Mining – CRUSH Independence

A headline with a double meaning

Hi-Crush Proppants is a mining company. Independence is a town in Wisconsin’s Trempealeau County. The mining company “Crush” aims to take over Independence and force the city to annex a neighboring township so they can go ahead with plans for their $80 million mine.

Hi-Crush Proppants has been working for more than a year to get approval to build an $80 million, 700-acre mine and processing center in the Town of Lincoln. At the end of August, the Trempealeau County Board passed a moratorium that blocks any new sand facility from being approved for one year.Wis. Public Radio News

So…”Crush” the County Board and just take it over

Because county zoning rules don’t apply to cities and villages, Hi-Crush won’t have to abide by the moratorium if it’s annexed.

The symbolic crushing of Independence – corporate take over of a small town – speaks to all that is America.

Proposed annexation (land grab) of 622,797 acres

The blue grid shows the Independence land grab
The red grid shows the Whitehall land grab
The purple grid shows the rail corridor
whitehall_annex2

Notice how the Trempealeau River is the black blotch on the map, and is barely visible.

Notice how the red grid and the blue grid meet in the center of the track bed of the Green Bay and Western Railroad

Why is the map formatted in this way?

Because it is not really a map at all, it is a target for takeover. It marks the bulls-eye for the arrow of a bully. It minimizes and erases the people, places, and things that have grown and developed in and around the mine’s Machiavellian master plan for hundreds of years. This is my home town.

There is a beautifully restored City Hall in Independence, and I can remember when my Dad, Len Kern, was on the City Council in the 1960’s when weeks of planning and debate preceded the draining and dredging of Bugle Lake or the construction of a new sewer system along with the reconstruction of the main street. Months of campaigning and debate proceeded a shift in school district boundaries, or the long anticipated construction of the new high school. All of these projects combined would would not effect the lives of the community so much as a ripple in the sand when compared to the double annexation of 622,797 acres for a $80 million project for Crush. Yet, they expect it to happen with the strike of a pen, in just a few weeks? Who do they think they are? What is the rush? The sand has been beneath the fertile fields of Lincoln Township for thousands of years, and it must come out in just a few weeks? It just doesn’t make any sense.

The tactics are wrong for “Independence”

Another double meaning. The “Crush” tactics are wrong for any independent community and for the City of Independence. Years of discussion, fund raising, and volunteer work preceded the restoration of the Independence City Hall.

For nearly a hundred years,Independence the clock tower standing proudly at the top of the Independence City Hall has kept its faithful vigil. But, the tower and the building are more than just a structure from the past. Since 1903, when the unique building was completed, it has been a proud landmark for the small city of Independence. The Wisconsin State Historical Society has called it “The most visible outstanding government building in Trempealeau County”.

In 1997, the City and The Friends of City Hall, with pride and determination, made a commitment to restore this historical landmark and coax it back to its once genteel days. Volunteers have raised tens of thousands of dollars and donated countless hours to help restore the historic landmark.Independence City Hall

If “Crush” intends to manipulate the long established democratic government in order to push and bully there mining operation into the heart of the countryside surrounding Independence, Wisconsin, I don’t think the company really understands the people who live and work there – and that is not the least bit surprising.

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