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


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Letters 08-10-2015


Disclose Pipeline Details Pipeline companies have billions of dollars of equipment in their to maintain the safety and integrity of lines. Enbridge Energy of Canada, you can be sure has the “smart PIG” tool, a device with onboard diagnostics that can be run inside the pipe. The tool can identify problems with the pipe wall due to corrosion, cracking and other sources of damage...

The Downward Slope Of Morality To Leonard Page (who wrote a letter here) and everyone else who buys into what is condemned in the mainstream media and by the corrupt politicians in D.C.! How many people have been killed by the Confederate flag in the last couple of years? How many people in America have been killed during that same time by Muslims? How many of the killers have been on prescribed psychotropic pharmaceuticals? And what is blamed for the killings? The gun, the firearm! Not the drugs that cause homicidal and suicidal tendencies...

The Other Traffic Problem As I sat down for my morning coffee and opened up Northern Express, I read “Parking Corrected,” in which Mr. Bacigalupi acknowledges that there is some consternation about parking in this town. He wrote, “As more people come downtown served by less parking, the pressure on what parking we have increases.” He mentions that the DDA manages parking to balance the needs of the thousands of Up North locals and the millions of visitors...

Two For One Columnist Stephen Tuttle recently stated the following: “Donald Trump is a narcissistic blowhard who has no platform other than whatever flies off the top of his head...

Friday, July 31, 2015

Letters 08-03-2015

Letters Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Letters 07-27-2015


Next For Brownfields In regard to your recent piece on brownfield redevelopment in TC, the Randolph Street project appears to be proceeding without receiving its requested $600k in brownfield funding from the county. In response to this, the mayor is quoted as saying that the developer bought the property prior to performing an environmental assessment and had little choice but to now build it...

Defending Our Freedom This is in response to Sally MacFarlane Neal’s recent letter, “War Machines for Family Entertainment.” Wake Up! Make no mistake about it, we are at war! Even though the idiot we have for a president won’t accept the fact because he believes we can negotiate with Iran, etc., ISIS and their like make it very clear they intend to destroy the free world as we know it. If you take notice of the way are constantly destroying their own people, is that living...

What Is Far Left? Columnist Steve Tuttle, who so many lambaste as a liberal, considers Sen. Sanders a far out liberal “nearly invisible from the middle.” Has the middle really shifted that far right? Sanders has opposed endless war and the Patriot Act. Does Mr. Tuttle believe most of our citizens praise our wars and the positive results we have achieved from them? Is supporting endless war or giving up our civil liberties middle of the road...

Parking Corrected Stephen Tuttle commented on parking in the July 13 Northern Express. As Director of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, I feel compelled to address a couple key issues. But first, I acknowledge that  there is some consternation about parking downtown. As more people come downtown served by less parking, the pressure on what parking we have increases. Downtown serves a county with a population of 90,000 and plays host to over three million visitors annually...

Friday, July 17, 2015

Letters 07-18-2015


Real Facts About Affordable Housing “The standard definition for affordability is that households should pay no more than 30% of their income for housing, including utilities.” Source: U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development...

Thanks To BATA I would just like to express my gratitude to BATA and the National Cherry Festival for providing the free shuttle bus to the visitors center from NMC and Thirlby Field. If not for this service my wife would have not been able to attend any of the concerts due to health issues. We managed to make it to all but one. Three generations of our family were represented at the Joan Jett concert and we had an awesome time...

Heritage, Not Hate A few weeks ago, a crazy white boy killed some black folks and suddenly the Confederate Battle flag must be removed from everywhere. That flag is a symbol of historical heritage, not a symbol of hate. Karl Marx once said, “If you can cut people off from their history they can be easily persuaded.”

Housing Problem Is Real Contrary to columnist Thomas Kachadurian’s belief, affordable housing is not identical to low-income, federally subsidized housing. The latter was directed to inner-city populations of poor, disabled, and elderly Americans. The former targets primarily younger workers and families, particularly service workers and others whose contributions to local economies are necessary to its functioning...

