Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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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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