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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Other Opinions

 
Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bush made me do it

Other Opinions Jeff Gibbs Recently, I learned a horrible secret: George W. Bush is to blame for global warming. It’s Bush’s fault your basic hurricane, which used to destroy, say, “a city,” n dismantles parts of three states and a federal agency in a single day. I mean, most Americans are against global warming, are pro-environment, and worship a guy whose only possessions were sandals and a robe. Someone must have brainwashed us into our energy-intensive, planet-destroying lifestyles and I think it was Bush.
Looking back, I am sure it was him that tricked me into trading my 1984 Honda Civic (45 mpg) for a minivan, then convinced my entire family to buy SUV’s. My poor mom! And I am equally sure it was Bush who grabbed the NO BLOOD FOR OIL signs from the hands of my protestor friends and forced them to fly to Ireland, Peru and India for “enlightenment.” How else do you explain liberals so cavalierly using so much of the stuff they loathe?
 
Thursday, September 29, 2005

Nature‘s lesson in New Orleans

Other Opinions Tom Baily I write this column two days after Hurricane Katrina brought incalculable devastation to the Gulf Coast and the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. I spent last evening glued to the television as I was during the Gulf Wars and on September 11, 2001. Thousands of people need help. Trapped people need rescue. Water, food, shelter, sanitary facilities, and clothing are needed for the displaced and now homeless. Restoration of authority and civility is a priority.
I resist the urge to go to the scene. Having been a first responder in the past - Emergency Medical Technician, firefighter and search-and-rescue worker during my national park ranger days - there’s a temptation to pick up and go. But my last attempt at this sort of thing didn’t work out so well. Years ago, as the world responded to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, I noted that the U.S. Navy was taking many vessels out of mothballs in order to deliver supplies and people for what would become the first Gulf War. I called to offer my services as a navigator and, upon providing details, I was politely told that I “exceeded the age requirements” and that the Navy, regrettably, could not accept my enlistment. I understood, perhaps wryly, that one’s time for “doing” in such situations may be limited.
 
Thursday, September 15, 2005

CAFTA means more bad news for Michigan

Other Opinions Sylvia Inwood Michigan has suffered worse from NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) than any other state. That treaty for “free trade” of the multinational corporations cost Michigan over 118,000 jobs since 1993.
Our net loss of 63,000 jobs is 1.44% of the state’s total employment at the end of last year -- almost double the national average. Hard times for small farmers and small businesses throughout Michigan can be traced back to NAFTA.
 
Thursday, September 1, 2005

High Gas Prices

Other Opinions Congressman Bart Stupak This week, as I was making my way around my Congressional District, which spans all of the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, I stopped to fill up my gas tank only to find that since
I had left that morning, gas had gone from an already high $2.54 to a shocking $2.79 per gallon.
Northern Michiganders have been patient with these outrageous gas prices for the most part, but with the latest gas spikes of between $.20 and $.40 cents per gallon each of us and our small towns that rely on tourism to sustain their local economies can no longer afford to remain silent.
Whether it’s docking at a harbor resort, touring the U.P. in an R.V., or taking the Sea-Doo or four-wheeler out for a spin, people are thinking twice about summer recreation plans fearing the cost of a fill-up.
 
Thursday, August 11, 2005

The real threat to Michigan wineries comes from out-of-state

Other Opinions Mark L. Ribel Considering his position as a paid spokesperson for a northern Michigan winery, Rick Coates’ biased, misleading commentary on the Internet alcohol sales/direct shipment debate is certainly understandable, yet still unacceptable (“Grapes of Wrath,” July 17, 2005). His slanted interpretation of the legislative response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision fails to acknowledge the very real threat to Michigan businesses -- including Michigan wineries -- and to the state budget if we open the doors to a flood of out-of-state alcohol vendors.
To fully understand where we are headed, we must clarify where we have been on this issue. Michigan’s wholesalers have long supported Michigan’s wineries‘ right to sell their product. They supported the initial law that carved out a special exemption on shipping for in-state wineries, they spent more than a quarter of a million dollars defending this special exemption in the courts, and they even finance the Michigan Grape & Wine Council through wholesaler licensing fees. Even the proposed prohibition on Internet and mail order alcohol sales and direct shipment would allow wineries to sell their wine at the winery premises, at properly licensed tasting rooms and at restaurants located on or adjacent to the winery premises.
Specialty wine producers are not the only businesses with a stake in the outcome of this issue. Distributors -- such as myself -- provide a number of good-paying jobs for our community, including drivers, warehouse workers and administrative staff. Around the state, distributors employ more than 5,000 people, with wages and benefits exceeding $240 million. Statewide, distributor businesses’ sales exceed $1.5 billion, we pay more than $11 million in SBT, property taxes and fees, and we contribute another $4 million to local charities and community events.
 
