Letters

Letters 07-27-2015

Next For Brownfields In regard to your recent piece on brownfield redevelopment in TC, the Randolph Street project appears to be proceeding without receiving its requested $600k in brownfield funding from the county. In response to this, the mayor is quoted as saying that the developer bought the property prior to performing an environmental assessment and had little choice but to now build it...

Defending Our Freedom This is in response to Sally MacFarlane Neal’s recent letter, “War Machines for Family Entertainment.” Wake Up! Make no mistake about it, we are at war! Even though the idiot we have for a president won’t accept the fact because he believes we can negotiate with Iran, etc., ISIS and their like make it very clear they intend to destroy the free world as we know it. If you take notice of the way are constantly destroying their own people, is that living...

What Is Far Left? Columnist Steve Tuttle, who so many lambaste as a liberal, considers Sen. Sanders a far out liberal “nearly invisible from the middle.” Has the middle really shifted that far right? Sanders has opposed endless war and the Patriot Act. Does Mr. Tuttle believe most of our citizens praise our wars and the positive results we have achieved from them? Is supporting endless war or giving up our civil liberties middle of the road...

Parking Corrected Stephen Tuttle commented on parking in the July 13 Northern Express. As Director of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, I feel compelled to address a couple key issues. But first, I acknowledge that  there is some consternation about parking downtown. As more people come downtown served by less parking, the pressure on what parking we have increases. Downtown serves a county with a population of 90,000 and plays host to over three million visitors annually...

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Saving American Jobs

Other Opinions R. Thomas Buffenbarger Saving American Jobs
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 3/23/09

In January alone, 598,000 jobs were lost. More than 200,000 of those jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector. The employment rate now stands at a staggering 7.6 percent. The global credit crunch has, finally and decisively, thrown the gears of growth into reverse.
This global recession is like a runaway tractor-trailer. Downshifting works, once in a while. But if the incline is too steep or the load too heavy, downshifting destroys the gearbox. Momentum does the rest. When the rig comes to rest--and it will, eventually--the wreckage is found everywhere.
The just-passed stimulus bill will repair some of the damage done to America’s economy. But a second stimulus package is needed. And revitalizing America’s manufacturing sector must be its highest priority.
America’s trading partners will not buy a trillion dollars in U.S. Treasury notes to finance our recovery while their own economies sink deeper into recession. They’ve already been burned badly once. Yankee traders sold them the toxic debt--the subprime mortgages, credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations--that triggered this global recession. Selling them more commercial paper stamped “Made in America” is not a viable option. Our only recourse is to make things other nations will buy. So to stimulate our own economic revival, we must renovate our plants, install new machinery and hone the skills of our workforce.
America needs a 21st Century version of Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. Roosevelt put millions of Americans back to work on an emergency basis in 1935. He did so by creating jobs that would produce “permanent improvements in living conditions or that creates future new wealth for the nation.”
 
Monday, March 9, 2009

Bandits in our banks

Other Opinions Jackie Freeman You get what you pay for. American Bankers Association affiliates are the biggest contributors to congressional members. You’d have to be extremely naïve to believe that bills are not influenced by where the money is coming from.
Our own Senator Carl Levin introduced a bill “Stop Unfair Practices in Credit Cards Act” to help curb unscrupulous credit card practices. Its purpose was to ban egregious practices by credit card companies that exploit consumers and keep them mired in lifelong debt.
But Congress gave in, and offered them a year-and-a-half to mend their evil ways. During this time they will ramp up their victimization of Americans. During this delay, credit card companies will run their businesses like bandits, raising rates now in anticipation of future limits to their authority. Millions more families will become financially desperate as a consequence
Why do huge financial giants like GE Money bank, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, American Express, Discover and their colleagues need a year-and-a-half grace period before cleaning up their business practices? It has been stated that 18 months is necessary to “upgrade the banks’ computers.”
 
Monday, March 2, 2009

The Value of Vaccinations

Other Opinions Rebecca Peterson As a mother of four young children, I am alarmed by the current pertussis alert, which is due to low vaccination rates in our area.
Vaccination programs suffer when people romanticize nature. A few “natural but deadly” threats include: lead poisoning, polio and violent weather. Yet we protect against these. In the auto state we drive a lot. Not exactly natural. So I don’t buy the “natural” argument. Making it to age 60 is not natural. It is only thanks to nutrition, clean water, vaccines, and skilled surgeons that Americans live so long. Life expectancy in Kenya? Fifty-three. Botswana? Thirty-three.
 
