Letters

Letters 11-24-2014

Dangerous Votes You voted for Dr. Dan. Thanks!Rep. Benishek failed to cosponsor H.R. 601. It stops subsidies for big oil companies. He failed to cosponsor H.R. 1084. There is an exemption for hydraulic fracturing written into the Safe Drinking Water Act. H.R. 1084. It would require the contents of fracking fluids to be publicly disclosed to protect the public health.

Solar Is The Answer There have been many excellent letters about the need for our region, state and nation to take action on climate change. Now there is a viable solution to this ever-growing problem: Solar energy is the future.

Real Minimum Wage In 1966, a first class stamp cost 5 cents and minimum wage was $1.25. Today, a first class stamp is 49 cents, so federal minimum wage should be $11.25.

Doesn’t Seem Warmer I enjoy the “environmentalists” twisting themselves into pretzels trying to convince us that it is getting warmer. Sure it is... 

Home · Articles · By

 
Top Articles from
No articles in this section
Monday, June 27, 2011

Letters 6/27/11

Letters Oil & economics
The whole issue of petroleum, oil and hydrocarbons seems to bring a lack
of understanding of basic economics.
In a recent letter to the editor the author states that we get most of our
imported oil from other than the Middle East. He insists we therefore
should not have to pay what is the world market price because we are
buying from neighbors.
Apparently he has not purchased apples in the fall, rented a motel on a
summer weekend or ridden the ferry to Mackinaw Island. The market price of
things is set by demand and commodity availability, including delivery
capacity.
Further this author points out that oil is traded on the commodities
exchanges “where investors buy low and sell high.” Pretty naive to believe
that investors only buy low and sell high on the exchanges.
Commodity exchanges are a zero sum trading environment where every dollar
made is a dollar lost. If you make it big because you guessed right,
someone else lost big because they were on the other side of the trade.
How much can we endure when some continue to spread the same myths as
though they are fact?

William Deneau • TC
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

Letters 6/20/22

Letters Stop the attacks
My husband and I taught and traveled in Europe for eight years. A
Hungarian professor once told us that his countrymen willingly tax
themselves for “cradle to grave” education and health care. And teachers
are highly valued throughout Europe.
Campaigning Michigan politicians espouse the importance of quality
education, then are quick to criticize educators and even quicker to cut
funds. The “demonizing” of teachers has been spread by a right wing agenda
supported by the Mackinaw Center, the Republican Tea Party faction, and
the American Legislative Council throughout the state and nation.
This attack might be why some students even of elementary age show little
respect for their teachers and misbehave in class. How can increasing
class size help teachers handle the problems that arrive on their
doorstep? How much is society to blame?
Yes, ineffective teachers exist, but ineffective individuals are in every
walk of life. How have public schools suddenly become so “terrible”?
Misuse of test scores? Lack of parental support? Societal problems?
Charter schools? Proposal A? Michigan’s fine public schools consistently
had attracted families to locate here. The quality of education hasn’t
changed in most areas. Perception has. Stop the attacks!

Donna Dodd • TC
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

Letters 6/20/22

Letters Stop the attacks
My husband and I taught and traveled in Europe for eight years. A
Hungarian professor once told us that his countrymen willingly tax
themselves for “cradle to grave” education and health care. And teachers
are highly valued throughout Europe.
Campaigning Michigan politicians espouse the importance of quality
education, then are quick to criticize educators and even quicker to cut
funds. The “demonizing” of teachers has been spread by a right wing agenda
supported by the Mackinaw Center, the Republican Tea Party faction, and
the American Legislative Council throughout the state and nation.
This attack might be why some students even of elementary age show little
respect for their teachers and misbehave in class. How can increasing
class size help teachers handle the problems that arrive on their
doorstep? How much is society to blame?
Yes, ineffective teachers exist, but ineffective individuals are in every
walk of life. How have public schools suddenly become so “terrible”?
Misuse of test scores? Lack of parental support? Societal problems?
Charter schools? Proposal A? Michigan’s fine public schools consistently
had attracted families to locate here. The quality of education hasn’t
changed in most areas. Perception has. Stop the attacks!

