An open letter to State Sen. Jason Allen and State Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer:
Daily we see news stories highlighting the shortfall in funding that our community has for schools, for prisons, for law enforcement, for environmental protection, for medical care and hospitals, for park maintenance and for social services.
When Republicans abolished the Single Business tax, Standard & Poors downgraded Michigan, and will downgrade us more, making it even more costly for Michigan. All because you have refused to find some sort of tax structure to fund our states needs!
Remember, tax cuts = service cuts. We have been cut to the bone. Find a service tax, an income tax increase -- something -- to allow for long term planning to get our state back on track. The negative publicity generated by your incalcitrance is hurting efforts to attract new business and to maintain tourism.
Just as our people willingly help those who suffer from the Katrina disasters, we are willing to help our state in its time of need. Lead us to invest in Michigan needs. Then, instead of putting Republican after your names, the people will put statesmen after them.
Gerald R. Klinefelter Kewadin
Cut back on legislators
State Republicans dont want to raise taxes; they want to cut spending. Spending on education, prisons, law enforcement, medical care, roads, etc. have been cut.
I think it is time to cut the salaries of our legislators and their staffs by 25% and eliminate their retirement, health insurance, expense accounts.
Maybe when they have to live like many people in our state do they will be able to solve our budget problem.
Richard R Riker Mackinaw City
New creative approach
In response to Oran Kelleys letter regarding my piece on state arts funding: Indeed, I have read Richard Floridas book The Rise of the Creative Class. I have also heard the author speak in Lansing several years ago on the same bill as Governor Granholm. Far from being opposed to state funding of the arts, as Kelley alleges, Mr. Florida was the keynote speaker at the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs annual meeting.
Kelley is correct that Richard Florida is no fan of arts organizations conducting business as usual. Neither am I. Florida would be a big fan of the creative, entrepreneurial spirit of the Grand Traverse regions arts organizations. He is correct that organizations like symphony orchestras and museums must become less institutionalized and more responsive to whats happening out on the street. This is exactly what the arts in our region have been doing for years. And its working. Far from seeing our audience decline, for example, during the past five years the Traverse Symphony Orchestras concert season has grown from a total of seven concerts to 15, and annual attendance has more than doubled.
Mr. Kelley doesnt seem to have been to a Traverse Symphony Orchestra concert in the recent past, but if he did, he would discover we are anything but a business as usual organization.
Im a fan of coffee shops, bookstores, galleries, as well as museums, symphonies and ballet. And the good news is that Traverse City has them all. Lets figure out how to keep them growing and thriving!
Andy Buelow TC
More on MySpace
I think Molly Willette-Green misunderstood what Mrs. Szydlowski was saying about the MySpace issue (Letters 5/3). She never said the girl in question had a MySpace account that was hijacked. Her
friends made a fake profile and used it to antagonize and defame others. The girl had never even used MySpace before and when she came back to school she found that everyone thought the profile was hers and that she had been saying nasty things about her classmates, when she did not even have Internet access.
It is good that Ms. Szydlowski wants parents to be involved in their childrens‘ Internet lives. If you are the parent of someone under the age of 18, please, be pro-active and keep an eye on your childs affairs on the Internet. You never know who they are speaking to, what they are posting, or who is seeing it. The Internet is a great resource, but MySpace is nearly unmonitored. Self-reporting does not always make a safe environment, as Molly Willette-Green seems to think.
Ms. Willette-Green is right about MySpaces privacy options. Please ask that your children to make their profile private if they MUST have a MySpace account. Parents shouldnt expect programmers and good souls on the Internet to keep an eye on their children; parents must also take a role, because until that child is 18 years
old, its not only their moral duty, its their legal responsibility as a guardian of that childs welfare. To teenagers it may seem like Mom and Dad are trying to police them, but to parents, safety should be the number one priority.
Ms. Szydlowski never asked that parents be the cyber police, she just asked that MySpace accounts be registered in a more thorough way so that children cannot exploit them to harass each other both at school and at home. Where children used to be able to escape bullying when they entered their front door, the Internet has given bullies a new reach into their lives.
Amanda Thomas Cadillac
War & profits
To whom are we fighting against? How can we win over an imaginary enemy?
The U.S. war in Iraq has gone on unchecked long enough. Its time for a change; throwing more money at the same failed strategy will only lead to more death and devastation without bringing Iraq any closer to stability and peace.
Maybe someone is making huge profits out of the war.
Kyo Takahashi Roscommon