Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


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Other Opinions

 
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.
 
Thursday, November 18, 2004

Bay Harbor‘s Pollution: Company should Clean up Its Mess

Other Opinions Kevin L. Cronk Little Traverse Bay is the focal point of our regional economy and quality of life. During recent years, the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council has developed a watershed management plan to protect and improve water quality of the Bay and its tributaries.
Even as the plan was being finalized, an unknown, yet extremely serious water pollution problem was occurring. In what has turned out to be the greatest source of contamination to the Bay in recent history, CMS Energy, Inc. shut down a system that collected contaminated seepage from cement kiln dust (CKD) in Bay Harbor, essentially allowing the polluted water to flow freely into Little Traverse Bay.
Although CMS blames the system shutdown on technical difficulties, a conscious decision was made by somebody to halt operations instead of correcting the problem.
Leachate (contaminated seepage) from the kiln dust pile underneath the Bay Harbor Golf Course, with mercury levels 230 times greater than allowable limits and with a pH value showing the water to be more alkaline than household bleach, was allowed to flow into the Bay for eight months until the problem was uncovered by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
 
Thursday, November 18, 2004

Tax Threat could Freeze out Non-Profit Skating Programs

Other Opinions Michael Anton Approximately 2,000 individuals are on skates each week at facilities operated by ICE (Involved Citizen’s Enterprises). ICE operates Howe Arena through a lease from Grand Traverse County. ICE also owns a twin sheet ice arena in East Bay Township, known as Centre Ice. The youth hockey and figure skating programs are held at the rinks, the high school hockey teams play and practice there, adult leagues take place, and there are daily public skating sessions. These programs are offered without taxpayer support. All that is currently threatened.
ICE is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization and hence is exempt from taxes. That includes sales tax, income tax, and property taxes. Without that exemption, the cost of operating the facilities would make participation prohibitively expensive, and out of reach for many area residents. Grand Traverse County and East Bay Township have challenged that exemption, and placed ICE on the tax rolls.
 
Thursday, September 16, 2004

For the Taking: Emmet County Case has Ramifications for Entire Region

Other Opinions John R. Rohe Emmet County Commissioners have authorized 300,000 square feet of retail commercial space on property zoned residential and agricultural. (The board approved settlement of a lawsuit that permits the Petoskey Investment Group to develop 89 acres south of Wal-Mart in Bear Creek Township – a development opposed by local voters in a referendum. – ed.)
If you did not know this was in the works, it’s because you were not invited. An alleged “substantial risk of a multi-million dollar judgment” alarmed the commissioners. Let’s examine the risk.
 
Thursday, September 9, 2004

You Might Be a Metrosexual... but Chances are You won‘t Admit it

Other Opinions Robert Downes - If you think that make-up for men sounds like a good idea, you might be a metrosexual...
-- If you’d rather go shopping for the latest styles in GQ magazine than go fishing or to a NASCAR race, you might be a metrosexual...
-- If you’ve ever considered getting a Brazilian bikini wax “down there,” you might be a metrosexual...
-- If you... well, you get the picture -- for men, being a metrosexual is the flip side of “you might be a redneck.” Especially here in Northern Michigan where the urban environment of the metrosexual is a rare and far between thing.
 
Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Ramsey Case: Boulder‘s DA Supports Parents of JonBen

Other Opinions Susan Bennett (Jameson) Northern Express recently published a letter from one Delmar England (a self-professed expert on the JonBenét Ramsey case, England‘s letter “Never-ending lies“ ran in the Aug. 8 edition). His Borg (pronounce that “lynch mob”) mentality oozed from his letter -- but I am writing to try to clear up some of his hateful rhetoric.
 
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Lay off My Yard Sign...

Other Opinions Harley Sachs At first I thought it unlikely that after so many months of campaigning, the voices of electioneers could get even more strident. Unfortunately, it’s getting even more nasty and personal. A woman wrote to our local paper complaining that three of her yard signs for George Bush were stolen, which is against the law. I was given a yard sign, too, by a local party activist, and now it, too, has disappeared. Let’s analyze that action.
 
Thursday, August 12, 2004

Join the War Corps: It‘s Time for Conscription of the Willing

Other Opinions Bill Smith Over 40 years ago President Kennedy introduced the Peace Corps, a voluntary initiative to support the Kennedy vision of the U.S. role in helping to make the world a better place.
I propose that President Bush introduce the War Corps, again a voluntary initiative to support the Bush vision of the U.S. role in helping to make the world a better place.
 
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Acme Town Center will Fuel more Sprawl for the Region

Other Opinions William G. Milliken During the last year, the Grand Traverse region has debated the merits of a new “town center” proposal in Acme Township. While I certainly support the township’s goal of concentrating new development and combating sprawl, I strongly oppose the current proposal.
 
 
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