Letters

Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Some reasons to be...
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Some reasons to be thankfull

Michael Estes - January 26th, 2009
Daily we bear witness to the chorus of “bad economic news” with forecasts of more to come. The facts we continually overlook are that the majority of Americans maintain higher standards of living, occupy larger homes, purchase more cars, acquire more education and are privileged to healthier lives and other opportunities than any other generation. That doesn’t negate the fact that the current economic downturn has and/or will further challenge many in our community.
It’s unlikely that anyone has avoided some degree of hardship. However, as a region we are blessed with countless benefits that are the envy of most both nationally and within our state. Grand Traverse is one of only two Michigan counties (per the U.S. Census) that have had significant net population growth since 2000, with 25-34-year-olds (according to the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments) leading those gains.
While auto-related jobs disappear, our region is blessed with employment diversity in new technology, services, agriculture and tourism. Munson, a world class medical center, cares for our ailing and provides good paying jobs. Our array of primary schools continues to provide quality education and Northwestern Michigan College provides advanced education at a reasonable cost. Cherry Capital Airport is the fifth largest airport in the state, allowing residents and visitors greater travel opportunities. It is the only airport in Michigan expected to have flights added in 2009.
The Grand Vision, a planning model of national significance, has provided area residents with a strong voice in crafting their future community. The National Cherry Festival appears to have turned the corner on finances and provides our cherry growers the opportunity to showcase their products. Other successful festivals include the Film Festival, Epicurean Classic and National Equestrian Show, which all provide additional business revenue to the community, create jobs and entertain residents and visitors alike.
Recreationally and environmentally, the Grand Traverse Bay and the Boardman River are fresh water gems destined to grow our tourism base and provide recreation for generations to come. TART and VASA trails provide biking, hiking and skiing enthusiasts local access to recreation without cost.
Residential and commercial construction has substantially declined in the area; however, residential real estate sales (per the GTA Realtors Association) have outpaced the rest of the state and are consistent with projections. Those who purchased homes at the housing peak with little or no down payment likely have negative equities, and with declining incomes have faced foreclosures. Current and future home buyers with good credit however, have more buying opportunities and 40-year low interest rates continue to make housing more affordable.
Individuals with excess and/or poor credit are facing less purchasing power while the savers in society are being rewarded with purchasing additional assets at discount prices. Even gas prices once the scourge of all, are falling.
Rather than joining the doom and doom crowd, take a few moments to reflect on what you have. Join those who see opportunities and work to grow the Grand Traverse Area for the mutual benefit of all.

Michael Estes is mayor of Traverse City.


 
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