Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Region Watch · New Park Idea
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New Park Idea

- April 21st, 2005
Builder Gary Keyes is floating the idea of a new park for Traverse City on a choice parcel of land on M-72 overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay behind Tom‘s Market.
The 16-acre property has been in Keyes‘ family for several generations and has historical significance as well as a view. The land is the former site of the Smith Sanitarium, which was Traverse City‘s first hospital before burning down in 1915. Destruction of the Sanitarium prompted Dr. James Decker Munson to construct a 22-bed general hospital at the corner of 11th and South Elmwood Ave., which evolved into the region‘s largest medical center over the years. Keyes still has photos of the city‘s original hospital in his family‘s collection.
Keyes has been having some informal talks with city officials, concurrent with real estate appraisers. Ideally, he‘d like to see the land used as a park overlooking the bay. Combined with adjoining wetlands, such a park would encompass about 20 acres.
“I‘m putting my best foot forward, but that doesn‘t mean it‘s going to happen,“ he notes. “I‘m trying to make the effort in memory of my parents and grandparents.“
He estimates the property is worth about $3 million and notes that it is the last large piece of land overlooking the bay in the city.
“I‘d like to see it used possibly as a park, but if not, then some developer from Chicago could buy it,“ Keyes says.
Keyes hopes to take his idea to the Traverse City Commission and Parks & Rec Board this summer for discussion. Beyond that stage, purchase of the land for a park would require a citywide vote.

So long, Death Tax
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland) voted last week to put the final nail in the coffin for the so-called Death Tax.
“Dying should not mean higher taxes and less inheritance for family members,” said Camp, a senior member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. “Killing the Death Tax means farmers and small business owners will be able to pass on their operations to younger generations without the fear of the government taking it away.”
Prior to 2001, Camp notes in a release, the top Death Tax rate was 55%, with some taxpayers paying a 60% marginal rate. Today the top rate is 47%. While the tax was being phased out in 2010, unless Congress acted the taxation would reappear in 2011. Camp says permanent repeal of the tax will ensure that small businesses and family farms are not subject to unfair rates of taxation.
He adds that studies have shown that the Death Tax is the leading cause of dissolution for most small businesses. It is estimated that 70 percent of businesses never make it past the first generation because of Death Tax rates and 87 percent do not make it to the third generation. The tax is also an inefficient revenue raiser and accounting for barely one percent of federal revenue.
The measure passed the House and will now head to the Senate. Despite being rejected by the upper chamber in previous years, it is expected to pass this time.
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