Letters

Letters 11-17-2014

by Dr. Buono in the November 10 Northern Express. While I applaud your enthusiasm embracing a market solution for global climate change and believe that this is a vital piece of the overall approach, it is almost laughable and at least naive to believe that your Representative Mr.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Letters

Letters Reaching out to farmers
Kudos to Anne Stanton for the recent features on farming. It was nice to
read both sides of the CAFO (confined animal feeding operation) debate.
Consumers can support what they believe in with their purchasing dollars.
Without easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables at every roadside
stand, it gets too easy to just go to the mega-grocery stores for
everything this time of year. But great local products are available at
many stores, the indoor farmers markets and directly from the farmers.
Our website, www.MichiganFamilyFarm.com is working to help connect farmers
and consumers. Thank you for keeping this great movement in front of your
readers.

Jena Van Wagner • Executive Director, Michigan Family Farms

 
Monday, January 3, 2011

Letters

Letters Pay up and move on
Choosing war is a knee jerk reaction to a foreign problem. In
Afghanistan, after fruitless war, the British decided to simply pay
off the tribal leaders to keep the Russians out so the battered
British troops could go home. The British finally understood the
nature of that country: mostly illiterates who know little more than
fighting among themselves and against all foreign invaders.
Now, we have been sacrificing blood and treasure in Afghanistan for
nine years with no definition of victory.
Bribery is a way of life there. Instead of fighting, we should have
simply paid off the Afghans in exchange for their keeping al Qaeda out
of the country.
It is not cost effective to wage war in Afghanistan. Consider these
simple numbers: each “troop” (soldier, airman, marine) we put in
Afghanistan costs us $1 million a year. A thousand troops cost us $1
billion a year and that doesn’t dent the opium trade. But the value of
the Afghan opium crop is only $100 million. We should do the old A&P
thing: buy up the entire crop of opium and destroy it. Dealing
directly with the farmers will corner the market and put the smugglers
and middlemen out of business.
The opium trade may be immoral, but so are tobacco subsidies for
American farmers. More Americans die every year from tobacco than from
heroin.
Once trained, what is to prevent the Afghan police and army from
joining the Taliban and turning against the American foreign invaders?
Are we nuts, stupid, or what?

Harley Sachs • Houghton, U.P.
 
Monday, January 3, 2011

Treadrite 1//3/11

Features Treadrite: Benzie entrepreneurs manufacture snowshoes from old tires
For years people have been trying to come up with ways to recycle old car tires. No longer acceptable in landfills, old tires have become an environmental nightmare. Now, two Benzie County entrepreneurs have developed one solution: making snowshoes from old tires.
“Well actually, someone else developed the concept -- he had a tire business here in Northern Michigan,” said Steve Herkner. “My partner Scott Griner and myself have a maple syrup business and we were looking for ways to get through the deep snow in February and March. The snowshoes out there today are really for groomed trails and not deep snow. Through a friend we came across these snowshoes made from old tires and they worked great.”
A few years back the partners left their snowshoes in a shed and over the summer mice chewed through the straps, so they set out to either have them repaired or purchase new ones.
“We called the guy we bought them from and he told us he quit making them. He was never really in business. he owned a tire shop and came up with the idea about 20 years ago,” said Scott Griner. “He just made them for family and friends and told us he wanted no part of making them so we asked him if we could buy his idea and equipment and he agreed.”
 
Monday, December 27, 2010

Letters

Letters Inhumane treatment
I am responding to George Barnette’s comment on Don Strzynski’s letter
to the editor about the deportation of Liz Larios (Letters 12/20).
Mr. Barnette misses the point entirely; it is in regard to the
egregious treatment that the involved individuals received. Whether or
not they were citizens, they deserved humane treatment. Yes the Jews
in Germany were citizens, and yes they were stripped of their
citizenship and possessions but they were also “deported” to camps
like Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland.
The subjects of the illegal immigrant article were also deported to
border towns that may as well have been Auschwitz. I believe that Mr.
Strzynski being a Polish American probably has a little better
understanding of Nazi Germany than the “average” American. We live in
a country that promotes freedom and democracy, yet we tolerate these
practices and many more atrocities like water boarding.
We are a land of immigrants, a country that is a melting pot. Mr.
Barnette could have also have been the product of illegals or even
have a trace of Latino blood.
America has developed an elitist attitude that we are the land of the
chosen people and that people from other countries are not worthy to
live in the U.S. The problem is not illegals, the problem is our
country’s restrictive immigration policy. Why do people from all over
the world want to live here? It’s because America is supposed to be
the land of opportunity and freedom, but is it really?
Perhaps Mr. Barnette would be surprised if he knew the number of
illegals from Eastern Europe who left to escape the violation of their
human rights. Are they okay, just because they are not Latino?
Whether or not we want to admit it, we are a country of bigots. We
hated black America and it took years upon years for them to gain the
human rights that we stole from them. Now we have a black American for
a president and we have to find another group to hate, and presto,
it’s Latinos. It’s kind of like the Jews of Nazi Germany. We disguise
our bigotry in dollars and cents and how it could affect our standard
of living.
By the way, I do know Mr. Strzynski and he has lived in the west,
California to be exact.

Claire Ahearne • TC
 
Monday, December 20, 2010

Letters

Letters Illegal immigrant problem
In response to Don Strzynski’s letter to the editor regarding “Gestapo
tactics“ (12/6), I would like to respond with actual facts.
First, in reference to Nazi Germany, the Jews weren’t in Germany
illegally. They were citizens that were stripped of their rights,
property and lives by a totalitarian regime. Comparing this country to
that time is a personal affront to me.
Second, until Mr. Strzynski actually lives with the over 12 million
illegal aliens in this country, he will not be able to clearly
recognize the problem for what it is.
I have recently retired to the great state of Michigan from southern
Nevada. I spent most of my life out West, with the southwestern culture
and the problems associated with illegal aliens inundating this country
affecting my daily life at every turn.
The act of being here illegally is in itself a crime. How could one
reasonably expect me to welcome a criminal to my country? It IS a crime
to enter just about any country illegally.
They overwhelm social services, including hospital ERs (In Nevada,
American citizens were waiting behind illegals for life saving
treatments, such as dialysis.), the school systems, which the illegals
insist accommodate them by requiring everyone speak Spanish, the
welfare and housing systems, and other government services. They drive
without drivers’ licenses, insurance, registration, or knowledge of
U.S. traffic laws, and when involved in an accident, run from the
scene. They don’t pay taxes or file taxes, but are quick to suck up
taxpayer dollars while they’re making money. And most of their money is
sent back South.
Perhaps I might agree the solution is not profiling, but in reality
this country must take this issue in hand, and soon. The last thing
this issue needs to become is a political one, but that is exactly
what is happening because of the potential of over 12 million votes.
Incentive should be given to illegals (and those that employ them) to
return to their own country and use the system to emigrate legally.
Perhaps the process can be streamlined or refined to speed things up.
In conclusion, why would this country even let anyone in to work when
we are in such a deep recession with rampant unemployment? We need to
get Americans back to work, and if that means harsh laws regarding
illegal criminals, then so be it.
Mr. Strzynski, after you’ve lived 40+ years out there with them, and
all of the aforementioned problems, get back to me.

George Barnette • Sault Ste. Marie
 
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.
 
 
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