Letters

Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 12-13-13
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Letters 12-13-13

- December 16th, 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.

Michigan's kleptocracy

As one of his first official acts, Governor Snyder picked the pockets of Michigan retirees by taxing their pensions and retirement savings. He then lined the pockets of his corporate backers by reducing business taxes.

As they say, a leopard can’t change his spots -- and Snyder is at it again. Thanks to his hand-picked emergency manager, the pensions of Detroit retirees are now before the federal bankruptcy court.

Can you guess who stands to benefit if Detroiters’ pensions are reduced by the bankruptcy court? That’s right, the Wall Street investment bankers who own Detroit’s other debt stand to get a bit more of their money back if the Detroit retirees’ pensions are slashed.

Another instance of Governor Snyder picking the pockets of Michigan retirees in order to line the pockets of his corporate backers? You be the judge!

Jay S. Johnson • Empire

Food stamp cuts

Yes, that would be the real “Hunger Games” (I’ll credit the movie for my title to avoid a Rand Paul plagiarism charge).

Dr. multi-millionaire Dan Benishek is one of the reasons the house will not bring a vote for the Farm Bill to the floor. Why are they not bringing it to the floor? Dr. Dan, along with his fellow Teapublicans, want to cut $40 billion-plus dollars from the SNAP (food stamps) program as a condition of passing the Farm Bill.

His Michigan Congressional District 1 is not exactly a hotbed of economic development due to high unemployment and low-paying jobs (except his). Some 90,000 of his constituents are dependent on the SNAP program. Does he not care how this reduction in food supply will affect them? He would present us with the new Northern Michigan version of the “Hunger Games”. Can’t wait to hear his appeal for votes next year.

To continue his war on the poor and vulnerable in his district the good doctor is appearing in television ads promising to get rid us of the ACA/Obamacare Law. His replacement plan is to offer “nothing” but a return to the market-based system that failed so many of us. Benishek would return to pre-existing conditions, policy cancellations, and maximum pay outs, no young adults on parents’ policies, no covered preventative care such as colonoscopies, mammograms, diabetes care, and a host of other benefits.

Obamacare will be successful, but look for Dr. Dan the obstructionist, to somehow have an epiphany and take some kind of credit. Please ask yourself: do the UP and Northern Michigan need this kind of representation?

Warren D. Bushey • Elmwood Township

Racetrack woes

The Indian River Racetrack issue has unfortunately very much divided our community, literally pitting neighbor against neighbor.

I have been a full-time resident of Indian River since 1977. My wife and I have dedicated our working lives to this community, I as a school counselor and college instructor, and my wife as a public health nurse. Our kids were raised in this community, both graduating from Inland Lakes High School. For many years, I have donated hundreds of hours of my time to the Indian River Summer Fest, in order to create and maintain the Kayak Bike Biathlon. This event has raised thousands of dollars to groom our local cross country ski trails and to build new bike paths. Clearly, I care deeply about the economic prosperity of our community.

So where do I stand, when it comes to building a racetrack in Indian River? If some members of our community want a race-track, and developer Mark Hall wants to build it, then so be it.

However, common sense and historic precedence dictate that racetracks should not be built in residential areas. Racetracks are generally built on the outskirts of towns, away from homes, and away from people. Griswold Mountain (which is within one mile of over 700 individual residential properties) obviously does not meet these criteria.

So what’s the solution? Mark Hall would not have to look very far to find an alternative site for his racetrack. There are 1,000 acres of state land east of I-75 and south of M-68 that would make a far better location for a racetrack. The state is willing to part with this land.

Officials from the DNR have indicated that a land swap with Griswold Mountain is feasible. The Little Traverse Conservancy has said that they could help facilitate such a land swap. Since land swaps generally do not involve buildings, Mark Hall could conceivably keep his mansion on the hill, while building his racetrack in a different location.

This is a win-win situation. Indian River could end up with both a racetrack east of I-75 and a land-preserve on Griswold Mountain. The town would benefit from the added commerce of thousands of spectators at racing events, while minimizing the impact of noise and traffic. As an added benefit, there could be an additional park on Griswold Mountain that would attract even more visitors for hiking, mountain biking, snow-shoeing, and other “Pure Michigan” recreational activities. If Mark Hall truly wants to “give back to the community,” then he could be instrumental in making all of this happen.

Jess Miller • Indian River

(See this week's story in the Express for more on the Indian River motocross issue -- ed.)

 
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