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 05-13-2013
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Letters 05-13-2013

- May 13th, 2013  

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.

Helmets & motorcycles

Properly worn motorcycle helmets, particularly full-face helmets, are quite effective in preventing head injuries during a crash. Like Jim Lumley (featured in the April 29 issue), I always wear a helmet and am fully covered (i.e. jacket/pants/ boots/gloves) while riding, even when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.

Beyond crashes, the helmet will deflect stones thrown by passing vehicles, not to mention bees, wasps, etc. (I’ve scraped off more than a few carcasses of stinging insects from my face shield).

That being said, the helmet law should stay repealed. The statement of “helmet laws take away our choice” is a simple argument, and is absolutely correct.

In a civil society -- which we still have -- adults can be responsible to make their own decisions and live with the consequences, both physically and financially.

When a motorcyclist does not wear a helmet and sustains a fatal head injury, it will affect his family and others who depend on him, but the vast majority of people will be unscathed.

In a nutshell, it’s a matter of our liberty.

Some laws are needed to allow the civil society to function and flourish. And some laws unnecessarily suppress our liberty; the helmet law is one of many examples.

Motorcyclists are acutely aware of the danger (even if some may not fully appreciate how dangerous it can be), which is why most of us still wear helmets. It is not the law that tells us to wear them, it is our own sense of responsibility. Nagging parents, spouses, children, other family members, and friends have their say too, of course.

Matt Woodruff • TC

Fear-mongering lobby

Today’s NRA is not the same proud organization my father belonged to. The NRA today has become a fear-mongering lobby for the gun manufacturers.

At their recent convention, keynote speaker Glenn Beck used words like battle, war, and tyranny. He encouraged everyone to carry an automatic pistol, ready to use in case the government gets our of hand. There was zero talk of bringing the country together, but lots of talk about bringing our government down.

The new NRA President Jim Porter, called the Civil War “the War of Northern Aggression,” started by some Yankee generals because they didn’t like the way the Southern boys could shoot. He referred to President Obama as “the fake president.” The ignorance and disrespect of these folks make me feel sick.

Don’t be brainwashed by the NRA. The government is not coming after your guns, unless you are a criminal, a terrorist or insane. Background checks help keep guns out of the wrong hands, and assault weapons with large capacity magazines belong on the battlefield. Since the Newtown massacre (as of April) more than 2,244 people across this country have been killed with guns.

If we continue down this path, listening to radicals with crazy government conspiracy theories, hating those we think are different, carrying a gun, and looking for a reason to use it, we will not have to worry about some terrorist destroying our way of life; we are destroying it ourselves

Sharon Kay Rose • Empire

Don’t blame others

Regarding Pete VanBerlo’s letter (May 6) it seems to me that he has fallen hook, line and sinker for the tactic legislators want us to fall for: blaming each other for our problems and not addressing the real issue.

People, listen up. The real issue is that our government collects enough taxes to operate, provide for those not able to provide for themselves, feed and house those in need and provide a sound health system.

The problem is that they (government) have never been held accountable for how they spend our hard-earned money collected as taxes. By saying they need more tax revenue and that a specific category of citizens have not been paying their fair share they pit us against each other. Government's spending habits are the problem, not any particular segment of our society.

Seniors, with some wisdom gained in the aging process by watching, listening and experience are expressing their concern about our government taking more from us citizens than it needs to operate. Yes, seniors are upset about (Gov. Snyder's) tax, just as they have been upset about other taxes levied toward citizens in all age categories.

How many times have you heard about wasteful spending in a government entity whether it be local, state or federal? Plenty, I’ll bet, because I see it all the time. Do a search on your computer for “wasteful spending.” You will get about 9 million hits in less than a second. “Citizens Against Wasteful Spending,” and “Judicial Watch” are just two organizations that can list millions, billions and even trillions of dollars that are not spent accountably.

So, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens of every age category and demographic, let us not point fingers at each other, instead, when a new tax is announced on whomever, ask why it is needed and where has all the money gone? Be vigilant and stand up for each other and don’t let them keep fooling us and blaming each other for this mess. We’re all in this together.

Steve Benedick • TC

Taxed by Snyder

Wait a minute Pete (re: May 6 letter). Entitlement attitude. What makes you think that you somehow support us retired people who collect Social Security?

Where do you get this idea that I don’t pay any taxes or somehow the tax rates are unfair? How many exemptions do you think we get? I worked 45 years-plus and paid well over six figures in Social Security taxes. This year thanks to good old Gov. Snyder, I was taxed again on it.

This is now a right-to-work state and if you believe my well-deserved benefits are why you're getting screwed, try again. And, if the unemployment rate is down because of this right-to-work crap, you now have the right to work harder for less. Thank the stinking Republican right-wing for this.

Gary Roy Baumdraher • via email

Dear Beloved Michigan

He is one tough NERD.





Yes, look out Pure Michigan.

For the real threat is not


It is

One Tough NERD and his Herd of Citizen Silencing Suits.

First Up:

City managers.

Labor rights.



Next on the agenda:



Air and water quality.

Look out Pure Michigan.

We are SO sorry.

We did what we could.

Love, The Silenced Citizens.

Michele Burian • Harbor Springs


-- Credit for the photo in last week's story on Serenity Wellness is due to Lisa Newhouse of Cherry City Consulting.

-- George Colburn (“Eisenhower's Secret War:”) was a councilman in East Lansing, not Lansing. Also, it was a former Eisenhower staffer who asked him to create documentaries, rather than a fellow filmmaker. Additionally, Bob Elliott is not a translator, but the “voice” mouthing translations of Russian, German and French commentators.

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