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.

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 8/1/11
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Letters 8/1/11

- August 1st, 2011
Remembering Reuther
I retired from the UAW Legal Department in Detroit in November, 1999. I
was hired in May, 1970 and started work there the first day after Walter
Reuther’s death in the Pellston plane crash. I was on his office calendar
as the first appointment had he returned. Patrick Sullivan’s story, “A
Plane Mystery” about Sasha Reuther’s documentary “Brothers on the Line”
brings back many memories. How lucky for me to have spent my working life
fighting for our real American heroes—the working class.
The Reuthers made the UAW into the finest, most progressive labor union.
The UAW helped build the middle class in the ’50s, was instrumental in
helping the civil rights movement and was one of the first institutions to
oppose the Vietnam war. The basic principles of working life that we now
take for granted were championed by the UAW.
Walter Reuther was honored by George Romney with the title of “the most
dangerous man in America”. His successor, Leonard Woodcock (our first
ambassador to China) was #9 on Nixon’s famous enemies list with the words
“No comments necessary!” The next president, Doug Fraser, was perhaps the
greatest man I have ever had the pleasure to work with.
All of these great people were dedicated to a simple principle – that
working men and women were entitled to some say in their terms and
conditions of employment and the dignity and self-respect that came with
The working class and union membership is once again under attack by the
right-wing nuts. Every totalitarian movement has made labor unions their
first target. Fortunately, as long as we have freedom and democracy,
workers will naturally seek democratic rights at their workplace. May
there always be a UAW.

Leonard Page • Cheboygan
A more honest picture
I was thrilled to see Patrick Sullivan’s article about Paul Nepote (7/18),
this man is truly a piece of work. He is the first to point a finger, not
remembering - conveniently - that he is not in a position to throw the
first stone. Quite frankly, I was happy that you shared with all of your
readers the other side of this person.
As I am sure you are aware, Mr. Nepote has gotten a bit of publicity
because of his ranting. Fine and dandy, this is America and we have that
right. However, what is wrong is when someone tries to point out the whole
true picture; then Mr. Nepote seems to have a very convenient and honestly
disturbing, hearing loss. I have been at the receiving end of some of his
bitter verbiage and quite frankly I am bothered by the fact that normally,
the press has only shown one side of this man. Now thanks to you, everyone
has a better and more honest picture of Paul Nepote.
So, while it is our right to vent and share our feelings, beliefs and
such; at least now those who take the time to listen to this person will
hopefully think twice before letting any of his venom absorb into their
I’ll be honest, I too have been known to vent a bit myself. Who hasn’t?
But here is the BIG difference between someone like myself, and someone
such as Mr. Nepote. I, and most others, would never purposely hurt people
that do not deserve it. It is a very good, yet sad thing that those he
attacks have developed thick skin.
I am hoping that before he is allowed one more hurtful, bigoted,
single-minded, narrow-visioned sentence in print, that he looks around. I
mean, really takes a look, and sees that in our beautiful Traverse City,
there are some wonderful, amazing, hard-working, giving, caring, people
that live, work, volunteer, and visit here. And yes Mr. Nepote, some of us
are gay.

Theresa L. Gardner • via email

Where’s the rebuttal?
How could you print such a bigoted opinion in your paper without a
rebuttal from someone connected with gay and lesbian rights? I am married
with children and educated, and am open-minded to today’s lifestyles.
You are a media source that should show both sides of a story; with how
you presented the interview with Mr Nepote it almost reads like you agree.
If this is your view then shame on your ignorance as well as his.

George Davis • via email

(Check out our “Fighting for Gay Rights” story, 9/20/2010, which included
feedback from the gay and lesbian community. - ed.

Mean-spirited media
I have always been amazed at how erroneous ideas are transferred to the
general public. Patrick Sullivan’s hatchet job on Paul Nepote is a case
in point. While not always a reader of the Northern Express, it did on
occasion have some worthy journalism. Your propagandistic blurb on Paul
Nepote was not one of those times.
I note that the fair and decent points that Nepote did make just had to be
preceded by Sullivan’s need to poison the well. Perhaps the editor takes
pride in using his position as a great keyboard to play the latest and
continuing government theme of gay rights; after all, even President Obama
knows how to bully-pulpit the issue.
I think the saddest part of all is that there was very little that the
Northern Express contributed to understanding the issue of special rights,
gay rights, or the future ballot referendum in Traverse City pertaining to
the non-discrimination ordinance. The issue as the NE tries to frame it
is to obfuscate and smear. Hurt the messenger if you can’t hurt the
If it’s applause you want, I’ll give you this. Congratulations for once
again confirming that the progressive narrow-minded media is all about
being mean-spirited and irrelevant.

Matthew Schoech • TC

Science & global warming
It would take a response considerably longer than the space allowed for
letters to respond to all the opinion-presented-as-fact, innuendo and
outright silliness presented in Robert Downes’ comments (Random Thoughts -
“The Tipping Point”). I will focus on just one: Al Gore is quoted as
saying, “There are scientists on one side of the debate and deniers on the
other.” That might come as a surprise to the tens of thousands of
scientists that fall into that “other” category, including:
• Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy
of Sciences
• Hendrik Tennekes, retired Director of Research, Royal Netherlands
Meteorological Institute
• Khabibullo Abdusamatov, mathema-tician and astronomer at Pulkovo
Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences
• Sallie Baliunas, astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
• William Happer, physicist specializing in optics and spectroscopy,
Princeton U
• William Kininmonth, meteorologist, former Australian delegate to World
Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology
• Nir Shaviv, astrophysicist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
• Claude Allègre, geochemist, Institute of Geophysics (Paris)
I selected this tiny representative sample of scientists for the prestige
of the organizations they represent and for the geographic diversity they
encompass (USA, Russia, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Israel).
It’s quite dangerous to use the writings of a demagogic dope like Al Gore
in a respected, serious publication like Rolling Stone as the primary
source of information for an article intended to influence the general
public. People might be suspect of your premise and your evidence because
of the company you keep.

John M. Casteel • TC

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