Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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Monday, February 16, 2009

The cougar controversy

Features Anne Stanton The cougar controversy
Anne Stanton 2/16/09

At 4 a.m. on January 31, Dan Kaizer was at the tail-end of his newspaper route, driving his Chevy Silverado on South Betsie Road near Bendon in Benzie County.
About 100 yards down the road, he saw something walking slowly across the road. He was doing 45 mph, so he gained on the creature quickly. As he slowed down a bit, he figured it was some kind of cat.
“When I got up to about 50, 60 yards away in my high beams, I could see it as plain as day. It was a cougar with a long black tail, jet black, it was crouched down in a prey position, slowly walking. I guarantee he was stalking some deer.
Monday, February 9, 2009

Computer Cop

Features Anne Stanton Computer Cop
Anne Stanton 2/9/09

Todd Heller doesn’t seem like a scary guy when you first meet him, but this affable detective with a Colombo-style of speaking softly, carries a powerful stick. It’s called software.
Detective Heller is a computer cop and the bane of child pornographers, white collar criminals, e-Bay cheats, credit card thieves—pretty much anyone who commits a crime and has left bytes of evidence on their computer.
Heller is the only full-time computer cop—or what’s technically known as a computer forensics specialist—in Northern Michigan. On the job since 2003, he painstakingly collects evidence from hard drives and passes it onto Noelle Moeggenberg to prosecute.
Monday, February 9, 2009

Thought Waves

Features Anne Stanton Thought Waves
Anne Stanton 2/9/09

Have you ever felt that you have a dual self? The self who does the naughty, and the voice who scolds you? The guy who eats an entire bag of chips and ruefully promises to start his diet tomorrow?
The teaching of Kriya Yoga says the mind has a sense of duality. The chattering voice – the ego, the “ ”—is not you, but a stream of thoughts, paradoxes, paranoia, worries, and ideas... a continuous response to endless stimulus.
So says Brandon Kietzman, who has invited yogi Shibendu Lahiri to Traverse City to share his teachings of Kriya yoga on the weekend of February 19. “When you observe the observer, you see the whole show. See the
thinker, and then it’s over. It just hits you,” he said.
Monday, February 2, 2009

Green jobs blow into Manistee & Copemish

Features Anne Stanton Green jobs blow into Manistee & Copemish
Anne Stanton 2/2/09

A few hundred feet from the fanfare of the presidential inauguration last week stood a graceful wind energy machine called Windspire. This newest generation wind machine will begin production in Manistee, starting this week.
What’s more, the Windspire will be distributed throughout the state by Contractors Building Supply, a business based in the nearby, tiny town of Copemish, which specializes in energy-efficient products such as solar attic fans, energy-efficient windows and solar water heaters.
The Windspire solves a lot of problems, which has plagued early wind energy generators. It has an attractive design (for those who think windmills are ugly) and doesn’t have wide propellers, which are known to whack migrating birds.
Monday, January 26, 2009

Romance at Center Court

Features Anne Stanton People had fun at my wedding. They tell me that.
They thought it was funny. I thought it was memorable. For years, I remembered it vividly every time I went to someone else’s wedding extravaganza, no expense spared, and it’s taken me years to think it’s funny. Time heals, yes it does.
I met my husband, Doug, while he was still teaching English at a state university in Louisiana. He had stopped in on the day before Christmas Eve at the Traverse City Record-Eagle newsroom, where I worked in 1988 with his sister Debbie. She had told him about me, and me, him, so we went to the Woolworth’s coffee shop across the street, and decided to drive up to the Bluebird in Leland for a drink (he had boldly offered to buy dinner at the Grand Traverse Resort with less than $5 in his pocket). As we rumbled up M-22 in his blue Ford truck, he recited a Yeats poem about wine and love, and I was immediately intrigued. He later joked that the poem worked every time.
Monday, January 19, 2009

New stations on WLDR

Music Anne Stanton Sunny Country (HD-1)
WLDR will continue with its country format on HD-1, playing new country and country legends. Borrowing from Henderson’s Southern influence, the station brings in up-and-coming singers from Nashville and Texas to Turtle Creek Casino; it broadcasts the shows live on Thursday nights (twice a month, 7 p.m., cover at Turtle Creek is free).
This week’s broadcast (January 22) will feature Joey + Rorey, a husband and wife duo who placed third in the Can You Duet reality show. Their hit song, Cheater, Cheater, climbed to No. 37 on the Billboard Hot Country chart.
Monday, January 19, 2009

WLDR‘s bold move into HD radio

Music Anne Stanton Roy Henderson is back in town, and Northern Michigan is hearing the difference.
Three years ago, Henderson went toe-to-toe against the popular WTCM-FM when he turned WLDR 101.9 FM into a country station. The switch was considered profound because the station had played soft rock for four decades.
Now Henderson has made another bold move -- becoming the first in Northern Michigan to go HD (high definition), requiring an investment of $500,000.
Here’s what it means for folks who have HD radios:
• Static-free radio reception
• The ability to listen to multiple stations at a single place on the dial. (See sidebar on WLDR’s new stations)
• A quality of sound that approaches a CD
• Lots of text information on what you’re hearing
Henderson said that WLDR will not only provide the names of songs and singers, but when commercials are running, the radio receiver will flash the product name and contact information.
Monday, January 19, 2009

