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Choices for the Traverse City Community
The History Center is in trouble and lacks enough funds to ensure its continued presence in our community. Meanwhile, our City Council is embarked on a path to figure out what went wrong with the splash pad, how to apportion blame and what it will take to fix it. Can we have a little common sense on these issues? The splash pad could easily be converted to a playground that will still be a lovely attraction for residents and visitors alike and will ensure we don’t have to pay a city employee to clean out the drains every 30 minutes. It would also remove an embarrassing issue from our front pages and let us all get on with enjoying the bay. The History Center, by comparison, has sound and proven infrastructure and has been doing remarkably creative work in the community which promises to get better and better over time. Let’s not let this become a front-page disaster story but instead find ways of supporting it now.
Karen Puschel • Traverse City
Support Native American Role
Thank you, Derek, for your well-written and informative article.
May the TC Commission open their minds and hearts to honor the first national people in a beautiful, artful way at the Clinch Park area.
We are all one here together on our beautiful Mother Earth. Please make TC proud of its ancestors.
Nancy Curley • Traverse City
Addiction Here, Too
Thank you to Mike Morey for his article in the January 6 issue depicting sad scenes from inside an alcohol and drug detox unit. I hope more and more people begin to realize that addiction is rampant in our area, it’s not just relegated to “big cities” any more. We need to keep the conversation going and continue to educate those who are oblivious to this festering boil in our society and yes, even here in semi-rural northern Michigan.
Deni Scrudato • Traverse City
Energy Policy Should Ban Fracking
The insanity of fracking hit me one night while vacationing in Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. At night the sky lights up with thousands of flares from fracking wells. Fracking there is done for oil because it is more valuable than gas. However gas comes up with the oil. Since it is less profitable, it is flared (burned) off into the atmosphere as a waste product. Why is this important to Michigan? Because multinational corporations are leasing our state land at rock-bottom prices, clear-cutting forests, destroying recreation and wildlife areas that provide habitat for animals and tourism dollars for residents – so they can drill for the very same gas that is considered a “waste” product and burned off into the atmosphere in North Dakota! This is insane waste.
It gets worse. Since they get the water for free, the fracking industry is setting national records for water use and contamination here in Michigan. Encana recently applied for permits to use and contaminate 35 million gallons of groundwater. Droughts and water shortages are becoming more common and severe. We should not allow our water to be squandered, poisoned and destroyed.
We don’t have to destroy our environment to keep the lights on. Wind and solar energy technology continues to improve and costs to consumers are going down. Meanwhile, fossil fuel costs are rising as gas and oil reserves become more and more difficult to extract. Fracking has been banned in Vermont and in three Canadian provinces. New York State has a moratorium and over 400 municipalities across the country, including in Michigan have passed resolutions restricting or banning its use.
Its time our state government stopped subsidizing multinational gas and oil companies. We need a state energy policy that promotes wind and solar. We must ban fracking in Michigan.
Anne Zukowski • Charlevoix