Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...
North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...
Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...
Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...
can’t figure out what perplexes me more, the misinformation everywhere
in the media or those who believe it to be true. Take the Hobby Lobby
case; as a company that is primarily owned by a religious family, they
felt their First Amendment rights were infringed upon by the
“Affordable” Care Act...
Stop Labeling and Enjoy
have been struggling to find a simple way of understanding for myself
the concepts of conservative, liberal, and moderation as it relates to
our social interactions with each other...
Proposal One & The Public Good
Are you kidding me? Another corporate giveaway with loopholes for large corporations who rule us? Hasn’t our corrupt and worthless governor done enough to raise taxes, provide corporate welfare, unjustly tax pensions, and shut down elected officials with his emergency manager racket...The Truth About Road Workers
Apparently Mr. Kachadurian did not catch on to the fact that the MDOT Employee Memorial in Clare is a tribute to highway workers who lost their lives building our transportation systems. It was paid for by current and former MDOT employees who likely knew some of these people personally...Idiotic and Misguided
As a seasonal resident, I always look forward to reading your paper, if only because of the idiotic letters to the editor and off the wall columns...
observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were
subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are
conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social
diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning
women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors,
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...
Things That Matter
All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...
So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...
we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly
”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the
pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax
businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share
of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state
purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and
Fix VA Tragedy
The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...
I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...
Immigration, Birth Control & Population
The recent and enormous increase in young illegal immigrants (mostly from Central America) crossing our southern border highlights the need for an immigration bill that could provide a bipartisan solution to this current and significant threat to our country...Guns in Schools Are Bullying
State law defines bullying in the school as activity that “adversely affects the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school district’s or public school’s educational programs or activities by placing the pupil in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing emotional distress.”...Global Warming Debate Over
Global warming will become the mother of all environmental issues because it strikes at the very root of economic activity: the use of energy. So perhaps not surprisingly, the same people who questioned acid rain, doubted the ozone hole, and defended tobacco now attack the scientific evidence of global warming...Learn More About Fluoride Dangers
The issue about fluoride in our municipal water is not going away - for good reason. Concerned people who have studied the complete story about fluoride are taking action to inform the public about its extreme toxicity and health dangers...Open Carry An Uproar To Come
While perhaps unnecessary, I’m writing in response to Anne Stanton’s “Open Carry” article of 1 July. Given the increasingly common discussion of this issue in our region, I found it helpful in that it identifies an emerging discussion and has provided a fairly neutral platform from which the discussion can continue...
What are they thinking in Empire? Most of the small towns up north are jumping through hoops to attract visitors. But Empire has decided to charge a dollar an hour for parking access to their main attraction, the Lake Michigan beach...No Debate About Greater Power
I can’t help but chuckle at your featured debates between a pastor and atheist. With over 40,000 different protestant and non-denominational denominations in the world and counting, asking only Pastor Nick Twomey to define theological explanations for Trinitarian believing Christians is like shopping for car insurance on the Internet; I know what I need, so many to choose from before I commit, will coverage meet my needs...Column Correct: No Guns in School
Hardy’s Guest Opinion “Get Guns Out of Schools” is spot on...
I would like to refute the statistic quoted in Richard Denneaus’s letter in the June 2, 2014 Northern Express. He states that “....the cost to produce electricity from renewable sources is at least double our current costs.”...What is that giant sucking sound?
is not the sounds of jobs leaving our country due to the one-way trade
agreements. There is not much left of decent jobs to be sucked away. The
sucking sound I am referring to is caused by the vacuum of leadership
My wife’s elderly cousin had moved into a nice care home to spend his final days. When I went to visit him, there was no television, and I asked him why. “Don’t want one. It stresses me out”. Every time we visited him, his door was open and he was out an about with his walker visiting people instead of watching the tube...My Peace Corps
I have a different perspective from Frederik Stig-Nielsen on serving in the Peace Corps. I volunteered in Niger, West Africa from 1980- 83 and count it among life’s richest experiences...Applauding Tolerance
loved the front cover of the May 14 paper. Of course, I am a little
partial as the man on the right is my son Andy, with his partner Joel.
Your article was eye-opening, chilling, and reassuring...
Emergency Shelter Fulfilling 2006 Plan
the Grand Traverse community has been discussing the issues of
emergency shelter and homelessness these last few months, a document has
surfaced from 2006 that spells out some of the challenges we face...
ad for the strip club in the June 9 issue was pretty terrible.
“Supporting single moms one dollar at a time” is cruel and belittling to
the women who have no other option but to strip for a living to feed
During the Memorial Day Parade in Petoskey, I noticed that Congressman Dan Benishek was walking with local veterans...Letters to Jail
A big thank you to Sheriff Ted Schendel of Benzie County for rescinding the “Postcard Only” policy on May 23. This policy was initiated by the sheriff on April 27th. At the urging of Benzie citizens, Schendel reviewed the policy and then made a compassionate and legal decision...In Defense of Our Climate
So what’s going on in Washington? On May 22, the US House of Representatives passed the McKinley Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (the military budget), which would forbid the Department of Defense to spend any money to implement the recommendations of the National Climate Assessment, the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and two other climate reports when considering the national security impacts of climate change...Littering Never Okay
God made this world. He was here first and is still watching. He
loaned the world to us...
read the recent version of “Crossed” with interest. I can only respond
by quoting Mr. Lennon: “Imagine there’s no heaven It’s easy if you try
No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people Living for
Stop The Fluoridation
The decision of the Boyne City Commissioners to stop adding fluoride to the water supply is very good news for the citizens...The Reality at Griswold Mountain
letters to the editor to local newspapers by some Griswold Mountain
racetrack supporters have contained hostile references to “the
anti-trackers” that cloud the fact that racing on the mountain is a
zoning issue, not an issue of class warfare nor a debate about economic
development in Indian River...
Renewable Energy and Fracking
When Edison figured out how to harness electricity, the world was changed. What a wonderful addition to our lives. And now we have the knowhow to produce our needs from wind and solar which means we no longer need to drill these awful wells to produce natural gas. And no more fracking...
Stop Damage to Waters Lake Bellaire is a northern Michigan treasure, enjoyed by its residents and visitors for fishing, boating, and majestic views. But there is an unwelcome surprise awaiting those who love the Antrim Chain of Lakes, and Lake Bellaire...Learn About NSA’s Powers I read and watch the news with growing concern over the expansive powers of the National Security Administration (NSA). The explosive revelations by Edward Snowden now being reported by Glenn Greenwald and others hopefully are triggering thoughts and renewed debate over the tension between national security and information privacy...
Too Much War Are we addicted to war? A recent speaker on international affairs reported that the current military budget is 20 percent of the total U.S. budget. Those figures are “suspect.” Since 9/11, the US military budget has swollen by 49 percent over its 2000 levels, not including two wars...
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...