Apparently the budget, crime, and infrastructure problems of River City aren't enough to keep Big Sister, a.k.a. Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, busy. So he wandered over to Spring Lake last week to complain to the U.S. Coast Guard about its plan to designate practice firing ranges on the Great Lakes.
The purpose of the new ranges is provide machine gun training to crews of Coast Guard vessels that patrol the boundary waters between the U.S. and Canada to deter jihadists from entering the country via the Great Lakes. Apparently border security isn't high on Big Sister's list of concerns, because he demanded that the Coast Guard cease weapons training on the Great Lakes. He claimed that he was gravely concerned about how the lead from spent ammunition could poison our water quality.
Interesting, because Big Sister doesn't have this concern about the thirteen tons of lead (along with a 26,000-ton potpourri of soil contaminated with arsenic, mercury, and other poisons) that the Boardwalk developers dumped into the abandoned underground tanks of the old Monroe Avenue water filtration plant back in 2000. In fact, this self-proclaimed guardian of our water quality has had nothing to say about this egregious violation of state and federal environmental statutes. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that, as a city commissioner, Heartwell supported the city's sale of the filtration plant to one of the Boardwalk developers to "store" soil in the abandoned tanks.
Or maybe it has to do with then-City staffer Corky Overmeyer (and now Big Sister's $150,000-a-year "environmental sustainability" manager) ordering the developers to punch huge holes into the bottoms of those tanks, which has allowed over the past six years all that lead, arsenic, and mercury to leach into the groundwater below and migrate into the Grand River only one hundred yards away.
Whatever his excuse, is it really too much to ask of Big Sister to pick the poison that matters to the residents of Grand Rapids? Probably. Just one more example of Heartwell's sanctimony about every topic under the sun except the ones he has responsibility for and can fix.