I respect Marcy Kaptur. I think she holds very sound values and is a good representative, although I often do not fundamentally agree with her politics. One of the biggest disappointments, is her inability, as a senior member of Congress.....to bring US some pork. Seriously. Maybe I'm being hyprocritical by saying I like her values, but man, this area NEVER seems to get the benefits that others in Ohio (and the country) get. The earmarks that are coming are way.....emerald ash tree replacement? Metropark land purchase? Solor cells for the Skyway bridge? Come on! Where is the job creation? I think almost all of the money should've went to help businesses, like Xunlight, to create jobs.
She's got the clout.....why aren't we reaping the benefits? I want our "big shot" politicians to start throwing their weight around.
Article published March 28, 2009
Kaptur secures $29M in earmarks
Projects to create jobs, impact environment
KAPTUR’S ENVIRONMENTAL EARMARKS
The $410 billion omnibus bill that President Obama signed into law earlier this month includes several earmarks with environmental themes secured by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur
(D., Toledo), including:
• $4.96 million to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers responsibly dispose of silt it dredges from Toledo’s shipping channel.
• $2 million to help replace trees that had to be taken down because of the emerald ash borer.
• $1.19 million to help Xunlight Corp. produce more flexible thin-film solar cells.
• $950,000 for solar-powered lighting of the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway.
• $750,000 to help scientists extend their research of fish kills and harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie’s Maumee Bay.
By TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
It's hard to think of the emerald ash borer as an economic stimulator.
But these are the times we're in, when just about anything that preserves the status quo or creates even a modest number of new jobs is welcomed.
The $410 billion omnibus bill that President Obama signed into law earlier this month includes a $125,000 increase in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's war chest against the deadly Asian beetle - not much considering that program's budget has simply been bumped up to $34.6 million from $34.5 million a year ago.
But it's stability, even though the USDA's work has spread to 10 states - Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Missouri. The funding was based on last year's total of six infested states, Sharon Lucik, USDA spokesman, said.
There's also $2 million that U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) secured under that bill for cutting, planting, and replacing ash trees in her 9th congressional district.
That allocation is among $29 million in earmarks Miss Kaptur got for her district, many for projects that are expected to generate jobs while addressing environmental needs.
VIEW : Proposed Ohio projects seeking federal stimulus funds
VIEW : Proposed Michigan projects seeking federal stimulus funds
VIEW: Federal bailout recipients
Entomologist Dan Herms of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center likened the infusion of cash to "the rebuilding that occurs after floods or storms."
The omnibus bill and Mr. Obama's $787 billion stimulus package that preceded it contain a number of other earmarks with environmental themes for the western Lake Erie region.
Two announced by U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, both Michigan Democrats, provide $5.5 million to address a deadly Great Lakes fish disease called viral hemorrhagic septicema, or VHS. The senators also announced $139,000 for thinning out the cormorant population on the Lake Erie islands, among many others.
Miss Kaptur's earmarks, which she prefers to call "legislative priorities," also include $4 million for further development of the solar power plant at the Ohio National Guard's 180th Fighter Wing at Toledo Express Airport; $1.19 million to help Xunlight Corp. increase production of its flexible thin-film solar cells; $950,000 for solar-powered lighting of the Veterans' Glass City Skyway; $122,821 for development of the communications infrastructure at the University of Toledo's Renewable Energy Business Incubator; $95,000 for a high school garden learning initiative through the Toledo GROWS program; $1.3 million to help Toledo pay for improvements and expansion of its sewage network; $1.2 million for the Great Lakes Remedial Action Plan, and $667,000 for a hydrological study and flood mitigation in the Maumee River watershed.
U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) got 10 earmarks totaling $2.93 million in the bill, even though he voted against it. Many of the funds Mr. Latta obtained are to help curb flooding.
U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D., Dearborn) got $23.6 million for his southeastern Michigan district.
Miss Kaptur also received $4.96 million to help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers do its annual maintenance dredging of the Toledo harbor, plus work toward developing uses for the silt. She said the bill has provisions aimed at reducing the volume that the Corps redeposits in the open lake.
In addition, Miss Kaptur obtained $237,000 to help Metroparks of the Toledo Area buy more land at Keil Farm, the last working farm in Toledo's city limits.
Scott Carpenter, Metroparks spokesman, said the money would go toward the purchase of 65 more acres for sale at a cost of $2 million. The latest allocation, added to funds Miss Kaptur previously secured, gives the park district $580,000 to put toward that acquisition, he said.
Metroparks currently owns 91 acres of the farm. Some 35 acres are to be restored to native prairie habitat, Mr. Carpenter said.
The bill also provided $750,000 to help scientists extend their research of fish kills and harmful algae blooms in Lake Erie's Maumee Bay.
Scientists have made western Lake Erie's algae one of the Great Lakes region's hottest research issues since 1995 when microcystis, a toxic algae blamed for 75 deaths in Brazil in 1996, reappeared in western Lake Erie for the first time in 20-plus years.
Miss Kaptur agreed that public health, property values, recreational fishing and boating, and even the region's ability to attract new development could be hampered if answers aren't found.
"I don't think people have an understanding of how big they are," Miss Kaptur said of the algae blooms.
In addition to being unsightly, they deplete oxygen from the water column and impact the region's multibillion-dollar fishery, she said.
Algae also has emerged as a huge issue in the Cheasapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico because of its impact on fisheries there. In China, it has exacerbated water shortages in the world's largest country.
Western Lake Erie is a "water-rich" area that has been taken for granted, Miss Kaptur said.
"You have to look very seriously at this precious asset you have. People's eyes will be casting very greedily over what we have," she said. The watershed should be managed with better planning and sewage, said Miss Kaptur, a former urban planner. She said efforts should be made to keep basements from flooding and put water to better use.
"We have the gift of fresh water. It's in the wrong places and too much at one time," she said.
Through better watershed planning, under a multijurisdictional effort called the Western Lake Erie Basin Partnership, officials are "trying to direct our region to a more sustainable future," she said.created by weakskd on Mar 28, 2009 at 08:35:42 am
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