Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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Letters 8-18-2014

- August 18th, 2014  
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The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me:

Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful. You wouldn’t expect your doctors to predict the date of your heart attack, but you would trust them to let you know when you are headed for trouble. A bypass operation is major surgery, so you’d feel uneasy about making a decision with incomplete data. Surgery involves costs and risks. Doing nothing can have even greater costs and risks later.

Global warming is a symptom. A fever of a few degrees can indicate a serious illness. A change of 9 degrees is the difference between an ice age and a period without large ice sheets. We’re heading towards something like that as a planet, even though last winter demonstrated that there can be a difference between local weather and larger climate trends over time!

Quitting fossil fuels is like quitting smoking. It’s not easy to do. You decide to stop because you want to maintain or regain your health – and because you care about the health of others.

That Al Gore brought the situation to our attention can make it seem like a partisan issue. It’s also understandable that many of us aren’t excited about changes that could be needed to protect the long-term health of the planet.

Greenhouse gas emission rates are accelerating and show no sign of moderating. The carbon emissions each one of us causes today will change the climate for every living thing on earth for generations. The choices we make or fail to make in the next ten years will affect all aspects of life in the future.

Rev Debra Hansen, Levering

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated.

As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what.

The thing is, some of the local farmers or “pretend” farmers and those working for the farmers aren’t always honest with those spending their hard-earned cash trying to do a good deed or put some food on the table for their small children. Instead they are feeding the greedy pockets of the pretender.

It’s no wonder why your true farmers are so irritated with those who buy wholesale only to resell and claim it’s theirs. If you have a huge database full of clients then the local markets aren’t for you. I love Brian and Karla Blacks’ idea of being certified as a local grower, if we can make sure to keep the pretend farmers from planting blueberries and asparagus and saying they actually grow locally. We all know the volume and the quality won’t add up.

However, the best thing we consumers can do to protect ourselves and our hard-earned money is to be knowledgeable and ask around what’s in season. There certainly isn’t that big of a difference in weather from Frankfort to Kingsley.

Chanda Allen, Fife lake

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage. When will NBC interview the parents of the 64 Israeli soldiers killed, or the parents of the three teenage boys taken and killed by Hamas?

Dianne Carlton, Traverse City

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world. He doesn’t react with the belief that our might will make things right. There is too much consideration for looking at things “in the long run”, e.g. what do we do after we have bullied our enemies with bombs? He seeks a time when enemies finally figure out that they need to work together for the welfare of all. “No victors, no vanquished, we must work together,” I think was his comment. Perhaps that doesn’t make him a good president for many people. Probably the same people who believe the wars in Vietnam and in Iraq proved our leadership to the world. I am just grateful that he is my president in this chaotic history we are going through!

Bob McQuilkin, Frankfort

 
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