Letters

Letters 09-29-2014

Benishek Doesn’t Understand

Congressman Benishek claims to understand the needs of families, yet he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would cause about 10 million people to lose their health insurance. He must think as long as families can hold fundraisers they don’t need insurance...

(Un)Truth In Advertising

Constant political candidate ads on TV are getting to be too much to bear 45 days before the election...

Rare Tuttle Rebuttal

Finally, I disagree with Stephen Tuttle. His “Cherry Bomb” column in the 8/4/14 issue totally dismayed me. I always love his wit and the slamming of the 1 percent. His use of fact and hyperbole highlights the truth; until “Cherry Bomb.” Oh man, Stephen...

Say No To Fluoride

Do you or your child’s teeth have white, yellow, orange, brown, stains, spots, streaks, cloudy splotches or pitting? If so, you may be among millions of Americans who now have a condition called dental fluorosis...

Questions Of Freedom

The administration’s “Affordable Health Care Act” has ordered religious orders to provide contraception and chemical abortions against the church’s God given beliefs and teachings … an interesting order, considering the First Amendment’s clear prohibitions...

Stop The Insults & Talk

I found it interesting that Ms. Minervini used the Northern Express to push the Safe Harbor agenda for a 90-bed homeless shelter in Traverse City with a tactic that is also being utilized by members of the city commission. Those of us who oppose the project are being labeled as uncompassionate citizens...

Roads and Republicans

Each time you hit a road crater while driving, thank the “nerd” and the Tea Party controlled Republican legislature.

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Letters

 
Monday, August 23, 2010

Letters

Letters Living hell
I need to thank Anne Stanton for her
exceptional reporting of the case of Joni Holbrook (8/16). The article
is excellent, important journalism. Anne’s accurate, thorough
account detailing the living hell that Joni endured throughout her
entire marriage to Benzie cop Paul Holbrook is important for people to
grasp.
There is a majority of people who know her actions were totally
justified, being her only escape from a life of torture at the hands
of a monster.
However, not surprising I guess, is the lack of support from his
fellow police who had to have had at least a clue as to the dark side
of this Jekyll and Hyde personality. Like, did they not question
Holbrook’s order to ‘check’ on her frequently? Further, I’m
incredulous at the comments and denial of Holbrook’s relatives; a
clear example of blame the victim. Denial is definitely a way of
protecting oneself from a horrible truth.
I wish peace and healing for all
involved.

Sally MacFarlane-Neal • via email
 
Monday, August 16, 2010

Letters

Letters Migrant issues
In regard to your Random Thoughts
article in the August 2 edition, this is a written reply, comment and
challenge to you.
“Deport a migrant, raise your grocery bill” gives a lopsided view of
the cost of what realistic price raising is. Do you know that 18
states in the USA with budget shortages have paid more for illegals
than the amount of their budget deficit? Illegals cost the entire
country an estimated $113 billion per year, nearly $29 billion at the
Federal level and $84.2 billion at the State and local level.
I live part of the year in the area of Tucson, AZ. I live a quarter of
a mile from a freeway (highway 19) that is the main route from Mexico
to the U.S. I have witnessed the runaway illegals, sometimes more than
20 odd numbers to a truck or van, and the news
media repeatedly covers all of the illegal migration incidents in and
around the area.
We have helicopters and border patrols on the move as they serve to
protect the safety of legal U.S. citizens. Just before I left the area
in April another raid was made on one of their “safe” houses where the
“coyotes” were holding illegals hostage until they paid another
ransom. The young girls who could not pay the ransom were sold as
prostitutes. Drive-by shootings and house invasions are common in
Tucson and other border areas.
Do you think -- and again I challenge you to research -- how the
benefits of illegal
immigration could offset in any way the cost of American lives and the
billions of dollars we spend on prisoners, health care delivery,
education, and police and border protection?
The immigrants who work on the farms, factories, businesses, etc., and
have work permits or guest worker passes to do so are welcome and
needed, but we need to enforce and monitor the manner in which they
do. You could not go into Mexico and work without identification and
permission. You cannot even vote in this country without registration
and identification. No one is saying that immigrants cannot come into
this country to work.

