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 11-25-13
. . . .

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.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5