The building that house our North Peak Brewery/Restaurant was an eyesore until a group of entrepreneurs turned it into a living, breathing business that employs more than 125 people. It took planning, capital and a lot of hard work to make it a reality. As in any business venture (especially restaurants) the risks were high.
The city officials welcomed our project. We were led to believe that the area surrounding our business would be an extension of a vital downtown. With the proximity to the bay, we were convinced that we had a good location and we decided to take the risks.
Red Mill Lumber was an eyesore as well, but we were told that the property would become a Gaslight Area type of development with shops, offices, residential and restaurants. The power plant was coming down and wouldnt it all be beautiful! It hasnt quite happened that way and now we are facing yet another project that will industrialize our Gaslight District.
We have worked hard to improve our end of Downtown Traverse City. I speak for all of the businesses in the area that have spoken against locating the BATA transfer center at the Hall Street location. We are the people who make the Michigan economy work -- small business! We employ people and pay taxes.
Please allow our area to continue to grow and be a vital part of Downtown Traverse City. There are other sites that will be less disruptive to traffice, to residents and to our businesses.
Howard Schelde Scheldes Restaurants
I attended a George W. Bush speech April 26th. I was exhibiting
at the AACC (American Association of Community Colleges) conference in
Minneapolis. He addressed the conference, which shut down the exhibit hall
for security reasons. Everyone was invited to attend.
It was great that Bush acknowledged the community college actions in
training and educating American citizens and work force. And that‘s what the
audience wanted to hear. But otherwise it was a “Ra-ra, we‘re the greatest
country in the world“ speech that left a very hollow and arrogant feel when
it was over.
He spoke briefly to our energy policy. What energy policy? Has
this country made great steps to energy independence and reduction since
911? Instead it appears that cars are bigger, gaudier and with less fuel
efficiency than ever! Have we recognized our addiction to oil and the
extremely negative long range economic, social, environmental and political
consequences of that? We have a bloody war going on. It‘s no coincidence
that it‘s at the vortex of the world‘s oil supply.
We have a president bragging in TV ads that he didn‘t wait for the UN in attacking Iraq, and now we desperately seek increased international help that endorsement would have brought. This is not positive leadership. It is finger-pointing, hypocricy and arrogance. It is damaging to real security and respect.
It is a privilege to attend a live presidential speech. Too bad it felt
like there was more bravado and swagger than substance, especially given the
price we‘re now paying and will pay for decades.
Jack Gyr Benzonia
Withdraw from Iraq
Were the real reasons for a war with Iraq ever discussed and debated?
Weren‘t WMD, removal of Saddam, conversion to democracy, Iraqi freedom and linking 9/11 to Iraq really marketing reasons to win public support?
When will we learn the real reasons for the Iraq “war“? Probably never? As President Bush said, most of us will not be here when history makes its judgment.
The reasons were no doubt an eclectic collection from an association of strange bedfellows. Just maybe one of the catalysts for the Iraqi experiment stems from an organization established in 1997 called the Project for the New American Century. This organization was a nonprofit, educational organization whose mission was to develop a study to promote American global leadership.
Many of those associated with the organization were some former 1970s liberals who referred to themselves as neoconservatives. The organization published a report, Rebuilding America‘s Defenses... Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century. It appears that this report may have served as the initial philosophical
blueprint for the Iraqi invasion.
There was an absence of honest and open public debate and no focus as to the real reasons for invading Iraq; there was only self-deception that led to poor planning. Thus the Iraq war was doomed to failure from the very
start. It was not really a war: it was a grandiose social and cultural experiment to be imposed by military force.
It is not the first time that the leaders of other nations have dictated cultural change that has resulted in great upheaval accompanied by substantial prestige, social and
monetary costs. Unfortunately, in this case the costs involve the citizens of two countries.
Now we must have the integrity, the self realization and the cajones to admit that America‘s strategy to change Iraq is flawed. The right course of action is to admit failure and have an open and honest debate as to how to withdraw the military at the earliest possible time. At the end of the Civil War General Lee said, as he
surveyed the carnage on the battlefield, It was failure of
leadership. We should not continue to compound our failure in Iraq.
Harold D. Adams Bloomfield Hills
Tips for Republicans
Things you have to believe to be a Republican today.
1. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you‘re a conservative radio host. Then it‘s an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery
2. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
3. Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.
4. “Standing Tall for America‘“ means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.
5. A woman can‘t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
6. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
7. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans‘ benefits and combat pay.
8. Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.
9. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won‘t have sex.
10. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
11. HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.
12. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.
13. Global warming and tobacco‘s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
14. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush‘s daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a “we can‘t find Bin Laden“ diversion.
15. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
16. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the
Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
17. The public has a right to know about Hillary‘s cattle trades, but George Bush‘s driving record is none of our business.
18. You support states‘ rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.
19. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the ‘80s is irrelevant.
20. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
Feel free to pass these on. If you don‘t send them to at least ten other people, we‘re likely to be stuck with Bush for four more years
-- Chet Eagleman Jr. Grand Rapids