Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

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.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Letters 1021-13

Letters Benishek’s blunders

Congressman Dan Benishek voted to strip Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Payments (food stamps) from the bi-partisan Senate passed Agriculture bill. According to the USDA, there are over 92,000 SNAP recipients in Benishek’s district. He also voted against the expansion of Medicaid benefits for the most vulnerable Michigan residents.

Who’s to blame?

Regarding Thomas Scribner’s letter, “Reckless Behavior,” 10-7-13, quite a rant. Mindless, totally partisan, uninformed, but quite a rant nonetheless...

What about taxes?

The report, “Obamacare: What’s In It for You” by Robert Downes was certainly biased and borderline propaganda...

Who’s running the show?

Here is a little “pop quiz” re: definitions and examples. What is the government of the U.S.? The U.S. is a federal constitutional republic. The citizens elect who controls their government...

Misinformed on BC/BS

In the October 7 issue, letter writer Tom North stated categorically that he was informed through their customer service department that “Michigan Blue Cross/Blue Shield will terminate ALL-100% of their current insurance plans by 3-31 14.”

The latest free trade threat

TPP: Trans Pacific Partnership. Have you heard of it? If you care about “Pure Michigan” or “All Things Local” you need to be paying attention. This is a trade agreement that for the last three years has been negotiated behind closed doors. It has been called “NAFTA on steroids” for good reason...


 
Monday, October 14, 2013

Letters 10-14-13

Letters Dr. Dan’s prescription

Last month, after attending Congressman Dr. Dan Benishek’s town hall meeting in Traverse City, I came away thinking “what a waste of time!” Upon entering I was asked to register, write any questions, and leave my email address in case the doctor could not get to my question from the floor...

Complainers take note

I’m writing in response to a couple letters complaining about improvements along the waterfront. I grew up in this town and also moved away to do blahblahblah and then came back...

Value what we have

I have lived in the Grand Traverse Region since 1984, and I have seen continued improvements in the vitality of the region from the restaurants, boutiques, waterfronts, salons -- and, yes, to the festivals in the last almost 30 years...

A musical thank you

A love letter to Traverse City on behalf of my family and me. I want to give a huge thanks to the Traverse City community, and the musicians who helped with the benefit for my family. I wish I could hug you all...

False claim

I spoke with Blue Cross/Blue Shield this morning concerning this statement made by Tom North in the Oct 7, 2013 issue of the Northern Express that “Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, through their customer service department, told me in August that ALL - 100% - of their current insurance plans are being terminated by March 31, 2014.” This is not a true statement!

Misguided state rep

Representative Greg MacMaster, (R) 105th District, voted NO on Common Core for Michigan. These standards define expectations for what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade...

 
Monday, October 7, 2013

Letters 10-07-13

Letters

Picture this:

This is a political cartoon in words. In the background is a band: Karl Rove on drums, Grover Norquist on keyboard, the Koch brothers (not to be confused with the Allman Brothers) on guitars... 

Healthcare for fat cats

Our Michigan State Senators have feathered their own nests, garnering lifetime, full-family insurance coverage. The requirement is an astonishing minimal six years of service...

Tuttle & Obamacare

Stephen Tuttle’s editorial about “Obamacare” (“No Points Scored,” Sept. 30) may be a decent attempt at a balanced analysis. However, the article contained a couple critical and glaring factual errors about that law...

Reckless behavior

Where’s the justice when a small band of zealots can wreck the economy and damage the paychecks of millions simply because they don’t wish to obey the law of the land -- a law that’s been upheld by the Supreme Court?

MPA contest honors:

Northern Express Weekly took first place for Graphic Design in this year’s Michigan Press Association contest for class B weekly newspapers, with honors going to Colleen Zanotti and Kyra Poehlman. Investigative reporter Patrick Sullivan took first place in News Enterprise Reporting for his story, “Upland Forest or Forested Wetlands?” Stephen Tuttle took third place for “Best Local Columnist.”

