Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 6/14/07
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Letters 6/14/07

- June 14th, 2007
Cops against prohibition
As a retired police detective from Bath Township, Michigan (near Lansing), I read with interest your idea to increase tourist dollars by legalizing/regulating and taxing marijuana (a la Amsterdam-type coffeehaus). Thank you for your courage to propose such a sensible step. May I add another, perhaps more important aspect of ending marijuana prohibition?
During my 18 years of police service I was dispatched to zero calls generated by the USE of marijuana. Its use is NOT a societal problem. I have always urged my fellow citizens to not use any mind-altering, intoxicating and addictive drug, which includes marijuana. However, having my profession still chasing the Willie Nelsons of Michigan does REDUCE public safety.

Offr. Howard J. Wooldridge (ret.)
education specialist,
Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition • Washington, DC

Present the other side
Re: Recent articles in Northern Express: “Are Our Kids Being Overdosed?” and “Is Our Pill-popping Society Losing Its Mind?”
I was taken aback by the one-sided perspectives in these recent articles, which imply that there is a concrete line between neurological “diseases” and mental health “disorders.”
The idea that I object to most significantly is that there is “no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the brain.”
The brain is a physical organ of the body, just as is the pancreas, the liver, the heart, etc. Why would someone believe that the brain is not vulnerable to physical anomalies, when we easily understand physical problems in other organs? The brain is indeed vulnerable to disorders and diseases, as well as to individual differences.
Serotonin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine are some of the chemicals that affect the brain directly. Hormones also affect the brain in many ways.
The brain is a complicated organ, to be sure, so the research involving that organ is often more controversial than research regarding some of the other organs. But research involving the other organs is not without controversy, nor are the medications for diseases of those organs without side-effects. Psychotropic medications are not the only medications that have side-effects.
The side-effect issue is difficult and often not easily solved. The problematic symptoms must be balanced against the side-effects. One person’s tolerance for either the mental health symptom or the side-effect of the medication will vary from another person’s tolerance of the same symptom or side effect.
There is no magic pill, and patients are often encouraged to work first in therapy (my specialty), rather than relying on medications. However, there are some mental illnesses that create such difficulties for the afflicted person, that medication is life-saving and sometimes relationship-saving (either temporarily or on a longer-term basis).
It is true that some depression is triggered by the grief and loss that happen in everyone’s life. Each person must make the choice about whether (and when) he or she will seek therapy or counseling and /or consult with a physician or psychiatrist about the possibility of medical treatment (medication). These are valid choices and should be done with the understanding that there could be side-effects to the medication.
The neurological side of mental health problems is vastly complicated, just as is the environmental side of these problems. Large libraries are filled with books on both subjects. Both are valid and intertwined.

Marilyn Madison, MSW, LMSW
clinical therapist

Death with compassion
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who claims to have helped at least 130 terminally or chronically ill people die, was paroled this month. Kevorkian has served more than eight years of a 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder in the 1998 death of Michigan resident Thomas Youk, who had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Covert, clandestine aid in dying occurs every day in the U.S. It is a symptom of a national health care crisis—the unbearable suffering and violent options that many dying patients face at the end of life. Dr. Kevorkian’s notorious actions demonstrate the desperation patients feel, and the need for rational public policy on end-of-life choices. Only Oregon currently has rational policy.
Instead of being forced into considering options like Dr. Kevorkian, guns and other violent methods, patients should be able to talk with their physicians about a range of legal, safe, peaceful options for easing a painful dying process. Covert practice of aid in dying is inherently dangerous and irresponsible. The only way to protect patients, families and doctors and enforce safeguards is through laws such as Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act.
Compassion & Choices advocates that all mentally competent, terminally ill patients should have a full range of end-of-life choices, including aggressive pain and symptom management, palliative sedation, voluntarily stopping eating and drinking, forgoing life-extending interventions and aid in dying. This is the only way we can prevent future Kevorkians from preying on the desperation of those experiencing the fear, anguish and unremitting pain of prolonged terminal illness.
Seventy-eight-year-old Dr. Kevorkian suffers from diabetes and active hepatitis C. He deserves the same chance for a peaceful, dignified death that is the right of all people. Kevorkian drew the national and international spotlight to the desperation of patients whose legal choices are inadequate. But in the end Dr. Kevorkian told the Michigan Parole Board that he should have advocated for aid in dying through legal channels.
As media coverage of spectacular cases like Kevorkian and Terri Schiavo peaks and subsides, let us not forget the many Americans who each day suffer needlessly prolonged illness due to the lack of a rational policy on end of life care.

Robynn James, CFRE • assistant VP for development • Compassion & Choices • Denver, CO (Williamsburg resident)
Violence & mental illness
For the great majority of people afflicted with mental disorders, an act of violence is no more a consequence of mental disorder than is true of the general population.
This fact, despite the tragedy at Virginia Tech, points to the need for a rational understanding that people with a mental disorder are morally, spiritually, intellectually and functionally intact in some aspects of their lives, while still engaged in a constant struggle for social integration and participation.
Anti-stigma and recovery efforts are significant operations of the Northern Lakes Community Mental Health Authority.
It is incumbent on society to understand that the needs of people with a mental disorder must be met with programs of support, inclusion, prevention and early intervention, with voices raised to dispel myths and preconceptions about the nature and course of lives encumbered by antagonisms, rejection and, sometimes, neglect.
No conglomeration of agencies which serve people in need of treatment can bring better lives for mentally disordered clients without the understanding and compassion of a society which can share in bringing hope to all of its members, whatever the state of their problems in living.

Frank Tosiello, Ed.D. • TC

Prevent future Katrinas
Rebuilding New Orleans and helping the people get back on their feet is crucial, but it must not be done in a way that exposes the residents to continued danger. The levees must be rebuilt stronger and the wetlands restored, but America must also take effective action to curb our fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions that are melting the polar ice and raising global sea levels. If we don’t act to stop global warming, Katrina may prove to be the beginning of a very ugly period in human history.
Hurricane Katrina did not cause the New Orleans catastrophe as much as human arrogance and ignorance did. From the channelization of the Mississippi to the destruction of barrier islands and hundreds of square miles of wetlands, to the uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels that caused the sea to rise a foot in the last century, unwise human actions set the stage for horrendous damage and loss of life blamed on Katrina. If we don’t come to understand this, we won’t have a clue what to do about it.
We need to acknowledge human responsibility and take action: stop building in lowlands and in flood plains, stop the channelization of waterways at public expense for private benefit, reverse the destruction of wetlands, and do everything in our power both as individuals and as a country, to cut back on fossil fuel use
Members of Congress should co-sponsor Rep. Waxman’s Safe Climate Act and Sen. Jeffords’ Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act. These bills are our best shots of saving ourselves from the disastrous effects of global warming - and would help prevent future “Katrinas.”
These are exactly the bold, science-based solutions we need.

Cheryl Zarn • Manistee

 
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