Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Letters 08-29-2016

Letters

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

 
Saturday, August 20, 2016

Letters 08-22-2016

Letters

Historically Wrong In regard to Mary Keyes Rogers’ column about the downtown charter amendment, neither Samuel Adams nor Thomas Jefferson were at the Constitutional Convention...

The Film Possibilities I was surprised that none of the Traverse City Film Festival films addressed the most pressing and dangerous issue of the day: radical Islamic Jihad. Perhaps a storyline could have illustrated how the West brought this on themselves, or if we could only find jobs for those fellows! Perhaps put it down to global warming...

Helmets Save Lives The facts are in. Wearing a helmet is the most effective tool to save your brain in a motorcycle accident. The bonus? Helmets also save hearts. Nearly two yrs ago, on Aug. 26, 2014 our son lived...

 
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Letters 08-15-2016

Letters

Parking Column Exactly Wrong [Express columnist] Tom Kachadurian, a Peninsula Township resident, complains that he has to pay too much for parking in downtown TC so he simply parks in one of the neighborhoods and then walks from there to enjoy one of the free city parks. Last year the city’s taxpayers subsidized the parking system to the tune of about $120,000. Next year’s projected subsidy is over $500,000...

Sad Goodbye It is sad to hear that long-time 13th Circuit ADR Clerk and Deputy Court Administrator Julie Arends is resigning. She has done an outstanding job for Grand Traverse County...

Cherryland Solar Policy Bad News Cherryland Electric Cooperative (CEC) has established a new policy on the valuation of residential solar energy production that will effectively stop all new installations of solar within their service area. The policy becomes effective on November 1 and could be copied by other Michigan utilities, further preventing any additional solar projects by homeowners throughout the state...

Tuttle Was Right About Trump I agree with columnist Stephen Tuttle that “Donald Trump is the least informed, thinnest skinned and most temperamentally unsuited of any potential president in memory.”

Voter Verification Necessary The letter from a few issues back claiming that Republicans are trying to suppress the vote is so full of hyperbolic misrepresentation that I must respond. I have no idea what the writer is talking about when he says that the Supreme Court “knocked the teeth out of the Voting Rights Act.” It did nothing of the sort, unless you like no controls or verification on voting. But wait, that’s exactly what Democrats want...

Three WRC Leaders I had the honor of serving on the Board of the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse region for 11 years, first with executive director Mary Lee Lord, then with Jo Bullis. Juliette Schultz and I served together before my term expired...

No To Tuttle, Clinton [Columnist] Tuttle’s liberal bias is well known among Express readers. I have gone to fact check and noted it’s liberal bias, too. He week after week pounces on Trump and glosses over the escapades of Hillaryious Clinton. Let’s check the facts...

Cooperate With Solar I accept the reality of man-made climate change. I believe dramatic changes are necessary to avert serious damage to our planet, and feel compelled to do what I can to reduce my contribution to our dependence on fossil fuels. Due to these concerns, our household purchased a rooftop solar system. These systems are costly, and to its credit, our federal government recognizes the importance of solar by providing a tax credit to households that install rooftop systems...

Join The International (Fair) Solar Movement I am a resident of Leelanau County and Melbourne, Australia and a Cherryland customer. As a grandfather, I want my eight grandchildren to live on a planet with “normal” weather. As a responsible citizen, I want to do my part to alleviate climate change...

Good Samaritan Friends and family members drove to your beautiful “city on the bays” the first Saturday of July (as we’ve done for several years) to view the Blue Angels and the evening fireworks. Between these two events, we usually find a place to eat and sit down to enjoy a meal. This year we chose the Cracker Barrel and were not disappointed. As we stood in line to pay, we were behind a casually dressed, middle-aged gentleman in a t-shirt, shorts, and baseball cap...

 
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Letters 08-08-2016

Letters

Downtown Parking An Embarassment In his recent column “The Parking Windfall,” Thomas Kachadurian hit the proverbial nail squarely on the head. The only thing he missed was the process of using the new parking pay stations. I cannot imagine someone standing in the rain or in a blinding snowstorm waiting for their credit card to be authorized so they can input the meter number, a number probably forgotten by the time the card is approved, waiting for acceptance, and deciding if they wish to have a receipt, or not...

