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 · Letters · Letters 8/17/09
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Letters 8/17/09

- August 17th, 2009
Letters 8/17/09
Missed the point
In response to Mike McGee’s comments in the 8/10 - 8/16 edition:
I heartily disagree with your response to Marsha Minervini’s parking comments from the 8/3 - 8/9 edition. I went back and reread her piece and I think you missed the point altogether. Furthermore, the condescending nature of your reply is unhelpful to the discussion, and disrespectful towards one of TC’s most generous champions who politely raised a valid issue.
Marsha was right on the money with the two-hour meter comment. It discourages folks from hanging around downtown after a show because by the time they retrace their steps back to the car to reload the meter (hopefully before it expires), it’s really easy to leave (especially if you’re out of change).
At this point, an open-minded true gentleman would issue Marsha a sincere apology and restore their good standing and dignity.
As for TC, it appears there’s a more zealous attitude towards parking enforcement during the festivals. For example, when visiting in town I often park along Bay Street and have never been ticketed in over 10 years of the habit. However during the festivals, at certain times you can walk down Bay Street and observe a slew of yellow envelopes decorating windshields for the offense of, “parking on the grass” (a $25 fine). I don’t know how the interpretation is made about where grass begins and ends, but it used to be safe to assume that if you parked parallel to the road and was only off far enough to allow traffic to navigate, you’re okay.
It’s been said that first impressions are lasting impressions. However, last impressions are remembered the longest of all. It is a huge turn-off for an otherwise wholly law-abiding visitor to depart Traverse City with a yellow envelope as a parting gift.

David Page • TC

Mean-spirited letter
A recent letter published by Mike McGee seemed a little harsh.
Marsha Minervini’s point was, let’s not give out $5 parking tickets during the Traverse City Film Festival week as a goodwill gesture. It’s not a bad idea. It doesn’t mean, as Mr. McGee suggested, that Marsha has never “attempted the simple exercise known as walking” or drives a “gas guzzler.”
Mr. McGee wrote that he lives in Los Angeles, home of the least pedestrian friendly city I can imagine. I’m assuming he doesn’t know Marsha and her husband, Ray. They are in a class by themselves, having committed their lives toward renovating the former Traverse City State Hospital into what’s now known as the Village of Grand Traverse Commons. Through their efforts, a multitude of buildings that were destined for the bulldozer have been renovated. Their development was built around the concept of a “walkable community.” They are also sponsors of the Film Festival, and sponsors make the Film Festival possible.
I’d suggest a little research before making errant assumptions about someone.

Anne Stanton • TC

Hand surgery led to a
lesson in health care
I had the unfortunate experience of accidentally cutting two of my fingers on my left hand while using a table saw. To say the least, for me it was by far the most traumatic experience I have ever had.
I would like to publicly thank Dr. Paul Jacobson of Hand Surgeon Northern Michigan and the Emergency Room staff at Munson Medical Center for their incredible care, expertise, and positive attitude that I received.
Dr. Jacobson was able to repair the damage that I had caused to my fingers, which I considered to be a lot. Dr. Jacobson reassured me and his calm demeanor made a bad situation a lot better.
I am one of the nearly 46 million people living in the United States who do not have health insurance coverage. I was not able to afford the rising health care premiums on my policy and my policy lapsed approximately six years ago. I have applied for several policies since this time but have been declined coverage due to a back injury that I had 16 years ago. I have been able to find coverage from an insurance provider that is state-mandated to accept all applications, but the premiums quoted were higher than I could afford ($900 a month), double the amount of my rent payment.
I have nobody to blame but myself for my current financial predicament, but I cringe every time I hear a story on the news about unruly public debates on health care. The country seems to be very divided on whether a government one-payer health coverage system makes sense or not. Words such as socialized medicine, government controlled, and television propaganda advertisements with testimonies from Canadians saying how bad their nationally controlled health care system is.
I honestly didn’t know if the commercials were accurate in expressing the sentiments of the majority of Canadian citizens. After doing a few quick fact checks on the Internet and listening to other radio and television news shows, I found that the vast majority of Canadians do like their health care system.
The point being is that our health care system, in my opinion, is wrecked, and badly at that. When a typical 30-something, in average health, cannot find or afford health care coverage in a country that is considered to be among the very best, there is a problem.
I personally know many people that cannot afford health coverage and routinely go without annual checkups or see a doctor when they are sick. How many of those people in the United States are becoming more ill or even dying because they cannot afford to see a doctor?
My greatest scare in cutting my fingers severely was how I was going to pay for this mess I just created. I was as upset, if not more so with the fact that I just sunk myself financially deeper in debt and that any hopes of being able to promote/advertise a newly created business as a photographer was lost.
I sincerely hope that this country can unite in some form of agreement on health care coverage because the current system is not working. It is not only consumers who are upset with the current health care coverage, but also physicians as well. There is a problem in this country and as its citizens we can solve it. I don’t have all the answers but I do know that a country divided and shouting criticisms from both sides of the aisle are not going to solve any problems and only divide this country even further.
Thank you Dr. Jacobson for doing a great job and being a true doctor, one that cares and understands that the hand or fingers you are working on are attached to a real living person, with or without health care insurance.

