Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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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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