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 · Music · Gardens for Africa Music Fest
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Gardens for Africa Music Fest

- September 29th, 2008
Rock out for a good cause Sunday, Oct. 5 at a benefit concert to help the drought-stricken farmers of the tiny African nation of Lesotho.
This fall, Leelanau County musician and landscaper Chris Skellenger is preparing to return to Lesotho to carry on with an irrigation project designed to help subsistence farmers. But, it’s an expensive undertaking and he needs roughly $20,000 to make it happen.
The second annual Gardens for Africa concert will be helf at the InsideOut Gallery to help raise these funds; The concert will feature Skellenger’s band, 3 Hr Tour, along with Chris Amidon’s String Quartet and The Dawn Patrol dance-rock band. A silent auction will be held from 4-7p.m.

11 OAKS
Chris and his wife Susan established the 11 Oaks group last year to help encourage an innovative bucket irrigation system that makes it possible for small farmers to overcome drought in parched and dusty lands. Last winter, Chris traveled to Africa to establish an irrigation system at the St. Charles School and orphanage in northern Lesotho. The project has received a boost from Traverse City Rotary Charities and many other contributors in Northern Michigan.
The group’s mission statement states: “To increase the food security of the world’s poorest people using gravity-fed irrigation and recycled water, enabling them to grow vegetables when there is no rain.”
“We chose Lesotho to launch the project because it’s a stable, English-speaking country,” Skellenger says. “We also set up a project in Belize and hope to someday take it to a higher level, helping farmers throughout the Third World.”
What is bucket irrigation? It’s Simple. A five-gallon bucket is attached to plastic drip-hose lines running between rows of crops. The farmer fills the bucket with water from a well or other water source and the plants receive a drink, spiked with a fertilizing dose of “manure tea.” A single bucket system can support 100 plants.
Lesotho is a small, land-locked country nestled within the borders of South Africa. The country is set high on a plateau and tends to be dry and drought-stricken. “It’s got about the same climate as Wyoming,” Skellenger notes.
But the irrigation project has a special urgency because Lesotho has been hammered by drought and disease. More than 30 percent of the children in the country are orphans -- mostly because Lesotho has the third-highest level of HIV infection in Africa. Life expectancy in the country is 38 years and falling. In fact, it has been predicted that the entire population of the country will disappear within 30 years unless action is taken to turn back the plague of AIDS/HIV.
“Most of these people are so weak they can barely take care of themselves, and because of the drought, they have nothing to eat but grain for most of the year,” Skellenger says. “If we can teach them how to use the bucket method of irrigation, they will have fresh vegetables to eat. When people don’t have a balanced diet, they get even sicker.”
For some, going without vegetables means eating oatmeal or other grain products 10 months out of the year.
This is the second annual event for the Gardens for Africa concert and there will be numerous silent auction items available at the show. There is no suggested donation at the door, but concertgoers are encouraged to give what they can.
The Gardens for Africa MusicFest will be held from 4-7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 5 at the InsideOut Gallery on Garland Street in Traverse City (the alley running parallel to Front Street, across from the Open Space).
 
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