Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 3/2/09
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Letters 3/2/09

- March 2nd, 2009
Cougar sightings
Very good article on the cougars in the Bendon area. I also live in the Interlochen /Bendon area and have seen the cougars in my back yard ( black ones with a baby in tow ).
There is several living in the Karlin area currently. The are also three living in Grawn. I have been tracking them down for the past year.
I also have a picture of a cougar that is very clear.
Good article that really tells the truth about the way the DNR handles this issue. The same thing happened to me.

Dale Maupin • Bendon

Hogs pose a threat
Readers of the Northern Express should not be mislead by Robert Downes‘ recent tongue-in-cheek treatment (“Who Let The Hogs Out?”) of Michigan’s growing problem with wild hogs. If our state continues to ignore it, and our citizens joke about it while waiting for the government to save us, the wild hog will likely do damage to the land comparable to that caused in the Great Lakes by zebra mussels, lamprey eels and other exotic pests.
Crop losses (as much as $10,000 worth on a single farm), ruined lawns, a child and adult chased by two hogs near Ann Arbor, and state forest damage have all been documented in Michigan in the last several months. Pseudorabies—a devastating disease in domestic swine—has been found in wild hogs roaming parts of the state. It’s not a movie or a joke, or somebody else’s problem.
The Michigan Wildlife Conservancy is not being alarmist in its assessment of the potential effects of wild hogs. The Conservancy has been conducting research and educating the public about the problem for two years. We brought one of the world’s top experts on hogs to Michigan and consulted with several other out-of-state experts about the lengthy and well-documented record of destruction wherever hogs have become established. Forty-two states and several Canadian provinces have learned the hard-way that the wild hog threat is no laughing matter. The $800 million annual damage caused by wild hogs across America is conservative. That’s why biologists, agricultural experts, and citizen-conservationists are urging Michigan, and I urge Mr. Downes, to take the wild hog threat seriously.
For more information about Michigan’s wild hog problem, readers can contact the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy at 517-641-7677 or email: wildlife@miwildlife.org.

Patrick J. Rusz, Ph.D
Director of Wildlife Programs
Michigan Wildlife Conservancy

The cost of digital TV
Re: Tom Carr‘s story on the upcoming switch to digital TV:
Talk about disconnection: look at this side of the situation. All I seem to hear is the date of changeover.
A government mandate to switch to digital TV. Ever wonder where the convertors are being manufactured?
Stimulus: Government mandates should include “Made-In-the-USA”.
Rebate: Yes, please. We all are eligible for a rebate that subsidizes manufacturing in a foreign country.
Reality: Northern Michigan is stimulated by primarily manufacturing industries, correct?
Who will be accountable for this oversight? Those that are still working are paying the tax to provide the rebates.

R. Tegel • via email

Hookah hazard
I am writing regarding the hookah trend that has recently reached the Traverse City area. The hookah, or waterpipe, is often seen as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes and other forms of tobacco. However, research indicates that this is not the case. People should understand the risks that hookah use poses to their health and the health of those around them.
The hookah indirectly heats tobacco, usually with burning embers or charcoal. The smoke is filtered through a bowl of water, and then drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece. Other common names for hookah include waterpipe, narghile or narghila, shisha or sheesha, and hubbly-bubbly.
Hookah is an ancient form of tobacco use originating in Persia and India. It has emerged as a new trend among young people. Hookah bars and cafes generally target 18-24 year olds.
A typical hookah smoking session lasts 40-45 minutes, during which time the user may inhale as much smoke as consuming 100 cigarettes. The heat sources for the pipe, such as wood or charcoal release additional toxins when burned. Initial research indicates that smoking hookah is at least as toxic as smoking cigarettes. Because the pipe is passed from user to user, there is an increased risk of transmitting infectious diseases including tuberculosis, hepatitis, and herpes. The secondhand smoke generated by a smoking session is dangerous to others.
It is clear that more research is needed related to the health effects of hookah use, but the available research indicates that smoking hookah is not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. For more information, please see the following fact sheet from the American Lung Association available at: http://slati.lungusa.org.

Lisa Danto, RN, tobacco addiction specialist coordinator, Traverse Bay Area Tobacco Coalition

Time to evolve
I appreciate Stuart Kunkle’s letter to the editor in your Feb. 2 issue (“Dire predictions“). He brought up an excellent point of view regarding the future of energy and life as we know it.
Listening to the radio every day it seems like we’re just throwing money blindly into the same sinking ship, hoping it will start to float again.
The Transition Handbook, from oil dependency to local resilience by Rob Hopkins states that there are actually several possible scenarios for life beyond the oil peak. Basically they can be described as “Evolve,” “Adapt” or “Collapse.”
“Evolve” suggests that we will use the ideas of earth stewardship and positive transitions to create a new way of life.
“Adapt” assumes that somehow magically a new energy source will be discovered (that we are currently unaware of) that will let civilization as we know it continue forever.
“Collapse” implies that nothing we do will be able to stop the crumbling of civilization (like every other civilization in history). The economy, energy and growth is interconnected in a complex web, similar to an ecosystem in nature. As housing, banking and car industries collapse, initiated by a spike then plateau in energy prices and availability, growth and the civilization based on it struggle to keep from collapsing as well.
Let’s remove our ego (or fear?) from the dialogue and be open to more diverse points of view. Change can be frightening, but please don’t confuse realism with pessimism and dismiss it categorically. Anticipating a future more regionally based (as Stuart Kunkle suggests), actually seems to me an optimistic (and realistic) future, a future where we spend more quality time with people (and our own children), making things by hand and relearning forgotten crafts. Personally, I’m with Stuart. I vote to “Evolve.”

Genevieve Pfisterer • TC

An affront to stoners
In regards to your recent article about medical marijuana, I wish to make a comment about the so-called “stoner image.” As a long-haired hippy who makes absolutely no apology for who I am, I have debated this issue with folks through the years until I want to puke.
Prejudice comes in all shapes and sizes and really needs to stop if we really believe in change. If you are stereotyping responsible, adult cannabis consumers, then you owe it to yourself (and us) to check out this website: http://coedmagazine.com/2009/02/06/the-10-most-successful-potheads-on-the-planet-cool-enough-to-admit-it/
This tye-dyed, long-haired hippy thanks you.

Rev. Steven B. Thompson,
ex. director, Michigan NORML

Correction: Credit for the beautiful decor on the cover of last week’s Home issue goes to interior designer Susan Newcomb, who created this room to showcase the look of a new luxury hotel planned for the Grand Traverse Commons.
John Weeman and Partners in Development are creating the new Inn at the Commons project. “The entire purpose of expending nearly $30,000 in fixtures, furnishings and equipment for the unit was to create a sense of the finish that will be in the hotel, for visitors to the Village at Grand Traverse Commons and interested parties in the hotel to experience,” he says.

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