Letters 07-27-2015

Next For Brownfields In regard to your recent piece on brownfield redevelopment in TC, the Randolph Street project appears to be proceeding without receiving its requested $600k in brownfield funding from the county. In response to this, the mayor is quoted as saying that the developer bought the property prior to performing an environmental assessment and had little choice but to now build it...

Defending Our Freedom This is in response to Sally MacFarlane Neal’s recent letter, “War Machines for Family Entertainment.” Wake Up! Make no mistake about it, we are at war! Even though the idiot we have for a president won’t accept the fact because he believes we can negotiate with Iran, etc., ISIS and their like make it very clear they intend to destroy the free world as we know it. If you take notice of the way are constantly destroying their own people, is that living...

What Is Far Left? Columnist Steve Tuttle, who so many lambaste as a liberal, considers Sen. Sanders a far out liberal “nearly invisible from the middle.” Has the middle really shifted that far right? Sanders has opposed endless war and the Patriot Act. Does Mr. Tuttle believe most of our citizens praise our wars and the positive results we have achieved from them? Is supporting endless war or giving up our civil liberties middle of the road...

Parking Corrected Stephen Tuttle commented on parking in the July 13 Northern Express. As Director of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, I feel compelled to address a couple key issues. But first, I acknowledge that  there is some consternation about parking downtown. As more people come downtown served by less parking, the pressure on what parking we have increases. Downtown serves a county with a population of 90,000 and plays host to over three million visitors annually...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 01-30-2012
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Letters 01-30-2012

- January 30th, 2012  

Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com

Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page).

Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification. Faxed letters are not accepted.

Move to Amend

Again we are constantly reminded of the ever-fluctuating polls. We are reminded of the candidate’s money, but we are not told the source of the money. Big money contributors don’t make contributions, they make investments for which they are wellrewarded. Wall Street made huge contributions to both Democrats and Republicans before the 2008 election.

Henry Paulsen, President George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury, announced that the banks had to have a huge sum of money now, or the sky would ball in. True, it was a major crisis. We had allowed the banks to become too big to fail. Both candidates, McCain and Obama, interrupted their campaigns and hurried back to the Senate to rescue Wall Street.

A few senators, including our senator, Debbie Stabenow, insisted that some of our money be used to help the people from their state before they could vote for the bailout. The bailout passed without them with no strings attached.

But, golly, they could have at least said “Thank you” before they demanded more money.

Orpha Shinn • Bellaire

To the Homestead

Your statements in the recent Northern Express article concerning your sewage system seem to indicate that you do not deny that your sewage spray drifts beyond the legal area and into the surrounding parkland; rather, you say that this is ok, because your sewage poses no risk to human or animal health.

The following points reflect my understanding of the matter. Could you please provide explanation to us, your neighbors, as to which of them you believe to be incorrect (and why), and how you reconcile your position with those which are not? (You can share information at HomesteadSewage.org.)

-- Your spray is only partially treated; it is supposed to go directly into the ground for cleansing. It is not rated as safe for ingestion, as occurs when people breathe the drifting spray.

--Scientific studies such as one posted at HomesteadSewage.org indicate that effluent of this type can contain significant pathogens. Warning signs such as the following are recommended: “This area has been irrigated with reclaimed domestic wastewater that has not necessarily been adequately treated to protect public health . . . Persons using this area could experience illness, and possibly death . . . ” -- After studying this situation, the NPS public health specialist recommended that a gasmask, goggles, and coveralls should be worn by personnel when exposure is possible.

--The DEQ environmental engineer responsible for this case has stated, “Sewage spray poses a hazard that justifies restricted access.”

-- The Park Service has had to post and close the parklands surrounding your facility with warning signs for the past 18 years; those areas have been unavailable for use & enjoyment by their owners, the public.