Donna Bauman • Manistee
 
Monday, August 9, 2010

Letters

Letters Finding the Griffon
It has been said that no matter how much you know about a subject,
you’re never an expert unless someone else says you are. Since no one
has ever claimed that about me, and I don’t have a diploma, I can’t
claim to be an expert on any subject, and therefore don’t speak with
the Voice of Authority .
However, as a Traverse City native and a lifetime avocational
archaeologist, I have studied the history and archaeology of the area
for over fifty years, with some noteworthy area archaeological
discoveries to my credit. Since my tentative plans include moving
south in a couple of years, I am currently documenting as many
archaeological sites in the area as I can, so there will be at least
some documentation of the area’s historical sites -- just in case
anyone cares.
Having a particular interest in the nautical and maritime history of
the Grand Traverse region, a subject of particular interest to me has
always been the fate of the Griffon, about which I’ve studied and
researched extensively. If Steve Libert has found it, as claimed in
your article “Search for Le Griffon,” well and good -- another Great
Lakes mystery solved, and I love it when someone solves such
historical mysteries.
However, I don’t feel, on the basis of my research, that Libert has
indeed found the Griffon. I believe his conclusions are erroneous,
based as they are on misinterpretations of existing documentation and
faulty reasoning. My research indicates that the Griffon is nowhere
near where he’s looking, nor did it sink in a storm. It was destroyed
by a storm, to be sure, but only because it was driven aground -- and
you wouldn’t believe where it ran aground. Let’s just say it’s a lot
closer than people think.
Having read internet articles about Libert’s find, I can’t say what
he’s found, although I suspect it’s a beam from a barn someone was
moving across the ice when it fell through. I do know that the beam
in question is not a bowsprit, for the simple reason that it is
squared. No ship ever built carried a square bowsprit. There’s a
reason why a ship’s spars are round.
There are a lot of things I’d like to say to refute Libert’s claim,
but this isn’t the time or place to do so. Oh, and those cannons he’s
hoping to find to prove the identity of his discovery? That’s wishful
thinking, I’m afraid. Those cannons were salvaged by a helmet diver
from Petoskey in the 1940’s, and sold to the government as scrap metal
for the war effort.
Yes, I believe I do know where the Griffon is. Not only that -- I’ve
seen it with my own eyes.

Howard J. Blodgett • TC
 
Friday, August 6, 2010

Letters 8/6/10

Letters Defining Islam
I was dismayed to read Bob Jones’s letter to the Northern Express
(8/30) which was full of half-witted half-truths and outright
fallacies.
In spite of what Jones might have to say, Islam is not defined by its
extremes any more than Christianity is defined by the Inquisition or
Serbian militias or the Olympic Park bomber. And Islam as practiced is
no more defined by the right wing’s quote-mined Koran than
Christianity or Judaism is defined by selective quotes from the Bible.
(Stoned any crop rotators or polyester-blend wearers to death lately?
Have you noticed how few professed followers of Jesus sell all their
goods and give the proceeds to the poor as he recommends?)
Followers of Islam are defined by their practice, and the vast
majority in this country are law-abiding people who appreciate the
freedom and opportunity this country affords them. They deserve to be
left alone to do as they please in their religious life within the
law, as our forefathers spelled out. And if that means acquiring space
for a mosque a couple blocks from Ground Zero alongside the porn shops
and fast food joints that are already there, they have a right to do
that too -- without interference from the government or gap-tooth,
values-challenged yokels fixin’ on gettin’ rid of anybody diffrint.
Jesus, Allah, Jefferson, Adam Smith and/or [insert providential figure
of your choice here] be praised.
What we ought to be worried about is not Islam’s purported war with
Christianity, but Mr. Jones’s war with reality and with the
fundamental religious and economic freedoms that make this country
great. Just ask a recent immigrant if you need convincing.
If there is one legitimate complaint about mainstream Islam in this
country it is that it sometimes seems slow to condemn those who preach
hatred, so let those of us who are native-born Americans set an
example and respond appropriately to Mr. Jones: with an ounce of shame
and a pound of contempt.

Oran Kelley • TC
 
Monday, August 2, 2010

Letters

Letters Shocking vote
Dave Camp recently voted no for the unemployment extension that was
recently passed. Camp is following the party line of not passing the
extension due to our deficit.
I don’t see how a representative from a state with one of the highest
unemployment rates in the country can do this, However he isn’t the
only one not to vote yes from our state. Pete Hoekstra, running for
governor of our state, didn’t even vote. That’s right, he wants to
lead our state but doesn’t even vote on an issue that affects
Michigan’s residents.
I urge all voters, especially the currently unemployed to not vote for
Mr. Camp or
Mr. Hoekstra.