Friday, July 10, 2015

Letters 07-13-2015

Letters Support Benzie Jail On August 4 the residents in Benzie County will be asked to vote on a millage renewal of .9000 for six years to fund the Benzie County Jail...

Fair, Smart, Sustainable & Affordable Let’s agree for a moment with Thomas Kachadurian (Words of Warning, July 6) that terms such as ‘fairness,’ ‘smart,’ ‘sustainable’ and now ‘affordable’ resurrect “old ideas that have been tried and failed.” To be sure, whether it’s healthcare, child care, elder care, education or housing, what we have is a system that fails to deliver basic human needs at an affordable cost to a widening number of citizens...

Science, God and Love In response to “Faith in Politics” June 29, the spiritualization of thought transcends a building, a religion, race, culture, gender. Love is the “universal solvent.” It is the natural spirit within humanity. This “voice” of love cannot be silenced by yet another bigoted group fussing about rubbing elbows with people not of their “belief.”

America the Good Stephen Tuttle’s indictment of America shows his true colors, so to speak. “Flag-waving patriotism?” I suppose he thinks burning it is the thing to do. His liberal buddies sure do. Indians were mistreated and still are? Oh please. Would Tuttle rather be a serf on some European noble’s estate...

War Machines For Family Entertainment Does no one in the Traverse City Commission or National Cherry Festival see the warmongering and pollution spewing caused by military demonstration teams so called Thunderbirds and Blue Angels? They are instruments of war...

Friday, July 3, 2015

Letters 07-06-2015


Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Letters 06-29-2015


The Truth Within Cartoons  Thank you, Northern Express, for printing the current cartoons by both Jen Sorensen and Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling!

Faith and Politics: A Recipe for Disaster Government, religion, and ultra conservative politics is an alliance that if it stays the present course will be the demise of our great republic.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Letters 06-20-2015

Letters Benishek Hurting Medicare, Workers

I see today, 6-12-15 that Dan Benishek just voted to cut Medicare. Medicare is not a slush fund, and it is not an entitlement. Medicare is insurance that working Americans pay for with every hour that they labor...

Celebrate Your Environmentalist

Environmentalists get a bad rap. I’ve heard us called “hippies, libtards, wackos, tree huggers, un-American” and the rest. The environmentalists I know are caring people. We care about our children, our grandchildren, and future generations...

Reexamine Military Recruiting

Thanks Christine Minervini for a well-researched column on military recruiting in our schools. Indeed, the fact that the No Child Left Behind Act requires public high schools to open their campuses and student records to military recruiters or risk losing federal funds points out how militarized our society has become...

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Letters 06-15-2015


Military In Schools Regarding Christine Minervini’s column, I have an issue with the idea that the military is a bad influence in our schools. What world do you live in

Pristine Freshwater Is Ours Seeing the “Acme Debate Rages” convinced me to grab a copy to take home to read in the privacy of my Williamsburg rental.

Diversity And Soccer Thomas Kachadurian’s “Sunday in the Park” seems to be trying to delineate contrasts between the well-groomed and financed Traverse City Little Leaguers and soccerplaying “migrant workers” who both use Bowers Harbor Park’s fields.

It’s All About The Water The Great Lakes are not a renewable resource. They are the product of glacial melt over 10,000 years ago.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Letters 06-08-2015


The Truth In Acme I write in response to your article “ Meijer Appears In Acme but the Fight Rages On,” which reported on the fact that this massive development adjacent to a designated cold water trout stream was fined $40,000 by the DEQ for the pollution to the stream and East Bay due to clay and nutrient runoff after several storms last fall.

Don’t Destroy Leelanau’s Beaches  Many Grand Traverse area residents enjoy traveling up the Leelanau Peninsula to enjoy the orchards, wineries and beaches.

Ignorance, Stupidity & Racism Jack Dancer’s letter of May 25 stating his view that people of color do not like Traverse City because they don’t like or tolerate the cold is significantly the most ignorant and racist remark I can recall reading in a northern Michigan publication.

