Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

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- February 7th, 2011
WNMC No Exclusive Club
In a recent letter to Northern Express, a community member expressed
dissatisfaction with WNMC, especially the Friday morning show. During
these particular broadcasts, an astronomer/ NMC alum explains what’s
new in the world of science and how these discoveries interface with
society. I love to hear these compelling stories, it’s my favorite
morning show! The dissatisfied listener cited some conflicting data
and claims that WNMC “provides no mechanism for argument, rebuttal, or
opposing expert opinion.”
1. Sir, I think you’ve successfully found a venue to express your
contrary opinion.  You can also call or email WNMC to connect with the
2. Nobody at WNMC claims that everyone should think like them. In my
observation, they spend half of the time making fun of themselves.
3. WNMC celebrates diverse opinions and styles.  The morning staff and
all of the dj’s are volunteers. They have a passion they’d like to
share, so they craft shows of music or commentaries. All are welcome
to volunteer their time and ideas. It is not an exclusive club.
Here’s the kicker...these diverse ideas, thoughts, and styles are
debated, meshed, mingled, intertwined harmoniously. No “arguing,
rebutting”. “Contrary opinions” are welcome, all the same.

Angela Poneta Dedenbach submitted via email

Breaking Down the Numbers
If the earth were a community of 100 people; 2 would own 50% of the
world’s wealth. 15 are hungry and malnourished.16 have no safe
drinking water. 39 have no basic sanitation. 15 can’t read. If you
have food in your refrigerator, clothes in your closet, a bed to sleep
on, and a roof over your head, then you are better off than 83% of
people on this earth. It seems to me that it is time we taxed the 17%
of us that have more than we need until the 83% have their basic needs
met. It’s the only moral thing to do.

Randy Bond • Beulah

No Such Thing
Robert Downes writes that it’s time for the Record-Eagle to charge for
an on-line version of the paper. Who would pay?  Local TV stations
provide news on their websites, writings of national columnists are
available at multiple sites, store circulars and coupons are available
on the computer and all the major newspapers in Michigan ie Detroit
Free Press. Grand Rapids Press and Detroit News are available on the
web at no charge,
If the Record-Eagle can’t produce a newspaper that people want to
read, charging for on-line access probably won’t help.

Linda Pillsbury • Elk Rapids

WOW update
The lawsuit between the Leelanau County Road Commission, Wings of
Wonder and the Lessard’s is finally over.  The good news is that the
new public seasonal road being created will not go through our
property. The bad news is that we are not quite finished paying off
our financial obligations in order to meet the terms of the
settlement. There will certainly be some changes to the feel of our
property due to the proximity of this new public road, which we will
try to modify with the construction of a fence...a costly venture,
especially coupled with the $8000.00 we are required to pay the road
commission towards some of the new construction.
Once this is done, Wings of Wonder can go back to dedicating our every
penny to the raptors. As with any settlement, the only way to a
compromise is to give and take and we fought hard for the issues that
were most important to the survival of Wings of Wonder and the
security of the raptors in rehabilitation.
I am unconditionally thankful for the overwhelming support and
generosity from this community.  It has certainly been glorious and
heart warming!  Your kind words and hugs, letters to the editors and
to the road commissioners, your many donations, and your strong belief
in Wings of Wonder helped us get thru this stress-filled ordeal.  It
is now time to move on and look forward with open hearts and clear
minds.  Wings of Wonder will “fly” strong once again.  For more
information please contact WOW at wow@wingsofwonder.org ,
www.wingsofwonder.org, or by phone 326-4663.
Rebecca Lessard
Executive Director, Wings of Wonder

Busy to What End?
While in Thailand recently, I overheard a man from Spain summarizing
the work ethic of Americans. He said, “They work very hard, too hard
sometimes, until they are burnt out, or sick. And then, this builds up
over time, and they become angry at something, their boss, their
government, a foreign government, the news broadcaster, the opposing
political party, the weather. And what good does all of that amount
to? It is busyness that costs them their health, and their quality of
life. Americans do not know how to relax every day, breathe, drink a
beer at lunch, forgive each other for being sick, late, lazy
What if in our community we stopped busying ourselves with what “must
get done,” and stopped, as a general rule, putting each other on the
chopping block so often? Pablo Neruda describes this in a poem,
“If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and
for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this
sadness of never understanding ourselves.”
Thomas Merton, a Catholic Monk, wrote a book about the violence of
busyness, or going without Sabbath: a long, reflective time of rest.
He argues that “busyness” is a form of violence. It cannot be solved
by doing. It must be, not doing. Stopping. And then. Nothing. Long
enough to hear the hum of the unknown, or God, or something greater
than yourself, and the wisdom that can be found in that.
Busy, according to Merton, can become the most destructive form of
violence, because it begets a frenzied, stressful state within humans
that leads to anxiety, depression, illness, and poor decision making.
We all have some idea of how to find rest, but how do we grant more
opportunity for each other?

Joe Warner • Traverse City

An article in the Jan. 31 edition (“Brewing Up Hope”) incorrectly
stated that projects assisting coffee farmers in Ethiopia that are
funded by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters through Catholic Relief
Services promote family planning.  Catholic Relief Services does not
engage or promote family planning, in accordance with the teaching of
the Roman Catholic Church.
“The Bay Leaf” article, which appeared in the Jan. 31 edition,
inaccurately identified Denny Stillwell as general manager. Denny
Fitzpatrick is The Bay Leaf GM.

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