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 · Random Thoughts · Things learned while...
. . . .

Things learned while looking other stuff up

Robert Downes - April 26th, 2010
Things learned while looking up other stuff...
• It’s a Downer -- Literally: As a follow-up to Anne Stanton’s article,
“Up North Robbery,” in this issue about the high cost of flying to and
from Northern Michigan, consider what a round-trip flight to Chicago would
cost you this weekend from Cherry Capital Airport: According to
expedia.com, the lowest flight is $615 -- and that’s with two stops in
Detroit and Indianapolis! Or, fly direct there and back for $687.
Ouch. Consider that you can currently fly 6,700 miles to New Zealand from
Los Angeles for $758 (and that‘s round-trip). That’s only $71 more than
what it takes to fly 300 miles to the Windy City from Northern Michigan.
But as airport director Steve Cassens notes, the airlines have us over a
barrel, and the fewer people who fly out of the region only means less
service and higher rates...

• Great quote: “Now, instead of coming up north for the fall color tour,
tourists will be able to come here for a tree stump tour.” -- Lee Sprague
of the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club, commenting on Traverse City
Light & Power’s plan to build a new biomass plant.

• Seeking Alternatives:
NMEAC (Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council) is launching a
“Smart Community Energy Initiative” on June 10 to explore renewable energy
options for the region. You can vote for choices including nuclear, wind,
hydro and garbage incineration at nmeac.org.

• Loose Lips Sink Ships: The Tea Party reports that dastardly left-wing
activists are infiltrating their rallies. So what’s the problem?
“Provocateurs” are pretending to be sympathizers while recording some of
the less-than-intelligent utterances of tea baggers in the radical fringe
who are inclined towards racism or violence. Makes for funny content on
YouTube...

• Judicial Trend: A viewer reports that two out of 10 cases on the Judge
Judy Show seem to involve medical marijuana disputes these days (ie.,
growing plants or getting high in rental houses). A near second are cases
involving who should get stuck with the bill for breast implants (like a
sugar daddy who reneges on paying for his ex-girlfriend’s new C cups).

• Nike’s ‘Women Problem’: Why does Nike continue to sponsor alleged
rapist Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
That’s what Timothy Egan, columnist for the New York Times, wants to know.
Roethlisberger, who stands 6‘ 5“ and has been charged with sexual assault
in the past, allegedly spent an evening getting drunk at a nightclub and
then followed a 20-year-old student into a restroom and raped her. Cries
for help by her friend were reportedly ignored by Roethlisberger’s
adoring cohort of cops and bodyguards, and the resulting police work was
so sloppy that he got off scot-free.
“What, exactly does it take for Nike to dump a jock?” Egan wonders.
“Dog-fighting will do it. After Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick
pleaded guilty to running a felony dog-fighting ring, Nike took action...
But cruelty to women is O.K. I don’t know how else to read the company’s
inconsistent stand. Here is a guy who treats women like garbage, yet a
company that boasts of having humane corporate values uses him as their
front man.”

• Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has proposed bulldozing one-quarter of the city
to help get past Motown’s $300 million budget deficit. With unemployment
currently at 45-50% and thousands of people fleeing the city, Detroit has
an estimated 33,500 empty houses and 91,000 vacant lots, according to
Michael Snyder of businessinsider.com. Mayor Bing would like to bulldoze
10,000 empty buildings within the next three years to downsize the city.

• Recession R.I.P. “America is coming back stronger, better, and faster
than nearly anyone expected -- and faster than most of its international
rivals,” reports Newsweek in last week’s cover story on the economic
recovery. Newsweek notes that the Dow Jones Average has risen 70% in the
last 13 months, and this year’s 3.6% growth rate of new economic activity
will equal the Gross Domestic Product of Indonesia.
So, look for a boom in Northern Michigan as plans for new restaurants,
hotels, concert facilities, revitalized factories producing alternative
energy products, and other businesses which were stalled over the past two
years for lack of credit or investors get back on track.

• Seize Power: Affordable wind and solar kits are finally starting to hit
the market. New at Home Depot is the Sunforce 900 watt wind generator kit
for $2,498 or a 400-watt kit for $940. Meanwhile, Lowe’s is rolling out a
new “Eco Options” line of solar panels and wind turbines ranging from
1,000 to 10,000 watts. Menard’s also has wind power kits on its shelves.
Some local electricians are also offering solar and wind options, with
prices coming down as the technology improves. Check out the Alternative
Energy page at jdstrattonelectric.com for an example of where home power
is heading in the region.


 
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