Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages
Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.
A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.
In his upcoming campaign, Congressman Dan Benishek will undoubtedly use his vote for the Sleeping Bear Dunes wilderness legislation as an example of his support for environmental issues. It is worth noting that this bill was developed long before Mr. Benishek was elected. He was not the creator of the bill, only a supporter...Listen to the People
Recently the Traverse City planning commission listened to objections to the construction of homes the citizens felt would be out of character for the neighborhood. If only Forest Home Township in Antrim County had such a planning commission!Of Chefs and Cooking
Kudos to Northern Express and Patrick Sullivan for the story last week about Howard Schedle. Food preparation and service traditions are worth talking about here in this Traverse City regional “agricultural belt” because they give understanding and provide clues to the future...Stop Plastic Bags
is mentioned on the mainstream media about efforts across the nation
and around the world to reduce usage of the plastic shopping bag (PSB).
Plastic shopping bags are bad from the start. The manufacture of PSBs
takes much petroleum and creates toxic waste...
Raise Minimum Wage
The people of Michigan have overwhelmingly (65 percent) asked for the minimum wage to be raised from its present $7.40 an hour to a decent living wage. At present workers are still below the poverty line even if they work full time. The Governor and legislature in Lansing have refused to raise the minimum wage, so there is a petition drive to get it on the ballot in November...
We would like to thank several local heroes for putting Michigan Artists Gallery back together again after being closed for 45 days with flood damage...
In the “Crossed” column, Mr. Singer presents a timeless subject matter. One could say he tasted the water of man’s being as to spirituality but not deep enough, so at present he is an atheist...Does Government Care About Pipeline?
I am very frustrated with our state and federal government and the elected officials including Gov. Snyder. I wrote a letter to the Governor and to eight other state and federal officials, conveying my serious concern about a failure of the 60 yearold pipeline that goes under the Straits of Mackinac and carries Canadian tar sands oil at high temperatures and pressure...Ramps and a Rye Boule
On the narrow lane to our house, there’s a very old fence neatly defining a small green field and a cool leafy woods just beyond...
Happy Belated Easter
Happy Easter to all of you! On this day of celebration, I will have no truck with cynicism or anger. Today will be about hope and resurrection and love will reign supreme. Once again we will attach our spirits to the banner of the Risen Lord, and bathe in the glory that is to come...Stealing from Education
Governor Snyder’s proposal to fix roads by converting the sales tax on gasoline at the pumps to a fuel tax at the wholesale level is a camouflaged raid on the school aid fund. The Michigan constitution and the Proposal A were combined to assure that the public school aid fund would receive 4 percent of each 6 percent sales tax collected. For every $500.000,000 of sales tax that is removed at the pump and converted to a tax at the wholesale level on fuels, Michigan public schools will lose $333,000,000 annually...Congrats to Students
to all the area high schools who participated in the Academic
WorldQuest program and contest. How we view ourselves in relationship to
other countries and how they view us is paramount to understanding our
world and our place in it...
Many brave men and women have worn and do wear the military uniform of the United States of America. They put their lives at risk and have lost their lives to protect our freedom, our loved ones and our right to vote...
Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...Climate Change Warning
Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...Fed Up About Roads
It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...Don’t Blame the IRS
have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself
entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not
for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be
organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing
about civic betterment and social improvements.”
ACA Has Benefits
I hear people bashing the Affordable Care Act and wonder why they like the old plan better. The ACA: Covers preventive screenings like blood pressure, diabetes and cancer screenings free of charge without a co-pay or deductible...We Are Clean
The artist in the “A Door Closed, A Window Opened” in the March 10 issue is a nice looking woman with some interesting jewelry creations. However, her assertion that “we” come to God “broken and dirty: and then somehow get ‘cleaned up’ by him” is a rationale I find offensive and ridiculous...Oppose Griswold Racetrack
When it comes time for Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners to make a decision regarding the conditional rezoning of Griswold Mountain, I hope they will show the same amount of professionalism, attention to detail, and commitment as their own Planning and Zoning Commission has already demonstrated...Ban Pesticides
pesticides (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides etc.) are poisons
that kill insects, weeds and organisms. Numerous studies show them to
also cause cancers, birth defects, autism, infertility and MCS (multiple
Uncap Social Security
I agree with Mr. Don Semen’s letter from the March 24 issue. I see no reason to have a cap on income taxed for Social Security. People who have income greater than $110,000 can most afford it and it would help keep Social Security and Medicare healthy.
During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 6-12, the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) pays tribute to the dedicated and generous individuals that volunteer with our organization...
welcome surprise: someone in Michigan is actually seeking solutions,
rather than bemoaning problems!
Voters in the Dark
was in Florida for two weeks prior to the election about which Mr.
Tuttle wrote (“Voters in the Dark”, 3/24) As I watched the
advertisements on TV, I was appalled to read the sponsors for them...
We are all human and deserving of being treated with dignity. The
labelling of people is undignified, and frought with the danger of
causing divisions and controversy...
Tax Reform Wanted
“Tax reform,” “less taxes,” blah blah blah…the historical plea of every would-be re-elected congressman since time immemorial. Dave Camp is looking to begin his second quarter century in Congress using that same card from that same old deck...Teach Healthy Sexuality
children and teens of today are our hope for tomorrow. It’s important
for us as parents, caring adults and community members to help set young
people on the path for a healthy future and support them as they work
to create positive change...
Spring Of 2014
of 2014 has sprung The Republican Tea Party cycle has begun For their
goal is only one That your life remains on the bottom rung. In
non-election years they ignore their constituents By covering their ears
For they have no fears in those years...
