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Letters 8/30/07

- August 30th, 2007
E-Coli ruined my summer
Okay “ruined” may be overstating the issue.
But as somebody who lives downtown and goes swimming often at Clinch Park I’m pretty upset about the beach closings.
Particularly when we aren’t given a reason for the problem. Is it related to the rain? Are the sewage plants to blame? Are the boats that anchor down there dumping their waste into the water as reported by Northern Express? Why doesn’t somebody stop them?
My biggest question is: Why is this story being reported but not investigated? Here we have a man-made problem which is closing the most beautiful and popular stretch of beach in the area. What’s really going on? These closings MUST be preventable. It almost has a conspiracy feel to it. As if we are supposed to simply accept this and assume the E-coli is somehow a natural occurrence.
Bottom line: somebody is doing something they shouldn’t be and I hope we hear more about this soon from our local news sources.

Eric Kurt • TC

Booze gravy train
I’m sure that we have all heard it a thousand times... The welfare system needs an overhaul!
I am a single working mother who has a full time job. My income qualifies for poverty level status, for sure! I have applied for some assistance myself and was told my $22,000 income was too much money. So I carried on working every day and so on.
Well... this past summer has been a real eye opener to say the least! I met some people that really shined the spotlight on welfare fraud and the many ways it can be achieved. Traverse City has an extremely high number of people, young and old, that receive welfare assistance and have very creative ways of using it to purchase alcohol! Did you know that these people actually receive cash benefits as well as food assistance?
Did I mention that they are homeless people due to severe alcoholism? Giving an alcoholic cash is like giving a heroin addict heroin! I have seen these people purchase six cases of rootbeer on their food card, then walk down the street, pour all the pop out of the cans and return the pop cans to purchase vodka!
Did you also know that when an addict enters Dakoske Hall rehabilitation center, the first thing they do for the new addition is sign them up for a bridge card? They immediately qualify for cash and food. I have seen it with my own eyes!
I think that to qualify for these benefits, you should have to take drug and alcohol tests. I also think that there must be some way to track purchases made with the bridge card or some way to flag unusual purchases like six cases of pop. This is our taxpayers‘ money here! Pop is not a source of nutrients to begin with! Why are these people given cash? Does this bother anyone else?

Susan Cummins • TC

Same old, same old...
It is time to set aside the petty discourse about the Northern Michigan “music scene,” or lack thereof, and remember that we are so fortunate to have the Holy Trinity of bands right here: The Horn Dogs, Luther Gravy and the Soul Biscuits and Jellyroll Blues Band for our listening pleasure. They will never go away -- they are Eternal -- they are the Northern Michigan “music scene.”

Claire Ahearne • TC

Sewer blues
The article by Anne Stanton titled “Northport’s Sewer Blues” was the best I have read -- well balanced and informative.
The initial push for a Northport sewer was predicated on false environmental information that stated the septic tanks in Northport were 85% failed or failing. The “factual” environmental issues remain on the court table after the Honorable Judge Power stated the case has merit. All concerned environmentalists need to study the issues as presented by members of the Northport FORUM through our legal counsel. The environmental issues are not over until they’re over.
The original group of responsible citizens, who extensively and exhaustively researched the Northport issues, remains as one with the assistance of the FORUM members. The original group comprised of one engineer, one economic expert, and several environmental experts, have consistently approached the Northport Council since the sewer’s inception in an attempt to communicate concerns. Those concerns were never addressed by the council.
Criticism of the original group and currently the FORUM by proponents of the sewer is absolutely absurd. To say that they have raised the cost of the sewer is, once again, predicated on false, misleading, and slanderous lies. The Northport Council, along with the township board and the Leelanau Board of Public Works, raised the monetary stakes when the democratic process was set aside in favor of a land based petition process and political expediency.
Our Constitution was written with the intent of protecting the rights of every human being. One is the right to have issues heard, discussed, understood, and to arrive at balanced solutions.
Since the Council set aside our constitutional process, it now becomes the responsibility of the FORUM members to uphold that process. The Honorable Judge Power realized that the people’s case has merit and will be heard -- costly as it will be for both sides.
The time has come for every Northport citizen to be heard now and in the next election. Join the FORUM and protect the environment and your constitutional right to be heard!

Ronald J. Schobel • Suttons Bay

Electric car math
Hey folks -- Puleeeeeeese do some math, re: the piece on Garth Ward’s Corbin Sparrow (8/23).
Trying to do the miles-per-gallon (mpg): Stated data in your piece: his 20-mile commute used to cost him $18.75. Okay, assume gas is $3, he would use 6.25 gallons, for a mileage of 3.2 mpg (if gas was cheaper, the mileage would be even worse).
Is that realistic?
Let’s assume you really mean 40 miles, 20 each way. Then he’s getting 6.4 mpg. Lots of time in traffic I guess.
Likely driving a commercial truck of some sort. A 1970 Caddy would be hard pressed to get that low a number.
And... whoops, the Sparrow has a 40 mile range, so maybe that 3.2 mpg number is right.
Other : 0 to 60 in 10 seconds. Whoopie.
Then we consider that this isn’t a “all season” mode of transportation. Note that I agree with the author that “technically, it’s not a car.“
What does Mr. Ward do in the winter (late October to late March?)
The Sparrow may be cute, but that’s about it.
As for “Who Killed the Electric Car?” They ain’t gone, just getting ready for reincarnation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt
Otherwise, keep up the good work folks

J.T. Hoagland • via email

(Our understanding is that Garth Ward was referring to a round-trip in a utility truck, a fact which the Express neglected to state in the article. -- ed.)



 
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