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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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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