Items of Interest

Detroit, Mich., and all American and Canadian cities on both sides of the Detroit River from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie have received notice of the recommendations of the engineer for the international joint commission, composed of representatives of the governments of the United States and Canada, that sewage purification plants be built to eliminate pollution of the boundary waters between the United States and the Dominion. To carry out the recommendations will require an expenditure of approximately ten million dollars by Detroit, Windsor, and six small villages that line the two shores. Other recommendations are made for the construction of purification plants at Port Huron, Mich., Sarnia, Ont., and three other small Michigan towns on the St. Clair River. These last named recommendations, however, are not made with a compulsory intent, as are those regarding Windsor, Detroit, and the cities below those two towns on the Detroit River. The engineer estimates that the plant for Detroit, one to care for a city of 950,000 persons, would cost $5,932,024. To protect the city, the Detroit council appropriated $15,000 for the retention of an engineer to make a survey of its contribution to the pollution of the waters, and the city is expected to proceed without demurring in carrying out the recommendations, because the report of its own engineer tallies so nearly with that of the commission's expert.

A forest products laboratory is maintained at Madison, Wis., by the United States Government to promote efficiency in the lumber industry by the reclamation of part of the present waste. The National Lumber Manufacturers' convention, which came there to inspect the plant following the recent Chicago convention, were treated during their visit to biscuits made with a cheap baking powder, a sawdust product, instead of the usual tartaric acid baking powder. Improvements have been made in the methods of converting mill waste into artificial silk, and last year silk socks to the value of $5,500,000 were produced. The laboratory is also turning sawmill waste into binding twine, rope, woven furniture of the woven willow type, milk bottles, woven matting rugs, the strongest paper made from the waste of southern pine, grain alcohol, acetic and other standard acids and chemicals. The national association has asked Congress to add $75,000 to the present $140,000 appropriation for the laboratory.

The all-year schools of Newark, N. J., are commended in a special report by the specialist in city school administration of the Bureau of Education, Department of the Interior. He finds that time is saved and street loafing is largely prevented by eliminating the long summer vacation. The children in Newark who have attended school for the past year or two on the all-year school plan, speak enthusiastically of it. The bureau investigator asked the pupils in the seventh and eighth grades to write compositions telling why they attended school during the summer. Nearly all the pupils stated that the schoolroom was much cooler than the streets and their rooms at home; that they were glad to have something to do besides running in the streets, and that they hoped to gain a grade or two by the time they were old enough for their work certificates. Parents who were interviewed favored the plan, because their children were able to get more schooling than otherwise was possible.

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"What is written in the law"
June 24, 1916

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