Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Jay Webber

Music Jay Webber hosts Songwriter Series in Frankfort
A new Songwriter Series has begun for the winter at the Bay View Grille, hosted by singer-songwriter Jay Webber. The event features area musicians in an acoustic coffee house setting every Saturday from 7-9 p.m.
“These are some very talented writers and performers who you don’t get to hear often and it offers something a little different to do here on a Saturday night in the winter,” Webber says.
Webber warms up the show, followed by guest songwriters who perform 4-10 songs and discuss their music. There’s no cover charge and desserts and a full espresso bar are available.
Originally from Leelanau Country, Webber presently lives near the Platte River and Lake Michigan in Benzie County when he’s not on the road performing. Here are a few words with Jay on his new gig:
 
Monday, December 13, 2010

Letters

Letters Speak up for Liz Larios
The night after I read about Liz Larios in the Northern Express I woke
up and couldn’t get back to sleep. I could not get the vision out of
my head of this beautiful young woman who was pictured in the N.E.
with her fiance, being grabbed up in her own front yard, in her
pajamas, not being allowed to get dressed, dragged to multiple
detention centers before being dumped, still in her pajamas, across
the border.
Can this be happening in our country? Has it come to this? Liz came
here as a child; lived her life here; this is her home. Her crime? She
was born in Mexico. Her parents’ crime? They sought a better life some
18 years ago when crossing into the U.S. was what people did, trying
to escape hunger, poverty and few economic options. Wouldn’t I do the
same thing to try to provide for my family?
Those of us who don’t think this is an acceptable policy - to drag
away people who are working and living their lives - need to speak up.
Our democracy -- as broken as it is -- is all we have. We need to
contact those in power and demand that this gestapo-type behavior
stop. We must figure out a coherent, just immigration policy so that
the millions of people living in limbo can get on with their lives. In
the meantime, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency
(ICE) must be forced to stop its inhumane treatment of undocumented
people.
Recently, it was reported that Homeland Security Secretary Janet
Napolitano said her agency should spend its resources tracking down
“criminal aliens” — threats to public safety and national security.
“What doesn’t make as much sense is the idea of spending our
enforcement resources to prosecute young people who have no criminal
records, who were brought here through no fault of their own, so they
have no individual culpability, and who now want to go to college or
serve in our armed forces,” she said. The ICE agency is not in
compliance with these guidelines.
There is a local group forming to address this issue. If you want to
get involved, contact Father Wayne Dziekan at 231-409-1387 or
wdziekan@dioceseofgaylord.org.

Sally Van Vleck
Neahtawanta Center

 
Monday, December 6, 2010

Letters

Letters Gestapo tactics
After reading the Express article “Nightmare on the Border,” I found
myself wondering if I’m living in the United States or Nazi Germany.
The methods and treatment in “rounding up” illegals is akin to the
tactics practiced by the Gestapo against the Jews.
Are the Mexicans the Jews of America? As an American I’m embarrassed
by the treatment that Liz Larios received. Nazi Germany can never
happen here, or can it?

Don Strzynski • TC

(The Express will be following up on Liz Larios’ story and that of
other border sweeps in upcoming issues, including the double standard
Mexican nationals face in becoming U.S. citizens. -- ed.)