Monday, February 23, 2009

The future of real estate in Northern Michigan

Other Opinions Jack Lane I know we’ve all been shaken dramatically by the double whammy of the stock market dive and the real estate market dive. Worse yet, none of this was our fault – we were just playing the Great American Dream the way we were taught. Yet, tens of thousands of dollars have disappeared from our vision of what we thought we were worth.
I have good news for you. This is not the end of times. Most of us will be worth that much, again – and more. There have been nine other pronounced real estate declines in the history of this great country – and, every time, real estate has bounced back in dramatic fashion. This one will have the same result.
If you’re a seller, you hate this market. If you’re a buyer, this is the market you dream of. Keep in mind that most sellers will turn around and become buyers – so, even their dilemma is not as painful as the headlines suggest. Does it suck to be in this position? Absolutely! But whining doesn’t accomplish much. Besides, there is a silver lining to this “crisis,” so let’s have a look at the situation and decide how to proceed:
 
Monday, January 26, 2009

Some reasons to be thankfull

Other Opinions Michael Estes Daily we bear witness to the chorus of “bad economic news” with forecasts of more to come. The facts we continually overlook are that the majority of Americans maintain higher standards of living, occupy larger homes, purchase more cars, acquire more education and are privileged to healthier lives and other opportunities than any other generation. That doesn’t negate the fact that the current economic downturn has and/or will further challenge many in our community.
 
Monday, December 15, 2008

The Joy of helping others

Other Opinions Beth Havens Ah Christmas.
Always the one day each year that each child anticipates and looks forward to with wonder and hope.
Well, not every child. At this time of year I can’t help but think of the many children in our area who may receive very little -- if anything -- when they wake on Christmas morning. Dinner for these children and their parents will not be the feast most Americans are use to celebrating with family. How do I know? I use to be that child.
 
Monday, November 24, 2008

Breaking the cycle of racism

Other Opinions Nancy Vogl Recently, I made an unlikely friend in Traverse City: Rod Nyland, former employee of Hampel’s Guns.
For anyone who knows me, and the message I’m dedicated to sharing, Rod is just about the last person in this town I might be friendly with. Rod is credited with hanging the American flag inverted in front of Hampel’s the day after Barack Obama was elected, and for making a
racial slur against our next president.
I can’t remember how old I was when I instinctively knew it was wrong to make racial jokes or derogatory remarks about people with skin color darker than mine, but I couldn’t have been more than six or seven. My father, my father’s father and both brothers were adept at slinging Ku Klux Klan wisecracks and angry taunts laced with the “N” word, while my mother, relegated to the “barefoot in the kitchen” rule, remained silent.
I, however, despised my family’s behavior and made a vow to myself: “Someday, when I’m all grown up, I’m breaking the cycle of racism with my own children.” Obviously, I wouldn’t have chosen those exact words as a little girl, but I did keep my promise.
 
Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama & the right to bear arms

Other Opinions Steve Morse On the day following the historic election of Barack Obama, it was clear, as reported by the Record-Eagle, that “not everyone is excited about the nation’s first black president” and, in fact, “some are downright hostile.”
The reference was to Rod Nyland, the managing employee of Hampel’s Key and Gun Shop in Traverse City. Nyland authorized the flying of an American flag upside down. As he explained, the purpose of doing this was to utilize “an international signal” to convey that “we feel our country is in distress because the n___ got in.” An hour later, Nyland apologized: “I regret my choice of words. That was a poor choice and I apologize. It’s probably not appropriate.”
At this point, Jack Fellows, a salesman for Hampel’s, said he, not Nyland, was a spokesman for the gun shop. Fellows stood by the decision to display the upside-down flag as “a distress signal warning for the country” as “basically a display of alarm.” “The winning presidential candidate,” said Fellows, “was not our choice and has the worst anti-gun record in Congress, let alone the Senate. He’s not fit to be president of the country.”
While the NRA has opposed Obama, it is not true that he has the “worst anti-gun record in Congress.” For one thing, Obama supported the landmark decision upholding Second Amendment rights handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, 2008.
 
Monday, October 20, 2008

Withdrawals of a political junkie

Other Opinions Rick Coates Based on my writings, most readers of the Express probably figure my life is all about food, booze and rock and roll. Actually, I have been a political junkie for most of my life. But, I now find myself on the growing list of Americans who have become disgruntled with the political process in our country. This current presidential election and the so-called four “debates” over the past month have done little to change my opinion that the process of electing qualified candidates to office is improving.
I blame my colleagues in the media for this as much as I put the blame on the politicians and the American public.
First of all, there is probably an assumption from readers that I and all of the staff at the Express are Democrats. While I am unable to speak for the rest of my colleagues, I am an independent. I have voted over the years for both Democrats and Republicans and, in some elections I have voted in the Democratic primary and, other times, the Republican primary.
I have managed or played a major role in 13 political campaigns from the local to the national level (judges, prosecutors, state legislators and a U.S. congressional campaign). Of those campaigns, eight of them were for Republican candidates.
When I enter the voting both on November 4 in Acme Township I will be voting for Republicans, Democrats and possibly some third party candidates. I remain undecided in my choice for several offices, including the office of president.
 