Donna Dodd • TC
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Letters 6/13/11

Letters The burden of guilt
After reading Stephen Tuttle’s “I Hate You” article (6/6), I have to agree
with him on pretty much all the sentiments he expressed. However, there
is one statement in there that I have to dispute.
He discusses our nation’s sordid hatred of minority races, as expressed in
the line “...we tried to systematically eradicate the indigenous peoples
already populating this continent when our European ancestors showed up.”
Excuse me: “WE?” Sorry, I was nowhere around when that happened, and
neither were my ancestors. There were bad things that happened, to be
sure, but we need to quit apologizing for actions and deeds carried out
several generations ago. It wasn’t “we” who did it. It was “them.” And
they’re all dead now. Guilt shouldn’t be carried on down the generations,
especially when my generation was so effective in ending so many civil
rights infringements on minorities in this country. Pinning our ancestors’
guilt on us is inappropriate.
It’s true that we are trained to hate and to look down on those who are
“different,” regardless of what that difference is. We are also trained
to have contempt for those we feel are technologically inferior to us.
As an avocational archaeologist, I have nothing but admiration for those
who were here before us. They coped with everything nature threw at them,
and developed the necessary technology to cope with it. They achieved a
near-perfect balance with nature. The only problem they seemed to have
had is that they didn’t see the need to develop the technology sufficient
to kill massive amounts of other people. The conquistadors and pioneers
had that need, and developed the weapons that allowed them to effectively
do so. I don’t really admire them. And I don’t admire those who carry on
the legacy of hatred that has been passed down to them through the medium
of ignorance.

Howard J. Blodgett • via email
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Grandpa Shorter‘s

Features Petoskey’s most notable general store, Grandpa Shorter’s celebrates 65 years this summer with a walk down memory lane.
After WWII ended in 1945, entrepreneurs Carl (‘C.G.) and Ruth Shorter returned home to Petoskey from Detroit with the idea of opening a souvenir store downtown. In 1946, Carl began buying crafts from local Ottawa Indians (now also referred to as Odawa), making several trips over the winter to Cross Village to purchase goods for sale at the couple’s new shop.
The Shorters’ business began in a tiny 8’ wide by 24’ deep rented building and opened for their first customers on Memorial Day weekend in 1946. Little did they know that their first Memorial Day weekend would lead to 65 more Memorial Day weekends and  four generations of Shorters working in that same business, albeit a bit larger.
The store was a hit, selling locally crafted Native American items, such as quill boxes, ash baskets, bow and arrow sets, birch bark birdhouses and more. The store also sold deerskin gloves and jackets, Minnetonka Moccasins, pennants from the area and surrounding towns, birch candles, balsam fir pillows, incense and sterling silver jewelry.
By 1956, the Shorters moved out of their tiny space to bigger digs next door -- their present 301 E. Lake Street location -- a building that still oozes the atmosphere of an old time general store.  In 1998 the front of the building was taken back to the way it looked when originally constructed in 1881. It is a Mesker tin-faced building and is the oldest of its kind in Petoskey. 
 
Monday, June 6, 2011

Region Watch: Cherry Festival Music, Ken Smith honored, Chicago-Bound, Bear-ly there

Region Watch CHERRY FESTIVAL MUSIC
The National Cherry Festival has announced its music lineup for the
Bayside Stage this coming July 1-9.
The big acts include:
• Kansas - Wednesday, July 6
• 1964 Beatles tribute - Thursday, July 7
• .38 Special & Brant Lee Gilbert - Friday, July 8
• Josh Graycin, country - Saturday, July 9
Susan Wilcox, media relations & marketing manager, says a $15 pass will
get festival-goers into all four shows, with nightly passes also
available. And, for the first time, premium seating options will also
be available up-front.
“We‘re also very excited about the line-up at the Cherry Blast Stage in
the beverage tent,“ Wilcox adds.
“These will all be free shows by great performers including the Sun
Messengers, the Detroit Pistons House Band, Motown R&B, Joe Caine, Larry
McCray and Thornetta Davis.“
Check out upcoming stories on the artists in the Express‘s Festival
Music and Cherry Festival issues in late June-early July.
 
Monday, June 6, 2011

Letters 6/6/11

Letters Congress & public trust
Recently, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released the
following statement in reaction to the U.S. government reaching the
$14.3 trillion debt ceiling:

“It comes as no surprise that Washington’s spending spree has resulted
in us once again reaching the statutory debt limit. The American
people have no interest in simply increasing the limit absent serious
steps to rein in spending. I urge the Administration to demonstrate
the leadership America expects from Washington and work with the
Congress to enact significant reductions in government spending —
including entitlement programs like Medicare — as well as needed
structural reforms to how Washington sets the nation’s budget.”