 
Monday, September 30, 2013

Letters 9-30-13

Letters Too many festivals

Rick Coates hit the nail on the head with his recent article on the increasing number of festivals and events up north, particularly the Traverse City area. Personally, I am “festivaled out” and no longer attend any of them, no matter what the theme...

Living Badly in Eden

Born and raised in Michigan, I moved away 33 years ago to pursue an education and career. Now, at age 60, after living in Boston, Dallas, Calgary, and earning a PhD in Brisbane, Australia, I chose to come back to Michigan because of its breathtaking beauty, its localized economy, and its commitment to community and culture. Indeed, sitting at the epicenter of the world’s fresh water supply, Michigan is second to none...

Just a stoners’ convention?

The logo for the medical marijuana convention does NOT instill faith that this is a viable form of medicine for the suffering. The conference also starts at 4:20 - another reference to going against societal norm...

Circadian Rhythms Influence Organs

The biological clock that regulates day and night cycles is called the circadian rhythm. Besides color, the healing of congestion is rhythm. It is a tremendous healing factor...

No yard signs for mayor

As mayor, documentation of my city service is public information that is recorded on public TV and commented on by the media on a regular basis. As such, my campaign for re-election will have no expenditures and will not include the display of yard signs...

Improvements not for us

It seems some of the Traverse City locals are confused about a few things. The improvements to the Open Space, the waste-of-money Splash Pad, and the new Marina, were not made for us that live here year round. We are already here, and most were here for years before...


 
Monday, September 23, 2013

Letters 9-23-13

Letters Overpopulation blues

Thanks so much for your column on over-population (re: “Not enough workers or too many?”). Nobody talks much about this issue but I recall when Helen Caldicott was a speaker at NMC in the ’80s. She said, “If we don’t solve this problem, we won’t have to solve any of the others.” Yet, here we are, billions of people later...

Moderates: the enemy

The recent editorial by Stephen Tuttle regarding possible Republican presidential candidates is quite typical of the far left. The praising of candidates like Bush or Christie, both moderates while simultaneously trashing other more conservative people will end should one of these moderates get the nomination...

Race & I.D.

Regarding Stephen Tuttle’s piece on race: So much to say, so little space. Let’s settle for his uninformed comments on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act...

Free Fracking Film

Michigan residents may or may not know about the petition-drive for a 2014 ballot initiative to ban/block shale gas and oil fracking in Michigan. The deadline for 250,000 signatures is October 1. Time is running out and we need your help...

Stop Toxic Lawns

There are a large growing number of concerned citizens in Traverse City who want lawn chemicals and pesticides out of this city. What does one have to do to drill it in peoples heads that these chemicals are extremely toxic.? Toxic, toxic, toxic! Chemicals and nature don’t mix...


 
Monday, September 16, 2013

Letters 09-16-13

Letters Protect the Manistee

In Manistee, a newly formed group of concerned citizens called the Manistee Water Guardians is working to advance the dialogue about horizontal hydraulic fracturing, known commonly as “fracking.”

Fracking’s blight

What do we picture when we think of a hydraulic fracturing (un) natural gas well? Not a large, 24/7, noisy, smelly, permanent scar on the natural landscape, I’ll bet. Or an assembly of huge pumps, pipes, storage tanks and collection ponds.

No to war in Syria

I generally do not agree with Stephen Tuttle’s articles but found “We Can’t Fix This” to be right on! We still have not learned that the Middle East will always be a no-win situation. If only our government could remember a little history-- if you don’t know it, you are bound to repeat it. Kudos Tuttle.

The risk of war

As we consider a military attack on Syria, I ask myself: is another war affordable? Spiritually? Financially? What are the risks? How long would it last? Are there alternatives?

Small house idea

Re your article “Not a Small World After All.” The subtext of this article would appear to be that there would be less environmental impact if Centerville Township allowed smaller houses to be built. I don’t think that this is the case, however, because the primary environmental impact of housing is created by where the house is located and to what degree that location then requires the people that live there to drive in order to work/show/recreate.