Threats To Education System In a few weeks, school will start. Another year of the P-20 (prenatal to age 20) system, and another year of Common Core. I am wondering how long it will take before parents do homework of their own and see how damaging this system is. Nobody voted on it. Nobody even knew it was coming. Written by test company employees and not state-led, many states signed on to the program before these “standards” were written, just to get the “Race To The Top” funding promised if they signed on...

More To Be Done On Gender A recent Detroit News editorial praised the recent advances of women in politics and business. Hillary Clinton’s victory “shattered the glass ceiling” of male domination of candidates for president, said the editorial, and constituted “an accomplishment American women in the 20th century could only dream of.” So far, so good...

Avoiding The Parking Empire Thomas Kachadurian deserves a standing ovation for shedding light on the monopoly the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority has over parking...

 
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Letters 08-01-2016

Letters

Voter Suppression And Choice In 2013, five Supreme Court justices, each appointed by Republican presidents, knocked the teeth out of the Voting Rights Act. Immediately a majority of Republican-dominated states began passing laws aimed at suppressing the votes of their majority Democrat demographics: minorities, students and the elderly. These laws – requiring voter IDs, cutting early voting, eliminating same-day registration, closing selected polling places, banning straight-ticket voting, etc. — never flat-out deny a person’s right to vote; they just make actual registering and voting more difficult, and therefore make it more likely that individuals in certain groups will not vote. Think of voter suppression as a kind of reverse marketing strategy, one aimed at getting people not to do something...

Free Parking Patrick Sullivan’s good story on parking overlooked one source of “free parking” that has become an increasing problem in Traverse City: spill-over into adjacent neighborhoods. Instead of discouraging people from bringing cars downtown, we’re allowing them to park on both sides of narrow residential streets all day long...

Real American Duality Isiah Smith didn’t really put his deep thinking hat on before writing the “American Duality” commentary. First there’s geography. His daughter feels safer in Sweden than in the United States, at least partially because of the violence in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minnesota. Really? Safer than in northern Michigan, which is further away from Dallas and Baton Rouge than Stockholm is from Ansbach, Paris or Brussels and no closer to Minnesota than Sweden is to Germany? Did Smith miss recent supremely violent events in those places? Alrighty then...

 
Saturday, July 23, 2016

Letters 07-25-2016

Letters

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

 
Saturday, July 16, 2016

Letters 07-18-2016

Letters

Correction: In our recent article on Alpenfest music, we accidentally printed a photo of country singer Alan Jackson instead of Alpenfest country performer Alan Turner. Express regrets the error.

More Density? Many discussions/debates have been held re: 10-story buildings and increasing the density in Traverse City. I wonder how many people have considered the possibility of Cherry Festival-size crowds and density 365 days a year in Traverse City...

Send Them Packing If [Grand Traverse County Commissioner] Christine Maxbauer had killed or injured a child, would [County Administrator] Tom Menzel continue to make the statement that “this is personal?” Anyone drunk and driving a car at 3pm has made a poor judgement call...

No Raise From reading your recent letter on raising minimum wages to $15 an hour by 2018 you should’ve studied your Economics 101 course a little harder. A business just cannot raise their employees’ wages to $15 an hour and not come up with a way to offset that high of a wage increase...

 
Saturday, July 9, 2016

Letters 07-11-2016

Letters

Applaud The Blue Angels I read in last week’s Express a letter by Tim Keenan. I have read several letters as of late, in fact, many in regards to the Blue Angels airshow and other demonstration teams like the Thunderbirds. I am appalled by peoples’ lack of respect for these teams and what they do. They put themselves on the line every day, performing for entertainment all over the country. They do it because they believe in America and everything she is supposed to stand for...

