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Letters 6/27/11

- June 27th, 2011
Oil & economics
The whole issue of petroleum, oil and hydrocarbons seems to bring a lack
of understanding of basic economics.
In a recent letter to the editor the author states that we get most of our
imported oil from other than the Middle East. He insists we therefore
should not have to pay what is the world market price because we are
buying from neighbors.
Apparently he has not purchased apples in the fall, rented a motel on a
summer weekend or ridden the ferry to Mackinaw Island. The market price of
things is set by demand and commodity availability, including delivery
capacity.
Further this author points out that oil is traded on the commodities
exchanges “where investors buy low and sell high.” Pretty naive to believe
that investors only buy low and sell high on the exchanges.
Commodity exchanges are a zero sum trading environment where every dollar
made is a dollar lost. If you make it big because you guessed right,
someone else lost big because they were on the other side of the trade.
How much can we endure when some continue to spread the same myths as
though they are fact?

William Deneau • TC

Good stuff
I always turn first to the “Spectator” column written by Steve Tuttle. He
is erudite, witty and his topics are well chosen. His latest, “Spinning
Until We’re Woozy” is right on!
Many voters believe the “spin” constantly spewed forth by those who have
committed unconscionable acts. The perpetrators make excuses for their bad
behavior or their votes which are harmful to the very people they are
purported to represent. Too many people blindly accept spin as truth.
Steve has exposed the practice of “spinning” with relevant examples. I
was particularly interested in his comments re: Senator Walker’s recent
votes on education. Senator Walker is helping public education to quickly
become mediocre education, and helping his pals to proclaim, “PRIVATIZE,
SAVE EDUCATION!” (aka: let’s make money on our kids.)
Steve is one of Traverse City’s finest examples of a public schooled
person made good. I’d like to think that his TCAPS public schooling helped
him become the pithy, fine writer and thinker he is today. Welcome home,
Steve, and thanks for your thoughtful columns.
Lynn Larson • TC

Bad behavior
On June 14, at the Leelanau County Commissioners meeting, representatives
from the Leelanau Clean Water Committee (LCWC) presented information from
a report entitled “TOST: Time of Sale or Transfer Program” of septic
systems and wells http://www.barryeatonhealth.org published by the
Barry-Eaton Health Department. Representatives provided this report so
that commissioners could learn how inspections of septic systems on point
of sale or transfer can result in a significant reduction in the flow of
illicit sewage.
Commissioners learned that over a three year period, 2,297 sewage
evaluations occurred in these two counties and found 602 faulty systems.
The repair or replacement of these deficient systems resulted in an
estimated reduction of 26.7 million gallons of illicit discharge into the
lakes, streams and wetlands in these two counties.
How did the Leelanau Commissioners respond to this data? Were they
grateful for the information? Were they civil to the presenters? On the
contrary, attendees reported that commissioners reacted with snide
remarks, interruptions, an unflattering reference to the Benzie-Leelanau
Health Department director and disparaging comments about Barry and Eaton
counties.
The commissioners apparently are unwilling to entertain any information
that favors new septic regulations – even when the data is relevant and
well researched. Their closed door approach to this issue as well as
their penchant for “attacking the messenger” when they disagree with
information being reported were on full display at the 6/14/11 meeting.
Leelanau residents deserve greater professionalism from their elected
officials.

Celeste Crouch • Glen Arbor
 
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