Great experience

I just had to share this with as wide of an audience as possible so Northern Express seemed like a good starting point! How many times do folks drive by Little Bohemia on Front St. in TC and dismiss it as “just another tavern”? I sure have been guilty of that numerous times!

Move to Amend

Remember going to a party where a loudmouth monopolizes the conversation with your girlfriend? Corporations, trade associations, superpacs, and multinational companies with big money are romancing our politicians and writing legislation through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that definitely does not favor you and me. It is not freedom if only rich people’s voices are heard. Congress will not change unless we speak out.


 
Monday, September 9, 2013

Letters 09-09-13

Letters Booze & fireworks

Northern Express Weekly and reporter Patrick Sullivan have written a scandal sheet story that does not paint a true picture in the fireworks case against James Goodyear (Express, Aug. 26). It seems that they have cherrypicked the official police report leaving out pertinent information and timelines to sensationalize the story...

Cycling & cell phones

As a past cyclist and a current driver, I see the need for both groups to co-exist on the road for everyone’s safety. Some of the issues with motorists stem from a road selection by cyclists, choosing a road that has minimal shoulder room to allow safe passage past cyclists...

Ditch all traffic signs

Tear down ALL TRAFFIC signs inside Traverse City. I mean it. Every single one. Every traffic light, every speed limit sign, every stop sign...

No bombs for Syria

An open letter to our senators, members of Congress, and President Obama. I urge you to do everything you can to reject bombing of Syria...

 
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Letters

Letters Bikes & cars, compared Thanks to Michael Dettmer for contributing the article about the pertinent laws pertaining to cyclists in your Aug. 18 edition.

Bikes & cars, compared  Okay, really? A car and a bike. A car weighs several THOUSAND pounds. Most bikes, under 40. I just read the Aug. 19 issue. In the everpopular “Public Safety” section, there are two articles about accidents involving cars running stop signs. One resulted in death, the other in injuries.

One-ton death machines Driving my F-250 diesel to work a few months ago, I started to pull away from a stop sign and, BAM - a reckless bicyclist ran the stop, sheared off the front end of my truck, and put me in the hospital for a week... SAID NO DRIVER EVER!!!

Doggone whiners... The whiners have won. Everything is regulated because of whiners. I wish people would stop whining, figure out problems on their own, forgive other people, and quit ruining America with all the whining.

 
Monday, August 26, 2013

Letters

Letters Bikes & self preservation

The recent vitriol against bike riders is short-sighted at best and pathetic at worst. Talk of getting the police to ticket cyclists more and of licensing and insuring bicycles are solutions looking for a problem...

Endless crowds

I found Sam Porter’s marketing comments about his new “Spectacular Structures” mobile venue being touted for our area perplexing. On the one hand he comments about how we should celebrate all that is great and good about life in Northern Michigan and laments those events that can “close down our parks and streets.”

Where’s the love?

So many disagreeable comments appeared in your article about Fridrich Furs: Trapping... fur farms...Fridrich seems to be comfortable rationalizing the most despicable and inhumane treatment of animals to further his profession...

Our poisoned roads

Once again Team Services has been caught using toxic waste chemicals from oil and gas drilling as dust control on roads. Team Services reportedly sprayed 300,000 gallons of toxic fluid on 121 miles of roads in Benzie County...

Christians & science

The incessant and unnecessary conflict between science and religion continues, but we can and should learn from history. Beginning in 1534 when Copernicus published “On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies,” until at least 1633 with church decrees against Galileo, a battle raged which bore striking similarities to the evolution versus creationism war of today...

 
Monday, August 19, 2013

Letters 08-19-13

Letters

The leakers & freedom

Stephen Tuttle’s writing exemplifies the confusion surrounding Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. You say that names of Afghan and Chinese nationals have been released? The list please. You write that “they’ve exposed nothing illegal under current law.” If one looks at what Wikileaks published thanks to Mr Manning (http://www.bradleymanning.org/learn-more/ what-did-wikileaks-reveal), then one may be exposed to revelations describing what should be illegal acts.

