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...
A Community Thanks In this day and time when just about everyone seems to think about just looking out for themselves, I wanted write a sincere testimonial to three businesses here in Traverse City.
Addiction Hard to Escape Regarding your Dann’s House story (12/15/14), thank you! Who amongst us does not know someone, or have a close friend or relative, with an addiction problem that spills onto those around, including the wider community? How many of us could be on the edge?
Democracy to the Highest Bidder Welcome
to the new reality…democracy is now available to the highest bidder.
Maybe someone could explain the difference between our Washington
politicians and the mafia.
Praise for Stephen Tuttle To date, I have only communicated once concerning a Stephen Tuttle column, and that was to convey my strong disagreement with his position about the then-new Michigan right to work law.
Kudos to Wet House Good article on the ‘Wet House’ and recognition to Traverse City Police Captain Jeff O’Brien. It is encouraging to hear of the police being helpers rather than bullies.
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.
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.
Thanks For Thanksgiving Nice “Thank You” letter by Stephen Tuttle [in the November 24 edition]. Good idea.
Don’t Give A Dog or Cat! The holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year,” but they aren’t a wonderful time to add a new dog, cat, or other animal companion to the family. That’s why it’s important to resist the temptation to give a living, breathing animal as a “gift.”
Act For the Future “What worries you, masters you,” according to John Locke. Anyone paying attention these days has plenty to worry about; things like endless war, accelerating climate change, lack of meaningful living-wage jobs, and internal threats to such rights as voting and privacy.
Retail Fairness Now Last year, the Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide retailers in Michigan with a fair chance to compete with online sellers. In July, the Senate again made efairness a priority by introducing the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act.
Letter to Santa Dear Santa, I am sending my letter to you a bit early this year. The toy you sent me so very long ago is broken, and cannot be fixed. They used to make things better when I was still a kid. Too much plastic these days, it seems.
Solar Is The Answer There have been many excellent letters about the need for our region, state and nation to take action on climate change. Now there is a viable solution to this ever-growing problem: Solar energy is the future.
Real Minimum Wage In 1966, a first class stamp cost 5 cents and minimum wage was $1.25. Today, a first class stamp is 49 cents, so federal minimum wage should be $11.25.Doesn’t Seem Warmer I enjoy the “environmentalists” twisting themselves into pretzels trying to convince us that it is getting warmer. Sure it is...
Aim For More Renewable Energy: “Aim High!” Isn’t that a goal for all of us? When I look at states surrounding Michigan and even other countries, they have lofty but attainable goals for increasing their renewable energy. Michigan’s goal, set in 2008, to have 10 percent of our energy coming from renewable energy by the end of 2015, is rather pitiful compared to the states that want to attract new industries -- and 2015 is about here.
Market-Based Climate Solution: The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its “synthesis report” on Sunday, stating states that global climate disruption is happening faster than previously predicted. Therefore, we need to transition to non-carbon forms of energy as quickly as possible.
Snow Removal Through The Years: An 1886 editorial in the Grand Traverse Herald declared, “Something should be done with the snow plow jobs. On such a day as last Saturday the plows should have done a good job of clearing the soft snow from the walks. At best the walks have not been opened so that two persons could walk together with any degree of comfort.”
A Living Wage: I frequently hear politicians on both sides say that they are going to create jobs. The recent Proposal 1 which eliminated business personal property taxes was worded to include “create jobs” to trick people into voting yes.
Tax cuts and reduced regulations create profit, not jobs. Consumer demand creates jobs. If a business is operating at only half capacity, that owner will likely lay off employees not hire more. It is only when the business is operating at full capacity that new employees will be hired to keep up with demand. How do we increase consumer demand?
Land Swap Respectful To Native American: My wife and children are proudly Native American, so our family cares deeply about tribal culture and heritage. We are pleased to know that my employer, St. Marys Cement, has completed an archaeological study in conjunction with the proposed land swap in and next to Fisherman’s Island State Park.
Peace Be Upon Him …a Question: Mr. Obama tells us that Islam is not at war with the United States, and we can “reset” to a new, kinder, gentler, more productive relationship with the Moslem world. We’re also told that religion is not an issue between the people of Islam and the sinful people of America. “Politics is the issue,” he tells us.
Support Our Children: Education is paramount to a vibrant and thriving community. Our schools are some of the best in the state offering worldclass education opportunities in pre-k through 12th grades including two high schools recognized as “top high schools in the nation”, Advanced Placement and early college courses, International Baccalaureate and Montessori programming, fully funded early childhood for those eligible, and, athletic and fine arts programming second to none.
Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.
U.S. No Global Police: Steven
Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the
leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with
protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged
with performing military
missions in other places in the world just because they have something
we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to
force them to live by the UN or our rules.
Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.
NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.
Vote, Everyone: Election
Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a
commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV,
but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open
elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting
your county parties and doing research.
Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.
Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.
Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...
In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.
From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic
climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of
fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from
Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land
Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...
Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...
Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.
The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.
The Homeless Area: Think about where all the homeless assistance facilities, addiction treatment facilities, are located. Think about the growing number of homeless and why. Think about the big picture of who this directly impacts as Traverse City grows. All of these facilities are in the same general area in TC.
How To Vote. Literally: Voting, marking your ballot, is how you register your political preferences and is the foundation of our democracy. What could be more important than making sure your ballot states your wishes accurately and completely as possible?
Revisiting Minervini’s Column On Poor: Just wanted to commend Christie Minervini on her column on the poor. She hit the nail on the head on many issues.
Politics & Worshiping: We frequently hear the old adage: “Never discuss politics or religion”. I quickly noticed that what we really mean is: “Never discuss the other fellow’s perspective on politics or religion.”
Applauding Boyne City: A wonderful thing happened in Boyne City. As of May 13, citizens are drinking clean water again. It feels great taking a good long drink knowing it can’t hurt you or anyone; not children, family, friends or animals, because water fluoridation has been stopped.
The Real Fluoride Story: According to a survey commissioned by the Michigan Oral Health Coalition, 60 percent of Traverse City residents support water fluoridation.
Snyder, Franz & School Cuts: Like
many grandparents, I was delighted to share first day of school
grandchild photos with my friends. It was a week of new beginnings for
the younger generation, and pride and fond remembrances for mine. Now
that school is underway, I am outraged at Governor Rick Snyder and
Representative Ray Franz for the continued repercussions that ripple
through our school systems due to reduced funding from Lansing.
No Longer A Split Ticket: In the past, I have never voted a straight party ticket. I try to find out about a candidate’s beliefs and personality such as his honesty, intelligence, lifestyle, education, and experience. Then I vote for the person, not a party.
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
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.
states are controlled by Republican state legislatures and governors
including Michigan. It is reported that Michigan Republicans are
planning a sneak attack during the lame duck session to change the way
electoral votes are allocated in presidential elections...
Lessons From The Middle East
“My enemy’s enemy is my friend.” That statement applies in the Middle East....Student Athletes, Coaches Worth It
coaches at major universities overpaid? A simple Google search will
show quite the opposite. These coaches do not get paid with taxpayer
money. The coaches get paid by media companies, equipment companies,
alumni groups, as well as revenue from ticket sales and merchandise...
Mute The Political Ads
Mark Sunday, September 14th as the opening of the flood gates, with TV political attack advertising. Fasten your seat belts until November 4th...