"Closed Beaches, Closed Beaches"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, August 22, 2015

We used to let our kids go to the beach almost daily in the summer. When I was a youngster, my sisters, friends and I were always at the beach in Port Austin. The weather seldom kept us away; if waves were high, we would surf along on them. The only thing that has changed are floating buoys that indicate the area considered safe to wade or swim in. They are a great addition because they help keep our kids safely near shore.

Today, advisories warn frequently the beach is unsafe and the area is closed due to high bacteria content. We are told these notices, although temporary, didn’t appear in the past simply because the water was not tested. This may be true but as I see it, the cause should be determined.

The most frequently closed areas, with high E.coli content, are very often the same each week. They are also beaches close to a run-off which may be causing the problems. If the county testing finds the same result time after time, why not test areas up the streams and creeks leading to them and report the cause of the contamination? Once discovered perhaps an action could be taken to reduce the bacteria release into the outlets.

Our beaches entertain our visitors as well as our residents. We advertise our county’s 90 miles of shoreline and beaches. Many businesses depend upon the income from our guests. Why not make an effort to be the best we can be?

Another concern I wish to express is: we better keep our keys handy. In the past, we never locked our doors at night, just let the breeze in through the screens. Even when we were gone shopping or on business, windows were left open. The only thing we worried about was rain getting in. We even left our vehicles unlocked, keys in them, and the worst that ever happened was the loss of a pack of smokes left on the dash.

Our farmers often left their equipment in the fields and few even had locks on their barns. If they closed the barn doors it was to keep the animals in. As for the crops, it was seldom anyone lost more than an ear of corn.

Today we read a report telling of 30 to 50 bales of hay being stolen from an area barn. This theft was planned, deliberate and necessitated equipment to accomplish. How could it occur without being detected or at least seen by someone? The farmer who suffered the loss probably would have given those bales of hay away to help another farmer feed his animals.

In years past, I recall asking a farmer if I could borrow an item. The response was usually: “Sure it’s right in the barn, help yourself.” If I asked today that barn may be locked.

Farm equipment and other valuable machinery have become targets for thieves in recent years because of the high value.

One more concern. How can a foreign company have control of the available gasoline for much of our country? The recent gas price hike certainly isn’t the fault of our friends and neighbors that sell that brand name at their pumps. The big price jump has cast an unfair, negative impact on them.

It is hard to believe. A national news report told of a large supply of gas available and we likely would see the cost per gallon reduced to less than $2.00. The very next day, in our part of the country, the largest refinery suffered a breakdown that will take weeks to repair. I’m betting right past the Labor Day weekend.

This is not the first time this company has brought us to our knees. Perhaps our government should subsidize the construction of another refinery. Spend our tax dollars in our country and help all of us to get a break on the gas prices.



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