Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 5-26-2014
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Letters 5-26-2014

- May 26th, 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.

Stop Damage to Waters

Lake Bellaire is a northern Michigan treasure, enjoyed by its residents and visitors for fishing, boating, and majestic views. But there is an unwelcome surprise awaiting those who love the Antrim Chain of Lakes, and Lake Bellaire.

The O.I.L. Energy Corporation has recently applied to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for two permits to drill for natural gas near the intersection of Brake Road and White Birch Lane, mere yards from the headwaters of the Grass River.

The proposed well will be over 900 feet deep, then turn, horizontally, for another 2600 feet. The amount of land cleared and industrialized will be significant. Given the DEQ’s record, the permits are almost guaranteed to be granted.

Residents will soon be forced into the debate of whether or not Michigan should continue to support gas and oil exploration, thought by many to threaten our pristine lakes, rivers, and water aquifers.

My advice is for residents and visitors to research the effects of gas and oil exploration in states like Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and California, where spills and fracking may be permanently damaging ground water. Michigan also has numerous gas wells, some of them fracked, many drilled near the headwaters of the AuSable, Manistee, and Muskegon rivers.

I believe Michigan must lead the nation by moving away from hydrocarbon energy towards renewable energy. Our current Lansing representatives benefit greatly from the lobbying efforts of big gas and oil, but could be persuaded if enough citizens remind them of the importance of tourism, which depends on clean lakes and rivers.

If Lake Bellaire residents wish to fight against permits for drilling gas, they should do so immediately by contacting their representatives and joining environmental groups resisting Michigan oil and gas exploration.

The gas companies have the upper hand, so protesting must be significant and persistent.

Glenn Bier, East Jordan

Learn About NSA’s Powers

I read and watch the news with growing concern over the expansive powers of the National Security Administration (NSA). The explosive revelations by Edward Snowden now being reported by Glenn Greenwald and others hopefully are triggering thoughts and renewed debate over the tension between national security and information privacy. It has now been reported that the NSA is collecting ALL mobile phone conversations in the Bahamas, not especially known as a hotbed of terrorism.

If you are concerned or just want to learn more, attend an airing of Democracy Now’s interview with Glenn Greenwald regarding his new book “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State” on June 2 at 6:30pm at the Traverse Area District Library. The event is sponsored by MidEastJustPeace.org.

Marian Kromkowski, Suttons Bay

Too Much War

Are we addicted to war?

A recent speaker on international affairs reported that the current military budget is 20 percent of the total U.S. budget. Those figures are “suspect.” Since 9/11, the US military budget has swollen by 49 percent over its 2000 levels, not including two wars. Many of our brightest engineers and scientists have been drawn from potential productive careers like developing alternative energy sources and research into developing weapons.

Has violence become our nation’s leading industry? One of the priorities of our national security strategy is to “perpetuate US military dominance globally so no nation can rival or threaten the United States.” In 2003, 80 percent of the top buyers of US weapons were countries our own State Department said were countries known for their failure to uphold civil rights. We sell to both sides of conflicts. In the past century, 43 million military personnel were killed in war, and 62 million civilians.

Ten percent of the U.S. military budget could care for the basic needs of the entire world’s poor. I can think of a few programs in our country that could use additional funds: education, medical research, and transportation -- all of which would add value to our lives as citizens. Must our fear outweigh our common concern for the life of our planet?

Lou Ann McKimmy, Kewadin

Correction: We mistakenly identified Jim Harvey’s wife Wendy as Linda in an article last week about the Traverse City Summer Concert Series. We apologize for the error.

 
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