Daniel Bronsink • McBain
 
Monday, July 26, 2010

Letters

Letters Not censorship
Your article entitled “X’ed Out” recalls a controversy that surfaced
several years ago regarding the National Endowment for the Arts and
its attempt to withhold funds from some grant applicants.
Near the crux of both controversies is the definition of censorship.
That word refers to the prohibition of the direct and open expression
of ideas and information. To the best of my knowledge, no new
prohibitions have been installed here, and the films that were denied
public support in Michigan and elsewhere may still be made in those
same places, privately, with alternative funding, and without public
impediment.
Simply witholding support, which is the right of any funding entity,
does not constitute censorship.
The author of the article is welcome to express his disapproval of the
state’s film funding process and its result, but his reference to “the
stink of censorship” is both innacurate and inflammatory. The
applicants who were denied public support were not censored by the
state. It merely refused to offer them financial benefits.

Harvey Gordon • Glen Arbor
 
Monday, July 19, 2010

Letters

Letters Finding sanctuary
This is in respectful response to recent letters from readers offended
by our ad headline using “Seek Asylum” to promote The Village at Grand
Traverse Commons. That headline was not intended to offend anyone, nor
was it intended to be funny. To those offended, we apologize.
Our objective for using the word “asylum” was simply to attract
visitors. It was meant to reference the undeniable history of the
Commons as the former Traverse City State Hospital (originally the
Northern Michigan Asylum), while at the same time invoking the
original meanings of the word, which include “sanctuary, shelter, or
refuge.” Every day, people “seek asylum” from unfavorable
circumstances. We simply repurposed the phrase to convey the positive
sense of asylum, and, contrary to its historical uses, portray The
Village as a place where people want to go to escape our everyday
world.
We respect the history of the TCSH, and acknowledge that any large
state mental institution with decades of operation will bear some sad
stories. While we cannot ease painful memories of an old asylum, we
can choose to celebrate the original noble intent of a historically
enlightened era of care for our fellow human beings. We can recognize
the efforts of hospital employees that were dedicated to truly helping
the patients. We, and the many people who have invested in this
campus, can move forward to preserve historic buildings by giving them
new uses and making them good places to live, work and do business.
That does not change the hospital’s history, especially for those who
prefer to forget it. But we hope the blossoming Village neighborhood
will empower people to see an old asylum in a new way, and maybe one
day reclaim a good word.

Raymond Minervini II
Partner, The Minervini Group LLC
 
Monday, July 12, 2010

Letters

Letters A safe haven
I write in reply to T.L. Watts’ letter finding offensive the heading
“Take Asylum” on the ad for the Grand Traverse Commons.
Given Mr. Watts’ personal circumstances, no one could disagree with
him. I’d like to reassure him, however, that his father’s memory is
well respected in the current spirit and atmosphere on the grounds of
the old State Hospital. I am not associated with The Minervini Group
(TMG), the developers of the Commons, but I have lived in Building 50
for several years now, and in that time I have not heard a disparaging
remark about the building’s former inhabitants and their troubles from
any of the developer’s staff or residents. On occasion members of TMG
have left whatever they were working on to give private tours to
former patients or their families who have come into the office and
expressed interest -- or in some cases -- a therapeutic need, to see
the inside of the building again. Some of those tours have left TMG
staff in tears.
Those who find the concept of living in a former mental hospital
amusing tend to be those who have never visited or are not living
here. Before you ask -- no, I do not sense ghosts or troubled spirits
in or around Building 50; to the contrary, even walking the grounds at
night the atmosphere is peaceful. I like to think that the
renaissance of the State Hospital is expunging the pain.
In fact, this place has proven to be an asylum in the best sense, a
safe haven and shelter. I can only hope that sense of refuge was what
the ad writer was imagining. That is no justification for a choice of
words that offended Mr. Watts and others, but I hope it may serve as
an explanation.

Winnie Simpson • GT Commons
 
Monday, July 5, 2010

Letters

Letters Fighting to spend
Why do we do it over and over again?
Afghanistan and Vietnam can never really be compared. Each long-term
military action was different and presented different problems. The
similarity between these two very different actions lies in the fact
that they are and were being fought not to win but to spend.
If the civilian leadership in Washington turned the American military
loose to go through a country and kick ass until those who were
considered the enemy were devastated and defeated, the action would
not last very long. The problems would lie in the civilian collateral
damage and death toll. We then must try to rebuild the civilization we
just defeated.
As a civilization we cannot by force install our moral value or
economic system around the world. If this statement is true, and
history has proven that it does not work, why do we try it over and
over again? Is it because there is profit to be made, and it will keep
our populace fixated on something other than real problems that exist
today in this country?
Small unit tactics coupled with effective limited air strikes have
been shown to be effective military actions in today’s world. If we
spend the effort and money on reliable intelligence and then without
hesitation act on that intelligence in a totally devastating manner,
soon the need for that kind of reaction would wind down.
The many men and women who will return home forever changed physically
and emotionally by the actions that we are now engaged in need to
stop. These brave young people could be better used at home, here in
this country, helping those in their own towns rebuild this country
and its infrastructure rather then destroying then trying to rebuild
an infrastructure in a world that we can never really change.

