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.

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Letters 7/14/08

- July 14th, 2008
No oil guarantee
Do the people who are jumping on the bandwagon and promoting drilling for oil off the coasts of Florida, California, ANWR in Alaska, and other unpopular areas, realize there is no guarantee that oil drilled here will end up heating our homes and fueling our cars in the United States?
It may just end up on the world oil market and we will end up seeing no relief in prices! It is quite feasible that Saudi Arabia will then respond by cutting their production creating a shortage followed by still higher prices. You know the story! Just ask your congressman if what I am saying is true.
What we need is to get away from fossil fuels and our dependence on foreign countries for our energy. We should be looking at all kinds of clean, renewable, safe alternatives.
But we need to be smart about our choices this time around. That means before we start thinking that nuclear power is the logical choice; we need to ask ourselves if we have solved the problem of safety. We have not solved the issue of what to do with the spent fuel rods and dangerous radioactive waste that we would be leaving for our children’s children to deal with.
We don’t want to leap out of the frying pan and into the fire with no thought of the future!

Barbara Bernier • Manistee

Good memories
Thank you for the article that appeared last week on my new deli cafe at the old railroad station in Traverse City.
I just wanted to follow up with this note. The article indicated that I spent “16 long years” at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, and while 16 years is a long time, they weren’t long in any other sense.
My job at the Record-Eagle actually dovetailed with my years as a parent of school-age children. Early on, working at the Record-Eagle afforded me the flexibility to work part-time and as a result, have more time with my kids while they were growing up. As they got older, I went full-time and was given the opportunity to become the paper’s features editor while continuing as a weekly lifestyle columnist.
It truly was a great job, focusing on what interests me most and continues to -- people and their stories. Oh, and food. That, too. But I have many great memories of the staff, of readers, of columns, and stories, all packed into 16 years that, looking back, went by in a flash.

Kathy Gibbons
• EuroStop, TC

Our toxic air show
Did everyone notice the clouds and clouds of jet exhaust and perhaps unburned jet fuel wafting down over our homes, farms, and bay every time a fighter jet passed overhead at Traverse City‘s air show? The sky turning white with pollution as they practiced? (According to) an article for service men and women about military jet fuel exhaust, “There is no safe level of exposure.”
Isn’t is foolish to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on entertainment that in the end is celebrating killing machines anyway? Entertainment that spreads toxins in our bays, then wonder why they are so messed up?
Hopefully our local media can inform our citizens on what is raining down from the sky in the name of bringing tourists in that might be ruining our children’s health and living on in our drinking water for years to come.

Jeff Gibbs • TC

No Child Left Inside
Lisa Franseen’s article in last week’s issue, (Express 6/30, Leave No Child Indoors) was not only right on target, but timely, as well. Just a week ago the “No Child Left Inside” act (HR 3036 and S.1981) was passed by the House Education Committee and will be moving through the U.S. House of Representatives this summer.
The bill, supported by more than 400 environmental, education and public health groups across the nation, would set up grant funding for teacher training, expand outdoor learning opportunities inside and outside of school, and encourage states to develop environmental literacy plans.
By igniting students’ interest in the outdoors and spurring them to take part in outside activities, The Act would address the issues put forth by Dr. Franseen in her article. Increasing the time students spend learning about nature, both in and outside the classroom, and learning to explore the natural world and their personal connection to it, inevitably triggers an interest in spending more time in it and becoming more active outside.
Environmental education has been shown to excite students. It engages them in their world. And it gets them in the outdoors and away from electronic toys.
A good education is about more than math and reading. We should also be teaching our young people about their natural environment and the enormous challenges it faces. Environmental education must not be considered merely an optional topic. Understanding the environment is a critical need for our young people because of the complex environmental challenges confronting the nation and world, including human-induced climate change, air and water pollution and the loss of sensitive habitats.
We will be passing these complicated problems on to future generations. We must give them a solid understanding of these problems and the basic tools to overcome them and make informed choices in their own lives. Our public schools should be doing a better job of providing this environmental education.
There has been inadequate funding for environmental education, both at the state and federal levels. The No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 will begin to address this.
Our nation’s future relies on a well-educated public to be wise stewards of the very environment that sustains us, our families and communities, and future generations. It is environmental education which can best help us as individuals make the complex, conceptual connections between economic prosperity, benefits to society, environmental health, and our own well being. Ultimately, the collective wisdom of our citizens, gained through education, will be the most compelling and most successful strategy for environmental management and the physical and mental well-being of our communities.
Please take action today by urging our members of Congress to support the inclusion of environmental education in the NCLB reauthorization bill as proposed in the No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 (H.R.3036; S.1981).

Lynette Grimes • Benzonia





 
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