Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

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New hope in the battle against child abuse

M‘Lynn Hartwell - May 9th, 2011
New Hope in the Battle Against Child Abuse
By M’Lynn Hartwell
Many of us have fond memories of our childhood. We grew up feeling secure,
safe, and loved unconditionally by our parents and caregivers.
Unfortunately, this is not a reality for hundreds of children in our
region. A recent survey of the first 100 children who had been victims of
childhood sexual abuse, seen by the new Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy
Center, had an average age of just under nine-years-old.
Currently there are over 48,000 known sex offenders in the State of
Michigan. Of these, about 13,000 are incarcerated. Around 4,500 of the
registered sex offenders are out of compliance; as required by law. Some
of these people may be living in our region. Michigan ranks number two in
registered sex offenders per capita.
Three years ago the Michigan State Police received a grant to establish
the new position of “Community Service Trooper.” In our region, Trooper
Rich Hall works out of the Kalkaska post. His responsibilities include
developing community-based services and training. We are already seeing
results from his efforts, as we share ideas, and develop new solutions to
the challenge of child sexual abuse, neglect and bullying in NW Michigan.
On April 16, the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center, in celebration
of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, hosted “Building a Brighter
Future for Children,” launching a ‘Zero Tolerance for Child Abuse’
collaboration and commitment among agencies and organizations, including
our Traverse City Area Public School District, law enforcement, social
services, our family courts, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa
Indians, the GT County prosecutor’s office, as well as leaders from the
faith community.
“No longer will it be up to us individually, or up to any single agency to
ensure the safety of our children,” stated Brooke Nettz, executive
director of the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center.
The TBCAC team believes that it is only through the collective
consciousness of the entire community that will protect children from
abuse, bullying, and neglect.
“If you are not going to teach your child about sex, somebody else is. And
guess what that’s going to look like!” Nettz says. “It’s not going to be
pretty. If you are not going to talk to your child about their body;
somebody else will. It may be a relative, a friend, somebody you trust
from your church. We must do a better job of teaching children about their
bodies, and boundaries earlier in life.”
For instance, if a four-year-old discloses that “grandpa touched me,”
this child probably won’t know that grandpa’s touching was wrong. This
child may not even be mad at grandpa, so how do we as the Advocacy Center
meet this child’s need? We are now able to teach them about body safety
and personal boundaries. We help them to be strong and resilient, because
everything about their life is about to change.
Some of the ways we help children include reaching out to their family’s
faith community.
“Maybe they are in a great church group, and we are able to reach out and
say, you know what, this family needs a little extra support right now,”
Nettz says. “Maybe this family will need help from the Women’s Resource
Center, because the family was living with Grandpa, and now they don’t
have a home. Maybe they need food, and we will pick up the phone and call
the Father Fred organization and say, ‘we really need some extra
nutritional assistance for this family.’ We look at each individual
family‘s situation and develop a network in order to support this family.”
On April 25, the Traverse City Area Public School Board passed an
“Anti-Bullying Policy” that will protect all students and staff with no
exceptions, to the cheers of several hundred concerned parents and
community members. The TCAPS policy includes a more responsive and
accountable family-based response to bullying in our schools. Teachers,
counselors, and staff are receiving training on how to recognize the
different types of offenders along with their motivations, as well as how
to recognize the indications of childhood bullying, abuse and neglect in
victims. TCAPS is also addressing how to thwart online predators who are
increasingly savvy at grooming and luring children in the cyber-world.
Michigan law requires that all physicians, dentists, dental hygienists,
medical
examiners, nurses, EMTs, audiologists, psychologists, marriage and family
therapists, counselors, social workers, school administrators, teachers,
law enforcement officers, clergy and child care providers must report
suspected child abuse or neglect.
Once a report is filed, the child, along with their family, becomes
eligible for a wide range of services that will improve the family’s
ability to care for their child.
It is up to all of us to help a child or vulnerable adult. Please make the
call. Your call is confidential.
Who to Contact if you think that a child is being abused (information is
confidential):

• Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties 231.941.3900 (after hours:
800.937.5903)
• Benzie County 231.882.1330 (after hours: 800.937.5903)
• Kalkaska County 231.258.1200 (after hours call 800.937.5903)
• Antrim County 231.533.8664 (after hours call 800.937.5903)
References:
• Michigan Sex Offender Registry – http://www.mipsor.state.mi.us/
• Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center – http://www.traversebaycac.org
Traverse City Area Public Schools – http://www.tcaps.net
• World Forum Early Care and Education – http://www.worldforumfoundation.org
• Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians –
http://www.gtbindians.org

M’Lynn Hartwell has worked as an early childhood development specialist,
a Traverse City Human Rights commissioner, as a professional educator, a
para-legal, and researcher. She is an advocate for social justice, civil
rights, and the environment. She has two adult children and owns the
local communication and marketing firm “Utopian Empire Creativeworks,”
serving regional and Fortune 500 Corporations.
 
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