Affordable Housing Alternatives In Scott Hardy’s opinion piece in the December 15 edition, he offered six concrete ideas to address the ongoing community discussion about increasing affordable in-town housing in Traverse City.
Powerful Homeless Event Homelessness
is far more complex than we thought. “Everyone Has a Story—Sit and Share
Our Bench” was a wondrous performance Sunday, December 7, that opened
my eyes to a wide range of experiences with homelessness, bridging the
gap between “us and them.”
Long-Lasting Effects of Measles I understand several cases of measles have occurred in Traverse City. I also became aware that in Michigan, persons are three times less likely to be immunized.
Changing The Electoral College Republicans are thinking about changing how Michigan allocates Electoral College votes. Michigan, like all but two states, gives all of its electoral votes to the statewide winner of the popular vote.
H2S poses problems
A little after midnight on Christmas Eve morning, a valve failure at the Beaver Creek gas injection well in Crawford County owned by BreitBurn Energy Partners sent a plume of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas across Northern Michigan. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is deadly and often compared with cyanide. It is detected by a rotten egg smell. Higher levels of H2S destroy olfactory senses and can cause coma and death.
Luckily, when sensors at the Beaver Creek injection well site detected a blown needle valve, the H2S being injected into the well was shut down automatically. But sensors did not shut the injection well boreout, and H2S gas spewed back up from the injection well though a 1⁄4 inch hole...
Services beyond abortion
Thanks to Claire Scerbak for her perspective on utilizing tax payer money for education and family services. I have utilized services at Planned Parenthood and all the services I have benefitted from included education and family services.
My spouse and I received our HIV education in order to get our marriage license there. I got my reproductive health care, including birth control and care and follow up when I was diagnosed with precancerous lesions...
Mike Johnson’s description of his life in Australia, a country where working people can still afford to live comfortably and still earn a living wage, is another reason to aggressively pursue dramatic campaign reform measures here.
In Australia, voting is compulsory. In this country, voting is not the easy or the automatic process it should be because registration requirements serve as impediments.
There is strong evidence that entire segments of the population, such as the elderly and people of color, are being actively disenfranchised in many states (i.e., 32 states) prior to the 2012 election...
I just got another one of these political mailers from some Washington, D.C.-based group I have never heard of trying (and failing) to convince me that Congressman Dan Benishek is somehow saving my Medicare.
Hogwash. Last year, then-candidate Dan Benishek said on many occasions that he wants to end Medicare and Social Security. And the first thing he did when he went to congress was to just that. Rep. Benishek voted to end Medicare and force seniors to pay $6,400 of their own money to buy private healthcare while at the same time giving even more tax breaks to the super wealthy.
So it’s clear that this mailer is flat-out misleading people into believe the opposite...
Where our money goes
There was once a frequent public service announcement on the radio, asking parents, “Do you know where your children are?” With cell phones, that is far less of a concern now. It’s time to change the announcement to “Do you know where your money, personal and taxes, has gone?” Walking away from a cashier, we don’t think twice about our spending and the consequences.
Your taxes buy death as do many of your purchases. Your taxes buy inhumanity to others, degradation, starvation, and worse...
T. Boone Pickens and Big Oil and Coal are working overtime and spending millions of dollars on advertising to convince us that natural gas is the best thing to happen to Michigan since fudge. But if unconventional slick-water fracturing (fracking) is so great, why does it need all the exemptions from law? Fracking is exempt from...
Northern Express’s fracking article portraying Don’t Frack Michigan’s JoAnne Beemon, both protesting and part of the press conference supporting the bills, exposes the duplicity of this group.
One may have the impression that Ms. Beemon of Don’t Frack Michigan (DFM) was there to protest the bills. That would be mistaken. Ms. Beemon was there to show support for the bills with DFM’s sign as a part of the press conference. After Rep. Mark Meadows’ team asked her to take it down as to not confuse the message, she did so...
Buy ‘Made in USA’
I love buying products made in the U.S.A. In a second-hand store the other day, I realized my generation missed out on the good feeling of holding something of great quality, turning it over, and seeing, “Made in U.S.A.”
