Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Moving On
. . . .

Moving On

Robert Downes - January 5th, 2009
Met a young guy over the holidays who is moving to Australia this week to take on a new job.
“How’s the economy doing there?” I asked.
“Not all that great, but better than here,” he said.
It sounds like a pretty sweet deal, working as an accountant in Brisbane, which is a city on Australia’s “Gold Coast” of spectacular beaches and tropical skies. Brad said he planned to learn how to surf and would be making frequent trips to New Zealand and New Guinea to audit businesses on behalf of the firm that is sending him Down Under.
Although he‘s from Florida, Brad‘s story made me think of all the people in Michigan who are moving on in search of a job.
Consider this astounding fact: According to the Detroit News, 109,257 people moved out of Michigan between 2007 and 2008. Factoring in births and the 16,627 brave souls who actually moved to Michigan last year, our population dropped by 46,000 in total. But the number of those moving on continues to rise: more than 260,000 have left since 2005 for places like Texas and Arizona. Our state‘s population is dipping below 10 million.
That‘s not all bad, because when the economy turns around, there will be work for those who stuck it out in the Wolverine State, but still...
It calls to mind the exodus of the early ‘80s when many laid-off auto workers fled the “Rust Belt” for western horizons. Michigan license plates were a common sight in Texas in 1982, and a popular bumper sticker from those days was “Last One Out of Michigan, Turn Out the Lights.”
Now those times have come again, and everyone seems to know someone who’s left for Atlanta, Colorado, Oregon, Houston -- anywhere that jobs are available. It’s not all the “Grapes of Wrath” -- some are happy to experience the excitement of a new beginning.
Someone commented over the holidays as to how sad it was that so many people are leaving Michigan, but you can also see moving on as a good thing. Moving on to new horizons is as old as the human race. Virtually everyone who lives in America has ancestors who came here as the result of economic hardship or social pressure in some long-lost land. People didn‘t forsake their families in the Old World on a lark: they were driven here by the depressions, wars and famines that swept countries such as Germany, Ireland and Sweden. The same applies to more recent newcomers from Laos, Vietnam, Guatemala, Mexico and China. Even the Indian tribes living in the region migrated here from other parts of North America.
But it must be a fearful decision to move on, because not everyone’s got a sure deal laid out for them in faraway Australia. How do you know where the jobs are? And how do you wrap up your obligations at a time when it seems impossible to sell your home?
Some don’t leave gracefully. In the metro Detroit area, my brother tells of a neighbor in his 30s who walked out on his mortgage and his home. He didn’t bother to shut off the water in the house, and when the heat was cut off, the pipes burst and wrecked the place. Needless to say, his credit is screwed forever.
There are a lot of stories like that going around -- people taking out their rage and frustration over a foreclosure by wrecking what they’ve left behind -- kicking holes in walls, busting toilets and sinks. It doesn’t sound like a good kharma way to move on.
You also hear sad stories of people who are paralyzed by their circumstances. On public radio over the weekend, I heard the story of a woman in Chillicothe, Ohio, whose husband had lost his job. The guy stood five hours in line for an interview, hoping to get a job at a new Menard’s store in town. If that didn’t come through, the family didn’t know what they’d do.
What to do? Move on. There are many different ways to leave your old life behind: go to college, seek out a new career, move to Australia, join a commune... the important thing is to take action -- do something -- seize the day.

Five ideas for Obama
The guy hasn‘t even taken office yet and already the pundits are fretting over how Barack Obama will handle two wars, the mess in the Mideast and the biggest recession since the Great Depression.
Well, here are a few ideas off the top of my head that Obama can borrow starting Jan. 21. No charge, dude!

1. Recognize Cuba and begin trade immediately. Fidel Castro has stepped down as el presidente and it‘s time for us to get over it. Trade with Cuba will spark up to economies of both our countries.
2. Close Guantanamo. It costs $118 million to run the Gitmo prison to house 200-300 prisoners. Give the really bad guys a one-way ticket to Greenland and send the rest home. And send the money we‘ll save to Detroit.
3. Start pulling out of Iraq tomorrow. And give the guy who threw his shoes at Bush a new job in the Iraqi army to help maintain order while we pull out.
4. Put Israel on a “time out.“ This works well for kindergartners and could do wonders for our irritating ally. As in, no more foreign aid until they stop bombing civilians. What about those rocket attacks? Simple. Move the Israeli settlements out of range.
5. Don‘t worry, be happy. The best thing President Obama can do is project confidence and leadership -- qualities we haven‘t seen over the past few years.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
 

 

 
 
 
Close
Close
Close