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...

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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