Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Thinking outside the (Digital...
. . . .

Thinking outside the (Digital Converter) box

Tom Carr - February 23rd, 2009
Thinking outside the (Digital Converter) box
Tom Carr 2/23/09


We have four extra months now to buy those converter boxes being touted by the horizontally scrolling reminders on our TV screens. The deadline was supposed to be this week. Congress delayed it to June 12, as one in 20 homes has yet to buy the electronic box that will transform an analog set into a digital television.
Locally, viewers will be able to procrastinate no matter which programs they like. The station in the designated Traverse City/Cadillac market have all opted to wait until the new deadline to go completely digital, though about 500 stations throughout the country stopped analog transmission on or around Feb. 17, the first deadline.
The word analog itself almost conjures images of dust-covered vacuum tubes. It’s the way our parents and grandparents watched “The Honeymooners.” Still, it’s always been there, free and through the airwaves, even though the majority of people have cable or satellite these days.
Yet 17.3 percent of homes in the Traverse City/Cadillac TV market still get their viewing without a paid subscription. That’s above the national average of 11 percent, says Nielsen Media research.

DISCONNECTED?
So will it leave a bunch of viewers, particularly rural ones, disconnected if they don’t get that box? Or is it just a reminder that we need to keep getting the gadgets if we want to stay connected?
People have so far redeemed 22.6 million of the $40 coupons sent out by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to help with the cost of the devices that start at around $50.
Nielsen says 5.1 percent of the country is still unprepared this month.
Gail Roberts of Kingsley is one of them. She has what her father jokingly calls “Amish TV,” an analog set that receives two stations reliably. That’s plenty to bring in the school closings she wants to hear in the morning. The family has dial-up Internet, because they can still get it for $10 a month, so they don’t spend a lot of time surfing.
She doesn’t know what the future holds for her preferred sources of news – the daily newspaper and National Public Radio – particularly with the fact that the state’s two largest newspapers plan to cease seven-day delivery.
Roberts has the coupon for the converter box, but hasn’t felt compelled to buy it yet and doesn’t know if she will any time soon.
“The first time I take the kids out to get on the bus and it doesn’t arrive, then I’ll probably get a faster Internet connection,” she said.

UNPREPARED
People I’ve chatted with have said they’re concerned that the changes will leave older people in the lurch.
Yet Nielsen reports that the homes headed by someone under 35 are less prepared (8.6 percent unready) than those in the 55-and-over group (3.2 percent).
The younger group may have less disposable income than the older group, said Anne Elliot, a Nielsen spokeswoman. They can only speculate, since asking people’s reasons for their viewing habits might influence their behavior, she said.
“They may also be relying on the Internet more,” she added. “They might even be watching their favorite shows on network Web sites or services like Hulu.”
Those are educated guesses. Nielsen doesn’t ask people’s reasons, since that might influence their behavior, Elliot said.
Retirees who frequent the Traverse City Senior Center haven’t been talking much about it at all, director Lori Wells said.
“Most of them have satellite or cable,” she said.

Tom Carr is a freelance writer who uses a converter box.

 
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