Letters

Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...

CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS 

A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 7/19/07
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Letters 7/19/07

- July 19th, 2007
Safe Passage fundraiser
For many of us, issues of poverty and social injustice in the world seem overwhelming. It’s not often that we find an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of impoverished children in far away places - places like the slums of Guatemala City.
An ever growing number of people in the Traverse area have found just such an opportunity by becoming involved in Great Lakes Friends of Safe Passage.
Safe Passage is an extraordinary program in Guatemala started by one young woman who was courageous enough to act boldly when she saw suffering. Safe Passage is now an internationally recognized non-profit working to improve the lives of impoverished families living on the periphery of Guatemala City’s enormous garbage dump.
Safe Passage was founded by Hanley Denning, a young educator from Maine who traveled to Guatemala in 1999 to learn Spanish. In response to what she saw, she sold her belongings and used the modest proceeds to found a program to help children foraging in the dump to attend school.
Safe Passage has grown to now serve nearly 600 children per year, from preschool to high school, providing tutoring, school supplies, nutritional support, a health clinic, and other services which help children receive an education and break out of generational poverty. Within a safe environment, every child participates in an integrated program that fosters optimism, good health, educational achievement, self esteem, and confidence.
Tragically, last January, Denning was killed in an automobile accident in Guatemala – leaving everyone who knew her or her story in shock. Since her death, the outpouring of support from people around the world, as well as the determined effort of the board of directors, staff, and volunteers of Safe Passage have allowed service to children to continue uninterrupted.
Traverse area residents have been very involved in keeping Hanley’s vision alive. Over 40 area residents have traveled to Guatemala as volunteers. Students have held coin drives and fundraisers in their schools, local businesses have made donations, children have created artwork to sell, and a student and two professors from Northwestern Michigan College recently returned from a site visit to Guatemala to explore options for developing an educational partnership.
The Great Lakes Friends is hosting a “Summer Fiesta” to benefit the children of Safe Passage. The event, “Journey to Guatemala,” will be held on Tuesday, July 17 at the Hagerty Center on NMC’s Great Lakes Campus, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. It will feature a “virtual visit” to Safe Passage, live music, food and drink, silent and live auctions of Guatemalan arts and crafts, as well as a short film tribute to founder Hanley Denning. Tickets are $25 each, and can be purchased at the door. Come celebrate the power of what can be accomplished when people join together!
More information about Safe Passage is available at www.safepassage.org

Elizabeth Kushman • TC

Drugging kids for profit
Three cheers for activist Ben Hansen’s detective work to expose the shameless overdrugging of Michigan kids with dangerous psychiatric drugs under the approval and authority of the Michigan Department of Community Mental Health, which oversees the Medicaid and foster care programs.
There is a nationwide trend to raid state Medicaid coffers by putting as many people as possible on very expensive anti-psychotics such as Zyprexa. Eli Lilly, the maker of Zyprexa, is currently being sued by the attorney generals of eight states for fraudulently marketing Zyprexa for unapproved uses.
Montana’s suit claims Lilly “instructed its representative to minimize and misrepresent the dangers of Zyprexa, affirmatively and consciously placing company profits above the public safety.” It goes on to state, “This failure to warn was designed and intended to maximize company profits.” Zyprexa has been linked to excessive weight gain and increased diabetes risk.
On March 17, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Ohio doctors prescribed Zyprexa 165,000 times to Medicaid patients in 2006. More than 13,000 of those prescriptions went to kids under 19.
Recently, I spoke to Mark Matus in the Michigan Dept of the Attorney General’s Healthcare Fraud Division and urged him to investigate if Eli Lilly had fraudulently marketed Zyprexa in Michigan. He acknowledged that Michigan Medicaid spends millions of dollars on Zyprexa but seemed unconcerned that there might be any fraud going on. I sent him a package of news articles detailing the basis of these suits again urging him to take action. Info on the many suits involving Zyprexa can be found at www.psychsearch.net//lawsuits.html. I never heard back from Mark Matus, and wonder just what kind of Healthcare Fraud Division is being run under Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.
While Michigan is in a severe budget crunch, there seems to be no lack of our tax dollars available to drug kids with expensive, dangerous psychiatric drugs that are not even approved for use on children in the first place. It’s an outrage.

Ernest Ryan • Temperance


Flaws in the test
Joseph Pasulka’s method for confirming global warming is not as simple as he would lead us to believe (“Simple Test,” June 28).
Comparing temperatures at points around the globe with those recorded in 1907 would be a valid process only if the environments near the measuring devices had not changed.
In a great many locations, the thermometers are now influenced by the heat given off by high density living: homes, buildings, factories, pavement, airports, traffic. A temperature increase since 1907 at a given place is indicative only of local warming, not global warming.
Thermometers located away from population centers may show little change, and in fact there are many areas of the globe (Antarctica for example) that have been experiencing cooling in recent years.

Michael LeButt • Cheboygan

Corrections:
Some date errors occurred in a recent issue as a result of faulty information:
-Charlevoix Art Fair was on July 14-15; not July 7 as previously listed.
-The Frankfort Art Fair is on August 17-18; not July 17-18 as previously listed.

 
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