 
Monday, November 29, 2010

Letters

Letters Save our film industry
Rick Snyder wants to eliminate film and TV incentives: Sound judgement
or pragmatic disillusionment?
His disregard of economic stimulation hangs a dark cloud over new and
growing entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to the movie and
television industry in our state. Calling the film industry
incentives “dumb and “a gimmick” is just plain ludicrous and
completely preposterous.
Hypocrisy is staring you in the face, Mr. Snyder. You talk about jobs,
jobs, jobs. Yet that is exactly what the movie and film industry is
currently doing in this state. Jobs not only in the film industry,
but jobs for art directors, animators, graphic designers, film
directors, photographers, editors, musicians, composers, writers,
actors, educators, developers, realtors, interior designers, builders,
carpenters, policemen, auto technicians, transport servers, caterers,
painters, and artisans of all kinds.
This doesn’t even include the increased business for restaurants,
entertainment, and the rental and sporting industry throughout our
state.
More importantly, this industry is one of the better and faster ways
of diversifying our state‘s economy. The facts are striking. Since
offering a 40% tax incentive for film companies from out of state,
total income has increased from $2 million in film and TV activity to
more than $600 million in less than three years.
And that is just the beginning. New studios and production houses are
being planned along with existing businesses expanding to handle the
additional workload.
Many of these projects involve cutting-edge technology, while hiring
some of the best and most creative minds from the arts, science, and
education of our state. By keeping the film incentives intact, one
will not only see continual growth and economic expansion, but a sense
of triumph, self-worth, and pride of what Michigan can accomplish.
The film industry is a powerful force. It’s highly creative,
economically lucrative, and can have an emotional and visual impact
that profoundly effects people‘s lives for a lifetime. And Rick Snyder
wants to kill it! WHY?

Robert K. Schewe • via email
 
Monday, November 22, 2010

Letters

Letters Special interest circus
I’m a father, retired business person and a military veteran (Army,
infantry, Vietnam). Like most, I’m glad the elections are over. They
are a circus run by special interests who spend billions to sell their
candidates. Those who were elected throw their fist in the air and
proclaim: “the people have spoken.” They use this slogan to do the
bidding of their big money backers.
We see the broken system, the legalized bribery, the bashing - and we
respond by shutting it off. In virtually every area of this country
about 50% of the people are registered to vote. Of those, about half
vote. Of those, about half vote for the “winner.” Thus, the “winner”
represents about 15% of WE THE PEOPLE.
Politicians, if they truly want to represent us, need to investigate
why they lost 85% of the people, and what needs to be changed to allow
the voices of the people to be heard. WE THE PEOPLE are interested in
our families, our communities, our country. We want to be informed
and involved. We need a system overhaul.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake
 
Monday, November 15, 2010

Letters

Letters Candidates ignored wars
I always read with great anticipation Stephen Tuttle’s piece, as I generally find some very like-minded observations and opinions that are always helpful to hear from someone else!
I was, however, noticing a glaring omission in last weeks article and it strikes me to the core as Stephen Tuttle has been so often the lone voice of reminder of the ‘elephant in the room’...
Last week was the 10th Veterans Day since the U.S. engaged in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not one candidate, that I heard of, had the gumption to even bring up during this last election campaign. We are, as a nation, DISGRACEFULLY silent on this subject! I don’t care if you’re red, blue or green with envy.
Where are the ‘Walter Cronkites’ to bring this subject in graphic details to us nightly, over our dinner tables? Where is THE elected official speaking out for the continued funding of this effort while we struggle with so many issues on the home front? Where are the true moral voices to guide us through this mess? Where are the LOBBYISTS for the returning vets struggling to deal with their experiences or the families who’ve lost a loved one?
But perhaps most importantly, why are WE silent? I surely don’t claim to have the answers but I am so missing the rational dialog to help us out of this mess!

Suz McLaughlin • Frankfort
 
Monday, November 15, 2010

Teleganza

Features UpNorth TV hosts a Teleganza! Goal is a new mobile van to cover local events
How do you make yourself stand out in the world of cable TV with its
100-plus channels and endless reality TV shows? For public access
Channels 97 and 992, the solution lies in becoming more relevant to
local viewers.
 
