeshore Drive, Houghton. Call the office first to make sure someone is there: 482-0214. As a reminder, we are suggesting that you vote for James Tercha and Steven Siira who will keep the conservation district doing the good work we have all come to know and love. See the April 11 FAM post for more information.

Local/National. This Saturday, April 22, join the MarchforScienceHoughton for more details

State (via Michigan Resistance). “Shut down the Enbridge Line 5 Oil Pipeline: The Enbridge oil pipeline Line 5, which is 64 years old, runs underneath waterways that connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. It has a number of problems that can quickly escalate into major environmental issues.”

Michigan Resistance suggests that we call these members of the House Energy Policy Committee, to which the resolution has been referred:

  1. Chair Gary Glenn (Midland): 517-373-1791
  2. Roger Hauck (Mt. Pleasant): 517-373-1789
  3. Tom Barrett (Potterville): 517-373-0853
  4. Triston Cole (Gaylord): 517-373-0829
  5. Jim Tedder (Village of Clarkston): 517-373-0615
  6. Joseph Bellino (Monroe): 517-373-1530

“Hi, I am calling to ask Representative ____ to support House Resolution 51 and urge the governor and attorney general to shut down the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline. The Great Lakes and clean water are among the most precious resources for Michigan families. The highly problematic line, which has shown coating issues, could cause major economic and health issues in our region. I urge you to please support House Resolution 51 and end the Engbridge Line 5 pipelines on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.”

Federal. As I’m sure you know, there is a special election taking place today in Georgia’s 6th congressional district! If you would still like to volunteer to make calls and help to get out the vote for democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in Georgia and help him to earn more than 50% of the vote in order to avoid a runoff, you can sign up here.

Federal. Jack Bergman is hosting a town hall in Escanaba tomorrow (Weds, April 19) from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Bay de Noc Community College (2001 N Lincoln Road, Escanaba, MI 49829). I know it’s quite a long drive to make mid-week (it’s almost as though he doesn’t want a large turnout…hmmmm…), but if you can attend please do! If you would like to attend but don’t have a ride go ahead and message the list or post to our FB page; maybe we can work out some carpools. If anyone does attend, we’d love to hear how it went.

Onward,

M

URGENT local action: Conservation District vote

Hi FAM! This Conservation District vote was brought up in our last meeting. Participating in this vote will allow you to make an immediate positive difference in our local community. Here are more details:

If you are registered to vote in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, you are eligible to vote in this Board of Directors election which will determine the course of the Houghton Keweenaw County Conservation District Board. Some of the candidates running in this election seem to be anti-conservation and are seeking to allow motorized vehicles access to Conservation District land, so if keeping this land in its current state is important to you, please vote! We suggest that you vote for James Tercha and Steven Siira–they will keep the conservation district doing the good work we have all come to know and love. See Jim Tercha’s memo for more information about these candidates and why you should vote for them.

You can vote in one of two ways:

1. Request an absentee ballot from the conservation district by calling 482-0214. This ballot must be received by the conservation district in time for their April 20 meeting (that’s a week from Thursday), so request and send it asap.

2. You can vote in person at the April 20 meeting. This meeting will take place at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock at 5:00 on Thursday, April 20.

Here is a link to the Facebook event with more details about the vote.

Thanks for your good work,

M

March 30 – Federal actions: Supreme Court & climate change

Good morning FAM! This week, political action organizations such as Daily Action, Indivisible, and Michigan Resistance are encouraging us to call our senators to demand that they oppose Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Luckily, both of our senators have gone on record to say that they oppose his nomination, that they support the planned filibuster, and that they plan to vote “no” on cloture.

Federal. Why not call our senators to say thanks for standing up to the GOP and opposing this extreme nominee to the Supreme Court?