Exposing the insanity

I have to disagree with Stephen Tuttle about the comparison between Manning, Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg (who released The Pentagon Papers). Ellsberg had the support of the New York Times and a country that was sick of the war in Southeast Asia. The people that supported us were doomed at the end of the war. The same thing will happen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She’s following the rules

Dear Fellow Cyclists/Commuters: I am surprised and dismayed at your anger towards me and I feel you missed the point of my letter in the August 5 issue. I DO NOT feel that I am in any way above the law.

Violations everywhere

I have taken a week since reading the letter to the editor about being ticketed for running a red light in downtown Traverse City. I was so filled with different emotions as I read it that I needed to take some time to sort through it all.

By the book

Far too often cyclists violate traffic laws with little regard for drivers. I’m not saying that all cyclists are bad drivers and that I support this form of transportation. I wish I had the ability to ride a bike to work as Susan Ruoff does.

Reckless riders

I live in TC and the behavior of some cyclists is quite frankly scary. Running red lights, wearing dark clothes without any lights and only minimal reflectors at night, riding three abreast taking up the entire street, riding on the wrong side of the road, weaving from one side of the road to the other, not signaling turns, not stopping at crosswalks when riding on the sidewalk, cutting in front of cars and jumping from riding on the sidewalk to riding on the street are all things I have seen cyclists do in the past two weeks.

Negligent motorists

The recent bevy of hostile letters directed at cyclists (Letters-8/11) has me convinced that there is more going on here than just frustration over how long a cyclist sits at a red light. First of all, if the drivers of motorized vehicles that require licensing and insurance convey this much hostility in a letter, I, as a cyclist, certainly don’t want to share any road with you.


 
Monday, August 12, 2013

Letters 08-12-13

Letters The bully on the beach
His yelling got my attention in the beach parking lot. “Where have you been?! We’ve been waiting an hour!” He was yelling at a teenage girl who had wandered off at the beach. He grabbed her by the hair and shook her, then dealt a forceful, open-handed hit across her head...

Threat from GMOs
There’s a terrific battle taking place between the biotech industry and their supporters and consumers who would like the opportunity to choose whether or not they want geneticallymodified foods (GMOs)...

Bicycle uproar
Wow. As I read Susan V. Ruoff’s letter, all I kept thinking, was wow. I have never seen such ignorant, blatant disrespect for our law officers. YOU broke the law! At a stoplight, you stop, and wait for a green light. You do not proceed after you stop. SAME ROAD SAME RULES. The officer was enforcing our laws...

Wrong state
Correction for Stephen Tuttle: I have lived in North Carolina for 33 years and have not always been proud of our elected officials. However, Mark Sanford was the governor of SOUTH Carolina when he had his affair and said he was on the Appalachian trail...

SodaStream fizzle...
The “Gear Box” column in your August 5-11 issue pushed the product SodaStream. Some of your readers may want to know that this product and the company that produces it are part of a consumer boycott of companies, goods, and services involved in Israeli policies that violate Palestinian human rights and international law...

Un-natural gas
Gas from 15,000 psi fracking wells that use unknown toxic chemicals and millions of gallons of water per well is certainly not natural!

 
Monday, August 5, 2013

Letters 08-05-13

Letters The dictator of Detroit

Detroit may well join the great Mayan cities of Mexico & Guatemala, as cities no longer fulfilling their function. Countless military, commercial and cultural centers have come and gone in our planet’s history...

Cyclists: beware of police

Last week while bicycling to work I was pulled over by a Traverse City police officer in his cruiser on Front Street! I was guilty of “running a red light.”

Unions are everywhere

To those who continue to oppose any labor groups; attempt to organize a union, let us look at the description of the word, “union.” It can be a bloc, club, guild, alliance, marriage, fellowship, and any coalition of groups...

