Everyone in Antrim, Charlevoix, Grand Traverse, or Emmet County, or all of Michigan, who knew who Benazir Bhutto was, holler.
Everyone who couldnt answer that question, then identify where Pakistan is, and holler. Everyone who didnt answer either question, holler.
The probable overwhelming silence is deafening. One faltering-light possibility of democracy in Pakistan and perhaps one which could then have spread to the rest of the Mid East has been doused by an assassination that should never have happened to a peace loving woman.
Why should we respond? We are no longer an agricultural, tourist directed, who-cares-about-what-happens-in-those-places-in-the-world-where-nothing-affects-us people. What happens in Pakistan, in Somalia, in Darfur, in Dubai, happens to us. We must stop being ostriches with our heads in the sand and the resulting rest of our bodies abundantly exposing our true natures.
We are a necessary part of the whole world. Our involvement in our world is a must. How do we start? Do you know where?
Patricia W. Fox Bellaire
Thank You Officers
During the late evening on Christmas Eve, I was faced with a very scary and potentially dangerous situation while taking care of the dogs of some friends at their home near Frankfort while they were away for the holiday. As soon as I realized what I was facing (a home
invasion with, it appeared, the intruder still in the home), I took the dogs and left in my car.
Afraid and quite shaken, I called 911. The dispatcher was professional, reassuring and helped me stay calm. She told me the police would be on their way immediately. She called me back a few moments later to confirm my safe location (a nearby church parking lot) and her voice on the other end of the phone reminded me that, although frightened, I was not alone.
The police officers arrived within 5 minutes, bringing with them their K9 dog. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them publicly for their fast response, professionalism and genuine concern.
The Benzie County police force has come under intense scrutiny and the reputation of the Department has been questioned several times over the past few years. I am not writing this letter to defend, repute, condone or condemn those allegations. In fact, I do not know any of the officers that work at the Department personally.
I am simply writing to say that on Christmas Eve 2007, the Benzie County Police Department acted swiftly and with great competence. They treated me with the utmost respect and made me feel protected and safe. They were honest, upfront and acted with integrity. As a woman, I did not, for one moment, feel like I was not being taken seriously. They did a thorough search, returned and explained their findings, assuring me that the home was again safe and secure.
And so, to the Benzie County Sheriffs Department, I would like them to know that I was, and am, extremely grateful. Thank you for being there. Thank you for your service. And thank you for a job well done.
Monica Evans Honor
Two For One
When your readers write to the EPA with Andy Knotts suggestions and key points regarding the Grand Traverse Overall Supply Company ground water contamination plume, tell them we have another site they can check out.
Ask them to drive on up to the Northport Village office and read the document that states compounds/contaminants: arsenic, lead, manganese, sodium and ammonia exist in the groundwater at concentrations ABOVE Part 201 drinking water protection criteria at the Northport Waste Water Treatment site.
This plume of contaminants has migrated off site, and if the proposed groundwater discharge of partially-treated effluent is implemented, it will likely exacerbate this existing contamination impacting the quality of Northport Creek and posing a health threat.
Tell the EPA we can offer them twice the bang for their buck in the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed. It could make their trip worthwhile.
Barbara Gilmore Weber
I am not sure if I understand the letter from Michael H. MacCready in the December 31 issue of Northern Express.
Perhaps it is because the second paragraph is just wrong: Turkeys breed so they will look up in a rain storm and drown (sic).
Turkeys do not, nor are they bred to, drown. Benjamin Franklin thought the wild turkey should represent the United States, not a domestic turkey, but then again Benjamin Franklin liked to write political satire and pull everyones leg now and again.
Don MacIntyre Interlochen
Dual Standard of Justice
When reading the crime and punishment section of my local newspaper (the business pages), I‘m continually reminded of the gross inequities inherent in our criminal justice system.
Virtually every day there are reports of CEOs and directors of major corporations who are charged with misappropriation of funds and grand larceny -- on a grand scale.
More often than not, those charged with such offenses end up making a settlement or plea agreement. Usually, those agreements result in fines and/or monetary settlement of lawsuits that don‘t even begin to compensate victims of their crimes. Moreover, having agreed to huge multi-million-dollar settlements, there is usually a denial that there was any wrongdoing. To add further insult to injury, few are ever incarcerated.
If you hold up a convenience store, and you‘re caught, you‘ll have the cuffs snapped on your wrists, get thrown into the slammer, and almost surely will do time. If you are one of those ‘pillars of society‘ who steals hundreds of millions of dollars from their companies and stockholders, cause job losses in the thousands and financially ruins many lives, you‘re more apt to first die from natural causes than you are to spend any time in prison.
There seems to be a double standard of justice in this country when it comes to punishment for theft: one for the landed gentry; one for the ‘common criminal‘.
Paul G. Jaehnert
Vadnais Hts., MN