I honestly believe that Congress has the wrong idea as to what
entitlements are.
Camp states that Medicare, Social Security and the like are
entitlements to the American people, yet as a worker I have -- along
with all workers -- contributed to the funding of these benefits which
where to be “IN TRUST” by the government for the common person as a
caution for our old age and survival. It is and was the government,
Congress to be exact, that has taken these benefits and allowed them to
be squandered away, removing them from the “TRUST” which established
them and placing them into the general fund for the raping by Congress
for other governmental uses.
Entitlements to me are the billions you give to the oil companies, the
billions you give to farmers to not produce from their land, the
billions you spend on military contractors for things we do not need,
and to the out-sourcing of governmental jobs to contractors that are
lining their pockets without responsibility to perform for the good of
the American people.
As for being chair of the committee you are on that is to oversee much
of this, I am anxious to see who you are really working for, the
American People or Corporate America and what “REFORM” you will
structure. Remember America is watching...

Jim Williams • Kalkaska
 
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Minifest concert series

Music The Northern Express MiniFest will present some of the best of local music over the course of four Thursday evenings in June in a free concert series to be held at Lay Park in Traverse City’s Old Town.
“We’re inviting everyone to come down and to hear some great music in the park and celebrate the 20th anniversary of Northern Express Weekly,” said George Foster, co-publisher of the free newsweekly. Co-sponsoring the series is the Traverse City Parks & Recreation Commission.
The acoustic-oriented concerts will be held from 7-9 p.m. on Thursdays June 9-30 in Lay Park on Union Street (the tiny park just south of the Union Street dam).     The lineup includes Sour Mash (June 9), Soul Patch (June 16), Miriam Pico and David Chown (June 23) and the Fresh Fossils (June 30).  Warming up the shows will be the Acoustic Dynamite duo and special guests.
 
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Writers remember

Features Writers Remember
Northern Express Weekly has always been a place where writers could flex
their literary and journalistic muscles and let ‘er rip on stories ranging
from lifestyle choices to national issues brought close to home.
Following are some reflections from a few of our favorite -- and most
enduring -- scribblers.
Memories from 20 years of Northern Express
Still keeping
it simple

By George Foster
20 Years ago Bob Downes and I launched Northern Express with our total
life savings - about $2,000 each.
There was no business plan or backup plan. We estimated that our savings
would pay for two issues of printing our new-fangled paper. We felt that
we had no choice but to keep our operations and the publication as simple
as possible.
What we did have was an idea – well, sort of. We wanted to print several
thousand free newspapers and hope for enough advertising revenue to break
even. Despite (or maybe because of) our paper’s humble beginnings and low
aspirations, some people told us we wouldn’t survive more than a year or
we were downright loony.
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

letters 5/23/11

Letters Corporate takeover
The first anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court
decision conferring full political personhood on corporations, slipped by
in January with little notice, sadly, from the two political parties and
the media.
This incredibly bad and immensely unpopular decision allowed --
encouraged? -- corporations to pump money directly (usually through
“front” groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) into the political
process. Nearly all of the unmarked bills flowed into Republican coffers,
no doubt greasing the skids for the GOP landslide last November. So it
makes sense that Republicans wouldn’t invite attention to this decision
and its very favorable consequences for them.
It makes less sense, though, why the Tea Partiers aren’t screaming bloody
murder about it, given their well-demonstrated anger about various threats
to freedom. When powerful corporations can covertly operate politically,
everyone else’s freedom is surely diminished.
But let’s be clear about what this Supreme Court decision does: it turns
over the financing of our political campaigns to the direct and more or
less complete control of corporations and the wealthy.
Of course, with our pre-Citizens United v. FEC “system” of campaign
finance our democracy was already on the proverbial slippery slope. Now we
are in free fall. Corporations will spend whatever they want to in the
next election to get what they want. Unless we --the people-- decide
this is unacceptable, and take action, we will soon lose what’s left of
our democracy.

Ron Tschudy • Central Lake
 
Friday, May 20, 2011

Letters 5/30/11

Letters Truth about education
   Howard Walker’s Northern View (May 16) editorial did not express the whole truth.  The first part tries to mollify voters by saying education cuts are really much less than cuts to other departments.  Look at the history of state education funding rather than the past year only: since my retirement from education in 2003, state funding to the Traverse City district has remained approximately constant.  The state has not kept up with inflation and has begun to defund public education.  
   Walker is outraged that salary and benefits make up about 80% of school budgets, but what does he expect from school districts—that most of the money go to computers and textbooks?  Education delivers a service, not a product.  Its very nature assumes most expenditures will go to pay for jobs.
   Then there are his complaints about rising healthcare costs of educators.  Those rising costs belong to the economy generally, not to teachers alone.  If rising healthcare costs are a problem, deal with that.  Don’t blame educators.  His figure of $24,000 “some districts” spend for healthcare is hardly representative of plans in most districts.  In general, teachers’ healthcare policies are no more expensive than those for other  workers.
    Finally, comes the attack on retirement benefits.  Walker says retirement is eating up the finances of school districts, but he ignores the fact that contracts include healthcare, retirements, and salary.  In other words, most teachers have taken hits in salary and healthcare in order to keep their retirement benefit. It is unfair to consider reducing retirement benefits without examining the reductions in salary and healthcare that teachers have already agreed to.
   Let us be honest here: The present government of Michigan is intentionally underfunding public education for political purposes.  The next election should put an end to it.

