Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Other Opinions

Monday, May 19, 2008

The gas crunch, Rep. D. Camp, Rep/ B. Stupek

Other Opinions Sen. C. Levin In the last two weeks Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has had us voting on World Glaucoma Day, recognizing 2008 as the International Year of the Reef, and putting the House on record as supporting a National Watermelon Month. Now, we didn’t actually create a National Watermelon Month; we just said there should be one.
There is serious work to do, but it is not being done by this Congress. No wonder Americans are frustrated with Congress. So am I.
Monday, May 5, 2008

Slow that train down

Other Opinions Andrea Stewart All that foreign oil
controlling American soil
Look around you, it’s just bound to
make you embarrassed
Sheiks walkin’ around like kings
wearing fancy jewels and nose rings
Deciding America’s future
from Amsterdam and to Paris
And there’s a slow, slow train
comin’ up around the bend

“Slow Train” --Bob Dylan

Thirty years after Dylan recorded those words, I’m driving 55 mph down North Long Lake Road, a hilly, curvy road with a really bad surface and two school zones, and there’s a young guy in a big truck right on my tail. When I don’t speed up, he stomps on the gas, roars around me, and disappears in the distance. Less than a minute later, I pull up right behind him where he’s sitting at a dead stop at a red light. He did get there before I did, though.
I stop at the hardware store and park between two huge SUVs that dwarf my Ford Escort. They’re both empty, the owners inside the store, and they’re both idling.
I pull into the local deli behind a big truck with a plow on the front. The driver hops out and goes inside without turning off the engine. I expect him to make a quick purchase and run right back out, but am surprised to see him seated comfortably at the counter, ordering lunch, his truck rumbling away outside.
Monday, April 28, 2008

Time for an eco-revolution

Other Opinions Anne Stanton Imagine. Dr. Howard Tanner as czar of Michigan.
Dr. Tanner was DNR director under Governor William Milliken, and he’s utterly disgusted with what’s happened since John Engler’s first day as governor. “And what I most often hear about Governor Granholm is that at least she’s not as bad as Engler,” he said.
Monday, April 21, 2008

1968 & 2008: History repeats itself...mostly

Other Opinions Phillip W. Moore 2008....a year remarkably similar to 1968. Both feature an unpopular president conducting a war premised on falsehoods with no definition of victory and no end in sight. In both years we have a sitting president who could not run for re-election; a highly contested Democratic primary between a candidate with the support of the democratic establishment and a young idealistic senator taking his case directly to the people. Both elections feature a country that is deeply divided by the issues, its leadership and the direction in which it is moving. The two election years are amazingly similar.
In 1968, I was working in the anti-war presidential campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy. I was part of a group of anti-war activists who wanted to enlist a credible candidate to run in the Democratic primary against the sitting president, Lyndon B. Johnson.
Monday, April 7, 2008

It‘s tax time

Other Opinions Harley L. Sachs Because of some past foreign employment records, in addition to our annual U.S. federal income tax, I get tax forms for two very small foreign pensions.
Other than actually owing nothing abroad because the sums are so small, I do get an insight into tax filing practices in Sweden and Denmark. The tax forms of both countries consist of a single sheet of paper. No, they don’t say: 1) write down everything you earned, and, 2) send it. They do have high rates for those who earn enough to pay, but that’s another story.
Monday, March 24, 2008

Student Frame-UP

Other Opinions Doug Stanton For the past several months, area high school teachers and I have worked to put kids into the movie mix of the State Theatre in downtown Traverse City.
Now on the third Monday of every month, you’ll see high school kids put on quite a show. They take tickets, sell popcorn, and present a student and major feature film. Prior to the curtain opening, they promote their movie pick to the local media.
Monday, March 17, 2008

Sewer Struggle

Other Opinions David Brigham “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed citizens to change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
- Margaret Mead

A view of the bay is half the pay is no joke. People give up a lot to live here. So news stories of ordinary people standing up to fight for the purity of a creek or a river or a lake are not uncommon. We live here because we love the land. We are passionately committed to keeping pollutants out of our water. But to win takes money and the “weapon” of information.
Which brings me to the Freedom of Information Act—the paper plasma for bringing life to environmental cases. It’s a simple piece of paper that you can send to any public agency that asks for specific information. An agency might fight the release of data, but environmental information, generally, is not hard to get.
Monday, March 3, 2008