A Voice That Is Here I found the guest opinion in the 6/27 issue by Commissioner Gary Howe patronizing and condescending. It is in keeping with  the pro-business bias/agenda and dismissive attitude toward the residential community that has been so apparent with this commission. He tells us it’s critical not to disenfranchise those prospective employees “not yet here.” He claims “many currently travel long distances to fill our needed jobs. That is money and time not spent on family, health, education, or the future.” I want names! Pretty weak point, but it did make me laugh...

Watch What You Print (And Read) Please reconsider placing certain content in your magazine if not necessary. My 4th and 5th graders (at separate times) read the cartoon about the guy who “dry humped” the girl, and brought it to my attention about it being inappropriate. I realize this is in the news, but don’t feel it’s pertinent in this type of magazine...

$12 wage for Grand Traverse The Traverse City Commission and Grand Traverse County Commission should work in unison to pass local ordinances to raise the minimum wage in the city and county from the current statewide minimum of $8.50 to $12 per hour by 2018. While the state minimum will rise to $8.90 in 2017 and $9.25 in 2018, this level is insufficient for a high-cost area like Grand Traverse...

 
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Letters 07-04-2016

Letters

Anti-Air Shows I have spoken to many people over the last year regarding the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. Feedback: 

• Money: Various charities fundraise for new beds at Walter Reed Hospital for our wounded veterans, but the annual Blue Angels taxpayer cost is $100,000,000? How many beds would that buy?

• The noise level the Blue Angels emit is over 140 decibels, a deafening level, far exceeding Traverse City laws. Any level over 85 is considered dangerous and can cause hearing loss or damage...

Cherryland Is Wrong A recent decision by the Cherryland Electric Board merits the attention of all who care about our air, land and waters. The Cherryland Directors, charged with setting policy for this “member driven” cooperative, has adopted a new rate structure that is fundamentally unfriendly and unfair to new solar installations. If it stands, it will virtually kill new installations in the Cherryland service area and the jobs that work supports and may well serve as a model of regressive policy for other utilities to follow as well...

Thanks For Highlighting Tim Green Many thanks for providing the space to an “outside” writer so he could tell the marvelous story of Tim Green’s fight for the civil rights of America’s largest minority. Wonderfully personal article, full of life -- like the subject..

Bring The Housing Gary Howe’s guest opinion last week is spot on! Traverse City is no longer the little Cherry/tourist town I grew up in. Today TC is a fast growing city and thus needs close, in-town housing. Ten to fifteen story condo buildings would add great property taxes and reduce auto traffic. The ideal buildings would be on the west...

Due Process Revisited Reading last week’s “Allow Due Process” letter, I am concerned with the author’s conclusion as to why it’s OK to be on the “No Fly List” and not OK to be on a “No Buy List.” Suggesting that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights make the “No Buy List” the same as the “No Fly List” fails to understand the issue.

The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments grant a Constitutional right to each citizen to “due process,” which means we are guaranteed a fair legal process when the government tries to interfere with a person’s protected interests in life, liberty, or property, and that Constitutional right will not be encroached on by either the Federal or State government...

Ignore Campaign Financed Ads As a registered 1st District voter, choosing an effective U.S. House district voice is a big challenge. Something is wrong when national and state outsiders try to “buy our primary.” Large outside contributions to local elections is a serious problem. You’d expect parties to wait to endorse until after the primary. Yet state and national Republicans and Democrats are already funding candidates. For example, DNC and state PACs are backing Lon Johnson in the primary...

 
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Letters 06-27-2016

Letters Constitutional watch dogs voice a concern that folks currently on the “No Fly” list would be denied, without prior due process, the right to purchase a firearm. These same watchdogs find no problem with persons being denied the right to fly commercial without the same prior due process.
 
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Letters 06-20-2016

Letters

More About Kachadurian Columnist Tom Kachadurian’s recent fit to slash out at the world of science and scientists is just another example of his profound ignorance and shallowness...

Love Wins Wow! Donald Trump scares me! He is a nasty individual who has the one thing that makes him dangerous…money! If he becomes president, the U.S. will be completely destroyed. It is already in serious trouble...

