Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

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Swimmers Beware/ Update

Chris Morey - August 16th, 2007
I love freediving. The fact that I can drive down to the bay and slide into that amazing universe, beneath the waves and between breaths, just blows me away every time.
As I waded out just west of the Open Space in Traverse City around 10 a.m. July 29, I felt that familiar sense of excitement. At the second sand bar I dropped my monofin and stepped into it. A short distance away, on one of the many boats moored near the beach, I overheard a woman talking loudly on a cell phone, admitting that her boat flushes directly into the bay and that her son uses it frequently.
I wondered how common that is.
I eased into the water and slipped beneath the surface. In the stillness below I aimed for deeper water and relaxed in the almost frictionless liquid blue of the bay. I barely noticed the beer cans and plastic cups strewn along the way.
Breathing up in deeper water I saw the bright pectoral fins of a Freshwater Drum, an amazing fish that eats zebra mussels. Taking a cue from something in the Drum’s body language, I looked over my shoulder to find a huge pair of carp just feet away. The carp breezed by, turned restlessly and glided in again for a close look. My mask leaked a little from smiling.
Time to part company. A few easy strokes and I looked up to find a propeller trail right over my head! I surfaced directly in the wake of a grey inflatable. Its young, blond driver looked back at me over his shoulder but didn’t circle back to apologize or see if I’d been injured. He passed within 40 feet of my dive flag – well short of the 200-foot legal limit. I blew off the rage with a few fin sprints then got out for the day.

DEFECATING IN THE BAY
August 4, 9:10am: My daughter along with a freediver friend and I were back at the same spot gearing up for another dive. I looked over at one of the boats moored near the beach and saw a sleepy little boy come out from under the awning. Expecting him to jump in for a morning swim I was surprised when he pulled down his pants and defecated into the bay 20 feet from the swimming beach. He missed a little and, after a few minutes, his mom came out with a sponge-mop to wash the remaining feces into the water.
As we swam off the sand bar and into the beautiful blue, past the beer cans and plastic cups, we found a discarded diaper.
These incidents point to a less obvious and more insidious problem. Based on what I’ve seen, heard and learned it is VERY likely that many of the boaters who moor along our beaches routinely dump raw human waste directly into the waters just a few yards from these beaches. In addition to being illegal this is apt to result in very high bacteria counts during the peak season, particularly with a north wind blowing the waste toward the beaches.
An account of the last incident and the MC numbers of the boat were provided to the Grand Traverse County Sheriff Department’s Marine Division. However, across-the-board enforcement of this would be very difficult - since most boaters are likely to be more covert.

NO CONTROLS
I believe the specific problem here is Traverse City’s willingness to allow boats to moor all summer proximate to the beaches at the south end of the bay. This amounts to a free marina -- without the controls and safeguards -- and these boaters frequently stay overnight on their boats throughout the summer. During the peak summer vacation times, there are many boats moving in and out among swimmers, which is the most obvious danger. Yet the city remains willing to give over most of the prime shoreline to boaters; reserving relatively small areas for swimming.
Based on the quantity of discarded materials, such as beer and pop cans, garments, diapers, cups, etc., we have a real problem with boaters who have no respect for the environment or for marine laws.
This abuse of the environment, and life-threatening disregard for the law, is not a matter of speculation. It is a repeatedly observed and documented fact.
Obviously, not all boaters behave this way. Nonetheless the question remains: Can we, as a community, afford to continue to reward abuse with privilege?

UPDATE: ‘Grease‘ now playing at septage facility
Bugs 1: Fats, oil and grease 0.
Just like the weather lately, the microbial bugs at the Grand Traverse County Septage Facility got really hot last week. Hot enough to chew up restaurant grease.
This is a milestone for the facility and comes on the heels of the Express report that area haulers were frustrated that the facility, after being operational for two years, still couldn’t process what’s called grease trap waste. Area haulers have had to apply the waste on farmlands, but were running out of space and feared they might have to start hauling the stuff downstate.
The county’s auto-thermophylic aerobic digester (ATAD) is essentially a stew of sewage-eating microbes. It had to reach 120 degrees in order to “eat” the grease that’s mixed with more diluted wastewater. On Tuesday last week, it reached 124 degrees Fahrenheit.
The digester, overseen by the consulting firm of Gourdie-Fraser, will ultimately produce class A or exceptional biosolids, which can be sold as fertilizer for vegetables and fruit.
“This is great news for the Grand Traverse Bay watershed,” said Chris Buday, director of the septage facility.
“Over 20 million gallons of septage, holding tank and special waste was processed at the Septage Treatment Facility since May of 2005. We are now ready to receive the next 20 million gallons and prevent that waste from polluting the region’s watersheds.
Walt Steuer of Steuer Pumping Service said he’s taking a wait-and-see attitude. At this point, the facility has just called a couple of haulers for their loads—but not him.
“They ain’t called us, they ain’t had a meeting to tell us when we can start using it. Right now, it’s a start-up. You can call it a success when they can tell all of us to come in on a daily basis.” -- by Anne Stanton
 
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