While the world awaits and doubts the much ballyhooed evidence of Iraq‘s Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Northern Express reports that two Traverse related Catholic Sisters, Carol Gilbert and Ardeth Platte opened up one Weapon of Mass Destruction in Colorado. (“Harsh Justice,“NE 6/19).
This well-researched, in-depth article by the Express reminds us that the U.S.A. has 530 intercontinental ballistic missiles, each “with a destructive power 20 times that of the bomb that obliterated Hiroshima in l945.“
The “no nuke nuns“ remind us that these are not defensive weapons --they don‘t block or shoot down incoming invaders -- they are first-strike weapons.
Mr. Bush, who talked nuclear during the war on Iraq, is investing an initial $15 million for research on mini-nukes.
In detailing the nuns‘ story, the Express provides citizens with information for “a choice“ (protest and don‘t pay for war) “not an echo“ (go along with so called leadership).
Tom Shea Traverse City
A total insult
The Bush-run IRS has a photo on the front of the IRS‘s homepage -- it‘s a picture of an infant climbing around stacks of cash. It is an effort to tout the Bush administration‘s tax cut.
The ironies of this are amazing.
First and foremost, this must be the baby of one of Bush‘s ultra-wealthy pals, because the fact is this tax cut package is skewed almost exclusively to the super-rich (80 percent of taxpayers would receive less than the average $1,083 tax cut Bush promised “average Americans,“ and half would receive $100 or less).
Secondly, and more insultingly, this graphic is on the front of the IRS web site despite the fact that Bush left out millions of people from even receiving the child tax credit. It is as if they want to rub it in the working poor‘s faces. The link even has the nerve to say “Just sit back and think of how you‘ll spend the money.“
Check it out for yourself: http://www.irs.gov
David Sirota via email
David Sirota is spokesman for the minority members of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.
A better BATA
On July 29, 2003 BATA will be asking voters to support a request for continued millage. BATA will cast the issue in terms of non-support or support for public transportation. For many voters the issue is not that simple; they support the idea of public transportation but do not approve of the manner in which it has been offered.
Voters might consider four aspects of public transportation. These are: (1) How many people in the area served by BATA use its services; (2) How does the equipment match ridership demand; (3) What cost is involved in terms of dollars and the use of non-renewable energy resources; and (4) What is the present trend of ridership?
Using BATA‘s ridership report for last year, one may make a calculated estimate of the number of people who use BATA‘s services. That number is 600, or 6 tenths of one percent of the area served by BATA
Cherriot buses weighing 20,000 pounds and seating 24 people have been the choice for the fixed route system. The number of passenger fares per week divided by the number of bus runs per week equals two. That is two people on an average run are picked up somewhere along the line.
The cost of providing a one-way trip is about twelve dollars per passenger. The cost in terms of consuming nonrenewable energy sources is 194,000 gallons of diesel fuel or gasoline. The amount of fuel consumed for each of the number of people using BATA is 194,000 divided by 600, or 320 gallons per year.
Ridership, according to BATA‘s count, was 332,000 in 1999, 392,000 in 2000, 423,000 in 2001 and down to 373,000 in 2002. This trend is continuing in 2003.
Clearly the system put into place by BATA does not serve a broad segment of the area. At the same time it is inefficient and environmentally unfriendly.
Gene Rundell Traverse City
BATAs purpose is to serve you, the people.
Opposition began with fixed routes. Bus size, frequency, loud brakes. Public input meetings were held. Management listened. Buses were downsized, routes split, brakes fixed. Complaints subsided, save a few who would like you to believe the buses are always empty and serve no purpose. These few are not riders and base their observations on a 10 second window of a 30 minute route.
I drive one of those buses and I can tell you they are not always empty. I pick up and drop off as I go. These few wont support the millage and think BATA will continue without it. Not true. Without the millage, BATA will not survive. A giant step backwards for our ever growing community.
Instead of killing BATA, we should all work together to make a system we can be proud of. Attend public input and BATA board meetings. Make suggestions. Management does listen.
Personally, I would like to thank BATA administration and staff for taking in an inexperienced, middle-aged, burned out hairstylist over four years ago. They gave me training and helped me obtain my CDL. They gave me a great job where I get satisfaction every day by helping you, the people.
Christy Penrod via email