U.S. Sen. Peters visits Baldwin, Ludington during motorcycle tour

By Shanna Avery
Pioneer News Network

BALDWIN — Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters revved into Baldwin on his Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide on Friday morning after five days of traveling through Michigan on his third annual motorcycle tour.

“Every year we visit different areas in Michigan on the motorcycle tour,” Peters said. “This gives me time to visit rural areas. I have been an avid motorcyclist from a young age. I have to get from point A to point B, and what better way than a motorcycle?”

During the Senator’s visit in Baldwin, he toured restoration efforts along the Pere Marquette River and its tributaries and recognized the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic River Act, which designated the Pere Marquette on a state and national level. The efforts to restore the river have been supported the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). Peters, a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, has supported fully funding GLRI.

Forest Ranger Jake Lubera (left) and Sen. Gary Peters (right) looked at progress of the culvert project on Forman Road in Lake County on Friday. (Shanna Avery/Pioneer News Network)

Forest Ranger Jake Lubera (left) and Sen. Gary Peters (right) looked at progress of the culvert project on Forman Road in Lake County on Friday. (Shanna Avery/Pioneer News Network)

Peters canoed down the Pere Marquette and visited the Baldwin U.S. Forest Service, where he met with several partners involved with restoration efforts including the Pere Marquette Watershed Council, Conservation Resource Alliance, the Lake County Road Commission, U.S. Forest Ranger Jake Lubera and others. He also toured two culvert projects along the Sanborn Creek, a tributary of the Pere Marquette, along Forman and Broadway roads.

“I’ve been a vigorous advocate of the Great Lakes. Next to the people, the Great Lakes is the most important asset Michigan has. Keeping the tributaries clean and supporting the ecosystem is not only important to the Great Lakes, but to the local economies,” he said. “We want to fight to keep funding restoration initiatives, and we have been successful.

Peters then traveled to Mason County, where he visited Harsco Rail in Ludington, a global supplier for railway track maintenance and construction. Peters discussed how investments in short line railroads can boost America’s global economic competitiveness and create jobs. Short line railroads are regional railroad lines that often serve small manufacturers, farmers, and other businesses, helping get their goods and products to market.

“Michigan is strategically located to be a transportation and logistics hub, and suppliers like Harsco Rail are working every day to provide high quality products to repair and improve vital railways,” said Peters. “I’m working to ensure short line railroads and the businesses they serve have long-term certainty to make critical investments to upgrade their tracks, strengthen our rail infrastructure and help grow our economy.”

Along with supporting the Great Lakes, Peters said he is focused on legislation regarding veterans, increasing broadband internet access in rural areas and expanding opportunities for students in career and technical education.

“It is a major focus of mine to expand programs so people can get skills needed for the many open positions in trade careers such as welding, plumbing, carpentry and electrical,” he said. “There is a long list of jobs opening which pay very well and generate good income. This legislation will facilitate high school counselors to help students look at skilled trades as options instead of just pushing folks to go through four-year programs.”

Peters also is pushing for a bipartisan bill to combat the opioid crisis, with specific focus on treating addiction in adolescents.

“The opioid crisis is impacting everywhere in the state,” he said. “It is a public health crisis. I am working to provide more federal money to local communities to provide measures to help treat substance abuse. There is a treatment which is using other drugs to ween addicts off opioids, but these drugs aren’t addictive and they counteract symptoms. It is considered one of the best treatments, but it was accessible to only people 18 and older, not adolescents.

“I have been working with the medical community, and they confirmed there is no medical reason why adolescents can’t access this treatment. It passed in the Senate to allow physicians to use this treatment on adolescents.”

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