Noah Creamer • TC

What about Medicare?
Concerning national health care, I am confused by the Republican folks who aim to disrupt true dialogue on an important and long-time-coming debate. Many whom I speak with that adamantly oppose single-payer national health care are senior citizens who enjoy a socialist program called Medicare. It is fine that they enjoy single-payer socialist health care, but what of my two laid-off young adult children with zero health care options? Let‘s be frank, Medicare is a welfare program. If it is good for some, why not all?
Secondly, most Republicans profess to be “pro-life.” If Republicans are so “pro-life” wouldn’t one assume that that meant all living people, not just the unborn?
We have welfare for farmers, welfare for billionaires, and welfare for corporations; isn’t that socialism?
Lastly, the Republicans boast of their pro-business support. How many people do you know that would exercise their entrepreneurial spirit and start their own business if they did not have to worry about health care and its present costs?
What troubles me is that we already have an efficient and good social medicine program in place that works well called Medicare. Why not just welcome all American citizens into this program?

Mark Greening • Kaleva

Our freedom to choose
I would like to respond to two letters from 8/10/09.
First to T. Galoi and “Rubbish to ‘radical’ tag.” I agree, it is inappropriate to label anyone un-American just because of opposing views. I did not like it at all when labeled un-patriotic when rallying against the war in Iraq. However, I do not understand your implication of: “We who work every day and take care of our family and our future are getting a raw deal...”.
I too work every day and provide for my family and my future, yet I do not have health insurance. Have you read the President‘s health plan? How do you know that it “shoves health reform” down your throat? Or takes away any of your rights to health care? Is this a bias based on fact or one schemed up by insurance companies who makes billions of dollars refusing health services, and spend billions of dollars convincing you “the president has turned his back on the people”?
And second, to Jill Congdon and “No abortion, please.” The right to abortion is a legal precedent. One you may not agree with but unfortunately must abide by. The nation may stand divided however, the courts do not.
For many, abortion is essential, unless you are willing to adopt the babies that others cannot care for. Plus, if it were legal to refuse your tax dollars be spent on matters you disagree with, I would be first in line to exclude mine from funding wars. However, we are not allowed to discern where our tax dollars are spent. Furthermore, abortion is about choice.
Choosing what is right for yourself, just like cancer patients are allowed to choose dangerous therapies, or one is allowed to chose their religion. That is what our country is based on, a democracy, giving people the choice.
Be careful what choices you allow the government to make for you. First, they may decide in your favor, like illegalizing abortion. But someday they may decide to your detriment, and allow only one child per family.

Breanne Russell • TC

Misinformation campaign
Once again the mainstream media has demonstrated their utter lack of journalistic integrity by allowing Republicans to freely wage another misinformation campaign. Last time it was Weapons of Mass Destruction, this time it’s health care reform.
The television “news” is the most egregious offender. Clueless and slack-jawed, their vacuous, yet beautiful “reporters” are endlessly telling stories that even the skankiest of British tabloids would grow weary of. (You may not of heard, but apparently Michael Jackson died, and we are, as a nation, instructed to be deeply concerned about the drug habits of narcissistic celebrities. It’s a crisis! Save the celebrities from themselves! The poor dears.)
Network executives defend themselves by admitting that they are shamelessly catering to their demographic. It would appear their demographic is dumber than a box of rocks.
The situation is particularly disheartening because as television news self-destructs there are thousands of earnest and professional print media reporters that want nothing more than to do solid shoe leather journalism, but instead find themselves among the unemployed. As so many local papers fall by the wayside, those left standing are experiencing a certain fluffification, giving us cavity-inducing headlines and editorials: “Kittens are softer than Puppies!”
There is a very real health care crisis, with no one out there to report on it. A crisis in itself.
Amy Kerr Hardin • Acme

Another banking story...
Your Random Thoughts (“Banking Promises Broken,“ 8/10) pretty much told the situation faced by me and millions of Americans.
My mortgage was through Chase (you remember their CFO told reporters he didn’t have to tell anyone how they spent their bailout dollars.)
Last year they did “modify” my mortgage; it took over six months to get it done because you can’t do anything locally (their rules). They did lower my mortgage payment from $1,100 per month to $600, adding $200 for my escrow account. Then my first mortgage payment came due and it was $1400 per month, $300 a month more than I had been paying before the re-mortgage.
Since I was not able to deal with the local branches (Chase‘s modification rules) I called the 800 number and they said it was the extra escrow money I needed in my account. They were charging me $800 per month in escrow payments.
I explained my account was up to date and that my taxes and insurance barely equaled $200. No matter how many times I called and faxed them my insurance and tax figures they said that was my payment, period, and if I didn’t like it I could move. So I did.
I have a file several inches thick with all my notes and correspondence with Chase Bank: names, dates, conversations of the three years I tried to deal with the bank.
Over the six years I had that house I was never late with a payment. That‘s how Chase Bank thanks their customers, and from the stories I heard most of the major banks (all of which received bailout money, our money) behave. They don’t care about keeping people in their homes whatsoever. It‘s only the bottom line that counts.
Of course, they wouldn’t need the bailout money if they were that good at their business. I wish the government would have directly bailed out the homeowners and left those banks who took the bailout money fail.

Lynn K. Gerow • TC

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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