Letters

Letters 09-15-2014

Stop The Games On Campus

Four head coaches – two at U of M and two at MSU – get a total of $13 million of your taxpayer dollars each year. Their staffs get another $11 million...

The Truth About Fatbikes

While we appreciate the fatbike trail coverage, the quote from the article below is exactly what we demonstrated not to be true in most cases last season...

Man Has Environmental Responsibility

I tend to agree with Thomas Kachadurian (“Playing God,” Sept. 8) that we should not interfere with the power of nature by deciding what is “native” and what is not. Man usually does what is better for man (or so we believe), hence the survival and population growth of our species...

The Bush & Obama Facts

Don Turner’s letter to the editor on 8/25/14 stated that there has never been a more corrupt, dishonest, etc. set of politicians in the White House. He states no facts, but here are a few...

Ban Pesticides

I grew up downstate in a neighborhood without pesticides. I was always very healthy. Living here, I have become ill. So I did my research and found out a lot about these poison agents called pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, etc) that are being spread throughout this community, accumulating in our air, water and soil...

Respect for Presidents?

Recently we read the Letter to the Editor that encouraged us to stop characterizing President Obama as anything other than an upstanding, moral, inspiring “first Black President”. The author would have us think that the rancor in the press, media and public is misguided. And, believe it or not, this rancor is a “glaring exception to … unwritten patriotic rule” of historically supporting all previous presidents...


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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
 
Monday, October 4, 2010

Awards

Features Northern Express takes high honors in MPA press contest
Independent alternative Northern Express Weekly took a number of
significant prizes in the 2010 Michigan Press Association contest,
earning the most awards in the paper’s nearly 20-year history.
With a weekly distribution of up to 33,000 papers in a 13-county area
in northwestern Michigan, the Northern Express was in the MPA’s weekly
“B” class, earning the following:

 
Monday, September 27, 2010

Letters

Letters Discrimination will never last in America
I support the proposed Traverse City ordinance to add sexual identity
to the long list of reasons why a person cannot be discriminated
against.  This list already includes religion, sex, weight, marital
status, height, disability, etc. We are talking about the equal, not
special rights, of TAX PAYING AMERICANS.  This is about liberty. I am
sorry if your religion does not condone homosexuality.  However, this
country does not make laws based on religious beliefs.  The church and
state are separate, as promised by our founders.
Those who say that this modification “stirs up hate” are suggesting
that as long as gays and lesbians remain unequal, they can be
tolerated. Who is threatened or angered by another person’s equality?
Do not indulge this fear. The proposed ordinance does not apply to
religious organizations, or a room rented in your residence. Gay
workers or tenants can still be fired or evicted, just not because of
their sexual identity. Businesses and property owners should not need
“special training” to recognize a qualified person who wants a job or
an apartment. We should be willing to risk unnecessary lawsuits, just
as we have been to protect the equality of women, racial minorities
and disabilities.
Civil rights are being extinguished by intolerance.  If we don’t
include sexual orientation to this “non-discrimination” ordinance, we
are condoning continued discrimination.

 Laurie Mackowiak • Traverse City
 
Monday, September 20, 2010

Letters

Letters No guarantee
The September 6 issue of Northern Express contained an article by
Congressman Bart Stupak called “Social Security: don’t mess with
success.”
I don’t know Bart Stupak personally. He may be a wonderful fellow. But
as I read his article I became more and more appalled at his ignorance
in regard to the Social Security system, which so many people in
Michigan rely upon for financial assistance.
In his article, Bart Stupak stated that “Social Security has been
providing (people)... a guaranteed source of income,” and that it was
“life-long wage insurance,” and that “contributions (to it) come
back.” He also said that “Social Security is a uniquely American
system ...”
However, the perception that there is a Social Security fund is, for
all practical
purposes, a myth. The federal court in
Helvering v. Davis made it very clear that “The proceeds from (Social
Security taxes) are ... paid into the treasury like other internal
revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way.”
The court has pointed out that payroll deductions are NOT payments on
premiums for insurance of any kind, but are simply additional income
taxes. In Flemming v.
Davis, the federal court said that “eligibility for benefits ...
(does) not in any true sense depend on contribution through payment of
taxes.”
And in Flemming v. Nestor, the court said that “Congress ...has
...retained a claim expressly reserving to it the right to alter,
amend, or repeal any provision of the (Social Security) act.”
Accordingly, there is nothing that is guaranteed or life-long about
Social Security payments.
The Internal Revenue Code (Chapter 21, Section 3101) makes it clear
that payroll deductions for so-called Social Security are simply
additional income taxes. The taxes collected are more than spent each
year. In a very technical sense, one might say that there is a trust
fund, but that is only an illusion created by deceptive accounting.
The trust fund holds only paper IOUs (bonds). And those IOUs are no
more than a claim against every U.S. citizen for taxes not yet
collected. The IOUs are nothing more than the U.S. government owing
the money to itself!
In closing, if anyone believes that the Social Security system is, as
Bart Stupak stated, uniquely American, please log onto the Crown’s
website in England and look up statutory Instrument No. 1778, The
Social Security (United States of America) Order 1997. Go to
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si199717.htm and look for order 1778 to see
who has the power to approve and amend “our” social security system.
Do your own research. See for yourself. You, too, Bart.