But there is a brilliant and bold loophole, second-hand stores. They are proliferating here in Traverse City! Brilliant because it is more cost effective to buy quality used products. Bold because buying something made 50 years ago in the U.S.A., that still works better than something made at present, in country X, or shall I just say it, China, is a bold statement in itself...
Welfare for the rich
One often sees in the media signs by the Tea Party calling Obama a socialist. Our socialistic policies began with the New Deal with its subsidies during bad economic times. Since then our economy has improved, but the subsidies continue to this day. For example, every $1 of profits earned by corn sweeteners costs consumers $10, and every $1 of profits earned by its ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30.
In 2011 the Tea Party was the reform party. Earmarks were blocked in the 2011 budget because the Tea Party insisted upon it. There is an Office of Congressional Ethics, the only independent watchdog ensuring that members live up to ethical rules because the Tea Party insisted upon it...
Military cannot resign
Recently on NPR’s Talk of the Nation (10/24) author Bob Woodward said that senior military leaders have threatened to resign over President Obama’s announcement that troops would leave Iraq this year. The 2011 withdraw timeline was established in December 2008 between President Bush and the Iraqi government – and endorsed by President-Elect Obama.
For military officers to threaten resignation not only is an overt attempt to subvert the authority of the President, but is a renunciation of the officer’s oath to “support and defend the Constitution.” Article Two of the Constitution establishes the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the military...
Vote YES on Proposal 1
My son came home for Thanksgiving this year and asked to sit down with my wife and me. He had an important decision to share with us. Christopher is a 29-year-old practicing attorney in Milwaukee. “I’m going to join the Army if the congress rescinds the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law.”
Chris has always wanted to serve his country but could not enlist 10 years ago because he was honest with the Army recruiter. Chris is gay. The armed forces no longer discriminate against gay soldiers. Chris just finished his basic training and Officer Candidate School (OCS) after training for 20 weeks in the hot Georgia sun. He is one of the first openly gay officers in the US Army (2nd Lieutenant). Chris’ unit is slated to depart for Afghanistan in January 2013...
As the 99% of citizens who are not millionaire/billionaires we have, and still do, bail out bankers to the tune of billions. We bail out private corporations. We give billions in welfare payments to farmers and the corporate billionaires who run corporate farms. We give billions to Israel, billions to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 1% of the richest Americans pay less that half in taxes that we 99% do as a percentage of income. We give away billions to insurance companies and executives, we give billions to drug manufactures, doctors, and hospitals. We give billions to Wall Street bankers...
Science & vaccines
I am writing this in response to Heidi Kistler’s letter “Chose not to vaccinate.” While I wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Kistler’s views on freedom of choice and the importance of personal research, her logic train derails before it even has a chance to leave the station.
What she calls “fear-based rhetoric” is actually science-based medicine and it is responsible for the high quality of life we enjoy in modern western civilization. The number of ways modern medicine has benefited humanity is rivaled only by the number of logical fallacies in her argument...
I read Teresa Baker’s letter to the editor regarding your “My Style” column (Letters, 9/12). I applaud the editor’s comments about fashion creating millions of jobs and how it colors our world. I have a few comments to add.
Teresa, I’m sorry that you have such a problem with what some people will pay for an outfit. I have to say that I can only agree with you if we knew that these people were walking around in $400+ outfits while their children were unfed and their bills unpaid. But, for the sake of your comments and mine we don’t know that. Just like any reality TV show the “My Style” column is a voyeuristic look into other people’s lives and was created solely for entertainment purposes. If you weren’t so entertained you wouldn’t look at it every week.
I have a couple of questions for you...
Call of the Wind
One sunlit and breezy summer day I had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand the beauty of what a wind farm could be.
Just off 115, south of Cadillac across rolling farmland not so unlike our own Benzie County, windmills stand in exquisite harmony with their surroundings. As I watched those marvels hard at their work it became clearer than ever; these are not things to fear or dread, for as in many manmade creations there is a gentle and artistic grace to them...