Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...


A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

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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