Letters

Letters 12-22-2014

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.

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Random Thoughts

 
Monday, June 14, 2010

Beyond Petroleum

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Beyond Petroleum
More than 20,000 suggestions on how to stop the oil spill in the Gulf
of Mexico have been received by British Petroleum since its Deepwater
Horizon oil platform went up in flames this spring.
But some of us are wondering, what comes after that titanic rip in the
ocean is repaired?
 
Monday, June 14, 2010

Beyond Petroleum

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Beyond Petroleum
More than 20,000 suggestions on how to stop the oil spill in the Gulf
of Mexico have been received by British Petroleum since its Deepwater
Horizon oil platform went up in flames this spring.
But some of us are wondering, what comes after that titanic rip in the
ocean is repaired?
 
Monday, June 7, 2010

A view of the Bay

Random Thoughts Robert Downes A View of the Bay
Is a “view of the bay” still worth “half the pay” in Northern Michigan? I
have a story to share about that old saying.
Years ago, I was indirectly involved in landing the 2,000 or so employees
of Munson Medical Center what was perhaps the biggest raise in the
hospital’s history.
 
Monday, May 31, 2010

Bringing the War home

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Bringing the War Home
Perhaps someday, someone will unearth some top secret file at the
C.I.A. which will tell us exactly what we’ve gotten in return for
5,456 deaths and $3 trillion spent on our wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan.
 
Monday, May 24, 2010

Clouded Judgement

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Clouded Judgment
Archie Kiel, who was busted for growing too many plants under the Michigan
Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) last August, has become a cause celebre for
marijuana activists across the state. Yet I wonder if any of the
passionate-about-pot crowd ever stops to think about how much damage they
are doing to their own cause by supporting the violation of the law from
the get-go.
 
Monday, May 17, 2010

A second chance on biomass

Random Thoughts Robert Downes A second chance on biomass
What do rocket scientists do when a bad idea blows up on the launching
pad? They go back to the drawing board.
Last week’s announcement by the FAA that it would not approve plans
for a $30 million biomass power plant next to Cherry Capital Airport
in Traverse City confirmed the suspicions of critics that any number
of things could go wrong with a plan to burn the region’s forests for
electrical power.
 
Monday, May 10, 2010

Hello? Some news you may not want to hear

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Remember those old commercials: “This is your brain on drugs,” where they
showed a blob sizzling in a frying pan? Well it turns out that drugs
aren’t the problem: it’s your cell phone.
 
Monday, May 3, 2010

The Roundabout Revolution

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The Roundabout Revolution
You don’t usually think of ‘going in circles’ as being progress, but
that’s definitely the case when it comes to a plan to introduce
roundabouts to the highways of Northern Michigan.
 
Monday, April 26, 2010

Things learned while looking other stuff up

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Things learned while looking up other stuff...
• It’s a Downer -- Literally: As a follow-up to Anne Stanton’s article,
“Up North Robbery,” in this issue about the high cost of flying to and
from Northern Michigan, consider what a round-trip flight to Chicago would
cost you this weekend from Cherry Capital Airport: According to
expedia.com, the lowest flight is $615 -- and that’s with two stops in
Detroit and Indianapolis! Or, fly direct there and back for $687.
Ouch. Consider that you can currently fly 6,700 miles to New Zealand from
Los Angeles for $758 (and that‘s round-trip). That’s only $71 more than
what it takes to fly 300 miles to the Windy City from Northern Michigan.
But as airport director Steve Cassens notes, the airlines have us over a
barrel, and the fewer people who fly out of the region only means less
service and higher rates...
 
Monday, April 19, 2010

Bart, we feel your pain/No free lunch

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Bart, we feel your pain
There’s a pundit on TV in the early evening hours who specializes in
painting anyone in public office as a knucklehead.
Permanently saddled with a world-weary expression, he answers emails
from cynical viewers with rolling eyes, a “tch-tch,” and an exasperated
“I told ya so” before delivering the inevitable punchline about the
jerks in Washington pulling the strings of the hard-workin’ American
middle class.
 
Monday, April 12, 2010

Only parents can end bullying

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Only parents can end bullying
It has taken years to sink in, but with the suicide of 15-year-old
Phoebe Prince in Massachusetts this January, we parents have finally
got the message that bullying in our schools is a deadly serious
issue.
Most of us know Phoebe’s story by now: she was a pretty girl who moved to the
United States from Ireland last fall and then suffered months of abuse
from her classmates after briefly dating a popular football player at
South Hadley High School.
 
Monday, April 5, 2010

Anti-government militias... then & now

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Perhaps Charles Poole’s biggest “crime” was that he was an employee of
the federal government.
Poole was a 32-year-old employee of the Works Progress Administration,
an agency set up by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide jobs
for millions of unemployed Americans during the Great Depression.
One night in May, 1936, Poole was lured to a location in Dearborn by
members of a violent nightshirt group called the Black
Legion. He had been told that he was needed to round out a sandlot
baseball team as a pretext for his torture and murder.
 
Monday, March 29, 2010

Final reflections on the health care debate

Random Thoughts George Foster The Sweets Never Stop at Gaylord’s Chocolat Haus
Willie Wonka would feel right at home at the Alpine Chocalat Haus; in
fact, a video of the popular kids’ film is playing on a TV in the
sales room at the business in downtown Gaylord.
And upstairs, there’s a full-scale chocolate factory, pumping out
hundreds of Easter bunnies, chocolate-covered potato chips, and oodles
of other candies. It’s this veritable candyland of treats that earned
the business the honor of “Best Place for Chocolate” from Express
readers this year.
 
Monday, March 22, 2010

The Great Unknowns

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Our annual “Best of Northern Michigan” survey produced some
interesting results in the politics department this year. Out of
approximately 75 questions, the one with the fewest responses was: Who
should
Michigan pick for governor in 2010?
 
Monday, March 15, 2010

Cars 100% ‘Made in America‘ hard to find

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Cars 100% ‘Made in America‘ hard to find
My wife and I got quite a shock while window shopping at a local
auto dealership the other day. Ideally, we’d like to buy a car that is
at least assembled in the United States, and one that gets good
mileage at a price in the low 20’s.
 
 
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