Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Show some gumption,...
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Show some gumption, Governors

Robert Downes - July 19th, 2007
Show Some Gumption, Governors
Maybe it‘s the nature of the beast, but it sure seems like the National Governors Association (NGA) comes up with some snoozy topics for their annual meetings.
With the war in Iraq consuming our nation‘s resources, New Orleans still a wreck, and the breakdown in the rule of law in the White House and U.S. Justice Department, you‘d think that there would be a historic meeting in Traverse City this week when the NGA comes to town. You‘d think our nation‘s governors would be spreading some hellfire and brimstone.
After all, Michigan is in the fight of its life with a deficit of $800 million, and last week, Pennsylvania‘s financial woes required the shutdown of much of the state‘s government. There are crying domestic issues in America that demand action from our nation‘s governors.
Instead, roughly 35 governors will make their way to the Grand Traverse Resort to focus on “the importance of providing a quality math and science education, helping colleges and universities better prepare the workers of tomorrow and promoting investment in businesses and technologies of the future.“
Ho-hum. Now, science education and helping kids do better at math is a worthy topic, but is this the time and place for it?
Show some gumption, governors. This week you‘ll be showered with samples of our cherry pie and local wines, you‘ll hear endless tales of what a fine vacation paradise we have here in Northern Michigan -- and then you‘ll go home, ejecting all of that booster talk from your heads like the explosive bolts on the space shuttle‘s escape module. Boom!
And the gravest problems of our time will still remain, even though the mission of the NGA is supposed to be to, “identify priority issues and deal collectively with issues of public policy and governance at both the national and state level.“
So do it.
Do our governors really want to improve science and math education for our kids? Well, how about diverting the flood of cash going to the war, for starters?
Our nation has spent nearly $450 billion on a war which has now lasted longer than America‘s involvement in World War II. Soon, the five-year war in Iraq will have eclipsed even the Civil War in duration.
According to the National Priorities Project, which runs a “cost of war“ counter at www.costofwar.com, that $450 billion could have provided more than 21 million Americans with four-year scholarships to public universities. How‘s that for improving science and math in America?
The money blown on Iraq could have paid for more than 58 million kids to attend a year of Head Start programs.
Money sent to Iraq could have employed 7,659,291 additional public school teachers per year in our nation‘s schools.
It could have provided health insurance to the equivalent of 265,000,000 kids.
But suppose we wanted to spend the money in other ways? Michigan‘s share of the loot spent on Iraq would come to more than $11 billion; Pennsylvania‘s share would be nearly $17 billion; and Lousiana would have more than $3 billion to help rebuild New Orleans.
No more potholes, no worries about underfunded schools, or a lack of cops on our streets, if that money came home where it belongs.
So, yes, it would be a fine thing for the governors to talk about science and math education this week. And enjoy our cherries, wines and scenery. But don‘t ignore that long dark shadow falling over your shoulder, guv, because we need you now. America needs you.

Bill Bustance‘s Surprise Visitor
Boxing trainer Bill Bustance got the surprise of a lifetime last week when three guys riding Harley-Davidsons stopped by his Trigger Gym in Traverse City to do a little sparring.
Bill maintains a salon just off his gym, and he finished up some haircuts while his guests threw some punches around. Then, although it was closing time, he stepped in to offer some professional training advice.
One guy, a scrawny older gentleman in full boxing head gear, seemed to need a little extra attention. So Bill, who stands about 6‘ 4“ and has a Marine drill sergeant style of training, gave him the works.
“Look me in the eyes and throw a jab -- hit me! Come on, hit me!“ Bill urged, holding up his pads. The rookie got the same rough encouragement and straight talk that Bill is famous for.
Of course, the guest turned out to be Bob Dylan, who happens to be a big boxing fan.
Did Bill know? “Hell no! I thought he was just some old guy.“
But they had a nice chat and Dylan got a cool Trigger Gym t-shirt for stopping in, giving Bill and his wife Robyn free seats to his Interlochen concert, right up front...

Cherry Festival High-Five
Hats off to the National Cherry Festival, which had the best lineup of concerts ever this year. I heard many comments that the festival staff did a great job with the new layout of the Bayside Stage and food court. And the new beverage tent setup next to the concert stage made for the best jam-packed party ever.
With that said, it also felt like some of the old community spirit has gone out of the balloon, due to the cancellation of some of the “hands on“ stuff of the past.
Remember when the Captain from KHQ used to emcee the “Milk Carton Regatta“? I recall that wacky boat race of locals being one of the best things about the festival in years gone by. And what happened to the tug-of-war?
It was a mistake to get rid of the Heritage Parade, because all of those old farmers on their jaunty old tractors produced a warm, fuzzy feeling. That was the heartwarming spirit of the Cherry Festival on parade -- a good thing in a small town farm festival.
What‘s the secret of the best festivals on earth, like Rio‘s Carnival or Mardi Gras? They get thousands of people involved in wacky, corny, fun things -- things we‘re missing now, like the old Milk Carton Regatta.
So again, an A-plus grade to the Cherry Festival for the great new layout and spectacular concerts, but also a plea to bring back some of the warm-fuzzy stuff... and a place to wash your hands at the food court, please.
 
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