Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...
Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...
Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...
Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...
Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...
Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...
My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...
NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.
Stop Damage to Waters Lake Bellaire is a northern Michigan treasure, enjoyed by its residents and visitors for fishing, boating, and majestic views. But there is an unwelcome surprise awaiting those who love the Antrim Chain of Lakes, and Lake Bellaire...Learn About NSA’s Powers I read and watch the news with growing concern over the expansive powers of the National Security Administration (NSA). The explosive revelations by Edward Snowden now being reported by Glenn Greenwald and others hopefully are triggering thoughts and renewed debate over the tension between national security and information privacy...
Too Much War Are we addicted to war? A recent speaker on international affairs reported that the current military budget is 20 percent of the total U.S. budget. Those figures are “suspect.” Since 9/11, the US military budget has swollen by 49 percent over its 2000 levels, not including two wars...
In his upcoming campaign, Congressman Dan Benishek will undoubtedly use his vote for the Sleeping Bear Dunes wilderness legislation as an example of his support for environmental issues. It is worth noting that this bill was developed long before Mr. Benishek was elected. He was not the creator of the bill, only a supporter...Listen to the People
Recently the Traverse City planning commission listened to objections to the construction of homes the citizens felt would be out of character for the neighborhood. If only Forest Home Township in Antrim County had such a planning commission!Of Chefs and Cooking
Kudos to Northern Express and Patrick Sullivan for the story last week about Howard Schedle. Food preparation and service traditions are worth talking about here in this Traverse City regional “agricultural belt” because they give understanding and provide clues to the future...Stop Plastic Bags
is mentioned on the mainstream media about efforts across the nation
and around the world to reduce usage of the plastic shopping bag (PSB).
Plastic shopping bags are bad from the start. The manufacture of PSBs
takes much petroleum and creates toxic waste...
Raise Minimum Wage
The people of Michigan have overwhelmingly (65 percent) asked for the minimum wage to be raised from its present $7.40 an hour to a decent living wage. At present workers are still below the poverty line even if they work full time. The Governor and legislature in Lansing have refused to raise the minimum wage, so there is a petition drive to get it on the ballot in November...
We would like to thank several local heroes for putting Michigan Artists Gallery back together again after being closed for 45 days with flood damage...
In the “Crossed” column, Mr. Singer presents a timeless subject matter. One could say he tasted the water of man’s being as to spirituality but not deep enough, so at present he is an atheist...Does Government Care About Pipeline?
I am very frustrated with our state and federal government and the elected officials including Gov. Snyder. I wrote a letter to the Governor and to eight other state and federal officials, conveying my serious concern about a failure of the 60 yearold pipeline that goes under the Straits of Mackinac and carries Canadian tar sands oil at high temperatures and pressure...Ramps and a Rye Boule
On the narrow lane to our house, there’s a very old fence neatly defining a small green field and a cool leafy woods just beyond...
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.