Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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Other Opinions

 
Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mental Health is everyone‘s business

Other Opinions Leslie Sladek A long list of politicians and rulers throughout time have had mental health diagnoses.
At some point, most of us will suffer from stress, anxiety and/or depression. These often come with changes in one’s life; i.e., moving, childbirth, a new job; or from financial troubles, the loss of a job, friend or family member. This may be how mental illness starts out, but with proper treatment and/or medication, life returns to happy contentment again for most.
For others the symptoms are worse and mental health can be a life-debilitating event. The severity of the illness can affect not only the people themselves but their family, their ability to work or go to school, their finances, and the ability to function as they once had.
 
Thursday, June 7, 2007

Equal Justice for all?

Other Opinions Rich Robinson Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver has criticized the state’s top court because there are no explicit standards that say when a justice should disqualify himself or herself from ruling in a case.
Her reward for raising this serious question has been a series of vicious personal attacks against her that distract attention from the serious problem she has raised. Don’t be distracted. There’s a real problem.
A new report from the Justice at Stake Campaign says that state judicial elections are nastier, noisier and more expensive than ever before. Candidates for state supreme courts across the country are building ever-larger campaign accounts. And special interests spend millions of dollars that are never disclosed in any campaign finance report.
This is not a new story. It’s routine for Michigan Supreme Court candidates and their supporters to spend more than $1 million per seat in marketing the candidates. In 2000, the tab was $16 million for three seats, and more than half that spending was totally off the books.
 
Thursday, May 24, 2007

On the farm: a season for healing

Other Opinions Samantha Tengelitsch As a child, my family lived across from a cherry orchard that stretched out before our house in all directions. It swallowed the land and touched the horizon. I found endless fascination in watching tractors and workers weaving in and out of rows, moving around the evenly spaced trees dotted with blossoms in the spring and
vibrant red cherries in the heat of summer.
 
Thursday, May 3, 2007

I ain‘t a pretty boy no more

Other Opinions Roger Ebert My Ninth Annual Overlooked Film Festival opens Wednesday night at the University of Illinois at Urbana, and Chaz and I will be in attendance.
This year I won’t be speaking, however, as I await another surgery.
 
Thursday, April 19, 2007

Michigan Arts on the Ropes

Other Opinions Andrew C. Buelow Today’s creative industries need a creative workforce, and will go where it is to be found. These much-desired “knowledge workers,” in turn, tend to congregate in communities of diversity and culture.
This is the basis of the “Cool Cities” Initiative, launched by Governor Granholm in 2003. It’s a vision for fostering the use of arts and culture to transform Michigan’s cities into centers of creativity and vitality – thereby attracting the new industries that will revitalize the state’s economy.
 
Thursday, April 5, 2007

Tourism & Northern Michigan

Other Opinions Rick Coates This week, Northern Michigan feels like a ghost town as thousands from the region have headed out of state for Spring Break. Over the course of the coming weeks as school districts around Michigan take a break, hundreds of millions of dollars will leave the state, benefiting the economies of Florida, Texas, Mexico and several tropical islands.
Last week, more than 300 tourism leaders from Michigan gathered to talk about the state‘s challenged tourism economy. Depending on who does the counting, tourism is either the second or third largest industry in Michigan, so any way you look at it, tourism is important. Certainly, tourism is the backbone on the economy in Northern Michigan.
 
Thursday, March 29, 2007

Attracting the film industry brings dividends to Northern Michigan

Other Opinions Senator Jason Allen Lights, camera, action.
Thanks to the efforts of many policymakers, Michigan is becoming a more attractive place for filmmakers to consider when searching for a location to shoot motion pictures and commercials.
The competition with other states is fierce, and Michigan has taken an important step to remain a player. Considering the serious challenges facing our uncertain economy, we couldn’t afford to neglect any job providers.
In the past 15 years, the film industry has brought up to $20 million into the state in a year, but that figure dropped to around $2 million in 2006, the lowest in more than a decade.
Michigan was losing ground and something needed to be done. That’s why I strongly supported the Michigan Film Incentive. The new law gives money back to any film production company – from Michigan or elsewhere – that spends between $200,000 and $10 million in Michigan. Some companies will receive up to a 20 percent refund.
 
Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Battle in Acme

Other Opinions Jim Lively Acme Township’s brave battle to build a village instead of a pair of huge shopping centers is raging again. No matter where you live in Northern Michigan, you should care about this.
Acme’s struggle is more than another fight between aggressive developers and growth-fearing townies. Unlike many communities that have allowed themselves to be gradually paved over during the past half-century, Acme residents took the time a few years ago to decide, together, what they wanted their
community to look and feel like—and wrote it into their master plan.
 
