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 · Expanded Election Issue Letters...
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Expanded Election Issue Letters Section

- October 22nd, 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.

Vote yes for clean energy

Sometimes we have to be forced to do the right thing. As a lifelong resident of Northern Michigan, I remember feeling more than a little rankled when the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore was established. I could no longer do as I pleased on that ageless shoreline; guidelines were set and even a modest fee was required. Well... Thank goodness there were forward thinking people working to create what would come to represent the best part of Northern Michigan. Think of where we’d be today without their wisdom.

Yes, sometimes we have to be forced to do the right thing. And again, forward thinking people are working to establish a means to attain cleaner air, a more diverse Michigan economy and less dependence on fossil fuels. Big energy, like that distant version of me shouldn’t be allowed to do as they please. The constitutional change offered by Proposition 3 is the right thing to do.

I’m voting yes and I hope you do too.

Thomas Hart • via email

'Simple Life' not so simple

I have been living, pursuing and advocating the “simple life” for over 40 years (re: "The Really Simple Life," 10/8). Alternative life styles that move away from the drive for upward social mobilization and toward a high quality of daily life at a lower cost to the planet and its resources are not simple to pull off. I applaud and embrace the intentions of the two young people featured in your article, but they have a country retreat, which seems cool but not for the long haul.

If they stay on the land, at that level she may be dipping diapers in a pail during the winter. He’ll hurt his back chopping wood or managing that 20 acres and wish he had a garage or carport to fix the truck up on jacks out of the weather.

The mountains of north Idaho are full of abandoned little shacks that seemed like a good idea and were fun for a while.

If you don’t have old roots, family, a substantial stake, craft or solid job, be prepared to work hard, be smart and flexible and patiently wait for simplicity to unfold.

A university study about the early 1970s “Back To The Land” movement indicated that well over a million urban, mostly well-educated, men and women moved to rural America to do just what these two fine young people are doing. Less than 20% of us stuck it out.

Many of us live in 1,000 to 1,500 square foot houses, have two vehicles and wish it was only one, raise some of our food, wear a lot of second hand clothes, and probably used one third to one half of the resource we would have used in our urban career and lifestyles. Not the ideals we set out for. but not too shabby either. Plus, most of us have had a wonderful life in the pursuit of simplicity.

Jerry Luther • via email


Email letters to: info@northernexpress.com

Lessons of the past

Is America better off today than four years ago? The public was just learning about a major banking crisis in September of ‘08. We were told by President Bush, and Secretary Hank Paulson, that we would have to bail out the banks, otherwise the greatest doom would soon follow. They wanted hundreds of billions of dollars and no questions asked. By October ‘08 we were losing 700,000 jobs a month. Not to mention the 50,000 factories we lost under Bush. The stock market had tanked, causing millions of Americans to lose huge chunks of retirement funds.

Bush oversaw eight years of economic self-destruction: Bush tax cuts, which are still one of the primary causes of our budget deficits, the $3 trillion (off the books) unnecessary war in Iraq, etc.

Despite tough cowboy talk of getting Bin Laden “dead or alive” within months of 9/11, Bush said “I don’t really think about him much anymore” and closed the Bin Laden task force. The housing bubble had exploded, people were losing their homes by the millions. Times were bad, very bad. We were descending into the pit of another major depression.

Obama calmly took the helm and steered us away from that dangerous collapse. Under Obama the Dow more than doubled to 13,000 points. There have been 30 consecutive months of job growth. In 2011 alone there were almost 2 million new private sector jobs. We got Bin Laden!

If Republicans had worked with Obama just imagine for one moment, how much further we could have come. If not for GOP obstructionism, including a record number of filibusters, the Grover Norquist "no taxes" pledge, etc., how many more Americans would be back to work?

Are we better off today than four years ago? Absolutely! Vote for Democrats in November!

Karen Martin • Cheboygan

Climate action & Prop 3

The Michigan Constitution, unlike our national Constitution, was designed to be a living document, changed by a majority vote of the people, especially when the legislature is unable to do the appropriate work for the people. Proposal 3 gives voters the opportunity to address the real urgency of climate change. Voting “no” because it is a constitutional amendment simply gives more power to big oil and coal, DTE, Consumers, and their lobbyists. This is a critical vote for public well-being. Vote YES.

Mary Van Valin • via email

Facts, not propaganda

One wonders just where are the facts and what was foolish hype in the debates.

President Lincoln had it right. “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” He also said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

Lets look ahead with keen discernment.

Don’t let your vote be bought nor swayed with false propaganda.

Thomas E. Hagan • Empire

The propositions

Stephen Tuttle showed his true colors, for the most part, in the October 8 column. Liberal.

He wants local pols to be able to bankrupt their jurisdictions and then run to the State for rescue (Prop 1). Vote no on this.

He wants public employee unions to be constitutionally protected for all time while they politically blackmail their employers into granting ruinous pay and benefit packages (Prop 2). Vote no on this.

He wants Michigan to have no choice but to spend handsomely on unproven, quite possibly useless forms of energy generation, like the windmill on M-72 which sits idle half the time while a fossil fuel plant makes up the difference full time (Prop 3). Vote no on this.

He wants another bureaucracy, and a unionized one at that, in State government. Just what we need (Prop 4). Vote no on this.

He might have a case with Prop 5, but at least more than 50% plus one should be required to raise taxes, maybe 60% for example (Prop 5). I’m mulling this one over yet.

I am in full agreement with him on Prop 6 - vote against this turkey. The owner of the Ambassador Bridge just wants to keep his monopoly; he couldn’t care less about the public interest.

