In the News

Widespread environmental violations at WI frac sand mines

Almost 20% of Wisconsin's 70 operating frac sand mines and processing plants were cited for environmental violations in 2012, according to data obtained by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. 80 to 90 percent of sand industry operators were issued letters of noncompliance, a reversal of the typical statistics for a regulated industry, according to DNR air management engineer Marty Sellers.

WNPJ members write in local media

A sample of letters written by WNPJ members in the local media. Please click on titles to see the entire stories.

Nancy Giffey: What next after nuns' sanctions? The Capital Times, 12/26/12

Mitzi L. Duxbury: Tax guns annually, just like vehicles. The Capital Times, 1/7/13

Kevin Corrado: Natural burials are another choice. Wisconsin State Journal. 1/21/13. Kevin Corrado is with the Farley Center for Peace, Justice & Sustainability, a WNPJ member group.

Al Gedicks and Dave Blouin: Mining dangers. Isthmus, 1/24/13. Al Gedicks is the executive secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, a WNPJ member group.

Dr. Ann T. Behrmann and Dr. Robert Block: Include health effects in mining bill. Wisconsin State Journal, 2/22/13. Dr. Behrmann and Dr. Block are with the Physicians for Social Responsibility - Wisconsin, a WNPJ member group.

Patricia Hammel: Jobs from mine will be limited, if it is even built. Wisconsin State Journal, 2/23/13. Patricia Hummel is with National Lawyers Guild - Madison Chapter, a WNPJ member group.

From energy policy to sick leave: WNPJ members in the news

WNPJ member groups are taking action, speaking out and making a difference across Wisconsin! If you've made the news, let us know at

Save Our Unique Lands (SOUL) co-filed "a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to try to halt the Wisconsin link ... of CapX2020, a series of more than 700 miles of high-voltage transmission lines from the Dakotas to Wisconsin," reported the Wisconsin State Journal.  (Photo, left: SOUL members discuss energy policy with state Sen. Shilling.)

GTac's proposal: Not your grandparents' mine

"Take a moment to think about Northern Wisconsin’s Penokee Hills. Picture the vast swath of forested ridges, the shady glens where pristine water flows from headwaters springs," WNPJ member Eric Hansen writes for Milwaukee Public Media.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also carried a version of Hansen's column.

GTac's proposed open-pit iron mine would not be "a mine our grandparents would recognize, a minor incision. This is the new style mining -- a mountaintop removal mine project that would turn a unique part of Northern Wisconsin into a West Virginia-like Land of Sorrow."

WNPJ members in the news

WNPJ members and their work are making news across the state:

  • "We are talking about a form of discrimination that the public schools are condoning, [the] school district is condoning and that [is] teaching generation after generation of our children to tolerate stereotyping," explained Barb Munson, co-secretary of the WNPJ Board (left, with Winona LaDuke).  She was responding to Mukwonago residents' request that the state Supreme Court strike down the law that established a complaint process for race-based logos and mascots, in an attempt to keep their "Indian Chief" mascot.
  • "The Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability outside Verona has been helping farmers of color, especially those with Hmong and Latino backgrounds, with the process of starting CSAs," or community supported agriculture programs, reported the Isthmus.  For more information and to sign up for the CSA, visit the Farley Center website.
  • "Every year, the choir sounds great, and every year I assume they have a few people like me in it," WNPJ member and former staffer Steve Burns told the Wisconsin State Journal about his first time participating in Madison's Martin Luther King Jr Community Choir.
  • Alliance for Animals' Rick Bogle spoke out against the requirement that Dane County land be open to animal trapping.  "A very few of us want to go out and set traps," he told the Wisconsin State Journal. "We think the mandate is biased and undemocratic."

Hundreds attend Save Our Water - No Unsafe Mines rally

Saturday's rally in support of clean water, treaty rights, Wisconsin's "prove it first" mining safeguards and a healthy, sustainable economy drew hundreds of people to the state Capitol.

"The bill that's before the legislature now sets a very dangerous precedent for our state's environmental laws," WNPJ's Carl Sack told WXOW from La Crosse.  Other media covering the rally included WORT 89.9 FM, the Badger Herald and Daily Cardinal.

In related news, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows that supporters of mining deregulation gave Governor Walker $11.34 million and state legislators $4.25 million since 2010.

Photo:  Members of the Bad River Tribe address the crowd at the state Capitol on January 26.  Click here to see other pictures from the rally.

Voces de la Frontera named most valuable grass-roots group

John Nichols chose WNPJ member group Voces de la Frontera as the most valuable grass-roots group in his 2012 most valuable progressives list. In addition to their work to organize and defend immigrant workers, Nichols cites their work with anti-war and gay rights groups, defense of public workers, campaign to overturn the voter ID law, and fight a discriminatory redistricting plan. Read the article here.

Capitol police have protester watch list

Members of the Solidarity Sing Along, a WNPJ member group, and other protesters at the Capitol noticed that the Capitol Police were taking notes as they observed the noontime protests. The Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative filed an open records request and obtained a list of Sing Along participants maintained by the police.

"This looks llike a blacklist to me of people who are exercising their constitutional rights," says state Rep. Chris Taylor, who participates in the Sing Along and is included on the list. "The fact that they’re spending time tracking with this level of detail, monitoring people who are just showing up at the Capitol with sign or to sing a song, it absolutely ridiculous." Read the article here.

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