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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Eartha Melzer

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Cracks in the Stronghold: Up to 1, 500 Turn out for Biggest Protest Ever

Features Eartha Melzer “How many people do you have to kill before you no longer qualify as pro-life?” read a homemade sign carried by one young man.
“Stop depleting my dating pool,” read another carried by a young woman who wanted to draw attention to the U.S. military’s death toll in Iraq -- now approaching 950.
Traverse City has always been known as a Republican stronghold, but last Monday -- in what local historian Larry Wakefield termed the largest demonstration in the city’s history -- over 1,000 people gathered to protest a campaign appearance by George W. Bush.
Captain Morgan of the Traverse City Police Department estimated the crowd of demonstrators at between 1,000 and 1,500.
Thursday, July 15, 2004

Medical Marijuana Case Heads to Trial: Civil Disobedience Case could have Statewide Impact

Region Watch Eartha Melzer There was a pony-tailed man with a pinwheel among the crowd gathered to support multiple sclerosis sufferer and medicinal marijuana user Matthew Barber at the court house on Tuesday, July 6. But there was also a former magistrate, a kindergarten teacher and a retired cop at the rally. And no tie-dye in sight.
Thursday, July 8, 2004

MS Patient Faces Hearing for Medical Marijuana

Features Eartha Melzer At the age of 29, Matthew Barber, a disabled Gulf War vet, was diagnosed with terminal multiple sclerosis. He became paralyzed, lost his memory, and experienced extreme pain from lesions on his brain.
Barber tried all conventional treatments, with no improvement. Medical bills cost Matthew and his wife Laura everything they owned, and Laura had to quit her job to take care of him.
Thursday, April 8, 2004

The Pentagon‘s Eco-warriors: Military Ponders Upheaval Caused by Global Warming

Other Opinions Eartha Melzer A strange thing happened when I called the Pentagon the other day.
Yes, I called the Pentagon. I had just read an article in Fortune magazine which discussed a Pentagon report that predicted catastrophic climate change would
threaten national security soon. A couple of papers had done stories on the Fortune article, but I wanted to read the whole report, so I e-mailed the reporter
for Fortune and he gave me the name of the guy at the
Pentagon who‘d given him the report.
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Bad Boys, Bad Boys

Features Eartha Melzer A police decal on your car may cause an officer to be lenient on moving violations (which normally run $65 $115 dollars), said a state trooper at the post in Traverse City, though he claimed to not pay much attention to the stickers himself.
Thursday, August 7, 2003

Petoskey: A City Divided: Nursing Strike has Police, City Officials and Strikers at Odds

Features Eartha Melzer Almost no one is neutral in a small town. In Petoskey where the town‘s largest employer, Northern Michigan Hospital, is the site of the nation‘s longest nursing
strike, the mayor‘s business partner is on the hospital board and the chief of police‘s wife is a strikebreaking nurse.
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Marijuana Activists March On: Interview: Jeff Fillmore on the Medicinal Side of Cannabis

Features Eartha Melzer Between the War on Drugs and the War on Terror it‘s not often that the benefits of marijuana make the news. In an effort to get this message out people in hundreds of cities participated in a Global March for Cannabis Liberation on May 3. Jeff
Fillmore is an organizer with the Michigan Cannabis Action Network (MCAN) which sponsored the Millennium Marijuana March in Traverse City.
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Petoskey‘s Heavy Metal Professor: Sociology Students get a Scholarly Dose of Metallica

Music Eartha Melzer College instructor Craig Swanson recently completed a Master‘s
thesis/book entitled “The Heavy Side of Metal: Metallica‘s Counter-Hegemonic Trilogy.“
Thursday, March 20, 2003

Addicted to Food: Hooked on Legal White Powders, She Battled a Food Addiction

Features Eartha Melzer Some 58 million Americans are overweight according to the
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and
Kidney Diseases, a branch of National Institute of
Health. Obesity-related illnesses are the second
leading cause of premature death in this country.
Despite this health crisis there are limited resources
to help people develop healthy relationships with
Thursday, August 15, 2002

The Battle for Ice Mountain: A Global Trade War in our Backyard

Features Eartha Melzer A bluegrass band plays the theme to the Beverly Hillbillies inside a festival tent adorned with red, white and blue balloons. Hundreds of people wait in line in front of a sumptuous catered buffet. It could be a county fair, a wedding, some public fest, but something is odd about this event. Everyone is a winner at carnival games which are staffed by Cub Scouts imported from two counties away. A glossy poster of the hydrologic cycle hangs over the food at the back of the tent. This is the grand opening of the Ice Mountain water bottling plant in Stanwood, Michigan, and the Nestle corporation is buying everyone lunch.
Thursday, April 18, 2002

Greening Hate: The Dangerous Intersection of Environmental and Anti-Immigration Activism

Features Eartha Melzer John Tanton was able to express some extreme views during his career as an
opthamologist in Petoskey because, he says, even if his patients didn‘t
like his views they weren‘t likely to change doctors. The next eye surgeon was hundreds
of miles away.
So the nature-loving small town doctor developed an extremely active
political life. He became a committed environmentalist and used his education and
organizational skills to protect virgin forest in the U.P. and to establish
the Little Traverse Land Conservancy and the Michigan Environmental Defense
His work to protect Michigan‘s environment has been immense, but this
guy is not your average tree hugger. He has bigger, national reputation
for a very different type of social activism. In a book recently featured in the
Express on April 4 (1) Tanton says that an “instinctive territorialism“ has driven
him to protect the “national culture“ from the threat of fertile immigrant women.