Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 05-19-2014
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Letters 05-19-2014

- May 19th, 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.

Benishek’s Real Record

In his upcoming campaign, Congressman Dan Benishek will undoubtedly use his vote for the Sleeping Bear Dunes wilderness legislation as an example of his support for environmental issues. It is worth noting that this bill was developed long before Mr. Benishek was elected. He was not the creator of the bill, only a supporter.

His environmental record is better evaluated by other votes. The League of Conservation Voters gives Benishek only a 4 percent rating on environmental issues during 2013. Of the 28 critical votes that the LCV evaluated, he voted only once to protect our environment. (http:// scorecard.lcv.org) He voted for a budget that drastically cut the budgets of the Energy and Interior departments and the Environmental Protection Agency, reducing those agencies’ ability to protect air, land and water. The same budget provided subsidies to the oil industry and supported the Keystone Pipeline. He voted to continue support for fossil fuels and cut support for renewable energy (HR 2609). He also voted to block the EPA implementation of safeguards to protect the public from coal ash contamination (HR 2218).

It’s apparent that when Benishek has a choice of voting for big business or the health and welfare of people, business wins.

Sara Jill Wellman, Cedar

Listen to the People

Recently the Traverse City planning commission listened to objections to the construction of homes the citizens felt would be out of character for the neighborhood. If only Forest Home Township in Antrim County had such a planning commission!

On May 7, the planning commission tentatively approved the construction of a distillery, tasting room and bar as a “special use permit” for property zoned agricultural. Hmmm, and I thought agriculture meant that you were growing something.

The vote of the commission was unanimous, in spite of the vehement objections of more than 50 citizens at the meeting. Forest Home Township is primarily rural, with only one concentrated housing area, called Cedar Meadows.

About 20 percent of the population lives here, two miles west of downtown Bellaire. Cedar Meadows is within one square mile of the site being prepared for the distillery. The residents became aware of the distillery when the owner began to prepare the site for building, weeks in advance of the zoning review. Hmmm, and I thought a business owner would want approval of a permit before sinking money into site.

Apparently I have a lot to learn, because the hearing seemed to have no bearing on the approval of the permit. The commission did not represent the public interest by requiring that this business would not have a negative impact because of added traffic, inadequate parking, odor, noise, water usage, or waste disposal.

Forest Home Township does not have a municipal water supply, sewage treatment plant, noise or parking ordinance; nor are there any plans to have these things in the near future. The commission made no effort to address these issues. Their approval was based on a few compliance issues so trivial (for example, allowing only one business sign), that it was obvious the planning commission intends to approve the distillery.

My advice is to be active in your local government. When citizens do not pay attention, the special interests of a few can become your worst nightmare. Like a distillery in your back yard.

Carolyn Burke, Bellaire

Of Chefs and Cooking

Kudos to Northern Express and Patrick Sullivan for the story last week about Howard Schedle.

Food preparation and service traditions are worth talking about here in this Traverse City regional “agricultural belt” because they give understanding and provide clues to the future.

I met Howard just after he arrived here in 1974. While we talked about other investments, little did I know that he would open so many restaurants and train so many good people for the business. And having a goal to get mentioned in Bon Appetit and Gourmet magazines was certainly another sign of a great entrepreneur.

By coincidence you may have seen the latest culinary trip by Anthony Bourdain to Lyon, France (on the Travel Channel). He discovers and catalogs the great chef, Mmde. La Brazier, who came to dominate French cooking. On the show, you see Mr. Bourdain dining with two of her ex-students, surrounded by several attending chefs, and he is heard to say, “I will never have a better meal in my life, and I am honored to have experienced it now.” Talk about getting excited about food...The Culinary Institute at NMC can only benefit from this kind of excitement!

Why, I get excited about making my Saturday morning eggs, sunny side up, fried in butter, with sweet onions, and topped with parmesan cheese and granulated garlic....mmm!

Dennis Stavros, Traverse City

Stop Plastic Bags

Little is mentioned on the mainstream media about efforts across the nation and around the world to reduce usage of the plastic shopping bag (PSB). Plastic shopping bags are bad from the start. The manufacture of PSBs takes much petroleum and creates toxic waste. Plastic bags photodegrade, becoming more toxic as they contaminate soils and waterways and enter the food chain (CNN/Technology 11/16/07). They also take thousands of years to break down (www.worldwatch.org/node/5565).

Why should we care? According to the Great Lakes Alliance, about 13 percent of garbage picked up along our shores are PSBs. Per the EPA, less than 5 percent of PSBs are recycled. What about the other 95? According to http:// reducing4more.wordpress.com/2008/01/19/ plastic-bags-how-much/, the average U.S. household uses 9 PSBs per week. That’s 468 bags per year. There are 34,362 households in Grand Traverse County according to the last U.S. Census. Do the math; you’ll be shocked.

Where do those millions of unrecycled PSBs go? Landfills, where they’ll leach toxins?

For more information go to the Facebook page “CHEBOYGAN FIRST IN REDUCING PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS.” We invite you and your local communities to take up the cause. The energy of multiple towns joining in the same effort can be a powerful force. We chose this particular cause for two reasons: it’s worth our effort and it is achievable, as proven by about 100 municipalities within 17 states, and about a dozen nations (entire state of Hawaii too).

Which community in Michigan will be first? Which will be last?

Karen Martin, Cheboygan

Raise Minimum Wage

The people of Michigan have overwhelmingly (65 percent) asked for the minimum wage to be raised from its present $7.40 an hour to a decent living wage. At present workers are still below the poverty line even if they work full time. The Governor and legislature in Lansing have refused to raise the minimum wage, so there is a petition drive to get it on the ballot in November.

Let the people decide. This proposal would gradually increase the wage to $10.10 an hour over a three-year period, including tipped earners. Then it would be adjusted annually to the cost of living. The Republicans’ proposal, SB934, is meant to derail this popular petition drive by replacing the existing law by proposing the wage be raised now to $8.15, with no adjustment for cost of living. It would negate our democratic process to amend the previous law and raise the wage to $10.10. We expect our democratic rights and ask for this to be put on the ballot. We ask our representatives in Lansing not to pass another dead end wage bill that will keep workers even more in poverty. Sign our petition and tell your representatives- no-go for SB 934.

Emmy Lou Cholak, Traverse City

 
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