Source: Sherman Publications

Letters to the Editor

March 26, 2014

Solve water problems with cascading waterfall

Dear Editor,

I'd like to clarify and expand on some of the comments in the article related to the Mill Race ("Delayed repair could be costly," March 19).

The broken pipe leading to the sinkhole on the Christea property did so because of sediment build up from the streets. The hardness of our water here added deposits, eventually causing the pipe to be unable to manage the flow entering it and it broke. This is what happens at your house, sans the sediment, as a result of hard water.

This could have been prevented if proper protections were introduced early enough. I warned Clarkston City Council members the issue will eventually present itself, albeit possibly in a different manner, if they installed the pipe the way they did without installing available protections. They ignored me and now we have an issue.

The stormwater permit the city holds requires a 25% reduction of sediment discharged into the system and currently the efforts are nothing more than a pencil pushing exercise.

There are cost effective products on the market that can help reduce the amount of sediment that enters the system. Look up Dandy products and Silt Savers to familiarize yourself with a few.

However, there is another way to address the sediment and the current issue, that is also much more cost effective, not to mention beautiful. “Daylight” the pipe.

With the proper permissions, a tiered, cascading waterfall with an infiltration based reinforced by geotextiles for stability, can be installed. Lined with native flowering plants, whose roots additionally add stability, the flowing water would also pick up oxygen for a healthier river habitat, while dropping out sediment before it enters the mill race. Native flowers are not only beautiful, but add to the habitat created by the rain garden in Depot park.

This could be amended with terraced grass pavers and picnic tables. Add in a few fruit bearing plants and trees and you create an oasis. The additions could be added in over time so the cost would be spread out. And the design, installation and maintenance would all be more cost effective for the city and taxpayers. Oh, and did I mention there are many local experts I am certain would be delighted to help? This would create work for many locals.

In addition, if the city were to partner with local universities and school district, possibly even the township, and use this as an outreach and education opportunity in partial fulfillment of their requirements under their stormwater permit, which the township and school district also have, it would benefit them all and they might even be eligible for funding, since this is what is being promoted by the Federal EPA and the State DEQ, not to mention SEMCOG.. .Oh, and the International Commission on the Great Lakes too.

The city is planning on using outmoded methods without the consideration of newer, less expensive, more river friendly approaches. If the public is interested in a better way to do things that contributes to place-making while saving their hard earned tax dollars, I encourage you to speak up.

Tammie J. Heazlit

Independence Township

Thanks to community for help during difficult time

Dear Editor,

Our family was touched by the generosity shown by the families of Clarkston Community Schools. Considerable funds were received with the intention of helping with the difficult battle of pancreatic cancer and chemotherapy treatments. Children in the schools expressed heartfelt thoughts by decorating “get-well” notes, that truly meant so much to both my husband and me. The thoughtfulness of the community along with the constant words of encouragement lifted our spirits every day. The funds that were received covered a significant portion of my husband’s treatments, and for that we are forever grateful.

In late February, I received an unexpected check from the Cancer Center to reimburse us for the chemotherapy treatments! I had previously promised that I would pass these funds forward if we were reimbursed in any way. As promised, all of the monies you gave will go straight to help another victim of pancreatic cancer fight the battle.

Although Benny lost his fight against pancreatic cancer in August of 2013, the chemotherapy kept him with us so that he could achieve his goal to meet our new grandson. We were not able to travel to meet him with Benny’s frail condition, but Jake was able to meet his GrandDaddy just weeks before he lost his battle with cancer.

Thank you, Clarkston community for your loving care. Your generosity not only blessed our family, but will bless another family.

With grateful hearts,

The Family of Benny Reed

– Mary, Laura and Ben

Mary teaches music at Andersonville and Springfield Plains Elementary schools.