I am writing in response to the rude northerners letter in the March 18 issue of the Northern Express. Mrs. Schaldenbrand, I feel for you. The first time someone from the U.P. called me a troll I wept openly for days. Perhaps if the economy, gun control, and the current war aren‘t enough Michael Moore will champion this cause next!
Seriously though, rudeness is not a trait exclusive to Northern Michigan. There is plenty of it south of Clare; ask anybody who works with the public. As for being called fudgies, localism is a reality everywhere you go. Buying a house and a pontoon does not buy you in. Spend a few winters here and you‘ll soon be joining the choir down at the local restaurant complaining about the fudgie tourist.
In your letter you also said, “we do not act superior or flaunt any imagined riches,“ yet in the same letter you mentioned this is your second home (on a lake), you own a pontoon, and you spend lots of hard-earned (in lower Michigan) dollars. Well, to the people who work at the restaurants, casinos, shops, and services you mention, who are just trying to carve out a living up here in paradise, I imagine you seem pretty wealthy.
As for the man in the Cadillac restaurant who said, “Good, get back in your car and get the h*ll out of here,“ after overhearing your husband on the phone say you were driving back from up north. Is it not also rude to talk on a phone in a restaurant loud enough that your fellow patrons can hear you? Maybe he didn‘t know about the pontoon?
Frank James via email
Love us or leave us
In response to Loreen Schaldenbrand‘s letter to the editor in the March 18 edition...
As a northerner, let me start out by saying that knowing of no derogatory names for us up-staters by down-staters is complete naivete on your part. Barely a summer season goes by when I or someone I know isn‘t referred to as “hick,“ “ridge runner,“ “hayseed,“ “redneck,“ or “shit kicker.“ The caller usually doesn‘t intend for the callee to hear it though.
As far as your dollars helping our local economy goes, you have a point... please feel free to e-mail me upon your next visit up north so I can be the first to shine your shoes. Please don‘t bore us with stories of hard work. We‘re all diligent and working hard, I assure you, and couldn‘t care less how dirty your hands are willing to get or how down to Earth you are.
This love/hate relationship with tourists has been gong on a long time and will continue. If the working stiffs up here had a snowball‘s chance in hell of buying a lakefront home, I‘m sure the feelings wouldn‘t be so bruised, but those precious tourist dollars generally line the pockets of business owners, not employees.
It‘s the old Cadillac plant scenario... You spend your life building cars that you yourself could never afford... Here, though, we look at more and more huge houses obscuring our view of the water (that beauty you mentioned in your letter), with little or no chance of purchase regardless of diligence or hard work.
So yeah we‘re rude. Put up with it or leave.
Roy Truax Petoskey
Judge not rude northerners
I had a chilling experience sending goosebumps up and down my spine, causing the hairs on the back of my neck to stand straight up when I read the letter about “Rude Northerners“ (3/18). I think the author of that letter should speak for herself and not judge all northerners by a mere comment.
I‘m sorry to say, but the most rude people are not the ones born and raised here.
Northern Michigan is comprised of multiple people who moved here from various downstate and out-of-state areas, bringing with them the same rude and ignorant manners they possessed before driving here. Settling in and then trying to change everything to fit their needs instead of trying to fit in, and the results are they have managed to change it to the exact area they moved from.
Ask us northerners how we like that. We don‘t!
Charlene Rentz Indian River
Rick‘s Dr. K series
Rick Coates is a splendid and insightful writer who has done the research most writers have not taken the time to do (re: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, March 11 & 18). He discovered the real Dr. Kevorkian instead of the man so often maliciously misrepresented in the media and who in the end will be proven correct on the fundamental human right of end of life choices.
Northern Express is fortunate to have Rick Coates as a contributor. His double piece on Dr. Kevorkian deserves a national audience.
Ruth Holmes Bloomfield Hills
I agree that ‘Free Trade‘ is not free and that the Orwellian doublespeak is at an all time high (re: Random Thoughts 3/18). But neither are new. You should have
included “framing“ along with doublespeak.
The loss of jobs began in 1952 with the first of the Japanese car imports and has steadily increased. Most people ignored what was happening. Doublespeak has increased with the cost of political campaigns and the increased use of TV.
The public thinks that TV entertains, educates and informs; if that happens it‘s incidental. The sole purpose of commercial TV is to occupy the viewer‘s attention until the next commercial.
More idiocy is done in the name of and justified by religion, politics, and economics than anything else. The ideologues will pervert anything to misinform, to distract, or to redirect.