Thursday, August 4, 2005

What‘s Best for Acme

Other Opinions Margy and Jim Goss (The following is a response to Governor Bill Milliken‘s guest opinion in last week‘s Express regarding an Aug. 2 vote on whether the Acme Township Board should go ahead with a nine-month moratorium on big box stores to study their impact on the township. -- ed.)

My husband and I are voting NO on the Acme Township moratorium this Tuesday, August 2 and want to tell you why.
We were born and raised in Traverse City, with family roots in Bates, Williamsburg, and Acme. We feel fortunate to have finally returned to Acme, year-round. For 31 summers, East Bay was our summer cottage destination, where our boys played with other Acme kids along Bay Valley Drive and Maitland Road, occasionally enjoyed Arne‘s Funland, and raced the bumper cars behind Don‘s Drive In. We felt like we had “come home“ when we added on and created our permanent residence here.
We wanted to do something special for Acme, as a way of giving back to the residents who have been such good stewards of the land. Our partners joined us in designing the most beautiful mixed-use village on 182 acres along the M-72 trunkline.
 
Thursday, July 28, 2005

4Play

Other Opinions Kristi Kates Foo Fighters - In Your Honor - BMG Entertainment

The Foos’ went from their original idea of an acoustic album to this, a double-disc that exercises both the Foos’ heavy-punk ambitions and their quieter abilities. Yet another foomination - er, rumination - mostly on relationships, Foo leader Dave Grohl still stays behind his wall, only peeking his head around lyrically to give a few scant glimpses into how he really thinks about things.  There are some solid songs here, but they’re mostly on the acoustic disc - the headbangin’ disc gives the impression that the band was a little too concerned about giving off the impression of rockin’ hard to actually cut loose and do so.  This latest Foo effort offers up a few solid tracks - but the Foos might’ve been better off if they’d concentrated on one collection of quality songs, instead of spreading themselves too thin. 
 
Thursday, July 28, 2005

Vote ‘yes‘ in Acme to control big-box stores and chart our future

Other Opinions William G. Milliken Residents of Acme Township will head to the polls August 2 to decide whether to allow the township board nine months to develop new rules for managing big-box stores. The elected board already approved a nine-month moratorium on such stores while it studies the matter, but a petition drive put the action to a vote.
I urge Acme residents to cast a “yes” vote and place the township’s, and indeed the region’s, interest ahead of an impatient few.
I’ll confess to a personal interest in the outcome. I spent a memorable part of my childhood in Acme, exploring its natural places with my family and friends. Many of those places still exist and afford new generations of children the same joy I’ve known. Nine months strikes me as a very small investment to protect something so priceless as Acme’s rural character and quality of life.
What’s behind this concern over big-box stores? For many like me, the fear is the hidden costs that underpin the behemoth retailers – costs borne not by the stores, but forced onto the communities they inhabit. These outlets promise low prices but can drive up local taxes to pay for the big problems that don’t show up on their products’ price tags. Problems such as heavy traffic congestion, lost farmland, shuttered local shops, and weakened downtowns
 
Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Jobs Americans Won‘t Do

Other Opinions John F. Rohe Mexican President Vicente Fox has been scolded for declaring that Mexicans do jobs that “even blacks won’t do.” Curiously, nary a whimper is heard when President Bush insults all citizens by referring to “Jobs Americans Won’t Do.”
Before the Civil War, John C. Calhoun’s views on the equality of human beings were nurtured with a mint julep on the veranda of a southern plantation. This leading North Carolina senator, and presidential hopeful, had a splendid panoramic view of the jobs that Americans wouldn’t do. In spirited debates, Senator Calhoun became a voice for the South in perpetuating the institution
of slavery.
 
Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Fix Was In... Did Bush deliberately deceive Americans on Iraq

Other Opinions Rep. John Conyers We have reached a point where all but the most delusional enthusiasts of the Iraq war have now acknowledged that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S. invasion and likely for over a decade preceding the war. Fox News and the President were slow to acknowledge this fact, but now have.
Unfortunately, it seems this rare consensus has lulled many into failing to ask the follow-up question: why were the President and other high-ranking administration officials so definitive in their statements that Iraq possessed WMD?
 
Thursday, March 31, 2005

Another Side to the Cross Village Boat Ramp Controversy

Other Opinions Dick Selvala This is in response to the recent guest commentary by a representative of the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council regarding the Cross Village Boat Ramp project (Express 3/17). In writing, I am mindful that this organization has enjoyed a good reputation for its advocacy role on environmental issues. Regrettably, this organization for at least a year has been making unfounded assertions about the environmental risk associated with this project. Armed with a Ph.D in environmental and related sciences, it is all too easy to engage in intellectual bullying of a publication’s readers when there is a predisposition for the audience to accept, without questioning, the kind of doomsday picture painted in this article which shows no sense of regard for the desirability or need to tell the whole story.
 
