Michigan has a tremendous opportunity to help make our environment and
economy green. Both the lower and upper peninsulas are surrounded
by excellent to outstanding off shore and on shore areas to construct
wind farms. The wind turbine industry could create more jobs replacing
those lost in the automotive industry.
From Michigans Department of Labor and Economic Growth electric
generation is responsible for 36% of carbon dioxide pollution, 64% of
sulfur dioxide pollution, 26% of nitrogen oxide pollution, and 34% of
mercury pollution in the U.S.
These pollutants are not only responsible for acid rain making our
lakes and streams more acidic, but contribute significantly to global
warming. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is the principle driver of climate
change and is now one of the world‘s most predictable environmental
trends resulting from emissions that are overwhelming natures
capacity to absorb carbon.
It is time to put on the fast track all sources of renewable energy, and
in Michigan that is a network of wind farms. Oil wells go dry, coal
runs out, but Michigans wind resources cannot be depleted. Land
requirements to produce energy from wind farms are extremely efficient;
i.e. an acre of land used for a wind farm can produce $300,000 worth of
electricity per year. This same acre used to grow corn to produce
ethanol used with gasoline is worth $960.
Electricity produced by wind farms could eventually replace coal-fired
power plants. charge hybrid cars, and lower pollution levels that would
help stabilize our climate. As in WW II, when Michigans automotive
assembly lines produced B- 24 bombers, our idle automotive capacity
could be producing wind turbines. It is time that Michigan got serious,
and put its idle automotive assembly plants and skilled workers back
Ronald D. Dykstra Beulah
Rethinking health reform
Ive re-thought my position on Obamacare and I think this may work out
great for everyone.
The (maximum) $2,500 annual fine for not having insurance is a lot less
than what most people pay for insurance. And that is only if the IRS
can actually figure out how to enforce the law and collect the fine.
At the same time, since insurance companies cannot exclude you for
having a pre-existing condition, there is really no reason to buy
insurance until after you need it.
So I think the best thing for most people is going to be to drop your
health insurance. It will be cheaper to just pay cash for some routine
If you get injured, or diagnosed with some serious illness, then go buy
insurance to cover the costs of the expensive treatment and care.
This probably puts about $10,000 a year back into your pocket compared
to maintaining health insurance you might never fully need.
This seems like such a good enough idea that Im wondering if we might
convince our president and Democrat controlled congress to do something
similar with home, auto, and life insurance. Imagine how great it would
be if we didnt need to buy home insurance until after our homes burned
down, or if we didnt need to pay for auto insurance until after we were
involved in a crash. And imagine all the misery mitigated if our loved
ones could buy life insurance for us after we are already dead. Why
yes, I would like a $1 million policy on my beloved husbands life. He
died yesterday and I will be needing you to pay out this policy
immediately after you issue it and I make my first $150 monthly
Yup, this is a great program. What could possibly go wrong with it?
Gordon La Pointe Williamsburg
Eye of the beholder
in response to Mike Moreys letter regarding graffiti, dated 4/5/10:
Defacing your neighborhood...? Are you serious? I have worked and
played downtown for years and am astonished that you could possibly be
annoyed, much less violated by a random act of kindness, and consider
it stalking and vandalizing. Unbelievable!
For the record, the chalk messages of affirmation, and the
spray-painted hearts are not done by the same person, although I
applaud them both equally for their wonderful efforts, and for the joy
that they‘ve given me and countless others in my daily travels on foot
in the downtown district.
In this broken world, how could this kindness be construed as offensive
to anyone? It begs the question: If you were drowning, would you tell
a person offering a lifeline to get out of the way? As for the
sidewalk artists/authors...please carry on with our gratitude to you!
Becky Crawford TC
Immigration reform will very likely be a major topic on Congress
agenda this year. This seems to be one area where the debate does not
split along party lines, particularly with respect to opposition to
Perhaps the most common argument is that undocumented immigrants should
pass through all the legal hoops that past immigrants have gone
Im not an historian, but it is my understanding that prior to 1924,
there were almost no restrictions on immigration, especially from
Europe. People like my great-grandparents simply booked passage on a
boat and showed up. (There were exceptions. The Chinese, for example,
were imported for their cheap labor in the mid-1800s, then excluded
from immigrating for 61 years when they became inconvenient.) And since
1924, the chances of obtaining legal access to residency, and
citizenship, in this country overwhelmingly favored white Europeans.
(All Asians were excluded entirely for a time with this act.)
Anti-immigrant sentiment has always been strongest during an economic
downturn. I completely sympathize with the fear of losing a job, but I
dont believe immigrants are at fault. Our high-profit, low-wage
business model views all labor as a necessary evil. It pits immigrants
against citizens, and leads to outsourcing of jobs and the depressing
of wages. Any discussion about jobs and immigration should start in an
atmosphere of respect for all workers as human beings.
On April 25, at 3 pm, Father Wayne Dzeikan will be speaking about
immigration at the Charlevoix Library. As director of the Secretariat
for Justice and Peace for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord, he has
a wealth of experience in immigrant issues. I relish the opportunity to
learn more, and have a reasoned discussion with people searching for
Jean Engstrand Ellsworth