Homestead’s Position Disputed Thank you to the Express for the recent news item about ten local, state, and national organizations that joined together in a statement calling on The Homestead Resort and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to work together to correct the problem of incompletely-treated wastewater spray blowing into an area of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, rendering it unavailable for public use. Here is just one clarification...
Done With Snyder Governor Snyder lowered taxes on well-off businesses while raising nearly everyone else’s taxes, undermining both education and the labor movement, which together created Michigan’s strong middle class. His actions also dismantled protections for our priceless Great Lakes shorelines...
Gerrymandering is Alive I have major disagreements with Stephen Tuttle’s column from March 17th. Let’s start with an agreement that conservatives do control the majority of the congressional districts and state legislatures, but let’s also tell the real reason...
Benishek No Environmentalist For Dan Benishek to say he is responsible for preserving a natural wonder (Sleeping Bear Preservation Act) is akin to Al Gore saying he invented the Internet...
CORRECTION: In the March 17 issue, we mistakenly identified the Holiday Inn as “best deck scene” in the Traverse City Best area listings. In fact, their new name is West Bay Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort.
We are fortunate to live in America. We are required to act responsibly. Contribute to the SOLUTION...
The past president of Monster Beverage Company has stated publicly on several occasions that he wants to build a racetrack on Griswold Mountain in order to “give back” to Indian River...RISE OF INEQUALITY
Since the 1970s the income earned by the top fifth of Americans has risen from 40 percent to 47 percent of total income. It is difficult to say that this level of inequality is a bad thing; many of the reasons are clear...
recently were made aware of the proposed “Air Walk Project” for Kasson
county several months ago. Although we have only lived in this area
since Nov., 2012, the main reason we moved here and established
residence was that it was an area of natural beauty where one could
enjoy the best of Michigan’s outdoor living...
Why Increase War Funding?
By the end of this year, the U.S. will have fewer than 10,000 troops left in Afghanistan. The U.S. won’t technically be at war with any country. So why does President Obama want to increase the amount of money our country allocates to war funding?
Mental Health Cuts a Tragedy
Governor Snyder’s upbeat message on the 2015 budget left out an important fact: in a time of a state surplus, $180 million in general funds is being removed from community mental health programs. The reason for this is simple...Minimum Wage Hike Deserves Second Thought
Should the minimum wage be raised? There are good reasons for conservatives who worry about budget deficits to support an increase. Let’s do the math: The current minimum wage in Michigan is $7.40 per hour...Lots to Lose, Little to Gain in Land Swap
When rumors started that St. Mary’s Cement wanted to make a new entrance to Fisherman’s Island State Park and close Bells Bay Road, it seemed too outrageous to be taken seriously. But St. Mary’s has lobbied government for two years and has proposed a “land swap” to obtain 190 acres of Fisherman’s Island State Park and the county road...
Patrick Sullivan’s article there was no mention of the county that
would have put the cherry on top his premise on the divide between rich
More crony captalism
really enjoyed Stephen Tuttle’s recent article titled “A line in the
tar sands. Mr. Tuttle has a way of making you think on both sides of an
Tax Junk Food or Ban Boxing?
So, if you break it down to its simple basics, Bill Bustance likes oatmeal and thinks it shouldn’t be taxed. He doesn’t like Cheerios and thinks they should be taxed and the revenue should be used for roads (Huh?!)...
Stephen Tuttle’s column titled "No Line in the Tar Sand" missed some key points. In describing the First Nation peoples of Canada as "appalled" by the tar sands mining understates their situation. Few of us would be simply "appalled" if our communities were deemed sacrifice zones...Look Who is Behind the Attack Ads
Do you wonder who’s behind the negative ads aimed at the Democrats and Gary Peters, in particular? The DeVos family hides behind the following groups to peddle their bull… Action Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Council for National Policy, Federalist Society, Focus on the Family, Freedom Works Foundation, Heritage Foundation, Mackinaw Center for Public Policy, and the National Organization for Marriage...No to Proposed Air Walk in Kasson Township
The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as “irresponsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” The proposed ecotourism park by developer Mark Evans designed with an air walk and observation areas that will scale the ridgeline of an 83-acre parcel of property on residential Fritz Road is a fancy packaging scheme to line Mr. Evans’ pockets with millions of dollars...Consumer Alert
a wonderful movie the "The Dallas Buyers Club" is, sure to win awards
for acting. It may have brought to light some of the failures of our
Food and Drug Administration as well. And we now learn that the
chemical, azodicarbonamide, used in yoga mats and shoe soles, was
approved by the FDA for use in breads and cereal flours to enhance
We Need a Carbon Tax
Stephen Tuttle’s recent piece “No Line in the Tar Sands” describes some of the valid arguments for and against the Keystone XL pipeline. He then concludes with what he calls the two most salient facts...
I applaud Mr. Estes’ article on keeping Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes. Unfortunately, his solution is too simple, too cost efficient and can be accomplished too quickly. Why do something now when you can drag it out for 25 years at a cost of billions of dollars. Even if some action were taken several years from now, it would be too late anyway...Who Stole Traverse City?
Downtown Traverse City is becoming a living abortion to common sense. Who came up with the brilliant concept of filling every square foot of space with tall brick buildings that are built within ten feet of the street? The Traverse City I remember was full of laughing people and children playing. We parked our cars along the streets. Now, the parking meters in front of these buildings are dedicated to the rich few who work in these mausoleums...