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...

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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