Richard Fidler • TC
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

Thunder down under/Something to carp about/Choo-choo

Region Watch Please be seated..
At last year’s Traverse City Film
Festival, organizer Michael Moore made a spur-of-the-moment promise based
on an idea from a member of the audience: if the TC Area Public Schools
would officially honor the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday for the first
time since its inception 26 years ago, Moore said he would lead a campaign
to provide new seats for the Lars Hockstad
Auditorium, located at Central Grade School on 7th Street.
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

Letters 5/16/11

Letters The Republicans & Big Oil
For the past two weeks, Republican congressmen faced blistering attacks at
town hall meetings for their vote on the Ryan Plan, which lowers the tax
rate for the wealthy another 10% while dismantling Medicare and Medicaid.
Republicans all claim they are carrying out the “will of the people” so
let’s look at what the people told them: Leave Medicare alone, tax the
rich and stop the oil subsidies. When confronted with the news that oil
companies posted profits of $38 billion in the first quarter, a few
sheepishly agreed, “maybe we should take a look at it.”
But that is not what they did. On May 5, with the media consumed with
Osama bin Laden, they quietly and unanimously passed the Restarting
American Offshore Drilling Act which, among other things, extends oil
subsidies. This is the second vote in three months they have taken to
protect oil companies’ taxpayer handouts.
It is no surprise that the GOP protects big oil. The Republican sponsors
of the bill took in $8.8 million from big oil in campaign cash. Rep. Dave
Camp received $77,000. Before the first vote in March, BP contributed
$1,000 to Camp, who is chairman of House Ways and Means. Three other key
players, Speaker Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, House Whip and Michigan’s Fred
Upton, chairman of Energy and Commerce were all gifted $5,000. Upton was
given $100,000 in the 2010 election. All defeated the Democrats’ bill to
rescind the subsidies in order to reduce the deficit.
In the past 10 years, Big Oil has contributed $238.7 million to congress,
75% to Republicans. In addition to the Republicans guarding their
subsidies, Dave Camp’s taxation committee has written thousands of
loopholes in the tax code for them. Last year they paid nothing.
Follow the money, Dave Camp is not looking out for you.

Julie A Racine • Marion
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

Leelanau Furniture Show

Features After nearly a decade’s hiatus, the Leelanau Furniture Show is back -- in
a new location inside downtown Traverse City’s Artisan Design Network
(ADN) cooperative gallery on Front Street -- ready to dazzle crowds with
handcrafted one-of-a-kind designs, May 21-28.
The weeklong invitational exhibition and sale will showcase the region’s
finest furniture makers and craftspeople whose works in wood, metal,
glass, stone, fabrics, epoxy, enamel and paint are a celebration of form,
function and the inspiration of Northern Michigan.
 
Monday, May 9, 2011

Letters 5/9/11

Letters The legacy of bin Laden
While it is just and proper for our government to do whatever is necessary
to protect we citizens, is that a moral justification for dancing in the
streets at the death of another human being? Bear in mind this individual
is highly regarded in a large segment of the earth’s disenfranchised
people. Our revelry will serve to infuriate these people.
Bin Laden himself once said that he did not hate Americans, only American
foreign policy. Didn’t we learn anything from our meddling in the affairs
of Iran? Or Venezuela? Most Americans do not realize that OPEC originated
in South America because of our exploitive practices there.
While we find it abhorrent that anyone would resort to terrorism to
achieve their political ends, Bin Laden did not set this precedent. Nor
was he the first to appeal to religious zealotries to serve his cause. Now
we must address the reprisals that are sure to come and the ones following
our actions against them etc. etc.
Again, while we must do whatever is necessary to protect we citizens, the
first thing we must do is stop exploiting other nations for our own
interests. The next thing is to admit to and address the wrongs we have
committed in the past. The last thing is to try to learn from and avoid
such actions in the future. This is not going to be easy or happen
overnight. We are still suffering from the resentments caused by the
exploitation of Native Americans and Africans more than a century after we
began to try to atone for our actions.
While it is just and right to have executed Bin Laden because of the
threat he posed to the United States and indeed the entire world, before
we rejoice in the streets we need to consider the part we played in
creating him.

Roger Paupore • TC
 
 
Close
Close
Close