Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Letters


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Letters 09-04-2012


Calling all women...

Women have struggled for the right to vote in 1920, for equal pay for equal work, equity in upper management jobs, the resources to care for their families, fairness in health insurance coverage, and the right to make our health care choices.

Today, with the problems confronting our nation: jobs, debt, education, wars, shrinking middle class, etc., the Republican Party has focused its priority on restricting, devaluing and disrespecting our health care choices and rights as women.

The GOP platform bans abortion in the case of incest or rape. VP candidate Paul Ryan sponsored the “personhood” amendment which would ban in-vitro fertilization and some birth control.

Romney/Ryan both support plans to prohibit all Planned Parenthood funding, such as cancer screenings or birth control...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Letters 08-27-2012


Time to split atoms

Across the country, slick sales pitches are being made for wind power. The irony is that those salesmen are working for the natural gas industry. When the wind dies down, something else has to power up; that something is usually a gas turbine burning natural gas, which is the only sort of power plant being built these days.

All those Ontario wind farms are backed up by a gas-burning plant you don’t see; gas burners mean gas buyers and gas buyers mean fracking. Salesmen know which side their bread is buttered on.

If we want to stop burning things to make electricity, our best option is also the most-vilified and least-understood: nuclear energy...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Letters 08-20-2012


Irony & Oklahoma

A lady from Oklahoma sent in a pronatural gas/fracking response letter in your August 13th issue. I wonder, do they have something called irony in Oklahoma?

I ask this because it makes perfect sense that someone from a dry, flat, hot, nearly treeless place like Oklahoma would want to vacation in a land of verdant forests, rolling hills and immense stretches of clean water like our Michigan. The irony comes in when she lectures us on how wonderful natural gas drilling/fracking is, and that those of us who are rightly terrified of it are “unenlightened.”

Lady, the only way we can keep this area a vacation/everyday living paradise is to stop fracking cold...
Monday, August 13, 2012

Letters 08-13-2012


Evil liberal media

Hey there, y’all, I am here visiting beautiful Northern Michigan from Oklahoma. I picked up a copy of your paper and enjoyed it very much. I got a chuckle out of and felt a need to respond to Bob Lovik’s letter (“Setting things straight,” 8/6). Perhaps I can help “set him straight.”

Thanks to the uninformed, fear-mongering liberal media, this new and threatening process called fracking is the latest and greatest threat to our environment. News flash, fracking has been around for DECADES. Feel free to consult U-M or MSU professors of geology or petroleum engineering to confirm.

Procuring energy in any of its many forms can pose some environmental threats. For example, the thousands of birds, many of which are endangered species, killed by the giant windmills that generate electricity.

There is little evidence to support that fracking is some kind of environmental threat waiting to happen. I don’t glow in the dark, my son is perfectly normal, my water doesn’t spontaneously combust...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Letters 08-06-2012


Fireworks out of control

In response to “Get off my Lawn” by George Nemetz (Letters 7/23). First, I assure you that I am well under the age of 80, if that even matters. Also, the Express is not solely read by your age group of 30 and under.

Michigan has lifted a ban on some of the higher grades of fireworks and you can now obtain a permit to use the more powerful grade.

I also had problems with my dogs climbing the walls when a neighbor was setting off professional grade fireworks for several nights in my neighborhood. These are not just bottle rockets and firecrackers, they are the ones that are shot high in the air and are so loud they shake your house. The police were called by many in my neighborhood about this.

With the fire danger being so high, I was very concerned about my home and my neighbors’ homes catching on fire...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Letters 07-30-2012


Penn State's punishment

“...the fundamental chapter of this horrific story should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down.”

-- Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee

A months-long coma would have been the only way to have escaped hearing of the tragic events at Penn State. At first, the sickening realization that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused at least eight underage boys on or near university property. Then the deep disappointment in learning an investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh found school officials, including the school president and vice president, head football coach Joe Paterno, and athletic director had known about the allegations of child abuse as early as 1998, but failed to disclose them.

Now the NCAA has handed down penalties that some say are close to a “death penalty” for the school’s football program, including a $60 million fine, four year bowl-ban, loss of some scholarships and withdrawal of wins dating back to 1998. The statue honoring Joe Paterno has been removed by the university. Sadly ironic, the statue’s inscription reads, “Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.”

These appalling events and revelations have shed light on behaviors most people would rather not examine. Yet it also creates awareness of deep-seated cultural attitudes and hopefully a willingness to learn more about ourselves, our society and what we value...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Letters 07-23-2012


'Get off my lawn'

After reading the Letters to the Editors in the July 16th issue I am very curious - how old are the readers of The Express?!

This publication has had an edge to it since its inception and has never been afraid to ask some very hard questions or to tip-toe the line between aggressive and conservative. I’ve read it for years (I’m 30) and so have my friends and perhaps I was assuming something untrue in that the readers tended to be under the age of 80.

The letters people have written take on this point of view of an old man sitting on his porch yelling at kids to get off of his lawn. It doesn’t fit!

For instance - the letter about fireworks is unreasonable. Really? Your neighbors were using expensive professional-grade fireworks? The kind the Cherry Fest can’t even afford to use...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Letters 07-16-2012


Fireworks pollution

The new Michigan fireworks law does untold damage to the environment, wildlife, pets and our personal right to quiet and safety in our own homes.