Monday, November 8, 2010

Letters

Letters After the election...
In Michigan the winners have just been elected to run a state with a
$1.5 billion dollar shortfall in its budget, massive
un-and-underemployment, and the largest city dying. I’m glad I didn’t
run for anything.
But really, what are you winners going to do? Cut taxes. Yet Michigan
is 25 or 26 among the 50 states in tax burden on its citizens, so that
doesn’t sound like an oppressive rate.
They might make us a right-to-work state -- that works so well for
North Dakota. They have lots of highly paid jobs for the
undereducated. Ha! Some might consider Mississippi or South Carolina,
states that mortgaged most of their future tax dollars to attract a
few thousand jobs. I’m not sure anyone in Michigan would want that.
Also, because of our hard winters Michigan‘s infrastructure needs more
upkeep.
In Northern Michigan we have two major industries, agriculture and
tourism. This is as true today as it was 100 years ago and both need
good infrastructure and a clean environment. So we must find a way to
bring in more tourists without further damage to our environment. We
can’t pave the wetlands and build more four-lane roads through forests
just to allow a few more people easy access to the north. There must
be a balance between individual property rights, like sales of our
water to be bottled and shipped to Phoenix and Dallas, with our local
need for clean water.
I hope the one environmentally-sound new jobs growth engine is not
killed before it gets a chance to mature: the film industry tax
credits. This could provide healthier growth for the entire state, but
it needs time to bring in not only film crews, editors, stage
builders, electricians, etc, that every production must have behind
the scenes.
On the programs we do fund maybe we should look at them and see what
we are over spending on, like prisons. Michigan spends more money than
any other Great Lakes state. Is that because we have more crooked
residents or maybe because we have more strict laws that jail people
longer. Which is it? Along the same lines how much does the “War on
Drugs” cost us, and what is the return?
Michigan will never again be a state that has thousands of highly-paid
jobs for unskilled people. Those jobs always go where the workers are
paid the least and there are no environmental regulations. We can
develop jobs for skilled people, but that development will cost money
and take time. Have we elected the people who understand this?

Don Seman • Bellaire
 
Monday, November 1, 2010

Letters

Letters Time to choose sides
How many readers have themselves, or a friend, neighbor, or family
member, been laid off, downsized, or saw their job outsourced?
And how many victims of this economy, inherited from the previous
administration, are lazy, lack a work ethic, are not interested in
gainful employment, and simply waiting for handouts from the
government to live a carefree lifestyle? Not many, if any, I would
guess.
On November 2, I hope people will remember our candidates who support
remedies like extending unemployment insurance, reforming health care,
reforming the student loan system, tax credits for small business, and
yes, the stimulus package — as well as those who turned their backs,
citing the deficits or “socialism” as their rationale.
Most economists insist that deficit spending is necessary in a
depressed economy, and that helping families survive by providing
temporary funds for food, housing, school supplies, or subsidizing the
jobs of fire fighters and teachers helps to build the economy.
Yet, naysayers, mostly Republicans, support continuing tax cuts for
the wealthiest Americans that are not paid for and add trillions to
the deficit -- a policy that not only didn’t create jobs but lost jobs
in the last decade.
Compounding this hypocrisy, these tax cutters have railed against
bank bailouts while cynically voting against the Financial Reform
Bill, which imposed much-needed regulations on Wall Street.
Despite the angry rhetoric of the tea partiers, throwing out all the
‘bums’ in Congress and our State Legislature is simplistic and
nonsensical—it is a false populism. Look carefully at the records of
those in office and those aspiring to office – those who will truly
look out for the interests of average citizens, and who will not, and
then vote.

Mary M. Easthope • Lake Leelanau
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

