I arrived at the Traverse City Farmers Market shortly after noon on Saturday, and I was turned away from some of the booths because the city is enforcing the markets scheduled hours, which end at noon.
How unfortunate. Our local farmers maintain open space around our city, decrease our carbon footprint, and provide us with healthy, locally grown produce that is the backbone of a healthy diet.
The city should support our esteemed farmers by expanding the hours of the markets, not by adopting a monochronic philosophy.
I hope the city can strive for flexibility as they consider the health of their citizens and the value of their farmers. Meanwhile, I will strive to get my chores done in time to make the noon deadline.
Mary R. Clifton, MD TC
Thank You, Soldiers
St. Francis said so many years ago, it is in giving that we receive. We are a blessed nation, and too frequently fail to realize the noble things others have done which make us the recipients of the good life.
It is not popular to speak of the military, most especially the draft, today. Having served in the USAF for over 26 years, including two tours in Vietnam, I am especially grateful to all the men and women of the armed forces. It is not easy for them - they, too, would rather be home in the great USA with their family and friends - but they have chosen to serve even under the most difficult of all situations in a time of war.
I believe every male and female in the USA should be mandated to serve our nation in some capacity for a minimum of two years after graduation, with only very rare exceptions.
One of the great choices includes the military. Repeatedly, we hear students out of high school say they cant find a job, they dont know what they want to do, they dont have any money, they are not ready for college, thy want to travel, they want to get a life before settling into any career field. I say: join the military.
The pay is great, you grow up quickly, you get free housing, food, and clothing, and you are able to travel the world as I did serving in Japan, Korea, Germany, Sweden, France, Thailand, South Africa, the Ascension Islands, and Bermuda, just to name a few places. You feel the joy of serving your country and giving something back.
Richard J. Gronowski TC
The 11th Hour, Leonardo DiCaprios newly released documentary about the environmental crisis, has given me some serious food for thought. Considering that an in-depth scientific report by the United Nations last November shows that eating animals is the number one individual cause of global warming and that its in the top three causes of every significant environmental problem, I am left to wonder: When will Leo, Al Gore, and the rest of the environmental community start actively promoting a vegetarian diet?
Environmentalists urge people to drive less, switch to hybrid cars, use energy-efficient light bulbs, and make other similar changes, yet they ignore the global warming, waste, and pollution that is produced by funneling crops through chickens, pigs, and other farmed animals.
Almost 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are the product of our national addiction to chicken nuggets and other animal products. Thats almost 50 percent more than all the cars, trucks, and planes in the world combined, according to the U.N. report. The U.N. report also concluded that the meat industry is one of the ... most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The 408-page indictment of the meat industry specifically decries the contribution of eating meat to problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
Its past time for the environmental movement to get to the meat of the matter and tell people the truththat adopting a vegetarian diet is the most important action any of us can take to help the environment.
Bruce Friedrich Norfolk, VA
More Praise For Sheas
There are very few people who really exemplify their beliefs in everyday life. Tom and Darylene Shea are two of those rare individuals. He is a man of peace and love, and these feelings emanate from him always.
He lives and acts in love and peace, he gives support in his thoughtful kind words, to help others realize their inner peace. He is one of the few really gifted men of peace, walking on this earth, in Traverse City, in our time.
We have been blessed to have him amongst us. He will surely be missed. May they both go in peace to their new location and be loved and appreciated there, as they have been here.
Emmy Lou Cholak TC
A Farmer Speaks Out
As a third generation farmer in Antrim Countys Milton Township, I thought I would write about all the poop on poop that has been floating around. Recently there was a small group formed calling themselves Milton Neighbors. These neighbors have caused some controversy over a local farmer and a local businessman working together and utilizing a soil enrichment practice safely used for many years. The neighbors are up in arms over the two men using septage injection as a commercial fertilizer replacement.
We are farmers who make our living off the land we farm, so the last thing we would want to do is harm our land or the environment. The DEQ and the soil erosion people do not have a problem with this practice when properly applied on inspected sites, whether its animal manure or human septage. It is a low cost natural fertilizer rather than an expensive commercially made fertilizer.
The president of the Milton Neighbors group claims that while water testing, his group found dangerous levels of e-coli along a two-mile stretch of Mitchell Creek. They are blaming it on the fertilizer injection practices of the local farmer. What he doesnt tell you is that the e-coli levels found by the DEQ were concluded to be naturally occurring due to low creek levels and the wildlife.
What he also doesnt tell you is that a sample taken directly in a tile line from the field where recent septage injections were done had lower levels of e-coli present than any other sample taken along said creek. What that means is that we, as humans, cannot manufacture a filter or treatment plant that works as efficiently and effectively as the same ground on which we farm. (I believe that) septage injection is a safe, natural, environmentally friendly, and beneficial use of human waste for replacing soil nutrients in farm fields.
Thomas M. Paradis Elk Rapids
Corrections: Last weeks letter titled Sidewalks Not Segwalks was mistakenly attributed to Thomas M. Paradis. The correct author of the Sidewalks... letter is Ken Petersen. Mr. Paradis own letter runs above.
Also, in Carina Humes article on Bill Sommerfeldt, his grandmothers name was Mary Rennie Buchanan, not Jennie Rennies; Jennie Rennies was the name of the familys Inn and Toll House in Scotland.