Trade is most unfair when there is a large differential in incomes between the trading partners. Trade tends to lower the differential which is a definite benefit to the poorer partner, but not to the richer partner; because if the only gain from the trade is a lower cost, eventually the richer partner will be forced to accept a lower income.
The pain will increase because more job losses are on the way and even the rich will feel the impact; they just will be the last to feel it.
I would like to see trade reduced because we are not taking energy consumption into account.
I would like to see trade increased, in spite of the pain, because the largest single factor affecting our birth rate is the status of women and the trickle-down effect of a rising standard of living in the third world could very well be the agent that brings our population under control. That would increase the possibility that we could bring our polution under control and reduce global warming. To the people out of work this might not seem important, but to our long term survival it
Richard Riker via email
Keep customers satisfied
As a proponent of local businesses and a local teacher I value downtown
Traverse City. The thought of our local money going to Wal-Mart‘s corporate
headquarters sickens me. We‘ve grown up here, gone to school here and spent our money here. It would only be right for local business to profit from money invested here. Over time though, our dollars seem to end up with the best product, services and selections for the consumer‘s dollar, period. Value, overall, will prevail.
I write this with a heavy heart, begging local businesses to understand the travails of us consumers. After purchasing a clothing item (name withheld to protect the guilty) gift for a colleague, who unexpected quit shortly thereafter, I attempted to return the item. Never out the bag and still with tags on and receipt in hand, the sales clerk restated: all sale items final. Not knowing the true meaning of those words, I expected to at least be able to exchange it dollar for
dollar, as the business still had my money and should be able to resell the
Not so fast. Unlike the big boxes, which would refund my money instantly, this store was standing firm that it wanted nothing to do with the item and was telling me to live with it, with no exchanges, period. I actually respected that and was in awe of that stance until I realized I was stuck with a $150 item, more than likely going to Goodwill.
Pleading my case with an insensitive saleswomen, I insisted that I at least speak with the owner. Good news. The next day I finally reached her by phone. After a lecture on how I got such a good price and how all the stores downtown would
never ever take back a sale item as well as how she missed a hot two-week sales period (in early March) to sell the item, she reluctantly offered me an equal coupon for store purchase.
Consumers (like a good movie) tell friends and family of a great place or a dump. This kind of business policy can only hurt local business. Granted, it was two weeks between purchase and return and it was a sale item, but the point was a very unhappy customer. Whether right or wrong, we are being conditioned by big business of these conveniences. We need local business. The product is quality, the
selection is better and we keep our investments in town. I guess we both need to give a little.
Thomas Auch Traverse City
Foster scores two points
You have written two very good articles in a row, re: Single People & Corrupt College Sports (George Foster Random Thoughts). These are right on the money and if you had asked me for my input, prior to writing these, I would have said just about the same things.
Single People: I agree with you 100% on this subject. For example, over 15 years ago I protested loudly to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors when the board awarded improved health insurance coverage benefits (a $100/month benefit) to married people and didn‘t do dick for us single folks. This kind of unfair stuff has gone throughout the country for many years.
I also strongly believe that a happy single life (that fortunately I‘ve lived) sure beats the life experiences that most of my married friends have endured. Very few people that I‘ve known live a happy married life with kids, pets, etc. that I would trade my life for.
College sports: After living three years at MSU‘s Wilson and Wonders halls I saw more of the crap that you wrote about than just about anybody. (I also took the same football class that you mentioned). Today, I also see the same stuff (only worse) up close, through my nephew, who is a junior at Arizona State University. The idiot athletes here are given even more than what we saw at MSU. ASU‘s favoritism to its athletes started with Frank Kush -- this guy is legendary out here -- who, as we both know, is a former MSU student and coach. He had many profs fired, intimidated into leaving, and scared into handing out passing grades.
Please keep up the the good work. However, I‘ll probably totally disagree with everything that you write for the next six months.
George Miller via email
Whose hospital is it?
Why now is Northern Michigan Hospital‘s CEO Tom Mroczkowski telling the community that the hospital dosn‘t belong to the community, therefore the books are not open for public review?
Why in a NMH ad dated 9/5/02 in the Petoskey News-Review did Miles W. Trumble, M.D. (who was chairman of the board of trustees) say the hospital belongs to the community at large?
The ad invited everyone to contribute to the NMH capital campaign. In the ad, Dr. Trumble said NMH, “belongs to the community at large, residents, resorters and visitors.“
If what Tom Mroczkowski is saying is true, the ad was misleading and could be considered a fraud. Why in past years was the community misled in thing the hospital belongs to the community? has the NMH Board of Trustees been misleading the community for all these years and now they are telling the community it‘s a misnomer?
Quinton Keubler Petoskey