Health costs gone wild

Are we being doctored! Health care costs, Medicare, and Medicaid are out of control. Drug companies bombard us with commercials for medications. They urge us to ask for these pills, as they ask our doctors to prescribe them...

 
Monday, July 29, 2013

Letters

Letters Cast not the first stone...

The Defense of Marriage Act was stuck down. It’s a bitter pill for many Christians who believe that homosexuality is narrowly defined as a sexual act devoid of human emotion...

The coming water wars

Water is a finite resource. All the fresh water there ever was, or will be, is on Earth now, and 20% of it is in the Great Lakes Watershed ...

A must-see film

I would like to thank Gary Howe for sponsoring the important film, “The Human Scale,” on Wednesday, 7/31 at Milliken Auditorium and on Thursday, 8/1 at the Bijou by the Bay. The film is about designing the future around people rather than letting cars cause such a mess... 

A liberal definition

Fascinated by recent attempts to create definitions of “liberal” and “conservative,” I, a proud liberal, feel compelled to offer a fact-based definition...

Supreme arrogance

I’m usually in nearly total agreement with anything Stephen Tuttle writes, but I want to take slight exception to his apparent view of our current Supreme Court in “On Life Support.”

 
Monday, July 22, 2013

Letters

Letters Fear of cycling

With the tragic death of Kelly Boyce Hurlbert in the early hours of July 5th, traffic has changed...

Reckless cyclists

I am probably opening a can of worms, but recent events and observations have prompted my first letter to the editor...

A bright idea

I enjoyed your article on cameras at intersections to cut down on people running red lights (re: Random Thoughts, July 15). I too, agree that this could cause some motorists to hit the brakes and cause some rear-end accidents...

Cyclists: obey the rules

Robert Downes made a point of the fact that he is a “bicycle commuter” in his column endorsing red light cameras for Traverse City...

Where's Hoffa? Cadillac

Once again, a false tip has resulted in not finding Jimmy Hoffa (in a field outside Detroit). One need only to look at the Northern Express articles of December 2009 and January 2010 by Anne Stanton, to determine where Jimmy can be located...

More about Northport

I have to tell you I'm disappointed that your article on Northport failed to mention the fact that the Owens (Motovino owners) “building down the street” houses LeLu Restaurant & Bar in addition to the coffee shop. And Northport Brewing has been working tirelessly to ready their location to open yet this summer...

Boardman River blues

This is in response to the article posted on July 15 in the Northern Express Weekly, "The Boardman Reborn" (about paddling down the river)...


 
Monday, July 15, 2013

Letters 07-15-2013

Letters Monster track? Do it!

In response to the recent “Monster Motocross Track” article: The vision of Mark Hall and the concept of introducing a national motocross track into Northern Michigan is an outstanding idea. Honestly it’s a no-brainer, do it!

Planner off the mark

Your June 24 cover story about the proposed Indian River motocross track attributed to Cheboygan County’s community development director Steve Schnell is a mystifying description of the role of planning commissions in our society...

New art in Northport

Thanks for your article about the revitalization of Northport. At the end you mentioned art galleries will open. A number of new galleries have already opened this year. These include: Peninsula North Gallery owned by Carnie and Julian Bunker, carrying local art and jewelry; Charlottes Art, owned by Charlotte Seager, carrying visual and healing arts; and Red Mullein, owned by myself, which carries visual and fiber art, including work by reknowned local artist Judy Rantz, artisan jewelry, and silk jackets from Japan. We carry the only significant collection of Japanese silk in the Midwest...

Supreme upheaval

In his recent column, Stephen Tuttle stated that the U.S. Supreme Court in the past week “issued two decisions that could unravel generations of accepted law and practice.” He is correct, and if anything, too generous...

Correction

Porter Creek Fish House is located in Boyne City and not in Charlevoix as stated in a recent article.


 
 
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