Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 12/20/07
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Letters 12/20/07

- December 20th, 2007
It‘s Not Her Style
I love the Express, but grit my teeth every time I see the “My Style” feature. I’ve always found it rather strange and pointless, but at this time of year I find it downright offensive. The total for the individual featured in the Dec. 6-12 issue was $900. The same day I read the Express, the Record-Eagle ran a front page story about a local nonprofit thrift store, which gives away children’s winter wear, not having any gloves for an 11-year-old boy.
I went to the store and told the manager I would be happy to buy him whatever he needed, but the boy could not be located. However, the newspaper story resulted in a surge of donations. They were still short on snowpants, so I went out and bought many pairs of children’s snowpants and donated them. They cost less than what the “My Style” individual spent on her hair, makeup, and nails. I don’t have a lot of money, so guess I’ll just have to do without my $900 getup.
We all spend money on ourselves, but do we have to glorify it in the pages of the Express? Why not use the space to highlight more interesting things about local people, or to recognize some of the dedicated volunteers and staff of the many nonprofits, and their philosophy of giving. Anything would be more uplifting than how many hundreds of dollars somebody spent on their clothes, shoes, handbag, jewelry, hair, makeup, and nails. Is there anybody else out there who couldn’t care less?
To all those doctors out there who pose proudly and reveal how much they spend on themselves, and to all those 11-year-old boys who have no winter gloves, I wish you Merry Christmas and Peace.

Andrea Stewart • TC

Many Voices
Regarding the words of Matt Robb, in Express’ letters Oct.11 letters section:
“....politics to me was a scattered mess of emptiness - rhetoric from on high, specifically designed to confuse our better senses. Then, a voice boomed through the TV set, setting off flashing memories of a better world in the making. ‘There is not a liberal America and a Conservative America, there is the United States of America’.......”
This government of the people, by the people, and for the people was constituted by faith-full people who had to be persuaded to enumerate the “rights” they considered to be from God and were to be protected for the good of all, the common good. These people, no doubt in my mind, were hearing from God who wanted this country founded. God not only wanted this country, he still wants it and even now God himself inspires people for the common good. Although God is communicating to people, not everyone hears or listens or pays attention. It is not easy to tell who is and who is not hearing from God today. All I know is I want people holding office and employed by the government to be God-fearing and listening for God’s leading voice.

Marian Johnson • Manistee

School Ironies
I have noticed the irony regarding TCAPS’ recent decisions. If you examine academic literature regarding schools’ size/districts, student achievement and other indicators, you notice that at a point as school size increases with respect to student population these indicators are negatively impacted. One technique being utilized in academia to combat the negative effects of larger schools is the ‘school within a school’ technique. However, the technique is also being utilized in elementary schools as well. The concept is to operate several smaller schools within the same physical building (a larger school). Thus, the schools seem smaller, operate with a ‘small school’ mentality and can, or attempt to, capture some of the small school advantages.
The two ironies I notice are:
1) As TCAPS accepts a grant to implement ‘school within a school’ techniques, they are at the same time enlarging their schools.
2) Whether intentional or not, this technique is currently employed at Central Grade School. There are three programs housed each with their unique identity - traditional ed, Montessori and TAG. Implementing the change in student population - switching Glenn Loomis and Montessori students - actually does the reverse of the school within a school technique. The result is a larger than optimal traditional education student population.
A lot of people mention, ‘Well, Glenn Loomis is closing, and that is a given, so where must we move Montessori?’ However, I think this begs the question why is Glenn Loomis closing? Unless it is part of an end result the district is visualizing as the future of TCAPS. Perhaps they should share the picture. People discuss Glenn Loomis closing as if it were in fact closed. Remember, the school is there with students, staff and faculty in existence this year and if there is no basis to close it, then don’t.
Personally, I will not be directly affected by Glenn Loomis or Montessori locations, but both programs deserve consideration and support. Professionally, I do not represent any residents districted to Glenn Loomis. But, I am a parent that is interested in the district making decisions based on substantive reasoning.

Beth Friend • TC

Foie Again?
This week yet another letter on foie gras! I’m a birder, love life, but really folks, why can’t we get this upset about our young people dying in Iraq, or all the children living below the poverty level, or how more and more of us have no health insurance.
Then there’s the enviroment, cooperate greed, the fact that our economy is going down the tubes. The list is
endless. Let’s pick a better topic to vent our rage about! And let’s do something about it.
Have you written or called your congressman lately?

Heather Peyton • TC
 
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