Monday, October 20, 2008

Kids and the truth about Sex Ed

Other Opinions Jessica Schrader As I get older, I see more clearly the need for a transformation.
I am an 18-year-old graduate of Bellaire High School and am currently enrolled at Northwestern Michigan College. I am majoring in either secondary or public health education. I am an identical twin and absolutely love it. I also have an older sister, an awesome little brother, two phenomenal parents, a cat, a dog, and a duck named Cow! I’m pretty much your average small-town girl.
But, enough about me -- on to the reason I’m writing.
My brother is in seventh grade. I always tell him that this was my favorite year of middle school. Of course, I never tell him why. He doesn’t need to have his first kiss yet!
Another memorable moment was when I was introduced to Planned Parenthood’s Peer Education program.
 
Monday, October 13, 2008

Make the Grand Vision your own

Other Opinions Hans Voss & Doug Luciani “With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”
Abraham Lincoln said these simple, yet profound words 150 years ago, but they are just as true today – especially right here, right now in northwest lower Michigan.
Citizens from across the area are participating in an historic public process to determine our shared future. It’s called The Grand Vision and it’s the largest, most far-reaching future planning process the region has ever seen.
After four years of planning and preparation, now is the time for you and your neighbors to get involved. It’s easy. All you need to do is grab a Grand Vision “scorecard” and register your views by October 28. The result of this massive public input process will be wide consensus on a blueprint for land use and transportation for the next 50 years.
 
Monday, October 13, 2008

The candidates & public welfare

Other Opinions John Freeman Everybody is struggling with the high cost of health care. As health insurance premiums rise relentlessly, many individuals and businesses can no longer afford it or provide it.
There are 1.1 million people without health insurance in Michigan and countless others are “under-insured.” Their coverage doesn’t cover that much. It’s difficult for American business to provide health care when so many global competitors do not, because their home countries provides it.
Health Care for America (HCAN) is a new organization that is bringing people together to discuss what can be done to solve the problem. The goal of the campaign is to discuss what kind of reform makes sense and how we can build political support for moving national legislation in 2009. We are holding a community meeting on October 24 at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6726 Center Road, Traverse City, to discuss health care and what can be done to reform it in 2009.
 
Monday, October 6, 2008

In Defense of Sarah Palin

Other Opinions John C. Ahrens When you start up your car in the morning, you can always tell which of the random little knocks and tings are normal, and which are wheels-coming-off serious.
The clatter and screech coming out of the Obama Inevitability Juggernaut has, for months, been your typical, boring, cliche-ridden background noise of a campaign coasting to victory: “McCain is an old coot, he’s actually George Bush in drag,” etc, etc. But since August 29, when this supposed racked-up, dying, has-been cancer patient chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate, the Obama campaign has taken on the tenor of the wheels-coming-off variety.
I offer Exhibit A: In
Robert Downes’ never-so-aptly-titled “Random Thoughts” column in the Northern Express of September 8, we are treated to every sneering bit of condescending, pedantic contempt the left can muster about traditional America:
“If you’ve ever been to Wasilla, Alaska, rest assured, you wouldn’t want anyone from that dirt patch of a town of junk cars and snowmobile wrecks to rise above the post of dog
catcher. For starters, Wasilla has an unemployment rate of 11.2 percent, compared to the national average of 5.8 percent – It’s George Bush’s America.”
Oh, dear.
 
Monday, September 22, 2008

The candidates and the issues

Other Opinions Sara Gay Dammann So much is being written about this election and so much of what is being said is irrelevant. It’s time to close the silly season and turn the focus to issues, not gender, not race, not age. The question is whom do we think can best lead this country out of the morass of war and economic woes?
The issues are many. Here are a few:
TAXES: Obama’s tax plan would lower taxes for 95% of all taxpayers, virtually eliminate income tax for 10 million working Americans and for seniors with incomes lower than $50,000, and Obama proposes to let the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthy expire and be returned to middle and low-income taxpayers in the form of tax credits to pay for health insurance.
McCain proposes further cuts in the corporate tax rate (10%) and to extend Bush’s tax cuts for those at the top of the economy.
Obama’s tax record in the Senate includes the Stop Fraud Bill and the 2007 Patriot Employer Tax Act, which provided tax credits to companies increasing workforce in the United States.
 
Monday, September 1, 2008

Men: Feel the spirit

Other Opinions Steven Holl On the weekend of September 12-14 a group of men will gather to explore and celebrate the sacred journey of
masculinity.
Like their ancestors the world over have done for thousands of years, they will create a ritual space for inner vision and healing. Exactly what will emerge is hard to predict, but for certain it will contain the sweet and powerful nectar of a man’s heart, soul and strength.
 
 
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