Last November as I settled into my ($94 one way) seat on the plane from Flint to Sarasota, FL, just before the door closed, in rushed the occupant of the seat next to me. He flopped down exclaiming: “Wow, didnt think Id make it. Ive just driven four hours from a little town in the tip of the Leelanau peninsula, Northport.“
Not recognizing him, I asked who he was visiting there as I too had just driven from Northport (in a $37, plus gas, rental car). Each time I make this frequent flight the plane has many people on it going to or from the Grand Traverse area. Why is Flints Bishop International Airport, a four-hour drive from here, getting our business?
Sarasota, where my wife and I travel several times a year for business, is very similar to Traverse City. Like TC, a few years ago they built a beautiful new airport. However, compared to Tampa International, an hour drive away, prices were high and flight availability poor. For several years the new airport sat embarrassingly idle.
Finally, after community complaints, a grass roots campaign, and a new director, the authority finally negotiated to bring in AirTran, followed by ATA. The airport and its carriers (except for ATA) today are flourishing to everyones delight.
For a city and outlying communities that practically depend on tourism, whats wrong with Traverse City? Why are there no budget air carriers available for this region at Cherry County Airport? Isnt it a necessity whose time has come? Why isnt the business community in Traverse City involved with this issue? Isnt it time to shut down the FNT connection, do some negotiation, and finally get TVC at Cherry Capitol Airport, onto AirTrans landing charts?
Craig Brigham Northport
There was a movie about 20 years ago called Predator. It was about an alien that came to Earth to hunt human beings for sport. The nearly invisible predator would tirelessly stalk its human prey, skin them alive, and make prized trophies out of their skulls.
This movie comes to mind whenever I think about the fear and terror experienced by my family and our friends who have endured a barrage of SLAPP suits (strategic lawsuits against public participation) filed by Timothy Stoepker, an attorney from the downstate law firm Dickinson Wright PLLC.
The sinister purpose of these SLAPP suits was to intimidate Acme Township officials into abrogating their local zoning laws. I am pleased to report that the Acme officials were firm in protecting the democratic process in the face of these egregious attacks that threatened their familys hearth, home, and their modest assets. We stood to lose everything, but instead of cowering, we resoundingly said: NO!
And now, to my horror, I read that Mr. Stoepker has turned his predatory gaze on the officials of rural Bear Creek Township (Northern Express, “Lawsuits Bleed Townships,“ 5-26-08). Deeply sympathetic with their plight, I am sure that they too will serve their community well, but they will need the support of their neighbors. It will not be easy.
Thankfully, we do have an Arnold Schwarzenegger type hero to save the day. Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer of the 105th House District is in the process of drafting some very important legislation that will prevent this kind of abuse of our democratic process in the future. Mr. Elsenheimer, along with all the besieged township officials and their families, and the community members who bravely spoke up... they are all my heroes.
In that movie, I believe the predator, wounded and realizing his failure, self-destructs. Hopefully, Mr. Stoepker will simply discover a new sport with which to amuse himself that is not so cruel and inhumane. May I suggest badminton?
Amy Kerr Hardin Acme Township
Different view of Lyme
Mr Rubles insightful and eloquent letter in the May 26 Northern Express Weekly deserves commendation as one of the best brief accounts of the Lyme disease topic that I have read.
As a medical director for a downstate local health department (Saginaw County), I have seen firsthand the consequences of an overzealous affinity to the diagnosis of chronic lyme disease. I have also predicted that a grass-roots attempt by well-intentioned individuals to alter the current case definition of Lyme disease will be forthcoming by those so convinced of its under diagnosis and reporting.
Letters like his help portray a balanced view of a controversial topic, as do the articles he has suggested.
Neill D, Varner, DO, MPH
CMS made arrangements to have the City of Petoskey take the leachate from Bay Harbor and run it through the waste treatment plant. CMS failed to live up to their agreements.
When Petoskey refused to take the hazardous waste, CMS allowed the leachate to run into the Bay for eight months. Leachate not collected by CMS lines runs into the Bay regardless.
Another waste treatment plant was approached and declined to take the leachate because of toxicity and the severe conditions placed on equipment. The Traverse City waste treatment plant takes some of the leachate. What they will not take is trucked to Johannesburg.
Now, CMS has plans to truck the leachate to an injection well near Alba to save money.
The leachate presents a problem much larger than CMS or the DEQ or EPA solutions. Friends of the Jordan is working to keep the injection well out of Alba to protect the Jordan River Watershed. This is what the Friends of the Jordan is responsible for. They do not have an answer to what should be done with leachate. As long as piles of CKD (cement kiln dust) remain, surface and groundwater will travel through them in perpetuity, and into the Great Lakes. The CKD is a legacy of cement manufacturing that profited a few and provided jobs for others.
All of us in this area are responsible for taking care of the place where we live. CMS is looking out for the interests of itself and Bay Harbor. These interests do not represent the interests of Northern Michigan. All people of this area must come together to find a solution that does not just move the problem somewhere else.
Rick Beemon Charlevoix
The success of the consumer economy in the U.S., which the developing world is attempting to emulate, depends on more and more people buying more and more things.
This economy depends on three elements which doom it to failure: a growing population, a growing debt, and diminishing resources. The economic theory which guides our economy seems to offer no other way to share the wealth of the planet than by this process in which we just use it up.
Yet the health of the environment cannot stand more huge, populous nations with consumer economies similar to the U.S.
Overpopulation, the end of cheap energy, and the poisoning of our atmosphere are either upon us or in sight. Al Gore has done more than almost anyone else to call our attention to the fact that our way of life is not sustainable.
On the other hand, many leaders dare not speak anything less than hopefully about the future. That the world is already overpopulated is one of the most forbidden of all topics.
People have faith that things will go on pretty much as they have; putting their faith in the goverment, the free market, private enterprise, human ingenuity, science and technology, and finally, in God.
There have been economists and ecologists who have warned about the unsustainability of our lifestyle. We have rarely known who our prophets are, believing them usually to be without honor in their own time and place.
R.E. Reinert Northport