Michael H. MacCready • Manton
 
Monday, June 28, 2010

Letters

Letters Curtains for BP
While I’m opposed to capital punishment for humans, I’m in favor of
capital punishment for businesses.
Companies behaving recklessly without regard for human and
environmental safety, as BP has a history of doing, should lose their
privilege of conducting business in this country. Our government
should confiscate all of BP’s property. Business should have to at
least face a 99,999 strikes and you’re out policy.

Daniel Robbins • Mackinaw City

 
Monday, June 21, 2010

Letters

Letters Use hydropower instead of biomass
To show how hydroelectric power can help meet the State’s 10%
renewable energy requirement for 2015 without biomass, one need only
look at the Renewable Energy Plan for Lansing Board of Water and
Light, which is a publicly owned utility. They purchase or own
hydropower capacity of 11,700 megawatt hours from three dams, which is
identical to the best estimate of about 12,000 megawatt hours for the
three Boardman River dams.
The Moores Park Hydro owned by Lansing, was rehabilitated and brought
back into service in March 2008. Other sources of renewable
energy for Lansing include landfill energy and a small solar array.
I recently performed an analysis of how many trees would be saved if
hydropower from the Boardman River dams were to replace the amount of
wood chips necessary to produce the same amount of electricity. I came
up with about 18,200 tons per year (49.9 tons per day). Using
conversion data from the Friends of the Jordan River, this works out
to about 425 acres per year (think of it as more than ten 40-acre
plots.) This is about two-thirds of a square mile per year. Those
figures are either large or small depending on whose back yard it is.
What bothers me most is that I try to be a responsible citizen and
recycle paper while buying recycled products. With a biomass plant, it
is the same as going outside and chopping down a small tree every time
I turn on the oven, or burning a branch when I need some light. Ben
Franklin would call it being penny wise and pound foolish.
I read that during the Great Depression people needed to revert to
chopping down trees to heat their houses and cook their meals, but
during the great advances of the 20th century who would have guessed
we would now be moving backwards to a 19th century dependency on wood
for energy? Although I am not crazy about coal, I would much rather
deplete our coal reserves than deplete our topsoil that future
generations will need. With modern smokestack scrubber technology,
coal is just another carbon fuel, except that it does not cause ocean
spills nor does it cause money to go to countries that hate us.
One source of frustration at board meetings of Traverse City Light and
Power is when I hear a board member state that an overwhelming
majority of their ratepayers favor renewable energy. Of course they
(we) do! But when we are asked that question, I doubt if most of us
consider biomass as renewable. The original old growth forest in this
area would require hundreds of years to replicate, which will never
happen if we keep cutting it down. And the non-renewable nutrients
removed from the topsoil are forever lost, unlike the normal decay of
dead wood. If biomass were not legally defined as renewable for the
purpose of meeting the state renewable energy law, not a single
utility would want it.

Douglas Burwell • via email
 
Monday, June 14, 2010

Letters

Letters A dam alternative
I am writing to address the problems brought up in “Why the Dam
Hurry?” (5/31). Your article makes the idea of a natural flowing
Boardman River and one that can produce power mutually exclusive,
which is wrong.
I think we can all agree that a natural Boardman would be nice for
recreation and is environmentally sound; we could also agree that
power being produced from moving water is also a good idea.
Damming a river is however arguable; it may create habitat for
pond-dwelling animals, but the positive aspect of damming stops there.
Contrary to popular belief, dams are not always carbon neutral. Dams
installed in wooded areas where the trees are not cut make an
anaerobic environment for this wood to break down, meaning that it is
often turned to methane that seeps out of the water. Methane is a much
worse gas than carbon dioxide in terms of global climate change.
Dammed areas often also fill up with silt which is a nutrient that a
lot of plant life downriver could use. Finally, as covered in your
article, dams make rivers warmer and flow slower then their usual
state.
Luckily for us, dams are not the only way to provide energy from
water. Blue Energy, a Canadian company, makes a device that resembles
a vertical access wind turbine that is placed in water with a current.
These devices could be put in banks of five on the river in places
where current is the strongest and would not disrupt the flow of the
river or stop us from making clean renewable energy. In using small
banks of these devices, people could still get around and the river
could also be used for recreational purposes. I urge your magazine,
the local utilities, and populace of Northern Michigan to look into
this idea instead of carrying on archaic arguments.

