Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Follow Charlevoix‘s lead on global warming

Mike Powers - November 16th, 2006
Here in Michigan, those of us who love our seasons, our lakes, our way of life can no longer afford to stand by while our leaders fail to represent our best interests or take action on the most pressing environmental issue of our time: global warming. We are encouraged then by the actions of the Charlevoix City Council. Recently, the Council sent a letter to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) recommending that he make global warming solutions a priority while in office.
This, however, is only one of many actions taken by Charlevoix on global warming. The city’s leadership on this issue is also visible in their creation of a shade tree commission and the passage an “idle-free” motion that encourages drivers to shut off their engines when waiting for the drawbridge. Charlevoix is also part of a tree planting and stewardship program sponsored by National Arbor Day Foundation known as “Tree City USA.”
The potential for this city’s role has been further bolstered by the solid research of concerned citizens and members of Water and Air Team Charlevoix (WATCH) who uncovered a six-year-old study which states that from Harbor Springs to Lansing, Charlevoix has the best potential for wind power.
Business and government leaders in Charlevoix are not alone in recognizing the urgent need for action: ski resorts here are purchasing wind power and the city of Marquette approved the “Change a Light” program to promote energy efficiency.
Indeed, there are towns and cities and entire states across our country that are stepping up to the plate in the face of federal inaction on global warming.
This is why we are demanding action on the federal level. Scientists who have been calling attention to the severity of global warming impacts for many years are now saying that we have the next 10 years to dramatically reduce our emissions if we have any hope of escaping the worst impacts of global warming.
The best intentions and efforts of cities in Michigan are not enough to tackle a problem of this magnitude. It is going to take real champions in Congress to begin to turn the tide.
Rep. Bart Stupak and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) are the leading Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and are well-positioned to help us protect the land that we love. But under that leadership, improvements for coal-fired power plants have been rescinded, fuel efficiency standards for new vehicles have not improved in 20 years, and renewable energy development has been underfunded.
Solutions, however, are at our representatives’ fingertips. Like the Charlevoix City Council, they too can take action by supporting the Waxman Safe Climate Act of 2006, which is science-based legislation that addresses the problem of global warming. This legislation would create a set of policies that would cut our emissions of greenhouse gases by setting a national renewable energy standard, increasing efficiency in our homes and buildings, and cutting pollution from our cars and light trucks. At the very least, Bart Stupak ought to pledge to support this legislation. Even better, he should commit to working with his colleagues in Congress to make this legislation a reality.
Regrettably, Rep. Stupak has issued claims that he is “big on nuclear” as a solution to global warming. This is quite a misstep because nuclear power cannot address global warming within a timeframe that is useful (it takes 10 to 20 years just to bring a plant online), and is not considered economically viable by Wall Street analysts. Reliance on nuclear power will also increase existing waste storage problems.
Northern Michigan is a region known for its beautiful snowy landscapes, its maple trees, ice hockey and great fishing. All of these may be nothing more than stories of a glorious past that we recount to our grandchildren unless we take our government back from the fossil fuel and nuclear industries and demand that our representatives lead the effort. Give your representative a call and ask for action immediately, and if you want to start to turn that tide yourself, in your home, or in your community, visit www.projecthotseat.org to see how you can get involved.

Mike Powers is an organizer for Hot Seat Michigan, a Greenpeace program to fight global warming.
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