The New Normal Fifty more gunned down. They say it was a gay bar. Remember “saloons” had a connotation of a specific “type” of entertainment. Today, bars are simply social meeting places for all walks of life...

 
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Letters 06-13-2016

Letters

Take Back Science?  This letter is in regards to Thomas Kachadurian’s piece concerning his faith in science. He says we were told that the low levels in Lake Michigan were due to global warming. Was this presented in a scientific journal (no reference was cited)? Was it an off-the-cuff remark by a climate scientist? Was it some journalist’s headline? He cites a number of examples where science got it wrong, and where politics has crept in...

Intellectual Dishonesty The scientists peddling their “scientific” papers questioning the certainty on climate change are betraying their dishonesty. To assert that there is uncertainty regarding a scientific finding describes all scientific conclusions. Science is unable to prove truth or guarantee certainty but only able to show their conclusions are likely true...

Kachadurian’s Environmental Entertainment Thomas Kachadurian’s essay in the June 6th issue was clearly written as entertainment rather than as serious thought. As such, it should have been placed near the end of the magazine with the astrology and advice columns...

Real Science As Thomas Kachadurian in the June 6 issue suggests, we should be skeptical of scientific studies, especially when they are produced by industries or individuals vested in promoting certain products, positions, or books. However, is he really suggesting global climate change is a scam like the one perpetrated by tobacco companies...

 
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Letters 06-06-2016

Letters

Baseless Trump Claims In reference to James Mason’s letter about Donald Trump in the May 30th edition, I would like to ask him on what information did he base his inconsiderate attack on a fellow American? Where was the info written that led to this name-calling and what purpose did you hope would come of your actions? And why would the Northern Express even agree to print such garbage...

Close The Deer Park It is stated in the May 30th Express article “Showdown at Deer Park” that the former city manager doesn’t recall people complaining about the park from 1988 – 2009...

He Doesn’t Want It I think Donald Trump has pulled a scam on the Republican Party and the American public. He does not want to be President; he wants to win! And he has defeated 17 competitors and created havoc for leaders in his party. That is good enough. He has no taste for White House food or politics, or playing “nice” to people he can’t stand. His career with business, women and entertainment is too much fun. Making money is too much fun...

Water & Fracking Stephen Tuttle’s recent column on our awful state water management misses a prime polluter: fracking. Millions of gallons of fresh water are permanently poisoned and shot back into the ground with every frack. And the state continues to see no threat to our booming tourism industry. Have any of these guys seen what’s happening in Oklahoma...

Act To Stop Line 5 With each passing day of spring, winter yields to 70-degree weather and gloomy forests become a sea of green. Many will travel across the Mackinac Bridge, a fivemile feet of engineering that towers above the straights. Underneath is Line 5, a 63-year-old pipeline owned by Enbridge that transports natural gas and light crude oil from Wisconsin to Canada...

COVER: Thank you to Traverse City-based Anderson Aerial Photography for the photos on the cover. More info at andersonaerialphotography.com.

CORRECTION: Last week’s feature on the Great Lakes Center for the Arts at Bay Harbor should have specified that the young artist vocal program Up North Vocal Institute (appearing at the groundbreaking) is from Crooked Tree Arts Center.

 
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Letters 05-30-2016

Letters

Oaks & Moths All of last week’s letters regarding recommendations for the best native plants from “Listen to the Experts” from the previous week were right on target. Those who are interested in learning more about native plants, and their importance to birds, bees and butterflies, would do well to read Dr. Douglas Tallamy’s wonderful book, Bringing Nature Home...

Poor Grades On Standardized Testing We have been enduring standardized testing for the last few weeks as our district isn’t allowing for opting out without student removal. I think other parents need to know and the district needs to address their own inconsistencies in policy...

Beware Trump  To describe Trump: hubristic, narcissistic, misogynistic, sociopathic. There are more descriptors. Should we pity this misfit or fear that his values attract such a large segment of our society? Hitler was spawned in the ferment of economic unrest...

 
Saturday, May 21, 2016

Letters 05-23-2016

Letters

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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