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Posts tagged: Bunker Hill

Bunker Hill Mine To Be Sold?

When the Bunker Hill Mine closed down in the mid-1980s, it left an economic void in the Silver Valley. The tides may be turning, however — Colorado-based Galena Mineral Resources Group has signed an option agreement to purchase 100 percent of the mine, which could very well reverse the financial hit residents and businesses took when it closed. With the news of the purchase, long-time Silver Valley residents and business owners are hopeful that the county’s economic slump is easing. “If it’s true,” said Dale Lavigne of Lavigne Drug Group, “my take is that it’s great for the community.” In fact, he said, he’d be elated if it reopened. Based on current metals prices, there’s no doubt in his mind that it’d be successful/Zac Failla & Kelsey Saintz, Shoshone News-Press. More here. (SR file photo of old Bunker Hill smoke stacks)

Question: Do you or your family have a history with Silver Valley mining?

Ex-Bunker Hill Villain Now A Tory

Item: Ex-Bunker Hill exec enters British politics: Rowland, now living in Britain, blamed for collapse of Bunker Hill pension fund in 1990s/Becky Kramer, SR

More Info: The man accused of stripping millions of dollars from health insurance funds for retirees of the Bunker Hill Mine and Smelter in the early 1990s has resurfaced as the treasurer of Britain’s Conservative Party. David John Rowland and another executive allegedly transferred nearly $200 million worth of Bunker Hill assets overseas when Rowland was chief executive officer of Gulf Resources and Chemical Co. Instead of paying for pensioners’ health insurance and environmental cleanup in Idaho’s Silver Valley, the money went into New Zealand real estate, a British retail chain, a Scottish castle and sunken treasure in the Arabian Sea, according to a later lawsuit.

Question: Is there a life’s lesson here re: an individual like Rowland who helped rob from pensioners to enrich high rollers now landing a gig as a Tory treasurer?

Bunker Hill Landscape Healing

In the early 1970s, Kellogg’s bleak backdrop reminded Ed Pommerening (pictured) of Vietnam. Bare hills rising from the historic mining town bore an eerie resemblance to the napalmed jungles the young forester saw during his stint as an Army ranger. Not a single tree, huckleberry bush or tuft of grass grew on the hillsides. Corrosive soil killed anything that sprouted. The ruined landscape was the legacy of decades of emissions from the Bunker Hill Lead Smelter and Zinc Plant. When Pommerening was hired as the company’s forester, an executive told him, “You’re going to make all these hillsides green.” Over the next 20 years, Pommerening replanted 7,000 acres of trees with the help of high school students, blanketing the hills with conifer seedlings/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Do you recall how the hillsides around Kellogg looked three or four decades ago?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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