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...
Say no to the racetrack
As the “baby” cousin of the fabulous, extended Willman family, I am expressing our collective, resounding NO to the prospect of a racetrack facility on Griswold Mountain in Indian River...Destructive plan
80 years ago my grandfather built a cottage near Indian River that he
named North Haven. He, my grandmother, and their five daughters spent
every summer with the woods and waters. Those daughters in turn
faithfully brought their nine children back to the cottage for long
I read with amusement the Detroit Free Press article on “The Elf On The Shelf” named Michael who watched children’s every move before heading to the North Pole each evening to report directly to Santa on each child’s misadventures...Special interest scandal
like to thank Michigan law enforcement for putting the brakes on the
Republicans' attempt to make AT&T more profitable at the expense of
constituents by discontinuing land line service...
A taxing subject
In Michigan we have huge income from various sin taxes. We have a tax on alcohol, on nicotine addiction (tobacco), and income from gambling on the lottery and video poker machines. When marijuana is legalized here, as it is in the state of Washington, we will have a tax on that. What we don’t have is a tax on sex...
It’s true that Obamacare led my daughter’s insurance company to decide to drop her plan. But guess what? Thanks to Obamacare, she will be getting better coverage from the same company at lower cost...GOP’s desperate attacks
irony in the monumental fight over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is
that most Democrats prefer a single-payer system (Medicare-For-All),
demonstrably the most efficient and economical method of healthcare
Guns & screwdrivers
Recently, I bought a gun at a sporting good store that required a background check that took about 3 minutes. The next day I stood in line at Sears about 5 minutes to buy a screwdriver set that was on sale...
Nelson Mandela is being acclaimed worldwide for his role in managing the peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa. Without Mandela, South Africa would have otherwise become a bloodbath...
As one of his first official acts, Governor Snyder picked the pockets of Michigan retirees by taxing their pensions and retirement savings. He then lined the pockets of his corporate backers by reducing business taxes...
Food stamp cuts
Yes, that would be the real “Hunger Games” (I’ll credit the movie for my title to avoid a Rand Paul plagiarism charge)...Racetrack woes
The Indian River Racetrack issue has unfortunately very much divided our community, literally pitting neighbor against neighbor...
As a frequent shopper at the Women’s Resource Center, Goodwill, etc., I am often irritated at the deliberate bad choices in donations. If an item you wan to donate doesn’t work perfectly, ask your junk collector to take it. Scratched Teflon pans are a health hazard, discard, don’t donate. Small appliances, check them out at home first...Allegations of abuse
I feel compelled to write because days after reading the article, “House of Abuse” (11//25), it is still weighing heavy on my mind..
Turn on your headlights
Okay, I honestly just don’t get it. What is it about the growing number of drivers here in the Grand Traverse area that feel there is no need to turn on their headlights in extreme low visibility conditions?!
Pass the pee...
Republican Rep. from Florida, and a Tea-Party favorite, Trey Radel, voted in favor of a broad Florida food stamps bill that includes a provision that requires food stamp recipients to pee in a cup to prove that they are drug-free, and thereby eligible to receive their food stamps...Exercise caution
The use of marijuana as medicine has a long history, but here in Michigan a person needs to obtain a certification from a licensed M.D. or D.O. in order to have protection from jail or prison...Empires tend to fall
Does America need the American empire? And can America afford an empire? In sharp contrast, five world empires have fallen since 1945, but at least they have left lessons for the American empire...Tales for shelter dogs
I’ve attached a picture of myself reading the Northern Express to a shelter dog at the Cherryland Humane Society. Why? Firstly, because I’m a volunteer dog walker there and this is what we do with frightened and abandoned dogs...Correction
A model in a recent Northern Seen page was incorrectly identified. That was Valerie Hays-Schaub at upper left on Nov. 18, with hair and makeup by Signature Salon.
There has been a lot of discussion about the festival issue in Traverse City recently. Festivals do draw people to the area and we don’t want to discourage that...
Other festival options
All of the articles and discussion on the festival issue seem to assume that all TC festivals must be at the Open Space. We can have BOTH festivals AND an open and attractive waterfront if the festivals are located someplace else in TC, such as the Civic Center, F&M Park, GT Commons, or on private property, such as the lot at Pine and Front, etc...Fatbikes bad for Vasa trail
TART Trails is a great organization that does many wonderful things for the region. Pushing fatbikes onto the Vasa Pathway ski trails is not one of them...