Offensive Letter Vs. Real Truths In the May 25th issue letter “Cold Paradise,” the author proposed that northern Michigan is full of diversity, which in his mind consists of white northern Europeans the author’s conclusion was that there are no African Americans because of the cold climate.

My Pipeline Solution Reading Mr. Tuttle’s article about the aging pipeline infrastructure in the United States and what that means for getting natural gas delivered to our homes and oil delivered to refineries so I can fuel my car, tractor and lawn mower, I was struck by the difficulty in finding a reasonable solution.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Letters 06-01-2015


Truth About Inner City Violence It’s quite amazing how far off the mark someone like Stephen Tuttle can travel simply by ignoring all the elephants in the room.

Cold Not To Blame Regarding the opinion letter that we are not diversified in northern Michigan because of cold weather, here are the average highs and lows of each city from December through February: Traverse City December 32 and 15, January 27 and 14, February 30 and 14 Detroit December 35 and 21, January 31 and 19, February 32 and 18 Doesn’t hold much weight with me as a reason that African Americans do not feel at home “up north.”

Brainless Response, Provocative Article The May 25th editorial response by reader Jack Dancer couldn’t be more off the mark. He states that the reason there are not more African-Americans living in Traverse City is because it’s too cold?

Not So Black And White The article “Why...so white?” in a recent issue is a very simplistic approach to considering the notion of diversity in our region.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Letters 05-25-2015


Michigan’s Depleted Funds So now we know why the Michigan legislators wanted to rush Proposal 1 down our throats.

Legality of Marriage & Divorce An article in the May 25th issue of Time reveals that: “We now have reached a point where fewer than half of kids leaving high school will have their parents living together.”

Cold Paradise Your May 18 cover story “Why is Northern Michigan So White?” is preposterous. For starters, we have plenty of diversity in this region: German, Polish, Swedish, Lithuanian, Norwegian, French Canadian, etc. – all groups that flourish in colder, harsh winter climates.

Unpave Those Roads Michigan legislators recently put before the people a proposal to increase tax to increase funds to the DOT and road commissions across the state for road repairs. The proposal failed by a significant margin.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Letters 05-18-2015


Will History Repeat Itself? What large patterns or trends can guide our ideas about the next century? We can look at the history of Easter Island as a warning about the dangers of a future crisis.

Applauding Michigan’s Renewable Standards Recently, state legislators introduced dueling initiatives that would impact the state’s existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) expiring at the end of the year very differently.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Letters 05-11-2015


Religious Freedom Challenge Stephen Tuttle wrote (May 4) concerning state “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” (RFRAs) in his “Not Actually Legislating” column: “It is repugnant overreaction to a social change some people are unable to accept. Apparently their strongly held religious belief is they don’t like ‘gay’ people.”

A New Marriage Definition In regards to the gay marriage debate, as an American citizen and as a gay man, I do not support any declaration that defines marriage.

Let Cars Park Downtown Downtown TC merchants and property owners...where are your voices?

Takeaways From The GT Board All the dynamics we are seeing at the GT County Board level are due to years of pentup frustration with past county boards not following a specific results-based budgetary (RBB) process.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Letters 05-04-2015


I Love The Eighth Street Changes I read the letter in the 4/13 paper about not liking the Eighth Street changes, and it spurred me to let you know that I do like the Eighth Street changes, as do many of my neighboring residents.

Michigan Taxes Equal Uncompetitive State Michigan has been losing population. According to the eighth edition of the “Rich States, Poor States” report released by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), states with low taxes have been gaining population.

“Déjà Vu, All Over Again!” Sometimes that Yogi Berra quote is pitch perfect.  Back in 1993, Michigan’s roads were falling apart. Governor Engler refused to raise motor fuel taxes -- he issued bonds instead and kicked that problem down the road.

No To Fracking I would like to respond to the article in the Apr 27th issue regarding fracking.

Find Something Better Our politicians in Lansing love to talk about “no more taxes.” I agree that they seem to be against any new taxes on the very wealthy and businesses, but seem to have no problem increasing taxes on the poor and the middle class.