On July 7th and numerous times, between late June through September, I have been jolted out of bed by neighbors setting off extremely loud fireworks – the kind used in public displays.

I have had to rearrange my life to accommodate my neighbors “fun.” This includes getting my dog up to the house and into a closet at night before the fireworks start, which is always a guess. Then waking him up after midnight to pee because he was too scared to pee on the way to the house.

I have had to remain up till after midnight on evenings when I was not feeling well or just needed to sleep because I work long hours. I have heard others say that their children are scared awake in the middle of the night from neighbors fireworks.

Veterans with PTSD call the 4th of July “a day from hell.” Deer are reported to have miscarriages from fear after explosions and I can’t imagine the pain of birds or bats with sensitive hearing, not to mention the toxic heavy metal smoke from the fireworks that they are forced to breathe which can cause digestive disorders, cancer and asthma attacks...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Letters 07-09-2012


Mortgage scams

Great article on the mortgage loan modification scam involving the now imprisoned Tashia L. Winstanley of Holly, MI (6/25).

I too had an “encounter” with her beginning in December of 2010 when I agreed to pay her $1,700 to represent me in a loan modification process with Bank of America. Unlike some of her other clients who have lost a ton of money, some their homes, my imposing demeanor must have set off an alarm with her and all I lost was the $1,700. I demanded to have ALL of our correspondence in writing, via email or USPS; no telephone calls, thanks.

Anyway, you must be aware of a letter recently sent from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office: Notice of Victim’s Rights. The State is now charging her with: 1 count of Criminal Enterprises - Conducting 1 count of False Pretenses - $20,000 or more 3 counts of False Pretenses - $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 Obviously Winstanley’s hopes of early release in July are disappearing quickly...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Letters 06-25-2012


Panning the panhandlers

I have noticed a disturbing trend in downtown Traverse City. I have observed more and more public intoxication by street people, as well as blatant panhandling for spare change, and was even asked, no, told, to give one certain individual $2 one day, “for beer.”

Just yesterday afternoon, I was approached by three people within 10 minutes in the 200 block of E. Front St. for spare change, 50 cents, and one dollar. Another person has even begun to step out in front of passing motorists, and stop them to do his panhandling.

Where is law enforcement? Has anybody driven by Lay Park in the late mornings, and most of the afternoon lately? There’s a group of at least 10 persons consuming alcohol, and some appear to be passed out lying on the ground. Does this look good to folks who visit the region...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Letters 06-18-2012


Helmets & organs

I am one of those guys that thought it would be great to ride without a helmet, so in 2007 I rode from St Augustine FL to Daytona Beach with nothing but a dew rag on my bald paté.

On the way home we came upon a three-motorcycle collision at an intersection. We stopped to help, but found two of the bikers were DOA from head injuries, and the third biker had a serious head injury. I have never ridden without a helmet since...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Letters 06-11-2012


Wetlands debatable

Patrick Sullivan proves here that there’s always ONE side to every story (re: “Upland Forest or Forested Wetlands?” 5/28/12). Actually, if you read through the sensationalism you see that there isn’t even a story here at all.

While the subtitle reads: “Environmentalist alleges Antrim County official looked the other way as wetlands were destroyed,” buried near the end we find this quote from the DEQ: “It is true that soil erosion officers don’t have any authority over wetlands, he said. It is up to the DEQ to issue Part 303 permits that allow the destruction of wetlands.”

So Heidi Shaffer (Antrim County soil erosion officer) did her job and is being persecuted because an environmentalist feels threatened and a couple from downstate has to share their “little piece of Northern Michigan” lakefront with a neighboring land owner? Shameful...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Letters 06-04-2012


Anthem great

Did anyone see Traverse City’s own Levi Britton sing the National Anthem at the Cubs’ game two weeks ago? He stepped up like he owned the place, and did us proud!

Jon Fiebing • TC

Stop the bullying

Where were you Tuesday night (May 15)? I attended the very sensitive Bullycide Project at Lars Hockstad Auditorium. As I looked around at the many empty seats, I could almost hear the voices saying, “I have something painful that I need to tell you. Please listen...
Tuesday, May 29, 2012



Denied access

On Sunday at the NMC BBQ in T.C., a small group of activists were there to collect signatures for our petition to qualify for the November ballot to end Cannabis Prohibition here in Michigan.

It was a bust because we were forced by campus security (backed up by Traverse City police) to leave ASAP or be arrested. We setup across the street from campus, but only got about 50 sigs of an anticipated 1,000. Both campus head of security and a T.C. cop told me that they were being forced to remove us by certain college board members.

We were even told that if we stayed on grounds after putting away my back-pack sign (that drew folks to us) & clipboards, without purchasing a meal, we would be arrested for loitering...

Monday, May 21, 2012



No politics needed

President Obama took a huge political risk when he authorized the successful removal of Osama bin Laden from this earth. Most Republicans have been strangely quiet about this until recently, when they now complain that the administration is attempting to politicize the killing of bin Laden.

Journey with me now to a fantasy land where Republicans would successfully resist the temptation to fully politicize the bin Laden mission had it failed.

Bob Ross • Pellston

Festivals tread lightly

I have read the news concerning the cancellation of two festivals that occur in late summer, the Schooner Festival and I believe the Epicurian classic....