Perhaps the NRA’s president thinking that the best way to deal with an active shooter is to have a good man with a gun...
I read your “The Season of Giving” article in the Northern Express and appreciate what you conveyed in the article. I do have one comment about a term you used in the list of local agencies...Correction
A model in last week’s Northern Seen page was incorrectly identified. That was Kayla Jackson pictured at upper right with the towering hair-do. Cindy Toranzo was the stylist.
Today Traverse City Police sent two officers in separate cars to search downtown for me. An officer approached me while I was sitting on a chair in the hallway of a store with a sleeping baby in my lap, and said, “You’re the one I’m looking for...
He’s not so old...
just finished reading your article about my father; 61 years old is not
OLD! Many people have told me that they were offended at the
description of my father’s attempted burglary...
A black eye for millage
I have called Traverse City home now for 14 years. I have witnessed many wonderful, progressive and positive things over the course of time. My family has a deep passion for our community...Hoarders take note
A front page article in the October 11 edition of the Record Eagle read, “Hoarder found dead after home fire.” The fire took place in the Cherryland Mobile Home Park in the early morning of October 10. It took the life of the mobile home’s sole resident, John Norberg...Straitjacket education
A well-researched article in the Christian Science Monitor reviews the International Student Assessment (PISA) scores of U. S. students as 30th in math literacy, 20th in science and 14th in reading...Quack diagnosis?
I see that Dr. Benishek has described global warming as “some sort of scam.”Helping the homeless
Homeless Awareness Week is Nov. 17-23, so I decided to take a few moments to share optimistic news about homelessness for Grand Traverse, despite the HUD data that indicated roughly 350 people are homeless in the five-county area...
Kindness matters Three young men’s lives have now been lost in the very same location at Twin Lakes Park. Last week, TC West Senior High students and staff held a memorial service for my son Owen, the most recent of those drowned...
Jobs are out there Where
is the bus to pick up all the people on unemployment to pick apples and
Happy with Obamacare Hallelujah for Obamacare! While I didn’t get what I preferred: single-payer/Medicare for all... Republicans also didn’t get what they wanted. Instead we got this Heritage Foundation/GOP-approved/RomneyCare plan. Oops Obamacare is what the GOP once wanted...
Obamacare: what matters The
debate over Obamacare continues to be blurred by fringe issues instead
of focusing on what is at the heart of the matter. People should ignore
objections due to the incompetent roll-out, perceptions that the law is
socialist, or nothing more than that the program was proposed by a black
man in the White House...
About dam time Isn’t it time for the entire team that was involved in the Brown Bridge Dam fiasco to stand up and take responsibility for what was a colossal mistake from the git-go...
Correction Last week’s article on friends visiting Italy incorrectly stated that Rebecca and Pete Peterson are married. Rebecca’s husband is Chef Michael Peterson.
At a recent Forum on Gun Violence there was not a lot of talk about violent video games and movies, but panelists mentioned them as a factor. In my opinion as a retired pediatrician and adolescent and family psychiatrist, one result of the obsession with violent video games by young people is the loss of ability to talk and resolve problems...
Senate sends a message
The Michigan Senate passed a package of bills Oct. 22 that will restrict where people receiving public benefits can withdraw cash from ATMs using their Bridge cards...They’ll be missed...
years ago this summer, Bronwyn Jones started purchasing food from our
Leelanau County Sweeter Song Farm and giving that fresh, healthful food
to the Women’s Resource Center. Bronwyn’s idea evolved into the mission
for the Fresh Food Partnership: buy locally grown fresh food at a fair
market price for our neighbors in need...
Republican tax machine
Where are the campaign signs? Here it is, getting down to another millage election, and who knows anything about the three tax increases on the ballot?
By my count, the picture scorecard of your Annual Tribute to Pets issue was as follows...
Frackdown in Kalkaska
On Saturday, October 19, 25 people gathered in Kalkaska to protest the misuse of Michigan water by fracking companies there. The effort was part of Global Frackdown 2, a world event initiated by Food and Water Watch and 350.org. Protests on Saturday were held in 30 countries and dozens of American cities...Death in the forest
I agree with most of Steve Tuttle’s premises in “What a Friend Would Do,” but have serious issues with numbers posited for pre-Columbian populations...New voice needed in D.C.
Retired general and former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon released the following statement on Dan Benishek’s 11th hour government shutdown vote...
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.
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...
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...
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.”
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
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?
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
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
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
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...
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...
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...
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...