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...

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- August 26th, 2013  

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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.

Bikes & self preservation

The recent vitriol against bike riders is short-sighted at best and pathetic at worst.

Talk of getting the police to ticket cyclists more and of licensing and insuring bicycles are solutions looking for a problem.

Bikes are NOT the problem. In fact we should be thanking all those who make our community safer, quieter, cleaner, healthier and just plain more livable when they choose to leave their cars at home.

Sure, I’ve broken a few traffic laws on my bike: rolling stops when there are no cars or pedestrians in sight or riding on sidewalks. Pedestrians often “break the law” in their own ways as well: crossing against a light or jaywalking. BUT when was the last time you read about a cyclist or pedestrian running over and killing a motorist?

Let’s have a little common sense in this discussion. Cyclists and pedestrians are DEFENSELESS, while automobiles and trucks are several thousand pounds of lethal machinery, often operated by careless and distracted drivers, rushing to get to their destinations.

Motor vehicles with their cellphone jabbering, smartphone texting, GPS puttering, makeup applying, stereo fiddling, meal consuming, animal corralling, and endlessly distracted drivers ARE THE REAL PROBLEM. And to top it all off, VIRTUALLY NONE of these drivers obey the local speed limits -- 10 to 15 mph over the limit is the norm.

If there is any cracking down to be done, here is where it will bear the most fruit.

We expect cyclists to obey the same laws as motor vehicles, but in reality they are completely at the mercy of speeding and distracted motorists. Cyclists are, for all practical purposes, just glorified pedestrians, but without the modicum of safety of a sidewalk.

I also have a car and my taxes contribute to the building and maintenance of the roads and sidewalks in this community. Perhaps it’s time we consider giving these forms of transportation more respect and cut the individuals who utilize them a little slack. My minor traffic infractions on my bicycle or on foot are unlikely to harm any precious motorists. In fact I often deviate from the law for a far more compelling reason: SELF PRESERVATION. Sorry, but that trumps the law.

Jan Ealy • TC

Endless crowds

I found Sam Porter’s marketing comments about his new “Spectacular Structures” mobile venue being touted for our area perplexing.

On the one hand he comments about how we should celebrate all that is great and good about life in Northern Michigan and laments those events that can “close down our parks and streets.” Just how does bringing in crowds of thousands on a regular basis avoid that -- creating huge human traffic patterns that can hardly have a low impact on community infrastructure despite claims to the contrary.

Despite all the talk about revenue to the region, the real goal for such structures is revenue to the promoters with scant regard to the style of our area free of a moveable feast of endless crowds.

It’s time for we taxpayers to seriously consider whether we are remaining a great place to live or moving towards a vast and continual amusement park that dictates overwhelming intrusion into what makes our area great.

M. Coffman • TC

Where’s the love?

So many disagreeable comments appeared in your article about Fridrich Furs: Trapping... fur farms...

Fridrich seems to be comfortable rationalizing the most despicable and inhumane treatment of animals to further his profession. What I can’t get past is the huge disconnect when he says he “loves” animals then in the next breath says it’s okay to trap, kill, and skin them.

For most of us, loving animals includes qualities like caring, empathy and compassion. I doubt the 20 raccoons he slaughtered were feeling the “love.”

Bari Dilworth • via email

Our poisoned roads

Once again Team Services has been caught using toxic waste chemicals from oil and gas drilling as dust control on roads.

Team Services reportedly sprayed 300,000 gallons of toxic fluid on 121 miles of roads in Benzie County. Testing showed levels of carcinogenic benzene and toluene 1,000 times higher than the legal limit.

This is a recurring story. One year ago, DEQ documents obtained through FOIA request confirmed that Team Services sprayed thousands of gallons of toxic, carcinogenic fracking fluid waste from gas wells on roads in Cheboygan and Kalkaska counties. Public outrage forced the DEQ to suspend permits for this type of “dust control” disposal for one year.

Now, a year later, they are at it again.

And the penalty for getting caught – a verbal reprimand from the DEQ! How many other roads have been similarly sprayed? How much toluene, benzene and other deadly chemicals have seeped into groundwater from these sprayings? How many animals (including pets) have gotten sick from drinking puddles of toxic fluid after a rain storm? How much vegetation has been destroyed? How will these chemicals affect area farms and homeowner water wells? It’s time for the DEQ to do its job. Stop allowing the poisoning of our environment with oil and gas drilling chemicals.

Anne Zukowski Co-chair, Don’t Frack Michigan

Christians & science

The incessant and unnecessary conflict between science and religion continues, but we can and should learn from history. Beginning in 1534 when Copernicus published “On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies,” until at least 1633 with church decrees against Galileo, a battle raged which bore striking similarities to the evolution versus creationism war of today.

Many good and wise men of science were exiled, tortured, and murdered because the best biblical scholars of their time agreed that a new theory, which brazenly suggested that the earth moved in the heavens (around the sun, no less), represented a grave contradiction to divine scripture which clearly stated then (as it still does today) that “The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.” (Psalm 93:1), and “He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” (Psalm 104:5).

Current Bible experts have come to grips with the well-established law of heliocentrism through a more flexible biblical interpretation necessitated by the overwhelming scientific evidence that the earth, no longer seen as the center of the universe, does indeed move. This belated accommodation unfortunately provides small comfort to those early and courageous scientists who remain murdered and tortured martyrs due to their strongly held and accurate convictions.

May I suggest a more theistic view of evolution in which God, after creating matter and all of the natural laws which govern its physical and biological deployment, used organic evolution as a final step in His ongoing and miraculous creation. A divine creation whose beauty can be more completely appreciated and whose authenticity can be more clearly validated through the detailed and accurate observations of contemporary science.

If Christian faith could survive a moving earth, it will certainly survive a more detailed understanding of a creation made no less divine, but all the more miraculous by increased scientific knowledge.

Bob Ross • Pellston

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