Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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- February 14th, 2011
Library uproar
I am writing as a retired librarian from the NMC Library, and as a tax-paying citizen for 30 years of Traverse City. I am so glad, and usually proud, to be a resident of this town with so many assets and so many fine people.
What makes an effective library? The answer is pretty simple: a good staff with skills to cooperatively build the collection and serve the patrons. Technology and even the building itself are tools created by the staff.
There is a reason why the Traverse Area District Library (TADL) has become one of several cherished gathering places in Traverse City. We are comfortable and find our friends and neighbors at TADL, as we do at Horizon Books and the State Theatre. Building that sense of community takes a long time and is extremely hard to ‘create’, making that place all the more valuable.
There is a reason why many of us show visiting friends the beautiful building housing the library that we cherish.
There is a reason why we all recognize that TADL has had a superlative staff. And this is a reason that we usually find the materials we need when we use the collection.
Such a library doesn’t just happen. It grows gradually through the cooperative efforts of skilled, hard working and dedicated people.
I am concerned about a governance system that has no resource for an appeal for a professional librarian and general staff. Remember, a librarian has usually earned a Master’s degree. As a librarian, if I had a concern about the library, I had the option of going to my director’s boss, the president or dean of the colleges I served. I used that option on one occasion in 22 years as a librarian. At TADL, apparently, the librarians and other staff have only their director. They are apparently not allowed any “higher” authority. When that director may be the problem there is no recourse. That seems like a very poor governance model to me.

June Thaden • TC

The cuts in Congress
It should be no surprise that our nation has a serious financial crisis.
Never before has this country gone to war without raising taxes to pay for it. The cost, in monetary terms alone, is currently over $3 trillion. It is being funded by debt. Yet, Congress only sees “cuts” as the way to pay for the war debt. As everyone knows, you can’t cut your way to financial solvency. You also have to increase revenue. The top 25 hedge fund managers each made over $1 billion last year. Yet they paid little, if any, income tax. During the Eisenhower years these people would have paid 90%. Even at that rate, they’d still have $100 million left. Most of us could make it on that.
It’s a myth that the richest create jobs. The richest typically send their money overseas for investments, or to hide it. Yet, the richest apparently control our government because they’ve convinced the politicians that they can’t survive on $100 million.
If our politicians were truly for WE THE PEOPLE, they would listen to the 98% of us who aren’t the richest. They’d not only roll back the Bush tax cuts for the richest, they’d roll back the Reagan tax cuts as well. They’d close tax loop holes, and stop giving tax incentives for moving jobs off shore. They’d look at the nation’s income statement before going to war.
A country run on debt will soon be bankrupt, and like war, the people at the bottom will suffer the most.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake

Autism fraud revealed
Recently, the British Medical Journal accused a doctor of fraud. Dr. Wakefield (an anti-vaccine hero who was stripped of his medical license) faked data in his attempt to link vaccines with autism. In publishing this report, the Journal has endorsed the findings of investigative reporter Brian Deer. The article suggests that this false autism/MMR link has been a distraction -- which diverted funds and energy from true autism research. Additional societal costs include: reformulating vaccines, outbreaks, and deaths.
For more:
www.nytimes.com (“Autism Fraud”)
www.washingtonpost.com (“Vaccine’s link to autism is discredited again” and “Wakefield tried to capitalize on autism-vaccine link”)

Rebecca Peterson
Elk Rapids

Road to nowhere
I have read with dismay several articles on Wings of Wonder (WOW), a raptor education, rehabilitation and research center just off Gilbert Road in south Leelanau County, which is just emerging from a horrendous battering by the Leelanau County Road Commission, chaired by Lee A Bowen.
The autonomous commission, accountable to no one, suddenly, and without any apparent interest for 20 years, decided that the private easement that ran through the WOW property should now be made public. This would seriously disturb the recovering raptors.
The bullying began and continued nonstop throughout the commission’s law suit against the non-profit center. The outcome of the litigation stated among other things, that the Don and Rebecca Lessard family would get to keep the two-track through their sanctuary; but to add insult to injury, would be required to pay the commission $8,000 toward a new replacement road.
WOW has had overwhelming public support, which apparently was of no concern to the commission. So now the taxpayers will have a brand spankin‘ new road to nowhere, with the attendant permanent loss of habitat and a ton of legal fees. I wonder who the next victim will be.
The unanswered question in this whole taxpayer funded fiasco is WHY? Why do they suddenly want this new road? Who has an interest?

Sally MacFarlane-Neal • via email

A recent article on Palette Bistro in Petoskey listed the wrong builder. JR Construction Building and Design deserved credit for remodeling the restaurant.

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