Letters

Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Save The Zoo
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Save The Zoo

Richard Griffin - November 3rd, 2005
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” This statement by an ancient philosopher defines the mission of northern Michigan’s only zoo: the Clinch Park Zoo.
Unfortunately, a city committee, by a vote of 7 to 5, has recommended that the Traverse City Commission close the Clinch Park Zoo next year. If the City Commission accepts this recommendation, the children of the Traverse City region may never again see much of our northern Michigan wildlife. With increasing urbanization, our children are less likely to observe, in the woods, otters, beavers, cougars, lynx, bobcats, wolves, bears, elk, coyotes, and eagles. Without an opportunity to see wildlife, our children are unlikely to understand, love, and conserve these animals.
The seven members of the city committee who voted in favor of closing the zoo have no plans to relocate the zoo and have made no arrangements for the future care of the injured and orphaned animals that currently reside at the Clinch Park Zoo. Although their decision may have been based, in part, on financial considerations, the Clinch Park Zoo expenditures comprise only 3% of the City’s budget. Further, the recommendation ignores the economic impact that the zoo has for Traverse City. The city and downtown benefit greatly from the 110,000 visitors to the zoo every year. Also, 7,500 area school children tour the zoo annually and learn from the educational programs sponsored by northern Michigan’s only zoo.
City residents and visitors love the zoo and enjoy the “spirit of Traverse City” zoo train. That’s why the Clinch Park Zoo was voted “The #1 place to take children” in northwest Michigan (Record Eagle - What’s Up North Survey, May 24, 2002). In a recent telephone survey, only 1 % of city residents considered the zoo “the single most important issue the City must address in the next year.”
Save Our Zoo Now! Our children and the injured and orphaned animals of the Clinch Park Zoo need your help. Don’t wait until the gates are closed forever.

Richard Griffin is a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He is a native of Traverse City and the past president of the 475-member Grand Traverse Zoological Society. Judge Griffin currently serves as a member of its Board of Directors.
 
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