Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...
North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...
Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...
Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...
Happy Belated Easter
Happy Easter to all of you! On this day of celebration, I will have no truck with cynicism or anger. Today will be about hope and resurrection and love will reign supreme. Once again we will attach our spirits to the banner of the Risen Lord, and bathe in the glory that is to come...Stealing from Education
Governor Snyder’s proposal to fix roads by converting the sales tax on gasoline at the pumps to a fuel tax at the wholesale level is a camouflaged raid on the school aid fund. The Michigan constitution and the Proposal A were combined to assure that the public school aid fund would receive 4 percent of each 6 percent sales tax collected. For every $500.000,000 of sales tax that is removed at the pump and converted to a tax at the wholesale level on fuels, Michigan public schools will lose $333,000,000 annually...Congrats to Students
to all the area high schools who participated in the Academic
WorldQuest program and contest. How we view ourselves in relationship to
other countries and how they view us is paramount to understanding our
world and our place in it...
Many brave men and women have worn and do wear the military uniform of the United States of America. They put their lives at risk and have lost their lives to protect our freedom, our loved ones and our right to vote...
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
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.”
ACA Has Benefits
I hear people bashing the Affordable Care Act and wonder why they like the old plan better. The ACA: Covers preventive screenings like blood pressure, diabetes and cancer screenings free of charge without a co-pay or deductible...We Are Clean
The artist in the “A Door Closed, A Window Opened” in the March 10 issue is a nice looking woman with some interesting jewelry creations. However, her assertion that “we” come to God “broken and dirty: and then somehow get ‘cleaned up’ by him” is a rationale I find offensive and ridiculous...Oppose Griswold Racetrack
When it comes time for Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners to make a decision regarding the conditional rezoning of Griswold Mountain, I hope they will show the same amount of professionalism, attention to detail, and commitment as their own Planning and Zoning Commission has already demonstrated...Ban Pesticides
pesticides (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides etc.) are poisons
that kill insects, weeds and organisms. Numerous studies show them to
also cause cancers, birth defects, autism, infertility and MCS (multiple
Uncap Social Security
I agree with Mr. Don Semen’s letter from the March 24 issue. I see no reason to have a cap on income taxed for Social Security. People who have income greater than $110,000 can most afford it and it would help keep Social Security and Medicare healthy.
During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 6-12, the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) pays tribute to the dedicated and generous individuals that volunteer with our organization...
welcome surprise: someone in Michigan is actually seeking solutions,
rather than bemoaning problems!
Voters in the Dark
was in Florida for two weeks prior to the election about which Mr.
Tuttle wrote (“Voters in the Dark”, 3/24) As I watched the
advertisements on TV, I was appalled to read the sponsors for them...
We are all human and deserving of being treated with dignity. The
labelling of people is undignified, and frought with the danger of
causing divisions and controversy...
Tax Reform Wanted
“Tax reform,” “less taxes,” blah blah blah…the historical plea of every would-be re-elected congressman since time immemorial. Dave Camp is looking to begin his second quarter century in Congress using that same card from that same old deck...Teach Healthy Sexuality
children and teens of today are our hope for tomorrow. It’s important
for us as parents, caring adults and community members to help set young
people on the path for a healthy future and support them as they work
to create positive change...
Spring Of 2014
of 2014 has sprung The Republican Tea Party cycle has begun For their
goal is only one That your life remains on the bottom rung. In
non-election years they ignore their constituents By covering their ears
For they have no fears in those years...
Homestead’s Position Disputed Thank you to the Express for the recent news item about ten local, state, and national organizations that joined together in a statement calling on The Homestead Resort and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to work together to correct the problem of incompletely-treated wastewater spray blowing into an area of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, rendering it unavailable for public use. Here is just one clarification...
Done With Snyder Governor Snyder lowered taxes on well-off businesses while raising nearly everyone else’s taxes, undermining both education and the labor movement, which together created Michigan’s strong middle class. His actions also dismantled protections for our priceless Great Lakes shorelines...
Gerrymandering is Alive I have major disagreements with Stephen Tuttle’s column from March 17th. Let’s start with an agreement that conservatives do control the majority of the congressional districts and state legislatures, but let’s also tell the real reason...
Benishek No Environmentalist For Dan Benishek to say he is responsible for preserving a natural wonder (Sleeping Bear Preservation Act) is akin to Al Gore saying he invented the Internet...
CORRECTION: In the March 17 issue, we mistakenly identified the Holiday Inn as “best deck scene” in the Traverse City Best area listings. In fact, their new name is West Bay Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort.
We are fortunate to live in America. We are required to act responsibly. Contribute to the SOLUTION...
The past president of Monster Beverage Company has stated publicly on several occasions that he wants to build a racetrack on Griswold Mountain in order to “give back” to Indian River...RISE OF INEQUALITY
Since the 1970s the income earned by the top fifth of Americans has risen from 40 percent to 47 percent of total income. It is difficult to say that this level of inequality is a bad thing; many of the reasons are clear...
recently were made aware of the proposed “Air Walk Project” for Kasson
county several months ago. Although we have only lived in this area
since Nov., 2012, the main reason we moved here and established
residence was that it was an area of natural beauty where one could
enjoy the best of Michigan’s outdoor living...
Why Increase War Funding?
By the end of this year, the U.S. will have fewer than 10,000 troops left in Afghanistan. The U.S. won’t technically be at war with any country. So why does President Obama want to increase the amount of money our country allocates to war funding?
Mental Health Cuts a Tragedy
Governor Snyder’s upbeat message on the 2015 budget left out an important fact: in a time of a state surplus, $180 million in general funds is being removed from community mental health programs. The reason for this is simple...Minimum Wage Hike Deserves Second Thought
Should the minimum wage be raised? There are good reasons for conservatives who worry about budget deficits to support an increase. Let’s do the math: The current minimum wage in Michigan is $7.40 per hour...Lots to Lose, Little to Gain in Land Swap
When rumors started that St. Mary’s Cement wanted to make a new entrance to Fisherman’s Island State Park and close Bells Bay Road, it seemed too outrageous to be taken seriously. But St. Mary’s has lobbied government for two years and has proposed a “land swap” to obtain 190 acres of Fisherman’s Island State Park and the county road...
Patrick Sullivan’s article there was no mention of the county that
would have put the cherry on top his premise on the divide between rich
More crony captalism
really enjoyed Stephen Tuttle’s recent article titled “A line in the
tar sands. Mr. Tuttle has a way of making you think on both sides of an
Tax Junk Food or Ban Boxing?
So, if you break it down to its simple basics, Bill Bustance likes oatmeal and thinks it shouldn’t be taxed. He doesn’t like Cheerios and thinks they should be taxed and the revenue should be used for roads (Huh?!)...