I am writing in response to a letter from the April 22 issue titled Get a Job, submitted by Theresa Cobb of Conway. Theresa is obviously a very naive little girl!! She attributed the importation of slave labor from indigent countries, such as Haiti and Colombia, by local resorts to the lack of locals who want to work. She implies that the local unemployed (and underemployed) people of the area complain about not being able to find a job when there are all these fine resort positions just waiting to be filled.
Are you serious??? Unbelievable!! First of all, try to support a family in this area on the wages from a resort position -- minimum wage, no benefits, and usually part time. Many businesses in the area offer the same opportunities as when I moved here from Houston, Texas. The common practice was to hire legal (or often illegal) immigrants because they would work for virtually nothing. People coming from such impoverished countries think that working for $5 an hour is a dream come true, as they may make $5 a day -- or substantially less -- in their home countries.
Frequently in Texas, these people would live ten adults to one household, as they are accustomed to such conditions. The imported resort workers are similarly housed here. They do not have to live according to the standard of living that residents of Traverse City have to be concerned about -- their food, housing, etc. are paid for, or are even subtracted from their wages. They have no benefits such as health insurance or company-augmented savings plans.
I choose to live alone and, despite a college education, cannot find a job for which I am educated in Traverse City. I work seven days a week, eight, 12, and occasionally 16 hours a day to barely get by. I am more than willing to do ANY work! I applied at several area resorts and was never even contacted, despite a spotless work record and an educated, intelligent, professional demeanor. Why would I be hired when they can bring in people who will basically work for food and shelter without any additional demands?
I take offense at the implication that those in the area who are unemployed are basically lazy and not willing to work and am disappointed that this practice of hiring what can be likened to slave labor is accepted without question in Northern Michigan! What would all the wealthy people in the area do if you all didnt have service workers to serve your meals, clean your houses, take care of your children, etc.??? Get a clue!
Marne Parker TC
Regarding the special bear hunting permits which have been issued for Leelanau and other counties:
Farmers have the right to protect their livelihood. Seems that a person should have the right to protect ones personal safety and the safety of home, livestock & pets from bruin OR feral canine attack. Seems that CONVENTIONAL hunting is a humane way to protect that very prey from death due to over-population and potential starvation... IF that scenario ever arises in our area. (Especially in Leelanau where bear sightings are very low.)
However, its extremely unseemly and troubling to call baiting and using radio-collared dogs hunting. Ive honestly heard some natives say that their third and fourth generation ancestors would be squirming in their graves regarding these latest hunting practices. Is there no pride? Technology has tainted what once was survival and honest skill. If youve never witnessed the treeing/cornering of bears or coyotes by a pack of radio-collared domestic dogs and seen the ensuing carnage before the hunter finally makes an appearance, let your imagination and sense of humanity/decency dictate exactly what visions may spring to mind.
This practice, regarding coyotes, goes on more often than you think in our counties. To say this practice is barbaric, small minded and mean spirited is an incredible understatement.
Carol Wire Northport
This is in response to Lance Gobla of Fife Lake who wrote in response to Robert Apaps letter on the omission of WNMC from the Express‘s best of list. Lance, what planet are you on?
Ive been a volunteer DJ at WNMC for more than two years and a contributer for longer than I can remember. I have never seen or heard any of the bile that you are spewing. The manager of the station gives much leeway to the DJs, all of whom are volunteers. The programing is current and cutting edge. The range in music covers a bigger spectrum than all the other stations in this area combined.
Your comment about commercials being excessive gives you away right off, as there are none. Obviously you have not been listening to WNMC, as your description of our station describes many of the others in town. Im thinking you have been listening to too much of another station, perhaps one that features a big fat idiot.
Tom Graham TC
WNMC numbers talk
I am writing in response to Lance Golbas letter on WNMC recently published in Northern Express. Mr. Golbas comments represent a view, and he has a right to it, but if the question is how is WNMC doing, by any objective measure the answer is better than ever.
According to the latest Arbitron figures (Arbitron is the Nielsen of radio), 8,600 people listen to the station every week as opposed to 3,000 in Golbas fabled days of yore (1999).
I dont think theres anything arrogant or unresponsive or elitist about trying to create a public radio service that has more listeners and serves more people. Personally, Id argue the opposite is true.
Id also argue theres nothing conservative (or liberal for that matter) about the music we play: Some of it is traditional music, some of it is experimental; some of it is from Traverse City, some of it is from Bamako; some of it is challenging, some of it will have you dancing before you realize what hit you.
Simply put, WNMCs mission in the world is not to be Lance Golbas personal jukebox; weve got to bring together a reasonably large group of listeners who are willing to support the station, and over the last four years or so, weve made some big strides in doing that.
Speaking of which, Northern Express readers may find that their tastes differ from Mr. Golbas if they give us a listen: were at 90.7 on the FM dial or wnmc.org on the web. We think youll like it!