Charles Knapp • Maple City

McDowell & business

After attending the TC League of Women Voters forum between Dr. Dan Benishek and Gary McDowell, I decided that Dr. Dan Benishek had earned my vote.

During the debate, I felt that Gary McDowell consistently misrepresented his record as a state legislator. He repeatedly stated that he was in favor of lowering taxes for small businesses and that he had voted to repeal the Michigan Small Business Tax. However, he neglected to mention the fact that he voted to replace that tax with another tax, the Michigan Business Tax.

The Michigan Business Tax, one of the largest tax increases in Michigan history, played a large role in driving the state unemployment rate above 14% and encouraged many businesses to flee Michigan for more welcoming states. Unlike Gary McDowell, Dr. Benishek is serious about limited government and his record reflects this. I encourage all on Nov. 6 to vote for Dr. Benishek, because we need someone in Congress to fight for us.

Linda Witt • TC

Republican tax hike

If you tend to vote Republican, this letter is guaranteed to cure that problem. You already know that Congressman Benishek is on record favoring “privatizing” and even “phasing out” Social Security and Medicare.

At the state level, Republicans cut over a billion dollars from schools for 2011, to give corporations a big tax break. (The average school district had its per pupil funding reduced by $470 last year.)

Now for the big April, 2013 surprise. You are going to paying much more in Michigan income taxes next year. Michigan Public Act 38 starts for tax year 2012. In July, 2011, the bipartisan House Fiscal Agency estimated the impact of this Republican change on 2012-13 revenues. Indeed, for tax years 2012-13, our personal income tax payments will go up almost $2 billion. Why? Well Repubs cut business taxes big time in PA 39-40. Michigan business tax revenues from Walmart and other companies are going down even more, over $2 billion over the same two years!

It’s the same sort of redistribution to corporations and the 1% started by Reagan and Bush II and now promised under the Romney/Ryan budget plan.

Here are two examples: A married couple with two kids and a household income of $55,000 will pay an additional $739 next April. How about a retired couple born after 1952, with a pension of $48,000 and a total household income of $53,000. They will pay an extra $3,130 under the Republican state income tax increase. Now that you know the facts, you can return to the Democratic Party and elect someone who represents real people on November 6.

Leonard Page • Cheboygan

Greening of Detroit

I really enjoyed your article about the gardening that is happening in Detroit. Last May, I had the opportunity to visit the Lafayette Greens in downtown Detroit. It was incredible and the story behind these community gardens is as well. The owner of Compuware, Inc. purchased the space to create gardens where his employees along with community members can grow flowers and vegetables for the people in the inner city. I sat with art therapy friends enjoying lunch in these gardens, a place that may not have been too safe to sit before this great work.

And here in Traverse City of course we have our children’s gardens behind the library. These gardens teach children gardening skills and good eating habits. They are worth our support as a community. Let’s all continue to grow!

Barbara McIntyre, Ph.D. • TC

Vote for Kirsten Keilitz

While Kirsten Keilitz was in private practice, I was her opponent on several occasions. She was always a strong advocate for her client, yet fair and honest toward mine. Because I respected Kirsten, I referred cases to her when I had a conflict.

Now that Kirsten is a referee, I have appeared before her on numerous occasions on a variety of Family Division matters. She continues to maintain a high level of respect and dignity in the courtroom despite being tasked to make difficult decisions. Kirsten has earned my vote and I strongly encourage you to give her yours!

Gerald F. Chefalo • TC

Coffia's clean campaign

I believe that Grand Traverse Voters recognize quality of character and are ready to make the change to Betsy Coffia. Find out for yourself -- do your homework and learn how Betsy Coffia will be YOUR voice in Lansing.

Betsy has refused to accept PAC money, out-of-state donations and donations over $250 per individual. This has given her supporters extra incentive to go door to door, encouraging dialogue and developing relationships where PEOPLE are important and part of the process. This is a refreshing departure -- people before money.

Margaret Pierson • via email

Melanie Stanton the best

I am writing to voice my support for Melanie Stanton in the upcoming race for Probate Judge of Grand Traverse County. In recent letters to the editor, it has been implied that her opponent’s three years of experience as a referee in the court trumps Melanie’s 16 years of work experience in the Probate Court and 20 years of work experience in the Family Court. Not so. The families, individuals, children, seniors, and vulnerable adults of Grand Traverse County will be better served with a vote for Melanie Stanton on November 6!

Tricia Klaasen Smith • TC

Bad prescription

It seems that “Dr. Dan” has caught the Republican disease of not telling the truth in TV ads, and wearing his white coat and stethoscope doesn’t cure him of this malady.

Benishek claims that Gary McDowell supports cutting Medicare by $716 billion, whereas the Congressman himself voted for the Ryan budget, which takes from Medicare to pay for tax cuts for millionaires.

Unlike Benishek, McDowell will vote against privatization of Medicare and Social Security and vote for jobs, education, protecting our Great Lakes.

In this election, the doctor may be IN, but we need to vote him OUT.

Mary Easthope • Lake Leelanau

Prop 2 protects our jobs

Voters are not ignorant. The ad sponsored by Protecting Michigan Taxpayers is lying and using fear to oppose Proposal 2, Protect our Jobs. This is a proposed amendment to Michigan’s constitution that would guarantee union rights to both public and private sectors.

As a former contract negotiator I know the second paragraph of a contract states THE LAW SUPERSEDES THIS CONTACT. School employees focus on the best interest of their students and their safety. This ad is an insult to all the hardworking employees of Michigan’s unionized school districts. This is blatant union busting affecting all Michigan citizens. Vote yes.

Barbara Schneider • Maple City

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