Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 8/9/07
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Letters 8/9/07

- August 9th, 2007
The poop on poop
Re: “The Politics of Poop“ series:
Farmers have applied manure to their crop fields as long as there have been animals and crops.
“Livestock manure is often used to build and maintain soil fertility, but it may also be used to improve soil tilth, increase the soil’s water holding capacity and reduce wind and water erosion,” according to the MSU Extension Bulletin. “Manure applications, however, may also cause surface and groundwater pollution if mismanaged.”
The same benefits and detriments can occur with the application of septage sludge to farm fields if mismanaged. After all, human manure is not that different than livestock manure once it is screened.
When farmers apply animal manure to crop fields, to comply with Right to Farm Guidelines, they must:
• keep accurate records;
• have soil tested for existing nutrients;
• have manures nutrients tested;
• calibrate manure spreaders to know how much manure/nutrients are going on the fields;
• know the crop and its nutrient needs so the right amount of manure can be spread.
Michigan State University Extension office works with farmers to make sure the appropriate amounts of manure and/or fertilizer are applied to the crop. The goal is not to waste money or nutrients, but to be environmentally friendly and as efficient as possible.
Spreading septage on farm fields is heavily regulated and permitted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in cooperation with the Northwest Michigan Community Health Agency. MSU Extension works with septage haulers and farmers to apply the right amount of septage for the crop. The septage hauler must follow the same rules as farmers with these additions:
• use only septage taken from homes,
• screen waste to take out paper products;
• have soils tested for existing nutrients;
• be specified distances from water bodies, wetlands, property boundaries, homes and wells;
• incorporate the septage into the ground within six hours of land application;
• have 10 hours of continuing septage education.
Using septage as a fertilizer for crops is like using animal manure for fertilizer. The nutrients and the organic matter are good for the soil and good for the crop. Putting the waste into the ground and utilizing the nutrients and organics is a cost effective way to get rid of the waste. This is the ultimate: reduce, recycle, reuse.
“Sewage sludge has been applied to land in the United States and Europe for over 40 years, with no evidence of associated health problems. Today, almost half of the sewage sludge generated in the United States is land applied,” according to an EPA brochure. Septage is a valuable nutrient that should be utilized and not “thrown” away. Think about it!

Heidi S. Lang, Soil Erosion
Officer • Antrim County

Teach a lesson
Maybe you have a point that written English is all about communication and that we should forgive and forget common errors, but let’s follow that thought through to see where it leads us. (Re: Random Thoughts, 8/2.)
If language is meant for communication, then errors such as erratic capitalization might get in the way of getting ideas across. Punctuation is intended to convey pauses (commas), finality (periods), exclamations (!), and questions (?), among other things. Why not get them right to make meanings clear?
And what about sloppiness in writing? ‘Very unique’? It’s either unique or it isn’t. ‘Drop down’? What other way can it drop? ‘Less people at the Fair’? Sure, you can understand ‘less’, but why not use ‘fewer’ for countable objects? The meaning is clear, I suppose, but the reader comes away feeling the writer (and the editor) was lazy. Shouldn’t written language provide a model for young people just getting started as writers?
Maybe the Express doesn’t care about dropped punctuation and idiosyncratic capitalization, but most publications do. Whether you want the job or not, you are a teacher of English, God help you. So why not accept the responsibility?

Richard Fidler • TC

Ramble on...
In response to: “Ramblings of a full-time musician” in last week‘s Express, I would like say halleluiah to Mr. Greilick for challenging the misconceptions of our local music scene.
As a former musician and the father of a talented young singer who has performed in this region for many years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know and experience some of the finest players in the North. The list runs long, and if there is one common thread weaving through that pool of professionals around here, it’s the fact that they all do their talking on the stage, right where it belongs. For those who choose otherwise, I sure hope they can walk the walk.

Mark Waggener • TC

Don‘t forget local needs
The July 19 letter about Safe Passage, the organization dedicated to the children of the Guatemala City slums, to me exemplifies both thinking and acting globally, as the phrase goes, and is a wonderful effort.
I would just remind readers, though, that we can look in our own backyard to find children and families in need. There are 21,000 children in foster care in Michigan, most as a result of abuse and neglect. Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan serves about 400 of them annually.
A 2003 Northwest Michigan Council of Governments survey found an estimated 13,294 people living in poverty in the five county Grand Traverse region -- more than eight percent of the population. There are four women to every man living in poverty, with children present in half the 1,600 individuals and households surveyed. About 600 people living in poverty here are also homeless, according to Goodwill Industries.
Please think and act locally, too. Support work like the Traverse Bay Poverty Reduction Initiative, which seeks to reduce poverty by 25 percent by 2010. Give some of your time or money to Child and Family Services, the Women’s Resource Center, Third Level, or dozens of other great organizations that help those who struggle with addiction, illness, poverty and other tough challenges-right here at home.

Gina Aranki, Marketing & PR Director • Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan

 
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