New fim fest heads into the wild: Calling all hipsters: Solar sharing

Region Watch New film fest heads into the wild
A Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival will be screened at the State Theater in TC on Sunday, November 14, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Headlining the festival is a humorous documentary, No Impact Man, along with five other short films.
Nationally, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival was launched by the South Yuba River Citizens League, a watershed advocacy group that formed in 2003 to fight several dam projects in California. The League eventually won “wild and scenic” status for 39 miles of the Yuba River. The film festival, which offers local presenters more than 50 films to choose from, began touring in 2004. This year the festival will be seen in more than 110 venues. It will be sponsored in TC by the Michigan Land Use Institute (MLUI).
After the films, the action moves to Left Foot Charley in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, where MLUI hosts a free reception, from 5-6:30 p.m. The evening concludes with a CD release party and performance by Breathe Owl Breathe for Magic Central, benefiting MLUI, from 7 to 9 p.m.
No Impact Man follows a young, eco-guilty New Yorker, Colin Beavans, as he tries living for a year without affecting the environment. The film recounts the challenges he faces, including not using electricity, taxis or elevators; eating only local food; and making no waste. His biggest challenge? Getting his own family on board.
Fans of another entertaining documentary, King Corn, will enjoy Curt Ellis and Aaron Woolf’s follow-up, entitled Big River. The filmmakers track the harm caused by the fertilizers and insecticides they used to grow their now-famous acre of Iowa corn as those chemicals flow down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.
Also on the program will be the winner of the Micromovie Competition for Young Filmmakers, organized by MLUI and SEEDS, a TC-based environmental education group. Entries are still being accepted from those 19 years or younger.
Tickets for the festival are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. They are available at www.mlui.org and Higher Grounds Trading Company, Oryana Natural Foods, and Pangea’s Pizza Pub—all in TC. Tickets for the Breathe Owl Breathe CD release party are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. They are also available at the ticket outlets listed above.
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

Letters

Letters Eight bad years #1
Will someone tell me what I am missing or not forgetting? Gas over $4
a gallon, businesses closing, jobs lost, veterans’ health care
pathetic, and very little or no sense of leadership.
I remember that situation as being Bush/Cheney’s eight years in office with
Washington out of control. Then President Obama inherited this ongoing
mess. No, there is no magic switch on the wall to turn off the mess
that was created by the prior
administration, it takes time. It takes working together, something it
seems the Republicans aren’t interested in doing.
Never before in this country has there ever been the time for the need
to do as the late John F. Kennedy asked America to do: “Ask not what
your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
In this case it’s vote Democratic!

Wendy Kerry • via email

 
Monday, October 18, 2010

Letters

Letters TCL&P & the truth
The inaccurate information contained in letters by Peggy Fry and
Valorie Gibbs concerning Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P) in the
Oct. 11 issue of the Express requires correcting.
Allegation: Not having “...aggressive energy conservation/efficiency
policies...”
Correction: TCL&P has been a leader in energy conservation for several
years. Last year alone TCL&P gave away over 11,000 Compact Fluorescent
Light bulbs (CFLs) to its customers and surpassed its state mandated
conservation goals by over 70%.
Allegation: TCL&P still considering “...biomass as a potential energy source...”
Correction: At the July 21, 2010 Board Study Session it was decided
and reported that biomass was no longer an option and that hasn’t
changed. The TCL&P Board is committed to solving generation supply
issues with community input.
Allegation: “...the city had to fight TCL&P to get them to take down
the coal plant...”
Correction: The City Commission and TCL&P worked together to remove
the Bayside Coal Plant. The plant was also dismantled several years
earlier than scheduled due to the initiative of the TCL&P Board.
Allegation: “TCL&P has added almost a half million dollars annually in
newly created management positions...”
Correction: New staff has been hired to replace people who have
retired. Maintaining the same high level of customer service requires
the same number of employees.
Allegation: TCL&P sent a “...mailer endorsing board member Ralph Soffredine...”
Correction: In a recent insert, TCL&P provided a history and fact
sheet which gave community members insight as to how TCL&P came to be.
Only the facts were presented and no endorsements were made.
All of this information was openly discussed at posted board meetings
and still available for review on www.tclp.org. Where are their
references?
TCL&P prides itself on having the lowest rates in the region, along
with outstanding reliability. It’s very disconcerting to have
individuals make up facts in an attempt to tarnish TCL&P’s exceptional
results.

