Letters 10-17-2016

Here’s The Truth The group Save our Downtown (SOD), which put Proposal 3 on the ballot, is ignoring the negative consequences that would result if the proposal passes. Despite the group’s name, the proposal impacts the entire city, not just downtown. Munson Medical Center, NMC, and the Grand Traverse Commons are also zoned for buildings over 60’ tall...

Keep TC As-Is In response to Lynda Prior’s letter, no one is asking the people to vote every time someone wants to build a building; Prop. 3 asks that people vote if a building is to be built over 60 feet. Traverse City will not die but will grow at a pace that keeps it the city people want to visit and/or reside; a place to raise a family. It seems people in high-density cities with tall buildings are the ones who flock to TC...

A Right To Vote I cannot understand how people living in a democracy would willingly give up the right to vote on an impactful and important issue. But that is exactly what the people who oppose Proposal 3 are advocating. They call the right to vote a “burden.” Really? Since when does voting on an important issue become a “burden?” The heart of any democracy is the right of the people to have their voice heard...

Reasons For NoI have great respect for the Prop. 3 proponents and consider them friends but in this case they’re wrong. A “yes” vote on Prop. 3 is really a “no” vote on..

Republican Observations When the Republican party sends its presidential candidates, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people with a lot of problems. They’re sending criminals, they’re sending deviate rapists. They’re sending drug addicts. They’re sending mentally ill. And some, I assume, are good people...

Stormy Vote Florida Governor Scott warns people on his coast to evacuate because “this storm will kill you! But in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Florida’s voter registration deadline be extended because a massive evacuation could compromise voter registration and turnout, Republican Governor Scott’s response was that this storm does not necessitate any such extension...

Third Party Benefits It has been proven over and over again that electing Democrat or Republican presidents and representatives only guarantees that dysfunction, corruption and greed will prevail throughout our government. It also I believe that a fair and democratic electoral process, a simple and fair tax structure, quality health care, good education, good paying jobs, adequate affordable housing, an abundance of healthy affordable food, a solid, well maintained infrastructure, a secure social, civil and public service system, an ecologically sustainable outlook for the future and much more is obtainable for all of us...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 7/4/02
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Letters 7/4/02

Various - July 4th, 2002
The Rolling Stones: Not Fade Away

I guess, as we age, we listen and take most of what we hear and read as a comfortable way of a new thought. I was one of the Era of the Stones. In that time they were the fun group, but not -- no not ever the top (re: What a Drag It Is Getting Old, Express 6/27).
I can‘t knock them for still rocking as old men. I see them as doing their trade, working the stage and having fun.
We all go to a point where we can‘t go any further. Performers have it much more difficult. Why laugh at them because they aren‘t what they were? Inside, they are still the same persons. Performing artists do peak, and then fade.
Who cares who they are in private? Why find fault in a person of former talent who tries again to perform in later years?
Age allows us to go on to our last performance.
Sarcasm is an unneeded way of looking at the history of the Stones. I don‘t beat them up for who they are or were. I question if the author of the article, Nick Gillespie, is of the age that enjoyed the Stones. In my time they were a pop band, as The Beatles. I liked Procal Harem, The Chambers Bros. and Pink Floyd.
Maybe old rock is dead. Would I be in tune to say old reggae is dead and therefore no one listens to Bob Marley or his childhood pal, Bunny Livingston?
The article to me was sad. Sure, music as rock goes on. But the clown that wrote the Stones article smashed Elton John as a queen and Eric Clapton as an ex-smackhead in his total illusion of an era of good time rock & roll -- spouting pure prejudice in a newsprint I enjoy.
I leave it to the reader. As Marley sang, “Judge not.“
John Colvin • TC

Media & Money

No wise or indisputable necessary course of action to defend culture, society and/or human worth was presented by Norman Solomon in his article published in the June 27th Northern Express Weekly (“The Money Media“).
I often find it discouraging to read such articles; entrenching the reader into becoming captivated with the dialogue, only to make it to the last paragraph and be forced to ponder a query.
In light of my reader‘s frustration, and his reiteration of Vance Packard‘s deep concern, I am going to address a plausible answer to the question. (which was, “By encouraging people constantly to pursue the emblems of success, and by causing them to equate possessions with status, what are we doing to their emotions and their sense of values?“)
To carefully study the obvious effectiveness of media conveying to people a message of, “pursuit of the emblems of success... causing them to equate possessions with status,“ and to dichotomously validate, with the aftermentioned “emotion and sense of values,“ the free enterprise system itself, merely through language crafting, is precisely Norman Solomon‘s complaint.
For eventually, through seriously looking at global overpopulation, hopefully, our democracy will revolutionize the plutocratic and oligarchic approach that Mr. Solomon describes, with a course of action wise enough to allow a greater equality within cultures and societies. Human worth, emotion, and sense of values lie there within.
Layman‘s terms: knowledge is power, just as people are human, and to find a balance between, and with, human worth and money is futile at best, unless “the non-existent peons of labor...“
Duane Fox • TC

Getting Burned

The problem with Western national forests, logging industry representatives tell us, is that severe forest fires are burning because our forests have been left unmanaged and that environmentalists are holding up much-needed treatments designed to reduce wildfire risks.
Logging advocates conveniently propose to remedy this mismanagement with a massive commercial “thinning“ program across tens of millions of acres of federal lands, ostensibly to protect both forests and nearby homes from severe forest fires.
Unfortunately, there are number of massive logging proposals, disguised as hazardous fuels treatments, that have put environmentalists at odds with the Forest Service. Nearly all of these proposals focus primarily on the removal of mature and old-growth trees. These proposals continue even with overwhelming evidence that commercial logging is more of a problem than a solution.
Ironically, this very type of logging, experts inform us, is likely to increase, not decrease, the frequency and severity of wildland fires.
In the Forest Service‘s own National Fire Plan, agency scientists warned against the use of commercial logging to address fire management. The report found that “the removal of large, merchantable trees from forests does not reduce fire risk and may, in fact, increase such risk.“
Commercial thinning operations leave behind dry twigs and limbs, cause rapid growth of flammable shrubs and weeds, and reduce forest canopy closure, creating hotter, drier conditions on the ground.
Likewise, the Forest Service‘s proposals to do intensive logging deep into the forest -- far from any home -- is likely to put homes at greater risk of burning.
What environmentalists are hoping to do is bring some common sense back to fuel reduction treatments by redirecting the Forest Service‘s energies and resources to where the treatments will do the most good: immediately adjacent to homes and within communities in the wildland-urban interface.
The fact is that forests burn. In most cases, larger wildfires can‘t be stopped by human intervention, even where areas have been treated, because the primary factors that drive a fire are lack of moisture, heat, wind and weather. However, fire researchers have shown us that we can protect our homes and communities by establishing “defensible space.“
Fire is an essential, natural and necessary part of forest ecology. Many species of trees can only reproduce after fires occur. Wildland fires burn underbrush and return important nutrients to the soil.
In the end, we as a society must decide whom we trust more to implement fire management on our national forest system: logging advocates or scientists.
We can end commercial logging on our national forests and shift to true, science-based ecological restoration, as HR1494, the National Forest Protection and Restoration Act, would do.
Or, we can continue to allow misguided logging advocates to destroy ecosystems and increase severe fires on federal lands -- all at
taxpayer expense.
The choice is ours.

René Voss • Public Policy Director , John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute.

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