My disillusionment with traditional medicine

Other Opinions Nicole Wildman My disillusionment with traditional medicine started shortly after I quit my job of four years as a hospital unit clerk. I began to see for the first time just how much the medical community at large is motivated by fear.
That fear leads some doctors to micro-manage every symptom, treating everything with a different pill. I saw patients taking pills to allay the side effects of their other pills. Then there was the failure I saw taking place in my own family. I watched my husband taking Naproxen every day for the “arthritis” in his wrists (he’s 28 years old); I saw my kids having repeated ear infections, chronic coughing, asthma, constipation... and the very unpleasant side effects of the repeated antibiotics, oral and inhaled steroids for a three-year-old... and still, the problems didn’t go away.
Monday, January 28, 2008

Roy Taghon

Other Opinions Ross Boissoneau We all know we’re going to die, we just don’t want to believe it. Nor do we want to believe that others are.
It doesn’t matter. It still happens every day, far too often. It’s just that some are so unexpected, and leave gaping holes far beyond their family.
That is what Empire is going through right now. If you ever stopped for gas at the station at the corner of M-72 and M-22, the one owned for years by his parents and by his grandparents before them, you probably saw Roy Taghon. He was the skinny guy at the counter, the one with the sparkling eyes dancing behind those big glasses. Forty-two years young, his hair heading south, his legs heading somewhere. Roy was never still for more than about a minute. Too much caffeine, you might think, but the strongest thing I ever saw him drink was milk.
Thursday, December 27, 2007

Help protect the bay

Other Opinions Andy Knott Dear Friends of Grand Traverse Bay,
We know that you are busy during this holiday season, but we are asking you to take five minutes to send a note to the US EPA to ask that agency to take the most appropriate action to prevent a ground water contamination plume from harming Grand Traverse Bay.
Monday, December 3, 2007

Foie Gras Controversy Continues

Other Opinions Julie Janovsky I have been following with interest the ongoing debate over foie gras production in the Northern Express. Many of your readers have done an excellent job in pointing out all the facets of foie gras production that make it so reprehensible: the suffocation of day-old female ducklings, the painful injuries caused by jamming an inflexible pipe down a bird’s throat, and the deliberate infliction of a deadly, horribly painful liver disease.
You don’t have to be an animal-rights activist or vegetarian to oppose this type of abuse. Force feeding an animal to the brink of death—so that his liver expands to ten times its normal size—is inherently cruel. The fact that this is done for the sake of an overpriced “delicacy” consumed by a tiny percentage of the population makes it all the more morally repugnant.
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Faulty Toys Are Not a Game

Other Opinions George Thompson The massive toy and product recalls from China during 2007 should cause Michigan residents to thoughtfully reconsider the legal “reforms” that have been instituted by Chief Justice Taylor and other very conservative Republicans.
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Something?s Watching You

Other Opinions Harley L. Sachs Technology, like a ravenous wolf, is closing in on our heels.
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Give a Little... or a Lot: Holiday Benefits And Places To Donate

Other Opinions Lynn Gerow It’s the season of giving, and if you’d like to make a difference in the region this year, there are plenty of opportunities. Following are some of the organizations seeking your help in order to help others throughout Northern Michigan:
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Drinking: Is it really worth it?

Other Opinions Scott Straley In reference to the cover story titled “The Drinking Debate,” I doubt that I am a minority of one in believing it is utterly wasteful to devote that much time, ink, and paper to questioning the illegality of 18-20-year-olds drinking alcohol. This is a truly somnolent non-issue (at best). I did not lose one second of the sleep that was induced by Mr. Coates’s article over the fact that members of society’s most reckless, immature, irresponsible, hormone-inflamed age-group are, by law, encouraged to remain sober until they reach the ripe old age of 21. Do the people of this town wash down so many handfuls of pharmaceutical narcotics with martinis that this is what passes for a “social problem” around here?
As of today, people have to live a whopping 21 years before Big Brother allows them to use their bodies and brains for alcoholic chemistry/biology experiments! Doesn’t it just bring tears to your eyes? Aren’t you just sobbing uncontrollably? How can we, as a free people in a free country, stand idly by and allow such callous injustice to flourish in This Great Land of Ours? Let’s have a shot and a beer and go to war over this, and forcibly take this asylum back from the lunatics! Am I just oozing disingenuousness, or is this more like coarse sarcastic rancor?
You make the call.