Jim Cooper • Manager of Communications and Energy Services Traverse
City Light and Power
 
Monday, October 18, 2010

Frankfort throws a film festival

Features Frankfort throws a Film Fest
Rick Schmitt, co-owner of The Garden Theater in Frankfort, has a breezy idea for the second annual Frankfort Film Festival to be held this weekend, Oct. 21-24: he’s going to use wind power to provide the electricity to run the festival.
“Based on positive sponsorship support, the 2010 Festival will operated with wind power supplied by wind credits from Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa, one of the sponsors of this year’s event,” Schmitt says. “We are excited to be stewards in environmental innovation, while also showcasing innovative film productions.”
The Frankfort Film Festival will include 14 independent films, many of them award winners at international festivals. Highlights of this year’s event include two filmmakers who will attend the Festival for showings of their respective films. The 2009 Filmmaker of the year Richard Brauer will be at the screening of his movie Fitful to address the audience and take questions. Fitful was filmed entirely in Manistee, on location of the SS Milwaukee; moored for years in Frankfort’s harbor. Visit www.brauer.com
 
Monday, October 11, 2010

Letters

Letters
New direction
Some 95% of scientists – are alarmed at how our planet’s climate is
changing and are urging governments to start thinking “smart” on how
to use less energy. This urgency I feel is not felt by Traverse City
Light & Power (TCL&P).
Where are the aggressive energy conservation/efficiency policies that
TCL&P could be implementing? Instead TCL&P still talks about burning
our forests – which was posted in a recent brochure sent out to rate
payers where they listed biomass as part of potential baseload
generation for the region.
I would rather see advertisements on television that help to educate
the community to conserve and be efficient, rather than TCL&P’s self-
promotion ads (taking down the old coal plant on the bay). City
commissioners had to fight to get TCL&P to take it down – you wouldn’t
know it from their ad.
Our Chamber of Commerce announced its opposition to Proposal 1. Our
Chamber is supporting policies the GOP had in place under the Bush
administration that created the economic depression we are currently
in. The U.S. Chamber was instrumental in helping the GOP defeat a bill
September 28 to reduce outsourcing and end tax breaks for companies
who send jobs offshore. Enough said! Vote Yes for Proposal 2 and
especially for Proposal 1.

Peggy Fry • TC

 
Monday, October 4, 2010

Letters

Letters Mackinac’s bad plan
We are writing in regards to news reports about the City of Mackinac
Island’s efforts to purchase docks and potentially enter into a
franchise agreement with just one company, creating a monopoly on
ferry service to the island.
As elected officials, we understand the city’s efforts to ensure vital
transportation service to the island, one of our state’s most
spectacular tourist destinations. However, we would consider any
effort to achieve that security through a government-approved monopoly
inappropriate at best and devastating to the local economy at worst.
Michigan cannot afford that!
Free enterprise and robust competition among ferry operators have
served the straits region very well for many decades. They have taken
Mackinac Island from once-a-day ferries to runs as often as every 15
minutes. Without that competition, ferry service would not be what it
is today.
We believe the plan the City of Mackinac is considering would result in:
• Government interference in free enterprise;
• Government-forced monopoly;
• Destruction of healthy competition that benefits consumers;
• Destruction of a long-time local business with deep community ties;
In conclusion, we believe this plan to be needlessly and
inappropriately risky to the taxpayers and to the economy of the City
of Mackinac Island, as well as those of St. Ignace and Mackinaw City.

Michigan Senate Majority
Leader Mike Bishop &
House Speaker Andy Dillon
Who’s qualified?
Having retired after 32 years of service with Grand Traverse County
there were no medical, dental or optical benefits offered. Now a
term-limited legislator who worked in Lansing for six years receives
fully-paid benefits and a pension that we the taxpayers pay the tab
for.
Back in February, Representative Kevin Elsenheimer co-sponsored a bill
to eliminate lifetime health benefits for those newly-elected in
November 2010. Isn’t that self-serving?
Elsenheimer now wants to be the new 86th District Court Judge. The
qualification of a House seat does not match those necessary for a
judgeship. Experience is the necessary qualification. He doesn’t
mention in his mailings that he is a Legislator. WHY NOT? He also
claims to have real, practical experience with the court. Online court
records show he was involved in 86 cases.
Vote real experience with 2000-plus cases with the courts. Mike Stepka
is the truly qualified candidate.

Thomas Schmuckal, Ret. Capt. • TC
 
 
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