Letters

Letters 11-24-2014

Dangerous Votes You voted for Dr. Dan. Thanks!Rep. Benishek failed to cosponsor H.R. 601. It stops subsidies for big oil companies. He failed to cosponsor H.R. 1084. There is an exemption for hydraulic fracturing written into the Safe Drinking Water Act. H.R. 1084. It would require the contents of fracking fluids to be publicly disclosed to protect the public health.

Solar Is The Answer There have been many excellent letters about the need for our region, state and nation to take action on climate change. Now there is a viable solution to this ever-growing problem: Solar energy is the future.

Real Minimum Wage In 1966, a first class stamp cost 5 cents and minimum wage was $1.25. Today, a first class stamp is 49 cents, so federal minimum wage should be $11.25.

Doesn’t Seem Warmer I enjoy the “environmentalists” twisting themselves into pretzels trying to convince us that it is getting warmer. Sure it is... 

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 8/5/04
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Letters 8/5/04

Various - August 5th, 2004
Never-ending lies
I recently came across the John Ramsey article (Express, 7/15) with invitation to comment. I accept the invitation.
I could not help but notice some glaring conflicts with certain facts. Granted, the investigation (of JonBenet’s death) has been and is inept to the max, but to express or imply that the ineptness was and is unjustified focus upon the Ramseys is contrary to the facts. Over two million dollars has been spent with a large part, probably most of it, spent on many interviews and other actions taken upon the notion of intruder.
The Express article states: “...and it wasn’t until last year that a federal judge and the Boulder district attorney absolved them of any guilt.”
This was a civil hearing with Judge Carnes’ ruling derived from positing detective Lou Smit as an “expert witness” in all fields without establishing him as expert in any; nor has Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan removed the Ramseys from under the “umbrella of suspicion.” This was so noted in a recent newspaper quote. (I think it was the Detroit Free Press, but don’t recall for sure.)
“Today, even the tabloid press agrees that the killer was most likely a male intruder who used a stun gun to subdue .....
Ramsey: Well there’s virtually no doubt that a stun gun was used.”
Lou Smit made the same statement. His “no doubt” was based upon the contention that he saw a blue line on JonBenet’s skin and was sure it was made by a stun gun. The only problem with this “evidence” is that it’s literally impossible. The blue arc seen between the electrodes of a stun gun comes from high voltage ionization of air molecules and does not transfer color any more than a blue gas flame. (This contradictory claim is typical of the claims made by Smit and Ramsey. This is the source of “evidence of an intruder.”
This suit (against FOX News) is a big, big RamseyWood mistake as will eventually be shown.
Contact Mary Keenan and see if she will confirm John’s claim (of an intruder). While you’re at it, ask her to name a single item of evidence of an intruder. Won’t happen?
You can believe and print whatever you like, but what is expressed and implied in the article does not correspond to the facts.
The unchallenged and indisputable fact is that after over seven years and millions of dollars spent, not only has no intruder been found, charged, tried and convicted, not an iota of evidence of an intruder has been found either. All the talk about DNA, recent focus upon “suspects,” etc. is the usual Ramsey-serving propaganda without a grain of truth in it.
Theoretically, this could go on for 70 years instead of seven and billions spent instead of millions, but in the end, it will be the same: No intruder.
Your article is just one of thousands exhibiting this practice. Don’t feel too badly about being taken in by the Ramseys. Many are fooled. They have made a career out of conning as shown by John’s run for office. They are very convincing - IF you don’t bother to look at the evidence and catch them in the never-ending lies.

Delmar England • via email

(We called Mary Keenan’s DA office in Boulder to get her views on the claim there was no intruder involved in JonBenet’s death. Unfortunately, she was gone for the week. Look for her response in next week’s Express. -- ed.)

Misguided Ramsey
My guess would be that most of those living in Northern Michigan are here by choice. They are living here by choice because of the beauty of the north and what this beauty offers: a unique diverse environment, clear blue lakes, clean water and air, breathtaking views, plentiful wildlife and a special quality of life.
I am encouraged by the willingness and passion of most living here to protect and preserve this environment that surrounds us.
After reading full page paid political ads by John Ramsey and Kevin Elsenheimer (candidates for Republican 105th House District), I was very disappointed that the environment up north was not included. Not one word.
What was emphasized was a non-local issue: their stand for Right to Life. (I am wondering what a Michigan State Representative can do about a Supreme Court decision.)
Please vote for those who are focused on our immediate local issues and for protecting our existing pristine environment!

Marilyn Bagdonas • Bellaire

Taking wing
Thank you so much for the wonderful article on the Aviation Program at Northwestern Michigan College (7/22). We are very proud of our students, graduates and our curriculum, so we appreciate an opportunity to share that story with others.
I’d like to add some good news to the reporter’s information. We have many graduates employed all over the world as pilots. The Industry is projecting hiring trends that are positive for pilots. In addition, the pay scale for pilots has become quite profitable. Many pilot positions pay six figure incomes from commuters, freight operations, corporate, to the major airlines.
Thanks again for sharing our story with your readers; one of them was inspired to sign up as a student. Welcome aboard!

