Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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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