Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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High school lesson in free speech

Express Staff - November 14th, 2002
High school lesson in free speech

Quoting from the likes of Mahatma Gandhi can apparently put students in hot water in high school these days, as Troy Stewart found out when the Marquette High School senior was suspended for speaking out against the proposed war in Iraq at a pep rally.
The Oct. 18 suspension was put on hold by a Marquette County judge to determine whether the school had violated Stewart’s First Amendment right to free speech.
What kind of dangerous talk did Stewart fill his fellow students’ ears with? The beginning of his speech is as follows:
“To start off this speech, I would like to quote the great Mahatma Gandhi in saying that ‘violence will only create more violence.’ As I am sure that all of you are aware of our escalating situation with Iraq, I would like to stand up and speak out against it. Our rage influenced President George Bush to recently propose what he puts as ‘using military force’ against Iraq. Military force, my fellow classmates, is a war, and war is the slaughtering of innocent people.”
Stewart went on to warn students about the shaky U.S. economy and that a draft could be in their future, Stewart, a member of the school’s varsity soccer team, received a standing ovation from hundreds of students and faculty for his 45-second speech, which the school superintendant compared to the German’s response to Adolf Hitler. A court order and public outrage over the suspension made it possible for Stewart to play soccer against Traverse City last week.

Down the hatch

What are the “The Best Restaurants in the World for Wine Lovers“? Some are right here in Northern Michigan, according to Wine Spectator magazine. The magazine recently added 848 restaurants to its list of 2,866 worldwide that had tip-top wine lists. Those receiving awards in the region included Sagamore‘s restaurant at The Inn at Bay Harbor, Hattie‘s of Suttons Bay, Pontresina of Gaylord, The Riverside Inn of Leland, Tapawingo of Ellsworth, City Park Grill and Villa Ristorante Italiano of Petoskey, New York of Harbor Springs and Windows of Traverse City.

Eco fall-out from the elections

New Republican majorities in the U.S. House and Senate will have a devastating effect on the environment by rolling back a number of protections, say advocates for clean water and public forests.
Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says the Bush administration has plans to weaken the 1972 Clean Water Act which “could gut the nation’s longstanding ‘no net loss of wetlands’ goal.”
Stabenow also said she was concerned that the Bush administration was supportive of “efforts to delay and weaken critical Clean Water Act programs to reduce pollution loadings and discharges of raw sewage to the nation’s waters.”
In a related development, the National Forest Protection Alliance said the Republican Congress would result in “political armageddon for forests,” with a dramatic increase in logging on public lands.
The group said pending legislation will gut basic law governing environmental impact; interfere with the judicial process in protecting forests and other resources; give timber companies a “license to steal” on public lands; and threaten communities with brush fires as the result of the destruction of forest habitat.

Empty pockets?

You’re not alone. More than 50% of Michigan workers have 401k plans, but the statewide value of those funds fell by $7.67 billion in the past year, according to Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Michigan’s public pension funds recorded a drop of $116 million due to corporate malfeasance in the current scandals surrounding Enron, Adelphia, Xerox, etc.

Correction: A number for contact information on the Nov. 12 Heritage Center concert with songwriter Chuck Brodsky was incorrect in last week’s Express. The correct number is 995-0313.
 
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