Senator Stabenow: 202-224-4822
Senator Peters: 202-224-6221

Federal (via Solidarity Sundays). As you have no doubt heard, on March 28 Trump signed an executive order meant to undo Obama-era climate change policies. The action organization Solidarity Sundays asks that you “call your MoCs and let them know that you do NOT approve of 45’s anti-environment executive order; ASK where your MoCs stand on it; and (optional) share a personal story of how air quality/environmental regulations affect your/your health/your family

‘Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from ______ to say how upset I am by Donald Trump’s executive order on the Clean Power Plan. It won’t create jobs—it will create more pollution. It creates a threat to the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as the public health of millions of Americans, especially children, who live with asthma, heart disease, and more. Can you please tell me what ________ plans to do about this devastating order? [OPTION: Share your own personal story about how air quality/environmental regulations affect your health/your children’s health].'”

When you call Bergman, you could also thank him for his opposition of cuts to Great Lakes funding and suggest that this executive order might also run counter to his stated objective of preserving the “long-term environmental and economic integrity of the Great Lakes.”

Representative Bergman: 202-225-4735

Onward,

M

March 14 – Daily Actions

Hi there, FAM! It’s good to be back with you, even if only virtually. Here are our action suggestions for today. If you only do one thing today, call Bergman to register your strong opposition to TrumpRyanDon’tCare, a.k.a the American Health Care Act (see the federal action below). While you’re at it, you can follow this link to share your story <https://www.whitehouse.gov/obamacare-share-your-story>  with the White House about how “Obamacare” has affected you.

Local (via FAM calendar). The Houghton County Board of Commissioners <http://www.houghtoncounty.net/commissions-board-meetings.php>  Meeting is this evening from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Houghton County Courthouse, 5th floor.

State (via FAM state Facebook group). Call to express your concern about Line 5. A member of the state FAM Facebook page posted that she had succeeded in reaching the Attorney General’s office in Lansing yesterday to express her concerns about the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. See this article <http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/03/enbridge_line_5_ed_timm_psab.html>  for more information about what Line 5 is and why people are concerned about it.

Here is what happened when this FAMmer called the Attorney General Lansing office:

“the staffer there asked for my name and phone number and told me that I was ‘put on the list.’ When I asked what that meant, I learned that the office is tallying everyone who calls about Line 5. She did not give a timeline for the tally. But hey it exists!”

If you are also concerned about Line 5, call the Attorney General to express your concern. Lansing office number: 517-373-1110

Federal (via Michigan Resistance). Call Representative Bergman (DC: 202-225-4735; TC: 231-714-4785; Marquette: 906-273-2227) and demand that he oppose the American Health Care Act – “This bill would repeal the Affordable Care Act and simultaneously cause millions of Americans to lose their insurance coverage. Millions more will see coverage reductions and increased prices.”

Here is a script you can use, courtesy of Michigan Resistance. Sharon says that Marquette FAM is calling today too, so let’s help them flood his phone lines:

“Hi, I am calling to ask Representative Bergman to OPPOSE the American Health Care Act. It is not fair that my family and neighbors will see our prices increase while the wealthiest Americans will gets thousands in tax rebates.

Our older family members will see prices rise, and hospitals will see job losses with the decrease in care coverage. The damage to the economy and my family’s pocketbook is troubling. I am asking that you vote AGAINST this bill. We need Americans to have health care and for everyone to pay their fair share.”

If you are feeling ambitious, you can also call these other Republican Reps:

Justin Amash, (3rd District; Grand Rapids): 202-225-3831

Fred Upton (6th District; Kalamazoo): 202-225-3761

Dave Trott (11th District; Bloomfield Hills): 202-225-8171

Jack Bergman (1st District; Traverse City): 202-225-4735

Tim Walberg (7th District; Monroe): 202-225-6276

Mike Bishop (8th District; Rochester Hills): 202-225-4872

Bill Huizenga (2nd District; Muskegon): 202-225-4401

John Moolenaar (4th District; Midland): 202-225-3561

Paul Mitchell (10th District; Shelby Township): 202-225-2106