Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 03-24-2014
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Letters 03-24-2014

- March 24th, 2014  

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.

Homestead’s Position Disputed

Thank you to the Express for the recent news item about ten local, state, and national organizations that joined together in a statement calling on The Homestead Resort and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to work together to correct the problem of incompletelytreated wastewater spray blowing into an area of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, rendering it unavailable for public use.

Here is just one clarification: the article notes that the groups are concerned that the incompletely-treated wastewater is a threat to public health, but The Homestead claims that it is “highly-treated and does not threaten health.”

The matter is thoroughly discussed at HomesteadSewage.org, a website that welcomes and contains the views of all concerned, including The Homestead. In short, the Park Service public health expert has recommended that employees wear masks and suits when exposure to the drifting spray is possible. The DEQ has stated that “sewage spray poses a hazard that justifies restricted access.”

In any case, the DEQ rates the substance as unsafe for consumption, as occurs when people breathe it as it blows across public parklands. Hence, the park areas near to the spray areas have had to be posted with warning signs and are unavailable for their intended purpose of public enjoyment.

The Homestead’s sewage system needs to be changed so all of our National Lakeshore can be open for enjoyment by its owners, the public — not just given over to benefit one private company.

Tom Van Zoeren • Maple City

Done With Snyder

Governor Snyder lowered taxes on welloff businesses while raising nearly everyone else’s taxes, undermining both education and the labor movement, which together created Michigan’s strong middle class. His actions also dismantled protections for our priceless Great Lakes shorelines.

Despite these mistakes, I tolerated the governor because he had some good ideas and occasionally vetoed misguided legislation passed by extremist legislators such as our own Ray Franz. However, Snyder has now signed legislation ensuring the funding sources of certain political ads will not have to be disclosed. I call this the “License to Lie” law. People will continue to air dishonest ads, such as those attacking Gary Peters regarding Obamacare, if the funders’ identities can be kept secret. To make matters worse, Snyder had previously promised to increase transparency in elections. Worse yet, his excuse for this flipflop was to simply parrot the lies of radical propagandists who claim that transparency infringes on the 1st Amendment.

Snyder undoubtedly knows that even the current conservative Supreme Court majority has not only upheld the constitutionality of disclosure requirements, but has in fact encouraged them. I have lost all faith in our governor.

Fred Cepela • Traverse City

Gerrymandering is Alive

I have major disagreements with Stephen Tuttle’s column from March 17th. Let’s start with an agreement that conservatives do control the majority of the congressional districts and state legislatures, but let’s also tell the real reason. It has little to do with political message and more to do with who was in control of the redistricting process after the 2010 census. One million more people voted for Democratic congressional candidates than Republicans in the last election, yet the Republicans control Congress. The process known as gerrymandering lives and, because of it, the Republicans were able to fix the game. When good people don’t vote, conservatives win.

Another issue brought up was the demise of the Social Security/Medicare Fund (Medicaid is a different problem). No matter what Mr. Tuttle says, there is a tax change that could help Social Security: remove the cap on income that pays social security taxes without increasing payment levels. You now stop paying social security taxes once you make about $110,000 a year. Let’s increase this tax limit to $1 million, since money paid out in Social Security benefits goes right back into the economy (rather than offshore bank accounts).

It is better for all of us to keep Social Security healthy. The same is true for Medicare, but we could also put a means test on it. Let’s face it, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly shouldn’t ever need our help paying medical bills, but our neighbors might need that help.

No one suggests taking all the income from the 1 percent, but it would be nice to think they would be willing to help the other 99 percent with maintaining a decent lifestyle.

Don Seman • Bellaire

Benishek No Environmentalist

For Dan Benishek to say he is responsible for preserving a natural wonder (Sleeping Bear Preservation Act) is akin to Al Gore saying he invented the Internet.

Both men were present at the end, but had nothing to do with its formation. Sleeping Bear Preservation Act was begun twelve years go by various Michigan environmental activists and legislators and for Benishek, whose voting record on the environment is abysmal, to claim credit is disingenuous at best.

A look at Benishek’s environmental voting record will show that he voted to:

• Increase mercury in our water

• Allow oil companies to self regulate and self report violations

• Expand oil and gas exploration (fracking) in environmentally sensitive areas

• Offer higher tax incentives to oil and coal companies while refusing to offer incentives to wind, solar, or geothermal industries

• Expand roads and pump stations on federal parkland

• Alleviate industry from being sued for environmental catastrophes

• Allow more fertilizers to be washed into freshwater lakes and rivers

• And allow coal plants to obtain exceptions from air pollution standards

Oh yeah, Benishek took over a quarter of a million dollars in “contributions” from the oil, gas, and coal industries. What a shocker!

Gary Powell, Traverse City

CORRECTION:

In the March 17 issue, we mistakenly identified the Holiday Inn as “best deck scene” in the Traverse City Best area listings. In fact, their new name is West Bay Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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