Letters

Letters 12-22-2014

Affordable Housing Alternatives In Scott Hardy’s opinion piece in the December 15 edition, he offered six concrete ideas to address the ongoing community discussion about increasing affordable in-town housing in Traverse City.

Powerful Homeless Event Homelessness is far more complex than we thought. “Everyone Has a Story—Sit and Share Our Bench” was a wondrous performance Sunday, December 7, that opened my eyes to a wide range of experiences with homelessness, bridging the gap between “us and them.”

Long-Lasting Effects of Measles I understand several cases of measles have occurred in Traverse City. I also became aware that in Michigan, persons are three times less likely to be immunized.

Changing The Electoral College Republicans are thinking about changing how Michigan allocates Electoral College votes. Michigan, like all but two states, gives all of its electoral votes to the statewide winner of the popular vote.

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The culprit for skyrocketing energy costs

George Foster - May 11th, 2006
We should all be outraged. The cost of heating our houses has skyrocketed, gasoline is $3 per gallon and rising, and the U.S. is now dependent on foreign oil for 60% of our energy needs. Someone needs to take the fall for this scandal but who?
How about retail gas stations, oil companies, and others in the oil industry taking some responsibility for a change. Damn those price gougers. My heating bills tripled last winter over what I had ever paid previously. Of course, after remodeling recently, I doubled the size of our house. My wife and I needed four bedrooms and three baths in case family ever visits. To compensate, we do turn off most of our lights at night in order to do our part to save energy.
Auto owners of gas-guzzlers should also take much of the blame. You all know who you are and ought to be ashamed. Admittedly, my wife and I own four cars – but only one slurps fuel at a rate under 10 miles per gallon. With 160,000 miles logged, my 3/4-ton pickup shouldn’t be counted against us - we don’t drive it every day. Our other vehicles run at 20-plus miles per gallon (I think). To support conservation efforts in this country, we are also thinking of selling one of the cars. After all, it is mathematically impossible for my wife and I to drive more than two cars at a time.
The Bush administration should receive much of the blame. We were tricked into voting an administration into office that has let the oil industry set the energy policy for our country. Okay, it is true we all knew that Bush and Chaney were former oil executives. Also, they were up-front about their view that the answer to our energy woes was to drill for more oil and gas in ecologically sensitive areas. Otherwise, how could Americans have dreamed that this administration would not embrace windmills, solar power, and all sources of alternative energy?
Auto manufacturers are maybe the most despicable of all – I also blame them. When I moved into my current residence, 15 miles from work, I purchased vehicles based on gasoline prices of about $1.25 per gallon. The auto companies didn’t even hint that prices could rise to levels that might be cost prohibitive to drive their products hundreds of miles every day. Now my wife and I are constantly filling the tanks of our vehicles for $3 per gallon. @#$%*&. Talk about selfishness, car companies know I don’t pay much attention to fuel efficiency. Yet, these criminals still try to sell me gas-guzzlers that threaten me with financial ruin.
When I finally got the picture of the looming energy crisis, I did purchase a commuting bicycle about a year ago. Ironically, I’ve been too busy driving and working to pay for our huge transportation costs. I can’t find the extra time to ride, so my lonely, new bike hasn’t been ridden once.
There is plenty of blame to go around for the high prices of fuel…hey, wait a minute. I know what you are thinking - this energy crisis is really my fault and people like me.
Did I mention that I recycle and keep the temperature in our house below 70 degrees whenever possible?
If not for progressive thinkers like you and me, this energy crisis might be far worse. But what are we going to do about less enlightened fellow citizens?
 
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