Joseph Allan • via email
 
Monday, September 13, 2010

Preserving the Pigeon/Energy Guru Nicole Foss

Region Watch Preserving the Pigeon
The Pigeon River has enjoyed the protection of the Little Traverse
Conservancy since 1983 when Agnes A. Andreae donated 27 acres and a
cabin perched along the river.
 
Monday, September 13, 2010

Letters

Letters Thoughts on 9/11
9/11/01 was a crime, not an act of war. People conspired to inflict
extensive destruction on other people and property. It should have
been handled as a crime, just as the Oklahoma bombing was, or as the
previous bombings of the World Trade Center were. We have an
extensive crime investigation structure. Yet, within hours, the
plutocracy was calling for revenge and war.
Afghanistan, a country with heavy US involvement, was invaded. Iraq,
another country with heavy US involvement, was invaded. An “axis of
evil” was promoted.
Torture was promoted. A perpetual war against anything the plutocracy
declared as contrary to “American interests” was instituted. And death
and destruction grew geometrically.
I’m a military veteran (Army, infantry, Vietnam). I read the booklet
“War is a Racket” by two-time Medal of Honor recipient Marine Major
General Smedley Butler and I agree. War is an excellent business. Tax
dollars flow into this business with little debate and with little
oversight. The tools of war are the number one export product of the
U.S.
On 9/11 think about how this country and the world would be if the
plutocracy had followed the rules of law vs. the rules of revenge.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake

 
Monday, August 30, 2010

Letters

Letters Beer Sacks idea
John R. Joslyn has missed the point in his Aug. 16 letter. The GearBox article about the Wine Rack, featuring a young woman displaying the gag gift — and a lot more, is offensive.
The function of the gag gift is irrelevant.
Wine Rack is another dose of lowbrow sexist entertainment. The photograph of the busty young woman wearing the ridiculous contraption belongs in a men’s magazine.
And our culture feels like men’s magazine.
These images are blasted at us 24/7: from pole dancing kits for 10 year olds, to sexualizing female athletes — including minors, to beer ads, or pornified Reebok ads. Wine Rack joins ranks.
Let’s do a gender switch on the gag gift, Wine Rack.
The gag gift for men is called Beer Sacks, and it wraps around a man’s testicles and penis. It allows him to have alcoholic beverages —like his favorite IPA —anytime, anywhere. No fussy laws are going to keep him from getting buzzed.
Next:
Northern Express hires a very young, handsome male model. The photo will focus on the giggling man’s testicles that are peeking out of his short-shorts with a sexy shot of his bulge. He’ll be taking a long, yummy sip of his favorite beer, sneakily concealed you know where, and give the photographer that coy, bad-boy smile that only a naughty man can give.
Warning! Wearing Beer Sacks may increase the size of your bulge — a pro or a con— depending on your point of view.
Can you imagine?
No, of course not.
Northern Express: Please respect your readership. The Wine Rack is in very bad taste.

Brigita Gumsey • Cedar
 
Monday, August 23, 2010

Letters

Letters Living hell
I need to thank Anne Stanton for her
exceptional reporting of the case of Joni Holbrook (8/16). The article
is excellent, important journalism. Anne’s accurate, thorough
account detailing the living hell that Joni endured throughout her
entire marriage to Benzie cop Paul Holbrook is important for people to
grasp.
There is a majority of people who know her actions were totally
justified, being her only escape from a life of torture at the hands
of a monster.
However, not surprising I guess, is the lack of support from his
fellow police who had to have had at least a clue as to the dark side
of this Jekyll and Hyde personality. Like, did they not question
Holbrook’s order to ‘check’ on her frequently? Further, I’m
incredulous at the comments and denial of Holbrook’s relatives; a
clear example of blame the victim. Denial is definitely a way of
protecting oneself from a horrible truth.
I wish peace and healing for all
involved.

Sally MacFarlane-Neal • via email
 
 
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