Thursday, March 24, 2005

Let‘s Keep the Security in Social Security

Other Opinions U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow Social Security is a great American success story. It represents the best of American values – if you work hard and play by the rules, you earn a secure retirement and a basic quality of life in your older years.
And it works. Before Social Security, 50 percent of older Americans were living in poverty. Now, it’s 10 percent.
Social Security is more than retirement. It covers you if something goes terribly wrong – a financial crisis, loss of a spouse or parent, or disability. It protects you whether you are a 25-year-old starting your career, like my daughter, or a 78-year-old retiree, like my Mom.
There are misconceptions about Social Security. Here are the facts:
Nearly every working American – including me – pays into Social Security.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Social Security can pay 100 percent of its commitments through 2052. After that, it will be able to pay 80 percent of benefits owed. We know Social Security faces long-term challenges, and I intend to be part of the effort to strengthen it for the long term.
But privatization is not the answer, because the numbers just don’t add up. In fact, the administration’s plan doesn’t do one thing to ensure the long-term security of Social Security.
 
Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cross Village Proposal Threatens Rare Great Lakes Coastal Ecosystem

Other Opinions Jacqueline Stubner While the Bush Administration, Great Lakes governors, Congress, and Tribal Nations are uniting forces to develop a comprehensive plan to protect and restore the Great Lakes, Cross Village Township, located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Northern Emmet County, has proposed a plan to fill sensitive coastal wetlands and dredge public trust bottomlands. The purpose of the plan is to expand the existing boat launching facilities at the Township-owned park that contains beach, boat launch, picnic area, and small gravel parking area that blends in with the natural environment and rural character of the community.
The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring, protecting, and wisely managing water resources, has been following the project since the early 1990s. Although the Watershed Council has a policy of promoting the use and enjoyment of Michigan’s waters, it is essential that boating and recreation facilities are constructed and managed in a way that protects the resources that make Northern Michigan so spectacular.
Ten years after a proposed expansion of the Township Park was denied a permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Township has applied for state and federal permits to create a “port” and relocate the boat launch, expand parking, dredge public trust bottomlands, erect a sheet pile bulkhead and pier, fill coastal wetlands, and alter the configuration of the beach.
The environmental impacts of the proposed project will be significant. A total of 0.65 acres of wetlands are proposed to be filled. Great Lakes coastal wetlands are integral to the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem and are one of the primary focal points of restoration efforts. Approximately 16,000 cubic yards of Great Lakes bottomlands will be excavated from a 1.55 acre area. On the western side of the project, a proposed pier extends 288 feet waterward of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) and is approximately 62 feet wide, with a terminus diameter of 100 feet. The proposed eastern pier extends 150 feet waterward of the OHWM and is approximately 75 feet wide. In total, the two structures will occupy a 0.81 acre footprint on public trust bottomlands.
 
Thursday, March 3, 2005

Coping with Environmental Depair

Other Opinions Lisa Franseen, PhD Have you ever had the experience, after hearing of some recent destruction to the planet, of feeling almost panicky? Disgusted? Angry or sad? Or maybe you remember having those reactions but don’t seem to anymore?
I remember coming home from school one day – back in the 8th grade -- to find that the field next door had been ripped out and marked for development. Every tree was gone, the sled hill was gone, my underground fort gone, all life was gone. And the first thing to pull tears to my eyes and bring a wail to my throat, looking out at the raped landscape before me, was thinking about all the pheasants that had suddenly lost their home.
My family used to put corn out for those pheasants, the male and all his hens, and watch them one by one scurry over to eat. Multiply that by thousands with all that I have witnessed since then, locally and internationally... it can be a bit overwhelming. And how easy it is to begin to tune it all out.
Is this despair okay? What do we do with it? And what happens when we do nothing, or bury it? And what would a workshop on environmental despair accomplish? (March 11-13 at the Neah-ta-wanta Inn on Mission Peninsula.)
 
Thursday, February 17, 2005

The New Reign of Censorship Terror on TV

Other Opinions Harley L. Sachs First it was B.O. and now it’s E.D. -- part of the current flap over what’s okay to broadcast on television that goes back for decades.
B.O. was part of the old radio Lifebuoy deodorant soap commercial. It was usually broadcast with the sound effect of a fog-bound buoy and stood for “body odor” as in, “Do you have B.O.?” That’s pretty personal; like who would have the nerve to walk up to someone at the office, make a fog horn sound, and hand him a bar of Lifebuoy?
The B.O. ad spawned jokes about Y.S. as in “Do you have Y.S.?” meaning “You Stink.” That was in the days’ when a shower a week was the norm. We’ve cleaned up since, most of us.
 
 
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