Letters

Letters 11-24-2014

Dangerous Votes You voted for Dr. Dan. Thanks!Rep. Benishek failed to cosponsor H.R. 601. It stops subsidies for big oil companies. He failed to cosponsor H.R. 1084. There is an exemption for hydraulic fracturing written into the Safe Drinking Water Act. H.R. 1084. It would require the contents of fracking fluids to be publicly disclosed to protect the public health.

Solar Is The Answer There have been many excellent letters about the need for our region, state and nation to take action on climate change. Now there is a viable solution to this ever-growing problem: Solar energy is the future.

Real Minimum Wage In 1966, a first class stamp cost 5 cents and minimum wage was $1.25. Today, a first class stamp is 49 cents, so federal minimum wage should be $11.25.

Doesn’t Seem Warmer I enjoy the “environmentalists” twisting themselves into pretzels trying to convince us that it is getting warmer. Sure it is... 

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Other Opinions

 
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.
 
Thursday, November 9, 2006

Veterans Day Memories of Bob & Lou

Other Opinions Doug Stanton On this Veterans Day, I want to honor the men of the WWII cruiser USS Indianapolis, and remember two men in particular who were aboard her -- Lou Bitonti of Warren, and Bob McGuiggan of suburban Chicago -- when it sunk in the Philippine Sea on July 31, 1945. In the aftermath, all of these men bonded together forever, having survived the worst disaster at sea in American naval history. Sadly, Bob and Lou passed away on August 1, and on August 2, 2006, respectively-- within days of the 61st anniversary of their rescue.
 
Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bioneers: Much more than a conference

Other Opinions Sally Van Vleck The first Bioneers Conference, held in California in 1990, was convened to discuss the issues of biodiversity and bioremediation (the use of natural systems to detoxify the environment). Grounded in the premise that everything is connected, over the years the conference has grown and evolved to include other environmental issues as well as social justice and health concerns.
The philosophy of Bioneers is based upon finding our place as humans in the natural world. It encourages us to see the interconnectedness of all of the issues that affect our lives, as well as the interconnectedness of all life.
Though the main conference is always held in California, for the past five years the national organization has seen the benefit of establishing smaller satellite conferences across the country to expand the energies, inspiration, and local relevance of this important work. All sites are connected to the California conference via satellite to receive the main keynote speakers.
 
Thursday, September 7, 2006

Justice & the Ramseys

Other Opinions Shirley Murray “I want to have only very limited comment on today’s arrest because I feel it is extremely important to not only let the justice system operate to its conclusion in an orderly manner, but also to avoid feeding the type of media speculation that my wife and I were subjected to for so many years.“
-- John Ramsey, on learning of the arrest of John Karr

If only that had happened 10 years ago when his cherished daughter was murdered. Instead, a Boulder detective and the governor of Colorado decided that the parents were guilty, and tunnel-visioned the investigation.
The media assault has been relentless. When Patsy Ramsey died two months ago, the Record-Eagle ran a terse AP obituary reiterating that “Boulder police said early on that Patsy and John Ramsey were “under an umbrella of suspicion” in JonBenet’s death. The Ramseys said an intruder killed their daughter.” Patsy was described as the mother of “6-year-old beauty pageant contestant, JonBenet.”
I first met the Ramsey family in 1995. My daughter worked with Patsy on school projects at a Boulder elementary where their children were classmates. We attended a Christmas party at her home. Patsy’s son, Burke, and my grandson, Woody, became great friends, and they included JonBenet and another grandson who was her age.
 
Thursday, August 3, 2006

TC‘s West Side Parking Deck

Other Opinions Hans Voss On Tuesday, August 8, Traverse City voters will decide whether they support a bond proposal that would finance a parking deck on West Front Street. Many people are asking whether the deck serves the public interest, and whether local officials negotiated a good proposal.
The Michigan Land Use Institute (MLUI) supports the proposal. It will help downtown Traverse City thrive and discourage the kind of suburban development that harms our entire region. The choice really is this simple: More well-planned development in town, or more sprawling development in the countryside.
In fact, with our region’s population doubling in a generation, everyone is wondering: “Just where will we put all these people?”
One thing is certain: Our current path will not take us to an answer we like. The statistics are stark: In the last census period, for example, Long Lake Township grew 28 percent. East Bay Township grew 19 percent. Traverse City? Its population fell 4.1 percent.
 
Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Parking Deck Debate, Bryan Crough Pro

Other Opinions Grant Parsons Con PRO: Deck needed for downtown‘s future

By Bryan Crough

In the early 1990s we made a startling observation. Over a 60-year period, with all of the massive growth in our area, downtown Traverse City was disappearing... right before our eyes. Over time, fires had reduced four- and five-story buildings to one or two stories, and with considerable dedication, many buildings had disappeared completely, on purpose, to make way for parking lots. In fact, we estimated that more than 50% of our downtown was gone! And parking lots, producing little or no tax base, were lining the banks of the Boardman River throughout downtown.
At a time when everyone recognized the need for greater density in the center part of our City to keep our residential areas strong and our tax base less diffused, we were losing the battle. Malls and sprawl were ringing the City and the core was threatened.
 
Thursday, June 29, 2006

Press two for Spanish

Other Opinions Harley L. Sachs The story of the Tower of Babel applies today. The project was an attempt to reach heaven by building a high tower, a plan that failed when God made people all speak different languages. They could no longer work together. For a cohesive society, people must be able to speak the same language.
The Dutch have the right idea. Faced with a troubling influx of immigrants who want the benefits of life in Holland but do not learn Dutch, the country has changed the laws. If you want to stay in Holland and be a citizen you must learn Dutch. To not embrace the language and culture of your adopted land undermines it. We have that problem here.
English is now the official language for the state of Michigan. In the 1900s when this country had a huge influx of foreign immigrants those folks could not wait to learn English. Nobody wanted to be a “greenhorn.”
My mother was born in London and told us of a visit to an American farm. She asked what they did with all those beans and was told, “We eat what we can and what we can’t we can.” A friend explained, “Oh, they put them in tins.” Though my mother was English and knew the language, she didn’t know American.
 
Thursday, June 15, 2006

Power to the people

Other Opinions John Murray Are you shocked by the rollercoaster price of gasoline?
Aren’t you glad your electric bill doesn’t change so dramatically for no apparent reason at all?
When you think about it, electricity is probably at least as important to our day-to-day living as gasoline. Maybe even more important.
 
Thursday, June 8, 2006

Why you should support TC‘s parking deck

Other Opinions Matt Schmidt Open fields, streams and forests; these are the reasons to support economically viable and compact development in Traverse City.
Families and individuals are coming to Northern Michigan. As people visit or move into our region, development of houses and business will follow. The question becomes how does this development take shape, and this is at core of why we should support the retail, housing and parking proposal at 145 West Front Street.
We have choices in what we offer: Do we offer compact homes and condos in our city, or new subdivisions spread across acres and acres in neighboring townships? Similarly, the cars driving into our downtown will be stacked in a deck, or spread across acres of asphalt.
I support the efficient use of our land and city infrastructure, rather than paving our forests and farm fields. Redeveloping our city center, 145 West Front Street included, promotes sustainable growth an economic manner.
Why does the thoroughly-researched development from Federated Properties at 145 West Front deserve support? This development . . .
 
Thursday, April 27, 2006

Northern View/Region Watch

Other Opinions On March 27th, I delivered a statement in the Senate reporting on my recent trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. The focus of the trip was to assess the situation in both counties. During my trip, I had the opportunity to meet with our troops, including many from Michigan; senior U.S. military and civilian officials; and Afghan and Iraqi leaders. I thought you might be interested in this  brief report.
Each time I have visited Iraq and Afghanistan, I have been deeply impressed by the very high morale, dedication and professionalism of our servicemen and women. During my trip, I conveyed to them the extraordinary support they have from Congress and from the American people, regardless of our debates and differences over
policy matters.
I was encouraged by the progress in the political and security situation in Afghanistan. While much work remains, President Karzai has led his nation with a firm and steady hand, and I am hopeful about the future of Afghanistan.
Sadly, the same cannot be said of Iraq. The political and security situation in Iraq is deeply troubling and threatens to grow worse. The recent increase in sectarian violence has become the number one security problem, and Iraq’s political leadership continues to struggle with the formation of a national unity government. 
 
Thursday, March 16, 2006

Why T.C. needs a parking deck referendum

Other Opinions Jim Carruthers On Friday, March 3, the City of Traverse City posted an official notice of the City’s intent to issue bonds to support a private development by Federated Properties 145, LLC on West Front Street downtown, backed by the full faith and credit of the taxpaying citizens of the city.
The issuance of the bonds is to construct a parking structure in a private development, which includes a total liability of $16 million, not including upwards of $8 million in interest over the 25-year life of the bonds.
 
 
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