Bleeding the Bleeding Hearts

Features Anne Stanton When it comes to getting ripped off, people with a generous or romantic heart are the most likely to fall.
So says Darryl Nelson, owner of the Cash Plus store in Traverse City, who sees two or three people getting scammed
every week.
Nelson believes there are three basic motivations involved in a scam—greed, romance, or a generous heart. A scammer will quickly glean what makes you tick, and then swoop in for the kill, Nelson said.
Sometimes it’s the woman who has fallen in love with the wrong man—a guy who comes to Northern Michigan, but has a counterpart in Nigeria, ready to reel her in.
The romance scam is simple enough. A man develops a relationship—either in person or over the Internet (he’ll make contact on a matchmaker site). Over many weeks, maybe months, love blossoms. He sends flowers. He sends her daily love notes. He listens to her problems. And then he has an emergency. He had to run back to Nigeria because his grandmother is dying and he urgently needs money because he finds his account is locked up.
“The girlfriend comes in to wire him money, and I tell her, ‘I can’t say whether your story is true or not, but it looks like a scam.’ Most times they’ll insist that this is really their boyfriend, that no one has ever treated them this well, has never listened to them the way he does. And now he needs to take care of his grandma who is sick.
“… Most people think that people who are scammed are simply idiots. But in a lot of cases, that’s just not true. These are not dumb people. They’re people who have a big heart and a diminishing checkbook.”
Monday, January 12, 2009

Rolfing... Beating the pain rap

Features Anne Stanton Kima Kraimer, who “Rolfs” for a living, has heard it all when people think they know what Rolfing is:
Is Rolfing just a funny name for deep tissue massage?
“No, it’s not at all deep tissue massage.”
Is there some weird thing about rebirthing?
“No. It’s simple physical functional anatomy.”
Is it extremely painful?
Monday, January 12, 2009

The balancing game

Features Anne Stanton You’ve probably met the type. The former basketball jock recalling his glory days with a beer in one hand and a bowl of Cheetos in the other.
Bob Guenther was one of those guys. At the age of 42, he was overweight, under-exercised and wondering how he got there. He actually knows. It was the long, dark winters, large dishes of comfort food, and a partying girlfriend—a fertile environment for life as a couch potato. Over the years, he bought bigger and bigger pants to accommodate his girth. One day, he saw a picture of himself standing at a wedding.
“I still have the picture. I thought, ‘Holy crap, I look like shit,” Guenther said. “The funny thing is, when the picture was taken, I thought I was looking so cool.”
He sought out help from a fitness trainer, Doug Petersen, who “guided him down the path of rightousness.” He lost weight and returned to the buff Bob of old. Then three years ago, he decided to take it to an entirely new level after getting a hip replacement.
Monday, January 5, 2009

Local businesses buck the tide

Features Anne Stanton At a time when most businesses are cutting costs, laying off people, or even closing their doors, there are a few stores in Northern Michigan that are going the other way—opening a new store or hugely expanding their business.
One can only ask, What were you thinking!?
Cream of the Crop?
Most of the stores that are expanding in Northern Michigan are aimed at the affluent. We’re talking high-end dresses, food, furniture and clothing. Coincidence? It’s interesting to note that during the Great Depression, more millionaires were created as a percentage of the population than during any other era in our nation’s history. So maybe not so crazy to take a plunge. Maybe crazy like a fox.
So, what were they thinking? Here’s what they said.
Monday, January 5, 2009

Traverse City to Obama: We‘re ready

Features Anne Stanton No, Matt Skeels has not heard from Obama’s people on what kind of roads and infrastructure TC-Talus wants to build in the area, but he’s ready with a list for when they do.
Earlier this month, President-elect Barack Obama said that he wants to invest billions of dollars into public infrastructure in order to repair crumbling roads and give the withering economy a jump start.
Monday, December 29, 2008

Cut Carbs ( Carbon Dioxide that is)

Features Anne Stanton Last summer, Elizabeth and Jon Roth had an epiphany when they learned the grapes they’d been happily buying and eating were harming planet earth. Simply getting that bunch of grapes from Chile to their Traverse City table poured six pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
“We were shocked by that,” Jon said. “We started wondering what other habits in our life caused that kind of carbon emission. So we went to a website where we answered questions about our energy usage and living habits—how many cars we had, how many kids, where we lived, that sort of thing.
“The web site did a calculation that if everyone on Earth lived with the same profile we lived with, it would take 4.3 Earths to support us all,” Elizabeth added. “They didn’t even ask if I owned a horse that lives in a barn out in the country to where I drive five times a week.”
The couple was surprised by their carbon footprint and decided to make
a different kind of New Year’s resolu-tion. They’ll spend the year of 2009
re-engineering their lives to go “green.”
Monday, December 22, 2008

Help Wanted: Mystery Shopper

Features Anne Stanton This week the Express continues its Ripped Off series to alert consumers to pocketbook predators. If you’d like to share your own story, please write a letter to the editor or call Anne Stanton at 1-877-244-8787
This week, the Ripped-Off articles became a little too close for comfort.
After taking the expert’s advice, I began checking my debit card transactions more closely and more often. Last week, I discovered that some @%#@ thief stole my number to buy a couple of items at Himalayan Organic in Grandville. The amounts were small—just $52 and the bank immediately credited the charges back to my account—but I was told scammers usually test the water to see if the card holder is watching.
An even bigger coincidence: The topic of this week’s Ripped-Off series is “scam jobs,” which are often advertised in the newspaper. And, whaddya know, Northern Express ran two such ads last week — one for a Mystery Shopper and the other for a market researcher. The ads have since been pulled, hopefully with no damage done.
Monday, December 22, 2008

Less is more

Features Anne Stanton Times are about as tough as they have ever been for the folks in Northern Michigan. Yet some people are looking at the hard times as an opportunity to profoundly shift their lives. Is it possible to live a richer life on less?
Our “Less is More” series will showcase families who do just that. Their shopping habits reflect their fundamental beliefs about money, consumption, and taking it easy on the planet Earth. The series is meant to inspire thought—not guilt or judgement—so enjoy.