Thursday, February 15, 2007

Death of a heroine...Hanley Denning

Other Opinions Jacob Wheeler Hanley Denning, the founder of Safe Passage and a guiding light of hope for families in the Guatemala City garbage dump, was taken from us in a tragic car accident on Thursday, January 18. She was returning from the capital city to Antigua after attending meetings to establish a day care center so that children in Safe Passage could leave their younger siblings in good hands while continuing their studies — an impossible luxury for most Guatemalan kids, yet one realized by more than 550 children who are now part of Safe Passage.
To those children and their families, Hanley was akin to Mother Theresa. In fact, she is often referred to in the Guatemalan media as the “angel of the garbage dump.”
As the news of her passing spread through Guatemala City’s poorest slums, mourners gathered throughout the night at the hospital, and crowds packed the streets at a memorial service, especially grieving mothers with young children.
 
Thursday, February 1, 2007

From worst to first... the best business tax is none

Other Opinions Kenneth M. Braun Michigan’s Single Business Tax (SBT) is America’s worst state corporate tax, according to the Tax Foundation. Fortunately, this job killer will expire on Dec. 31, 2007. Many politicians believe that we must craft a replacement tax because they claim the government cannot do without the $1.9 billion in SBT revenue.
But if the SBT dies and politicians fail to approve a new tax, we will join three other states that the Tax Foundation says do not have any general corporate tax. Judging from what has been happening to those and other states at the top of the Tax Foundation’s corporate tax ranking, our politicians should consider “failure” an option.
 
Thursday, January 25, 2007

Peace happens when people listen

Other Opinions Emmy Lou Cholak The goal of compassionate listening is to listen, give positive feedback, and allow someone to feel heard. If you feel heard, then you are more likely and willing to hear from another. Through this process, we learn respect for each other’s story and can help each other mend and heal. That leaves space for gradual acceptance of differences and the possibility of change.
In November, I went to Israel and Palestine with the “Compassionate Listening Project” (www.compassionatelistening.org). Through this project, we spoke to many people about their feelings about the Israel/ Palestine conflict.
There were 22 of us in the group plus two co-leaders: Leah Green, an American Jew, and Maha El-Taji, a Muslim Palestinian. We met Israelis and Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian political leaders. We met Palestinian Muslims, Christians, Hamas leaders, refugee camp leaders, and people on the street everywhere. Through them we heard of the many sorrows and pain of the rift in the Middle East and how it has hurt everyone.
Here are a couple of stories:
 
Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Big Pig Out

Other Opinions Gayle Miller When wealthy developers purchased land just north of a lovely Michigan town, citizens were curious. Will it be a new
subdivision? An industrial park? After many inquiries, the residents learn the worst: the new “development” in Gratiot County will be a hog factory, home to 2,000 stinking pigs.
Smashed together like sausages, the hogs will eat, poop and give birth within huge buildings sitting atop enormous pits of manure. Exhaust fans will run 24-7 to vent toxic fumes that would otherwise kill the pigs. When the manure pits are full, the untreated sewage will be dumped on nearby fields.
 
Thursday, December 21, 2006

Alarm Bells Ring for Child & Family Services

Other Opinions Jim Scherrer Child and Family Services is at a critical crossroads.
Throughout our 70-year history in northwestern Michigan, our primary work has been to protect and support abused and neglected children. We do this by providing parent education and other in-home services to their families, training and licensing foster families to provide temporary homes for them when it is vital to their safety to live away from their families, and through counseling and other services based on children’s individual needs. We provide these services through a contract with the State of Michigan.
 
Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gunfire on the Great Lakes

Other Opinions Rep. Bart Stupak Earlier this month, at my prompting, the Coast Guard held a public meeting in Charlevoix to discuss its proposal to
establish 34 live gunfire training zones on our Great Lakes. The Charlevoix meeting brought to my attention a number of
reservations held by my constituents. While I recognize the importance of ensuring adequate training for Coast Guard personnel, these concerns should be addressed before this new proposal is adopted.
The Coast Guard’s initial plan to notify the public
via marine band radio and the federal register, demonstrates a bureaucratic mindset that is out of touch with the boating public. For many boaters, marine band radio is not their primary source of nautical information
and few people read the federal register.
 
Thursday, November 16, 2006

Follow Charlevoix‘s lead on global warming

Other Opinions Mike Powers Here in Michigan, those of us who love our seasons, our lakes, our way of life can no longer afford to stand by while our leaders fail to represent our best interests or take action on the most pressing environmental issue of our time: global warming. We are encouraged then by the actions of the Charlevoix City Council. Recently, the Council sent a letter to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) recommending that he make global warming solutions a priority while in office.
 
 
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