Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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Random Thoughts

George Foster - March 20th, 2003
Great Expectations
They say it is a miracle. A couple of days before we go to press, Elizabeth Smart was finally returned to her family.
Abducted for nine months, the saga of the missing 15 year-old Utah girl came to a startling and wonderful end. Like others, I found myself riveted to the TV on that first day, overcome with happiness as if Elizabeth was part of my own family.
Suddenly, nothing is impossible anymore. According to experts, the chance of survival in a kidnapping of this type is near zero. Yet, Elizabeth Smart not only is alive, she spent much of the last nine months in the Salt Lake City area, walking about in public with her abductors.
We can learn a valuable lesson from this episode. Not only is it okay to expect good, it might be a requirement. The Smart family seemed to know that their daughter would be found alive. They never gave up praying and looking for her. Even when the police and media seemed to tire of the case and concluded a worst-case scenario, the family continued to press every viable lead. The Smart family appeared to be the only ones who expected a good result for their daughter.
In a very troubling time, we are simultaneously dealing with the Columbia shuttle disaster, a painful economy, an impending war, and continuing fallout from 9/11/01. It seems that Elizabeth‘s homecoming is the first bit of good news reported on the national scene in a long time. What a welcome reprieve it is.
Does the Smart family know something we don‘t? Was their daughter‘s rescue really a miracle or something else?
Maybe we can all expect wonderful things for ourselves, too - good relationships, financial security, fulfilling activities. How can good things result if we are only receptive to the bad. Recently, I‘ve been expecting the economy to improve and sure enough, the day after Elizabeth‘s return, the stock market‘s Dow Jones listings rose almost 300 points.
The possibilities here are endless. Could the brewing war in the Gulf region have positive results? I expect so. The Iraqi people deserve to live in peace and freedom without suffering thousands of deaths and the annihilation of their country. The roots of terrorism and bigotry can be dissolved. Americans can again live in security, promoting the virtues of democracy, not the terror of warfare.
Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson says he expects that Saddam Hussein will step down or flee before U.S. or U.N. troops have a chance to invade Iraq. There certainly are other scenarios, too, that can bring a quick peace to the region.
Another option might be for President Bush to bring our troops home if Baghdad sufficiently disarms or inspectors are allowed to stay in Iraq and do their job. Can you imagine the goodwill such a gesture might bring for us in the eyes of the world?
That way, everyone wins. We would have forced Saddam Hussein to live up to his obligations and the world would be a safer place. Best of all, no lives would be lost.
I think we are on to something here. If nothing else, we can always be grateful for today‘s blessings. Welcome home, Elizabeth.


 
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