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...

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- November 23rd, 2009
Stupak & women
In response to the article on the Stupak amendment by Anne Stanton in the November 16 Northern Express Weekly:
Congressman Stupak, you claim in the article that National Public Radio says some groups that oppose your amendment are misrepresenting the facts. I, too, listened to the NPR analysis of your abortion ban amendment, and clearly we heard two different things.
Whereas you heard, “Keeps the law the same,” I heard, “Makes permanent a law that currently has to be renewed every year,” and, “Abortion rights could be curtailed if this bill becomes law.”
I think we both heard, “Women still have the option to buy an extra rider to cover abortion services.” Although being a woman, I think my interpretation was a little different than yours. Mr. Stupak.
I have likely never been as insulted by anyone as you at that moment in my life. I actually yelled at the nice NPR anchor. “Women do not plan unplanned pregnancies! We plan the births of our children. We plan on providing for them. We plan every last penny in our lives in order to do so! What a ridiculous notion that we will be without coverage because we didn’t plan to have an abortion.”
Hide behind the “we’ve got to get this thing passed” rhetoric all you want. But what I just heard was, “Women be damned.”
If we are poor, federal employees, members of the military, receiving Indian Health Insurance, on Medicaid, on disability, hoping for a public option, likely to receive federal subsidies on a public option – if we are in fact the women who already pay more for our medical costs than men because we pay for years of reproductive health coverage like birth control – then what I just heard was, “You are my Political Pawn.”
I would encourage men and women alike to contact their representatives and ask them to oppose this amendment.
Maybe then what I will hear from you, Congressman Stupak, is an apology.

Jennifer Kirkpatrick Johnson
• Kingsley

Protect the pristine U.P.
It’s a shame when publicly elected officials become the mouthpiece for pro-mining propaganda. Not only did state legislators Mike Prusi, Michael Lahti, Steven Lindberg, Judy Nerat, and Jason Allen blatantly misrepresent attempts to protect the economy and environment of Upper Michigan, they failed to recognize the largest part of the U.P.’s economy. It is our position that if legislators do not have the time to read and research what they are commenting on, they should refrain from doing so.
The movement to prevent pollution and degradation to the water and wilderness of the U.P. started in the hearts and minds of local concerned citizens decades ago. For the past eight years, small-town folk in Marquette County and across the U.P. have thwarted the attempts of foreign mining companies who would irreversibly contaminate the Great Lakes Region for financial gain. It has taken the same amount of time to rally any attention to this issue from downstate Michigan, and we are proud to endorse MIWater leadership in spearheading the ballot initiative that will further protect our resources.
Recreational and environmental tourism is the lifeblood of Upper Michigan’s economy. Visitation to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore alone generates $100 million over a five-year period, (based on 2008 figures) which is $30 million more than what the proposed Eagle Mine would produce. Tourism doesn’t impose heavy utility lines, toxic tailings, industrial roads into remote, wild areas, or threaten the water quality of our local watersheds and Great Lakes.
Finally, the ballot initiative DOES NOT “ban mining” as our legislators erroneously assert. Currently no rules exist for uranium mining, so logically we need tough regulations to mine an intensely toxic and radioactive substance to protect health and water quality. The same can be said for sulfide mining that threatens our pure water with hard-to-control acid mine drainage. New ballot legislation would safeguard our resources by strengthening the existing mining law.
The Upper Peninsula is our homeland. The U.P. plays host to people from around the world who seek natural beauty, recreational opportunities, small town charm and a rich quality of life. The movement to protect the Upper Peninsula began here, and will continue to be fiercely supported by those who understand the trade-off of higher wages for quality of life.
It is time to invent new and sustainable solutions for our employment woes instead of taking easy money from foreign investors that will ‘boom and bust’ Michigan and leave our land and water in a shambles. One would expect our legislators to feel the same way.

Kristi A. Mills • Director,
Save the Wild UP

Our race against China
Let’s re-power America with clean energy before China does.
The slow response to energy and climate legislation is already starting to affect the United States. The New York Times recently published an article talking about how China will be solely supplying one of the largest wind farm producers in America with wind turbines. China -- not the United States -- will be supplying the turbine components for wind farms that will be built in the U.S. These are components that should be manufactured right here in Michigan, but instead are being bought from foreign countries, sending our money overseas once again.
China, not the United States, has set in place $400 to $660 billion to invest in clean, renewable energy sources as well, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Our senators need to take a serious look at the potential Michigan has to be a leader in a clean energy future.
As Americans, we’re expected to be leaders, and now is the time to show the world we are prepared to take courageous leaps forward with bold climate and energy legislation that will power our country and our future with 100% clean, renewable energy sources.
Now is the time to act, China already is. Will we be left behind? It’s time to get real. Let’s re-power America.

Kevin Numerick • TC

Labors of love
Rick Coates’ Nov. 16 story: “Let’s Eat,” about Sandra Svec and the Community Meals program she founded, reminds me of a song by Peter Boland titled “Martin King and Corretta.”
“But the living proof of the gospel truth, is marching with your own two feet” are lyrics which easily describe Sandra and George as they have dished out dignity along with the countless meals served. Our entire community is richer from their labors of love.

Brad Purcell • TC

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