Three years after the July 25, 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill, this tragedy holds important warning signs for communities and municipal and state governments. Oil pipelines now crisscross the entire country, running through Midwestern states that are not oil producers but have become oil transit zones. Many of them already carry Canadian Tar Sands oil.

On Sunday, July 14, a group of state and national environmental organizations intend to bring the two lines out of the depths at a noon rally in St. Ignace, Michigan. The goal of “The Oil & Water Don’t Mix Rally”, say organizers, is twofold. The first is to define the potential risks of a leak or rupture to the Great Lakes, the largest body of clean surface freshwater in North America. The second, more ambitious, is to clarify the role that Enbridge and its customers are playing in expanding the transport and processing of a gusher of oil and natural gas under development on the American and Canadian Great Plains, and from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada.

Reading a Bonnie Jo Campbell book is like sitting down for a cuppa, or a cold one, with your very best gal pal. You can let loose and relax, kick off your shoes, loosen your girdle, because she does, her story does, the way it weaves in and around you and floats you along, easy, easy. Just like a river.