Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Region Watch · Standish: Gitmo of the...
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Standish: Gitmo of the North? Benefit for bass player Jason Kott

Express Staff/ Rick Coates - August 10th, 2009
Standish: ‘Gitmo North‘?
Small town would reap 340 jobs & $100 million makeover
8/10/09

Some residents of the small Lake Huron town of Standish say they’re more afraid of losing their jobs than the threat of housing 229 Guantanamo Bay prisoners at the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility, which is in imminent danger of closing.
Throughout the town, handmade signs saying: “Save Our Town, Save Standish Max” have reportedly been popping up in the windows of local stores, restaurants and outside the prison itself.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) announced that the 640-bed prison is being considered as a possible destination for the detainees who’ve been held at Guantanamo, Cuba for the past seven years. The other site being considered by the Obama administration is Fort Leavenworth, a military penitentiary in Kansas.
If Standish is approved, it would mean upgrading the prison to the tune of $100 million, according to published reports.
“I have spoken with local officials, who have indicated a willingness to listen to a proposal the administration might put forward,” Stupak said in a release, adding that officials from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice will be visiting sites under consideration over the next few weeks.
“It is important to remember that Standish is just one option under consideration and no decision has been made,” Stupak added. “Any proposal must have a comprehensive security analysis and economic and job creation implications. I will work with local and state officials to gauge their level of support before a final decision is made.”

JOBS AT STAKE
The Saginaw media reports that area residents are generally supportive of moving the Gitmo prisoners to Standish, a town of 1,500, where 340 jobs are at stake. A one-industry ‘prison town,’ Standish is located about 150 miles southeast of Traverse City in Arenac County, where unemployment is currently at 17.3 percent. Water and sewer fees from the prison account for 25 percent of the town’s municipal budget.
Standish Max is one of three prisons and five correctional camps that have been targeted for closure in Michigan this year due to budget cuts. The prison got a ‘stay of execution’ last month when Michigan State officials made a pitch to turn it into a medium-security prison to house up to 1,100 prisoners from California.
Michigan’s Corrections Department notes that the Level 5 maximum security prison is designed for the most dangerous, violent criminals, with one cell per inmate. Standish Max is surrounded by 16-foot-high double chain link fences topped with razor wire and monitored by electronic detection systems. Five gun towers overlook the prison’s interior and a patrol vehicle with armed guards constantly patrols the perimeter.

TOO RISKY?
Odd couple opponents include Republican lawmakers and Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm, who are trying to scuttle the plan as being too risky.
The governor’s press secretary released the following statement on the matter: “Gov. Granholm continues to have concerns about the homeland security implications of relocating Guantanamo detainees to Michigan. The governor’s top priority is for the safety and security of Michigan citizens. Until the federal government can address the Governor’s concerns, she is not in favor of moving detainees to Michigan.”
Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Holland, who is running for governor next year, has made an issue of the matter, saying: “I intend to do everything possible to prevent it from happening.
“The detention facility in Cuba was built for a specific type of prisoner with unique challenges,” Hoekstra said. “They are some of the most dangerous people in the world who pose a major threat to U.S. national security.”
Ironically, the transfer of the Guantanamo detainees has been endorsed by former Michigan governor John Engler, a conservative Republican who was once considered as a presidential running mate.



Benefit for bass
player Jason Kott

Bass player and Traverse City resident Jason Kott was in a serious car accident two weeks ago, suffering major injuries that will keep him from performing for awhile. Kott has performed with several bands in the region and is regarded by many as among the top if not the best bass player around.
His music colleagues, many of whom he has performed with over the years, will be coming together Sunday August 16 at 2 p.m. for a benefit concert to help Kott with medical expenses. The concert will go into the evening and will take place at Union Street Station. Scheduled to perform are the Ron Getz Trio, Zeke and Robbie from Bloodshot Victory, Al Jankowski & Friends, Jeff Bihlman & The Trio of Doom, Guilty Plesures, Egon, T.S.P., Mike Moran, and Four Finger Five.
“Jason has been a big supporter of the Northern Michigan music scene. He is looked up to by many not only for his talents but for the type of person he is,” said Tim Miller of the Great Lakes Guitar Company. “Jason has always been a giver of his talents to other musicians and to the community, donating his time to numerous good causes. Now his musician friends are calling on others to give to Jason. I know he doesn’t want us to because that is the kind of guy he is, but we all agreed that we are going to anyways.”
For details, or to make a donation, contact Union Street Station at 231.041.1930 or myspace.com/unionstreetstation -- Rick Coates.


 
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