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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


FIRST OFF, A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JERRY MOORE, AKA BISKIT! And thanks for including my “snowmobile trail” info on your website!

ONLY TWO BUSINESS DAYS LEFT IN THE MONTH! I guess that means I better get my license plate tabs SOON before the State of Michigan government shuts down! Do you realize what a HUGE impact that will have if it does happen??? And who knows how long it could last?? WHAT AN EMBARRASSMENT TO US MICHIGANDERS! As far as I know, this has only happened one other time in the U.S. and that was in New Jersey.

I am copying an email here that I received (and I’m sure many others received) from Senator Buzz Thomas. I believe his district is Wayne County so how I got on his mailing list I don’t know, but I’m glad I am.

To the voters of Michigan I want you to know that if our government does shutdown I will not accept a salary. It is my belief that individual citizens who have put their faith in lawmakers to make decisions should be held harmless from lawmakers unable to make decisions. The constitution of Michigan requires legislators to do one thing, and that is enacting a balanced budget. I close the door to no possible remedies that will hold innocent citizens harmless.

I'm encouraged that legislative leaders and the governor are meeting well into the night. We are having comprehensive discussions on the appropriate size of Michigan government, specific reforms to adjust our structural budget problems, and yes taxes.

I've read with great interest the hundreds of suggestions that I have received from subscribers (and those who wish to unsubscribe : ) and do believe that you, like I know that this problem can be solved. Please know that I do not intend to stop working until we have a real fix to Michigan's budget and I feel empowered to continue to work on necessary reforms, belt tightening, and taxes.

I also received another email from him in response to a suggestion I had made where the State might find extra funds without increasing any taxes (This suggestion involves the “incentive” that motels, resorts and the like receive if they send in their 6% use tax on time. For our business, it amounts to $18.00 per quarter. My thought is it has already been collected in the form of 6% use tax, aka room tax, get rid of that incentive to pay by such and such a date. The money is due the State, you’ve collected it, PAY IT!). Any way, I digress, here is another email I received from Sen. Buzz;

Thank you for the response and thoughtful suggestion. I have asked my staff to look into it and try to put a number on the "savings."

I would hate to further businesses with increased cost or less incentive, but this does appear to have a rather harmless effect.

Someone raised an issue with me today regarding groundwater discharge fees and how campgrounds are unfairly paying a significant burden. Do you feel that the fees have disproportionately affected your business?

Buzz Thomas

The groundwater discharge fee he is referring to is something that Dan and I have been complaining to OUR district reps since we had to start paying it! We have felt like NO ONE in OUR district has been paying attention to us! Our State campground Association, ARVC, Michigan has gotten involved in this “battle” and have been to Lansing on the behalf of members that this fee affects. For us, we are paying $1500 per year (for the past 4 years) for our sewage lagoon. The rate is “tiered” so some parks pay more. WE are in the same “tier” as a company that discharges up to 9,999 gallons per day, EVERY day of the year. IF we were 100% occupied, we would not even be discharging 5000 gallons per day AND that is only 192 days per year! DOES THIS SEEM FAIR???

I emailed him back with the following:

Thank YOU for the response! As far as I am concerned, this little fee (for us anyway) is something I would gladly give up instead of seeing something else increased.

I AM SO GLAD YOU ASKED ABOUT THE DISCHARGE FEES! Someone cares!!! We currently are paying $1500 per year! We are paying the same as a company that discharges 9,999 gallons per day, 365 days per year! IF we were 100% occupied, we would not even be discharging 5000 gallons per day! AND the campground is only open 192 days per year. With the way the economy is, and the price of gas, people are not traveling to the U.P. Our average daily occupancy over this summer did NOT exceed 32.83%! I have all sorts of info to back up my complaint. ARVC Michigan (our State campground association) is doing their best to help us in Lansing with this outrageous fee. We are already paying a fee to be inspected and for our license and NO ONE spends but a couple of minutes even looking at our lagoon.

I know you are busy so I won't dwell on this but if you want to hear more "out of me" I will be glad to share. I have tried in vain for 4 years to get someone to listen to me and take me seriously on this. We are only a 50 site campground! We just can't afford this fee.

Thank you.

So, the next 48 hours or so in Michigan could be very interesting and/or very disturbing. Hold on to your hats! I think it is gonna be a bumpy ride.

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