Matt Tomlinson  • Grawn
 
Monday, June 7, 2010

Letters

Letters Tea Party dupes
Having just read this week’s responses to Stephen Tuttle’s “An Open Letter
to my Tea Party friends,” I am reminded of something said by John Stuart
Mill. He said that while it wasn’t the case that all conservatives were
stupid people, it was certainly the case that most stupid people were
conservatives. The responses to Mr. Tuttle’s column bear this out.
Tea Party members seem to possess a stupidity that is without limit. Start
with the movement’s two darlings: Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Together,
they don’t make a half-wit. From those two, it’s an intellectual downhill
slide to the tri-corner hats, Hitler signs and the folks claiming the
government is going to put a chip in their heads.
I am no friend of the Tea Party; they’re not my friends. Unlike Mr.
Tuttle, I don’t have any constructive advice to offer. Their goals are
counter to the founding principles of this country. The members of this
group are being duped by the people behind the scenes in the Tea Party;
the folks who pay for the Express buses, speakers’ fees… If you’re not
wealthy, the people behind the Tea Party are not looking out for your
interests - they’re stooging you to secure more privilege for themselves;
they like the status quo. Hey, no proposed tax increase affects me, I
don’t make $250,000 or more; how many in the Tea Party do?
If you’re making a quarter million dollars or more, you can afford to pay
taxes at the same rate I do. That the wealthy and the large corporations
don’t share an equal tax burden with the middle class, people like me,
amounts to social welfare for them.
Follow the money, you’ll find out what the Tea Party is all about. Who
calls the shots? Who pays the bills? Who puts up the money? It’s not about
patriotism, socialism, Hitler, tax hikes, constitutional principles… It’s
about money: the wealthy don’t want to pay their fair share because they
never have, and the same goes for the large corporations. By agitating
everyday folks, by inducing fear, they get you to do their dirty work, and
all the while, you undermine your own interests.
Talk about stupidity. The Nazis did this when they duped the middle class
in their rise to power; they played on a fear of socialism, trade unions,
and anti-Semitism. The wealthy and large corporations ran Nazi Germany;
they had all of the privileges; this is what the Tea Party aims for; a
nation where the wealthy and big business can do as they please - and we
all serve their interests. It’s the new American Dream, if you’re rich.

  Mike Beveridge • Brethren
 
Monday, May 31, 2010

Letters

Letters With justice for some... Justice? You tell me!
Let’s see if I’ve got this right. Joe Soffredine, an off duty
38-year-old policeman, while under the influence, becomes disorderly
in a downtown TC bar, leaves the bar and attempts to drive home in his
impaired condition. On his way he passes a motorist at a high rate of
speed in a no passing zone. He subsequently crashes his car and his
actions cause the vehicle to catch on fire. Two policemen, ages 25 and
29, called to the scene recognize that it’s Joe Soffredine a senior
officer who is the driver in a one-car accident. Seeing there are no
injuries they give Joe a ride home without performing a sobriety
check. Joe catches a big break. Shouldn’t have, but did.
As a result two junior officers with “impeccable service records” are
summarily fired from their jobs of one and five years respectively.
The Record Eagle lauds the firings - “The law applies to everyone,
even cops” ...“It was a harsh sentence, but no less than what
taxpayers — and justice — demanded.”
And what happened to Joe Soffredine, son of the former Traverse City
Chief of Police and current Traverse City Commissioner who was at the
center of all of this? How about a 4-week unpaid suspension.
Some things never change!

Gordie La Pointe • Williamsburg
 
Monday, May 24, 2010

Letters

Letters What next?
I just heard that Traverse City Light & Power will have to find another
location for the bio-mass plant because the currently proposed site will
interfere with the sight-lines for a new control tower at the Cherry
Capital Airport.
Since it’s apparent that the board of directors of TCL&P have pretty much
decided that a biomass plant is in our future, one has to wonder what
other important facts they’ve failed to properly consider?

Dennis Bean-Larson • Kingsley

 
 
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