Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 5/6/04
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Letters 5/6/04

Various - May 6th, 2004
Resort slaves of Northern Michigan

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 didn’t have service workers to serve your meals, clean your houses, take care of your children, etc.??? Get a clue!

Marne Parker • TC

Bear-ly credible

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 one’s 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, it’s extremely unseemly and troubling to call baiting and using radio-collared dogs “hunting.” I’ve 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 you’ve 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

Defending WNMC

This is in response to Lance Gobla of Fife Lake who wrote in response to Robert Apap’s letter on the omission of WNMC from the Express‘s “best of” list. Lance, what planet are you on?
I’ve 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. I’m 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 Golba’s letter on WNMC recently published in Northern Express. Mr. Golba’s 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 Golba’s fabled days of yore (1999).
I don’t think there’s anything arrogant or unresponsive or elitist about trying to create a public radio service that has more listeners and serves more people. Personally, I’d argue the opposite is true.
I’d also argue there’s 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, WNMC’s mission in the world is not to be Lance Golba’s personal jukebox; we’ve 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, we’ve made some big strides in doing that.
Speaking of which, Northern Express readers may find that their tastes differ from Mr. Golba’s if they give us a listen: we’re at 90.7 on the FM dial or wnmc.org on the web. We think you’ll like it!

Eric Hines • WNMC station manager

Bush’s secret Saudi deal

Bob Woodward has raised a number of disturbing questions about the President’s 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 isn’t 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.
It’s 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.
It’s also our obligations as citizens of the United States, to become aware and respond to such travesties.

Mary A. Shaffer • Boyne Falls

Conservative choices

I can understand why a conservative person would have chosen to vote for George W. Bush in 2000, but I can’t 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 Bush’s “tax relief” and what it is doing to our future.
Being conservative means you hold traditional values, it doesn’t mean you’re not paying attention, and it surely does not mean these deceits don’t 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, Pavlova’s Salon, Maxbauers Meats, Horizon Books, etc. I doubt any of them object to doing business with me because I ride the BATA bus. I’ve 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 Christ’s 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 Christ’s death as primarily a sacrifice in our place, or that perhaps the Holy Spirit would just as likely move people’s hearts while watching “50 First Dates” as opposed to “The Passion of the Christ.” He speculates as to God’s 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,” doesn’t 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 Christ’s 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 God’s 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 doesn’t seem to be too difficult to decide where His preference would lie.

Lee Oslund • Mackinaw City

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