Letters 10-12-2015

Replacing Pipeline Is Safe Bet On Sept. 25, Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, addressed members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. His message was, “I want to be clear. We wouldn’t be operating this line if we didn’t think it was safe.”

We pretty much have to take him for his word...

Know The Root Of Activism Author and rabbi Harold Kushner has said, “People become activists to overcome their childhood fear of insignificance.” The need to feel important drives them. They endeavor good works not to help the poor or sick or unfortunate but to fill the void in their own empty souls. Their various “causes” are simply a means to an end as they work to assuage their own broken hearts...

Climate’s Cost One of the arguments used to delay action on climate change is that it would be too expensive. Such proponents think leaving environmental problems alone would save us money. This viewpoint ignores the cost of extreme weather events that are related to global warming...

A Special Edition Cuckoo Clock The Republican National Committee should issue a special edition cuckoo clock commemorating the great (and lesser) debates and campaign 2016...

Problems On The Left Contrary to letters in the Oct 5th edition, Julie Racine’s letter is nothing but drivel, a mindless regurgitation of left-wing stuff, nonsense, and talking points. They are a litany of all that is wrong with the left: Never address an issue honestly, avoid all facts, blame instead of solving; and when all else fails, do it all over again...

Thanks, Jack It is so very difficult for the average American to understand the complex issues our country faces in far off places around the globe. (Columnist) Jack Segal’s career and his special ability to explain these issues in plain English in many forums make him a precious asset to all of us in northern Michigan...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 11-25-13
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Letters 11-25-13

- November 25th, 2013  

Email letters 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.

Create a festival venue

There has been a lot of discussion about the festival issue in Traverse City recently. Festivals do draw people to the area and we don’t want to discourage that.

On the other hand we need to be sensitive to residents’ desire for a peaceful community.

Perhaps one solution would be to construct a festival venue. A couple examples would be Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, Wisconsin, home of Tent Show Radio and the American Players Theater in Spring Green. These are “destinations.”

Traverse City could do something similar that would allow festivals to take place and yet control traffic, noise and other concerns. Even Charlevoix has their bandshell. Let’s get creative as a community and solve this problem in a manner that serves the entire community.

Tom Speers • via email

Other festival options

All of the articles and discussion on the festival issue seem to assume that all TC festivals must be at the Open Space.

We can have BOTH festivals AND an open and attractive waterfront if the festivals are located someplace else in TC, such as the Civic Center, F&M Park, GT Commons, or on private property, such as the lot at Pine and Front, etc.

That would give TC all of the tourist advantages of festivals PLUS an open and attractive and quiet waterfront -- it’s a win-win.

The waterfront is its own attraction to tourists and does not need a festival to bring people to it. Festivals at non-waterfront venues can bring tourists to TC and/or entertain them while they’re here, and locals and tourists alike can enjoy a quiet, open Open Space, whether on foot or driving along the Parkway. Let’s separate the discussion of “keep the Open Space open” from “TC needs festivals”... we can certainly do both.

Lyn Dolson Pugh • via email

Fatbikes bad for Vasa trail

TART Trails is a great organization that does many wonderful things for the region. Pushing fatbikes onto the Vasa Pathway ski trails is not one of them.

Last winter, TART hosted demo days for shops selling fatbikes. Bikes were trucked out for people to try at the Vasa trailhead. Fatbikers kept coming. Soon the Vasa footpaths and snowshoe trails were rutted and ruined for other users. Groomed ski trails were still off limits.

This winter, TART announces “Fatbike Fridays” for the growing number of fatbikers it helped create to have access to the Vasa ski trails, which were developed and long supported by local skiers.

TART manages the trails under an agreement with the DNR and has kept hikers off groomed trails for years. But now TART says the absence of a state forest ban on fat bikes provides no authority and fat bikes are entitled. Convenient.

Groomed trails are designed for skate and classic-style skiers. Fat bikes are a third group that will damage surfaces and create the congestion and danger of collisions people take to designated ski trails to escape.

TART says this is a trial run, but the agenda seems clear.

Fatbikers, cycle-centric TART, local bike shops and dealers, and others behind this push should channel the sport’s new energy and money to develop fatbike trails and stay off ski trails.

On Wisconsin’s famous Birkebeiner – a ski trail system, organization, and race that helped inspire the Vasa -- fatbikes are allowed an annual race but otherwise banned.

That’s because, as the Birkebeiner web site states, “our priority is giving skiers the best possible experience all winter.”

Sadly, not so with TART.

Michael Roberts • Williamsburg

Cowboy mentality

Perhaps the NRA’s president thinking that the best way to deal with an active shooter is to have a good man with a gun.

Such thinking probably stems from the American myth regarding the citizen soldier. It was believed that every able body man could grab their musket off the mantle and successfully defend his community. In early days, colonists had to defend themselves against the Indians, the French, the Spanish, and during the revolutionary war against the British.

Unfortunately, the militia proved to be unreliable and untrained. Washington preferred his trained army since the militia was no match against the British.

The citizen soldier did poorly in the War of 1812 and their lawless behavior in the war against Mexico was criticized by the regular army. The belief that untrained or poorly trained citizens can defend against trained soldiers was laid to rest.

To believe that untrained citizens can effectively handle an active shooter is not only naive but ignores our poor history regarding the citizen soldier. Relying on untrained citizens to deal with an active shooter not only places their life in danger but could result in injuries to others.

Like with fires, the best way to fight fires is through prevention. Let us begin to prevent active shooters by enacting universal background checks design to keep guns out the hands of criminals and the mentally unstable.

Ronald Marshall • Petoskey

Indigents insulted

I read your “The Season of Giving” article in the Northern Express and appreciate what you conveyed in the article. I do have one comment about a term you used in the list of local agencies.

Under the Safe Harbor listing, you referred to “homeless indigents”-- first, that is rather redundant, and the word “indigent” seems harsh --accurate, maybe, but condescending, and the homeless community does read publications like yours.

We work with Safe Harbor and with homeless and low-income people at our church, and, like most people in the agencies you mentioned, we try to treat these folks as our neighbors, with as much caring and respect as possible.

Also, Safe Harbor is not an “agency” like most of the other listed organizations. Rather, it is a coalition of churches that provide shelter in the churches, rotating from church to church every one or two weeks.

Sandra McDonald • TC


A model in last week’s Northern Seen page was incorrectly identified. That was Kayla Jackson pictured at upper right with the towering hair-do. Cindy Toranzo was the stylist.

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