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...

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Two wheeling

Staff Reports - August 12th, 2004
Two Wheelin‘
NoMich cyclists leaving tracks all over...
Maybe it‘s the Lance Armstrong effect, but the wheels are in spin on a number of bicycle-powered endeavors this week, going far beyond the borders of Northern Michigan:

TART SUPPORT: The Cherry Capital Cycling Club is rounding up riders for its Leelanau Harvest Tour on Sept. 19 to benefit bike trails in Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties through TART Trails, Inc.
Last year over 500 riders participated and $7,000 was donated to TART Trails. With beautiful pastoral views of Leelanau‘s rolling countryside, the ride also boasts food and treats from stores, restaurants and farms in the county. For info and an application, check out www.cherry-capital.com/cccc/tours.htm.

ALZHEIMER‘S: By the time you read this, Tom Auch should be at least halfway through his 1,250-mile bike ride from Northern Michigan to Boulder, Colorado to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s and the Munson Hospice Program.
An instructor at Northwestern Michigan College, Auch says the death of Ronald Reagan inspired him to pedal on behalf of Alzheimer‘s disease. Averaging 70-80 miles a day, his goal is to reach Boulder by August 19th.
Auch plans to average 12 miles per hour carrying 30 pounds of gear, including a tent and sleeping bag. His trip will take him
across Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and into Colorado. He‘s wearing a single purple glove on his right hand as a symbol of hope and renewal, two aspects associated with the care patients receive in Munson‘s Hospice Program.
Check out www.purpleglove.com for more on the ride and how to make a donation.

PEACE CYCLE: Patricia and Bernhard Odernheimer, retired residents of rural Manistee County, are on their third trip to Israel/Palestine, this time by bicycle. Joining a group called The Peace Cycle, they will ride from London to Jerusalem, over 2,000 miles across Europe.
On August 14 in Hyde Park, the Odernheimers will join dozens of people from all faiths and backgrounds on a journey to raise awareness for the plight of the Palestinian people and for peace in the region. Peace Cycle riders will wear t-shirts which say: “End the cycle of violence.“
Patricia and Bernhard have scrambled to obtain their pledge of $8,000 for the six-week trip. They hope to bike up to 80 miles a day. Recalling their memories of extended mountain hiking in Europe and their bike trip from New York City to Michigan in l996, the Odernheimers feel the Peace Cycle will be the biggest physical challenge of their lives.

G.R.-BOUND: If you‘ve ever longed to ride from Northern Michigan to Grand Rapids, but don‘t care to risk becoming road kill, then check out the new White Pine Trail.
This summer, Bob Otwell, the director of TART Trails, and his wife Laura made the 100-mile ride south from Cadillac to downtown Grand Rapids.
Otwell reports that the bike path runs down an abandoned railway track and that there is camping along the way at the village of Paris. Plans are to extend the White Pine Trail from Cadillac to Traverse City, with eventual links to trails in Charlevoix and Gaylord. Eventually, cyclists will be able to ride the 250-or-so miles from Grand Rapids to the Mackinac Straits.

Stop the Wall
coming to NoMich
A model of Wall of Separation between Israel and Palestine will roll into Traverse City Sunday, August 15 for a two-day visit. The national tour provides citizens an opportunity to view pictures and hear observers of the Wall’s development.
Running more than 200 miles through Israel and the occupied territories, the wall of concrete and barbed wire has been the subject of international condemnation as a barely disguised land grab scheme, depriving Palestinian farmers of their orchards and water rights.
The tour aims to illustrate the Wall’s impact on the environment, Israelis and Palestinians and the peace process. The Wall tour team will detail the International Court of Justice ruling on the illegality of the Wall and the Israeli Supreme Court order to reroute the Wall.
The public is invited to the Wall forum on Monday August 16 at 7 p.m. at St. Michael’s Social Hall, Elm and Broadway on the south end of Suttons Bay. Preceding the forum there will be a potluck at 6 p.m. also open to the public. Bring service and dish-to-pass.
The trailer-model of the wall will be at the Farmers Market in TC on Sunday afternoon and around the area both days.
The Stop the Wall Campaign is traveling across the United States, covering 15,000 miles. John Reese, coordinator of the Tour and a hydrogeologist, spent seven months in 2002 in the West Bank and Gaza and saw the first stages of the Wall’s construction.
“The first time I gazed up at that three-story high concrete mass in Qalqilya,” Reese says, “I knew I had to tell others in the United States how our tax dollars were being used to destroy lives, livelihoods and hope. I saw my tax dollars destroying the chance for peace. I struggled to understand how this could make Israelis more secure and learned from Israelis I spoke to that many agree it does exactly the opposite.”
For info, see www.StopTheWall.org.

Concert/picnic aims for regime change at ‘Dems, Dogs & Beans‘
Supporters of John Kerry for President plan to kick up their heels with a concert and some political fun this Saturday, Aug. 14 at “Dems, Dogs & Beans,“ a fundraising picnic for the Democratic Party to be held just west of Traverse City.
The picnic will be held from 2-8 p.m. at Cherry Bend Community Park, located at East Lincoln and Cherry Bend roads in Elmwood Township.
Hot dogs & beans are on the menu, washed down with music by Claudia Schmidt, Robin Lee Berry, Jim Crockett & the New Third Coast, Emily Lively, Susan Marie & the Cedar Valley Boys, and Bob Downes, Jim Moore & the Really Cool Band. A silent auction of local art and “political carnival games” also are planned.
Even members of the Bush administration might crack a grin at some of the games in store. One suggestion is, “Where in the World is Dick Cheney?“ Contestants will try to answer a series of “Waldo“-style geographic questions to determine the Vice President‘s current undisclosed location.
The suggested donation is $10. Food, pop and entertainment are on the house.


• FOLKSINGER Sara Anderson passed on last week after a long struggle with breast cancer, joining her partner Tom Hall, M.D., who died earlier this year of liver cancer. Sara and Tom‘s struggle was profiled in a story, “Song for Sara,“ by Nancy Sundstrom which ran in the Express last February.

• ANTI-DEVELOPMENT candidates rocked the region in the Aug. 3 election as voters swept township boards and county commissions. Voter wrath was especially apparent in Acme Township, where a new supervisor, clerk, treasurer and four trustees were elected as part of a campaign to scuttle a town center project that includes 800,000 square feet in real estate.
In response to the election, developers of The Village of Grand Traverse have offered to drop one of two big-box stores planned for the site, add more housing units, limit building heights to 35 feet (instead of 75) and downsize a mixed-use plan.

• DASHED: John Ramsey was defeated in the Aug. 3 primaries for the State Rep position in the 105th House post, despite abundant national exposure on news shows such as “Good Morning America“ and newspapers across the country. Unofficial results posted Aug. 4 by the State Bureau of Elections showed Kevin Elsenheimer winning with 5,194 over Ramsey‘s showing of 4,684 votes.

MUSICIANS ON THE WARPATH: While numerous rock and folk concerts are being held in Northern Michigan promoting the removal of President Bush from office, even bigger things are happening a short drive south on Sunday, Oct. 3 at several “Vote For Change“ concerts which will feature some of the world‘s top rock and pop acts.
• In Grand Rapids the show includes Pearl Jam, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Death Cab for Cutie and Keb ‘Mo.
• Kalamazoo will feature John Mellencamp and Kenneth “Babyface“ Edmonds.
• Ann Arbor hosts Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, R.E.M., John Fogardty and Bright Eyes.
• Detroit will showcase the Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, Dave Matthews Band, Jurassic 5, and My Morning Jacket.
Tickets for the fundraising shows will go on sale Aug. 21.

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