Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 03-04-2013
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Letters 03-04-2013

- March 4th, 2013  
letters

Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com

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Time for gun insurance

Guns are not toys. They are lethal weapons. Just as in order to drive my car it must be registered and insured and I need a valid license, a similar approach to guns should remind people that owning a lethal weapon is a serious responsibility.

Instead of banning guns by type and magazine capacity, let’s require liability insurance and registration along with licenses to carry.

The insurance industry could readily attach a rider to your home owner’s or renter’s policy. If stopped by the police, a gun owner would have to produce proof of insurance and a license, just as I must do if I am stopped in a traffic stop. If I don’t have those, my car may be towed; for a gun owner, the gun could be impounded until the owner produces proof of insurance.

When I taught English to the Swedish police in Stockholm, you could own a gun, but until you had a gold marksmanship medal, you could not remove it from the shooting club. One of my students had to carry a weapon on the job, but could not have a gun at home himself as he was not qualified.

Harley Sachs • Portland, Oregon

Incredible waste of water

A mind-boggling 21 million gallons of groundwater was mixed with toxic chemicals and used to frack State Excelsior well 3-25 HD1, located within the Mackinaw State Forest in Kalkaska County.

Two other gas extraction wells on the same pad owned by Encana Corp. reportedly brought the total water usage and contamination to over 42 million gallons. This water can never be returned to the hydrologic cycle.

How much water is 21 million gallons?

Tahquamenon Falls is the largest waterfall in our state. Roughly 5,000 gallons flow over the falls every second (U.S. Forest Service estimates). Watch the water cascading over the falls for one hour and 10 minutes. That represents the 21 million gallons of water used to frack just one well.

Now picture our state with hundreds or thousands of horizontal fracking wells, each sucking up and contaminating millions of gallons of water that should be replenishing our rivers, streams and the Great Lakes. This is water that could be used for growing crops. This is the water that defines our state and is the bedrock of our tourism economy.

Horizontal fracking for natural gas is profitable because drillers get the water for free and they lease state land at rockbottom prices ($10 minimum bid per acre at the upcoming May auction of state land). They are exempt from state and federal environmental laws such as the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, the Clean Drinking Water Act and Michigan’s Water Withdrawal Rules.

We need to end gas industry exemptions to environmental laws, end the subsidies, save our forests and water which should belong to ALL the people of Michigan. As a state we need to invest in solar and wind to save our environment, our health and our economy.

Anne Zukowski • Charlevoix

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