Eric Hines WNMC station manager
Bushs secret Saudi deal
Bob Woodward has raised a number of disturbing questions about the Presidents relationship with the Saudi royal family.
We now know that Bush has a secret deal with the Saudis to influence the November elections by manipulating gas prices -- a deal that is costing Americans at the pump.
If President Bush can make deals with OPEC nations to lower gas prices, why isnt he doing it now, while Americans face record prices at the pump, instead of using that influence to manipulate the election?
President Bush needs to answer other questions about his relationship with Saudi Arabia too, including why he revealed secret war plans to Saudi Prince Bandar before he showed Colin Powell.
Its time for President Bush to stop the stonewall and come clean about his relationship with the Saudi royal family and their plan to manipulate the elections.
Its also our obligations as citizens of the United States, to become aware and respond to such travesties.
Mary A. Shaffer Boyne Falls
I can understand why a conservative person would have chosen to vote for George W. Bush in 2000, but I cant believe that all conservatives are now choosing to ignore the deceptions about Saddam having been more important than Osama.
I know there must be true conservatives who are angry about what this war is costing us, politically, economically and spiritually; about the stonewalling of the 9/11 Commission, whose very existence Bush fought; about No Child Left Behind and what it is doing to our schools; about Medicare reform and what it is really going to cost us; about who really wrote and is benefiting from our energy policy and environmental policies, and what they are doing to our country; about who really benefits from Bushs tax relief and what it is doing to our future.
Being conservative means you hold traditional values, it doesnt mean youre not paying attention, and it surely does not mean these deceits dont matter to you.
Mark McKinney via email
Say yes to bus station
Bay Area Transportation Authority is a two-county transit system, therefore the main offices should be conveniently located to serve both counties. The Hall Street location in Traverse City is the most approximate to serve both counties.
As a transfer point it will eliminate many zone buses from coming in from Leelanau and driving passengers throughout the city, then taking Traverse City passengers back to Leelanau before returning again.
This system will save time, fuel, wear and tear on the buses, as well as cut down on traffic in Traverse City. To those who are concerned about the buses poluting the air, most of the BATA buses have emission controls on them, eliminating polution. When you consider the thousands of cars that travel through Traverse City each week, do many of them have emission controls?
The Hall Street location should not be considered waterfront or bay view property as the BATA building will not face the bay.
Some business people expressed concern about congestion during the Cherry Festival. There has been congestion since the festival began and will continue to be. When you consider the hundreds of thousands of people vacationing and touring Traverse City during that week, you must also remember the millions of dollars being brought in to the business people during the festival, the Fourth of July, and throughout the summer. I doubt the business owners would want it any other way.
As for the uncomplimentary comments about the class of people who ride the BATA buses, I, for one, do business at Traverse City State Bank, the United States Post Office, Pavlovas Salon, Maxbauers Meats, Horizon Books, etc. I doubt any of them object to doing business with me because I ride the BATA bus. Ive never been turned away yet.
As a retiree who has had many, many surgeries, I have been limited on many physical activities; therefore, find that one of the most pleasant ways to spend a day is to take a zone bus to Leelanau, follow the route around that beautiful bay, have lunch in Suttons Bay, Northport, etc. and enjoy and appreciate the beauty of this area. It is for all of us to enjoy.
Jean A. Wilson TC
A passionate response
Having read Passionless about The Passion of the Christ‘ (Letters, March), I must disagree with the author on a number of points.
The author opines that perhaps our redemption can be found somewhere other than in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. He also poses a number of questions that seem to imply that perhaps God may have coerced Christ to the cross, or that perhaps Christs suffering for us was not necessary, or that perhaps his suffering has nothing to do with our redemption. The statement was also made that the Apostle Paul does not think of Christs death as primarily a sacrifice in our place, or that perhaps the Holy Spirit would just as likely move peoples hearts while watching 50 First Dates as opposed to The Passion of the Christ. He speculates as to Gods cinematic taste, and whether or not God may need new P.R. agents. These questions and statements certainly deserve answers.
First, if we as Christians believe the Bible to be the Word of God, doesnt it make logical sense that we would believe what is written in it? If we do believe it, and study it to see what it teaches, we will find the answers to the questions posed by the author of Passionless about the Passion. The Apostle Paul DOES in fact teach that Christs death was a sacrifice for our sins and that we are not our own, but are bought with a price. Further reading of Scripture reveals that Christ was not coerced to the cross, but went of His own free will. Christ willingly went to His death knowing it was necessary for our redemption.
Knowing what we do about Gods character from study of the scriptures, shall we speculate what His cinematic taste would be? Would He prefer a movie that depicted the suffering His son willingly underwent for our redemption, or a movie that uses promiscuity, profanity, and innuendo for our entertainment?
Yes, perhaps it is true that God needs new P.R. agents. Which agents would He choose? Those who believe His word and try to live up to it? Or perhaps he would rather have P.R. agents that cater more closely to the secular humanist point of view. It doesnt seem to be too difficult to decide where His preference would lie.
Lee Oslund Mackinaw City