Sally MacFarlane-Neal • Northport

Fracking endangers water

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) passed a resolution in 2011 to ban horizontal hydraulic fracturing in Michigan. MCWC sees fracking as a direct and critical threat to our state’s most precious natural resource: our water. Michigan is surrounded by the largest supply of freshwater in the world, and half of Michigan residents get their drinking water from groundwater wells.

Using millions of gallons of fresh water to fracture each well is an unsustainable, irresponsible use of our water resources, and the impact on our fresh water supply from the fracking process has serious consequences. Because the horizontal sections of the wells are not cased in cement, chemical leakage from these sections represent a significant threat to ground water.

In addition, fluid spills before injection, and when recovered, can contaminate surface and underground water sources. Drilling into these formations creates pathways by which fluids or natural gas itself can find its way into water supplies as well.

Once the process is complete, 40-70% of the fracture water (flowback) returns to the surface, which means millions of gallons of contaminated wastewater need to be disposed of, directly threatening water supplies. MCWC will continue our fight to protect Michigan’s waters from fracking.

Monica Evans • Honor President, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation

Gov't not a business

Candidate Romney claims that his qualification for President is that he is a successful businessman. What he does not seem to understand is that government is not a business. A business produces products or services for a profit for its shareholders. A government provides services paid for with taxes collected from the citizens and businesses.

If the government were a business it could privatize the Defense Department. Following the Romney business tactic, the Pentagon Corporation could sell our surplus aircraft carriers to China, as Russia did. We do not need seven nuclear aircraft carrier task forces when no other country has more than one. We could level the playing field, sell off some of our ships and pass on the profits to the shareholders. That’s what businesses do.

If that meant laying off a lot of sailors, taking away their pensions and medical benefits and dumping them onto the distressed labor market, so be it. What matters to business is dividends for the shareholders.

Business thinks in terms of short term gains and quick profits. Governments think long term. It takes years to plan a bridge, for instance, and no private corporation is going to take that long range view.

If Michigan’s distressed highway department sold my company the Portage Lake lift bridge, which is already nearing the end of its useful life, we could charge a toll, make a profit for our investors, skip maintenance costs, and when the bridge no longer functioned, sell it for scrap to milk every last dollar out of a depleted asset. So what if the folks who had no bridge couldn’t cross the waterway? That’s their problem. We can go elsewhere, buy some other bridge, and do it again.

That’s why you do not want to elect a businessman to be president. It’s the wrong mind-set.

Harley L. Sachs • Portland, OR

Marina Expansion

I wanted to let you know, before it is too late, that On The Narrows Marina is quietly seeking DEQ permission to expand the Marina there. This would be a major expansion with a new 50-boat dock and tons of mooring.

Obviously this move has been timed specifically to get approvals before the vast majority of Lake owners even find out it was happening, and if they get this through the Glen Lake Narrows area will end up like Torch lake sandbar area. This is moving fast, with objections due in a week.

Greg Schmid • Glen Lake

NO Labels

I want to not let something go unnoticed.

At the State of Union last night, 208 Senators and Representatives sat next to a person from the other party! Did you notice? They did so by choice, by personally inviting a counterpart. They did so in an effort to show respect and the desire to work together, for bipartisanship, for the United States. How about that?!

What I want you to know is WE THE PEOPLE made this happen. Many phone calls, letters, congressional office visits, television appearances, etc. were made by NO Labels members. Getting bipartisan seating at all appropriate meetings, is just one of 12 congressional rule changes being put forward by NO Labels.

This not-left, not-right, but forward group is now 300,000 members strong and is aiming for over 1,000,000 by the end of year.

Check out nolabels.org to see what WE the citizens will be presenting and expecting next. How does NO Budget, NO Pay sound? Fellow NO Labels member, Senator Joe Manchin, will be presenting just this at a February congressional hearing!

Put your disgust with Congress in the right spot, get it off your chest, go to nolabels.org and sign your name in support.

Jill Rahrig Bourdon • TC

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