Robert Buttleman, Director
NMC Flight Technology Program

Give peace a chance
I struggle to understand why the American people so willingly accept our government’s use of military force to assert its will upon the world. I guess in a culture whose media glorifies violence as reasonable conflict resolution to us from the time we are children, it becomes more understandable.
As a boomer born shortly after WW II, I grew up going to see movies about “the last good war” with my veteran father.
Sixty years later, Hollywood still taps that seemingly inexhaustable font of pride and glory almost yearly.
I have watched with dismay these past few decades as Americans have allowed themselves to be “marketed” on the necessity of war. Even more disturbing has been the limitations by corporate controlled media on what we are “allowed” to see. During Vietnam, we saw the body bags as well as other horrors, and anti-war did not equate with unpatriotic. Today we are accused of hating America if we don’t condone our government’s blundering savagery. I don’t hate America folks, but our leaders... greedy, wealthy men who do not value human life, much less honor nature.
When I see the crushing poverty in Afghanistan and Iraq, my heart goes out... I wish we could help these poor brothers and sisters and nurture goodwill among mankind. To see them bombed, killed and maimed, and their meager homes destroyed, I am horrified and ashamed! At last count, 17,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed. Are their lives of less value than ours? Obviously our Christian President thinks so!
We will not win the war on terror with violence. Our brutal actions serve only to make us feared and hated around the world. As the wealthiest nation on earth, surely we can do better than this. Love they neighbor, live simply, share the planet.. these are Christian values, are they America’s?

Richard Allen • Leland

No friendly caretaker
WNMC-FM is a cultural treasure of the area. It has grown to be this because of the tremendous love that literally thousands of students and community volunteers have given it over 30 years. WNMC was initially begun as a student club. Northwestern Michigan College would have the community believe that it has fostered the station’s growth and allowed it to become a “community public radio station.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The college is not an advocate of the public’s right to be informed. It is also not a friendly caretaker of community public radio.
As a past general manager and development director for the station during the ‘80s and ‘90s I struggled constantly with the college’s indifference, neglect and outright hostility.
The college administrators never supported this student organization. In fact, the college consistently attempted to frustrate fundraising and prevent the station’s growth. The college often threatened to close the station if it continued to solicit community support for increasing the station’s power. The college also held secret discussions with Central Michigan University regarding the sale of the station.
Only after the station was wrested from the control of the students (the Community Advisory Board was dissolved) and control was given over to the college’s Community Relation’s office was the station allowed to pursue an increase in its broadcast power. The cost for this increased broadcast power was the students’ and community members’ ability to participate in decisions related to programming and the long-term plans for the station.
In spite of all the college’s claims, WNMC is not a true community radio station. The college has failed to re-establish any independent community advisory board. The college arbitrarily chooses to restrict certain individuals from participating with the station. The college also acts to censor and stifle free speech and restrict individuals’ freedom of association at the station. Even though the students continue to provide a significant portion of the station’s budget through their student activity fees, no longer do they have any control or influence on the station’s operations. This is now the same treatment that community members receive for their efforts to support and sustain the station.
Recently I requested that the college allow me to see its plans for the station and asked how community members might influence the programming of the station. Their response was to claim that the “WNMC Business Draft Plan” is a secret. The college’s response is an insult to the loyal listeners and volunteers that have given the station life.
It is also a disingenuous lie to say that no plan has been set in place. Everyone knows that the station has been catering to a jazz audience for nearly four years. The opportunity for students and community volunteers to serve as DJ’s has been radically restricted. The educational opportunity for student’s to serve as managers of the station they fund has been lost entirely.
I ask for WNMC’s supporters to call the Community Relations office or write the college trustees and ask them what plans have been made for the station. I also vigorously encourage listeners to ask the trustees to re-establish a community advisory board to help direct the station’s operations and insulate the station from administrative interference and control in programming. The college is not a friendly caretaker!
Clifton Murie • TC

It‘s up to us
Michigan voters will determine the next President of the U.S., not those of us in non-battleground states. Why is Michigan so important? I was surprised to learn that your jobs/employment picture is so bleak.
In June, Michigan lost nearly 10,000 factory jobs -- the sixth month of factory job losses in ten months and the highest in nearly three years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan has lost over 57,000 jobs since the first quarter of 2002.
Michigan‘s Department of Labor & Economic Growth says in the coming years virtually all of the job growth is expected in service-producing industries. The top three occupations with largest growth: cashiers, combined food prep/service worker, including fast food and retail salespersons.
With family health care premiums increasing, school tuitions up, and gasoline prices staying high, working families are faced with higher living costs and the prospects of lower paying jobs.
If this is the case, voting to make a change in November seems obvious.

Major Robert Tormey, USAF Ret.
• Escondido, CA

Correction:
Last week‘s article on the Midtown Centre incorrectly identified HomeStretch as a community outreach organization. It is in fact a private, nonprofit developer of affordable housing. HomeStretch has developed and sold nearly 30 affordable single family homes in Traverse City and the surrounding region, and 10 affordable rental units in TC.
 
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