Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Letters 03-14-2016

Letters

A Word from the TCHC The Traverse City Housing Commission (TCHC) does not agree with the statements offered by Mr. Parsons in his opinion in the Mar. 5 issue pertaining to representations allegedly offered to or from the TCHC and regarding his client...

The Real World Social media can be an interesting thing. Writing one’s feelings, passions, etc. is much easier on a screen. It’s easier to perhaps be our true selves when we’re just looking at computers and not other humans. It’s an entirely different story when we’re face to face with someone else...

Plant the Right Trees Municipal tree plantings are a very important opportunity for the cities and towns around the state of Michigan to providing biodiversity and sustainability for their citizens. In the late 1990’s the city of Petoskey experienced one of the greatest Arborio blights in the city’s history, resulting in the removal of the vast majority of the maple trees along its streets. The removal costs for these trees was ultimately tens of thousands of dollars...

Bus Drivers Are Champions A few weeks ago a local school bus driver was proceeding merrily on her rounds when she came upon a man lying on his back next to a snow shovel. She stopped and secured the bus, determined that he was not breathing, called 911 and commenced artificial resuscitation. By all accounts she saved his life and eventually continued on her way. Thus is a day in the life of the largely unsung school bus driver...

What We Need Fifty years ago we instituted K-12 education for all children. Now a high school diploma won’t “buy you a cup of coffee.” We need to make available affordable college or technical school for all...

 
Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Next Generation: Really?

Other Opinions The prospects of the teen’s grandparents’ generation, millions of whom received government-paid excursions to the South Pacific or North Africa as high school graduation trips, were in stark contrast to what’s in store for her class.
 
Saturday, March 5, 2016

Letters 03-07-2016

Letters

Not A Good Record Kudos to Michigan Republicans. Not only have they allowed our roads to deteriorate to the point of being dangerous, they are allowing an old pipeline carrying corrosive chemicals to threaten the largest body of fresh water in the world... 

The Real Oscar Math The irony of the State Theatre’s mast (#OscarsSoWhite) exhibiting its solidarity with the supposed dearth of black Oscar nominees is perhaps more prodigious than the ego of its beloved founder...

Help At Home I am disgusted by the cover that shows how white locals are changing Africa. I wonder what it would be like if these locals did work in their own backyard: Flint, Detroit, Benton Harbor, Saginaw, etc. My life work is around racial justice in Indigenous-Native American communities. As 0.5 percent of the U.S. population, I am an invisible minority as a mixed-race Native American. There is plenty of racism in northern Michigan and instead of buying organic dental floss, white liberals could help dismantle the oppressive system they benefit from...

A Heapin’ Helpin’ of Why with a Dash of Would I would like to know: Why aren’t corporations held completely accountable for the environmental devastation that they create? Why aren’t corporate heads prosecuted when they break laws? Why does our government keep giving corporations huge tax breaks and subsidies? Why is so much of the wealth in the hands of the one percent?

Aquaculture Fish Pens It seems we have a never-ending task of monitoring our Great Lakes water and keeping it pure for our health and recreation (not to mention the creatures that live and swim in it). We have a new threat upon us – aquaculture — the farming of large quantities of non-native fish in cages (fish pens) in the near shore waters. At this point is it is mostly a proposal introduced by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and generally sanctioned by that ever vigilant and protector of our “pure” water — the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality...

 
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Letters 02-29-2016

Letters

Corporate America I talk to David and I get this insurance BS. I talk to Mike and I get this Microsoft BS. Talk to John and everything is BS. My sister too with the insurance BS. Corporations have taken over, and control so much. Is everything a conspiracy? I believe so, more than ever before...

What Can Be Done I may or may not be a Sanders fan, but does Stephen Tuttle somehow imply that Sanders’ numbers don’t work out but that the other candidates’ numbers do? We have been financing the government on the backs of our children for decades, both Republican and Democrat administrations...

The Homeless Situation The writer of “The Homeless Situation” letter recently portrayed the liberal community as an ill-suited group to address the needs of the homeless, though he expressed gratitude to the church community for their efforts. Is it not possible to be a liberal and a member of the faith community? These groups are not mutually exclusive...

Obamacare Is Working Premiums for plans sold in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace increased 6% this year nationwide. In fact, according to a recent Record-Eagle article, 5 out of 21 companies selling individual insurance plans in Michigan did not raise prices at all this year. Contrast this with the 15 years prior to the Marketplace being established, when annual increases for my individual insurance policies ranged from 13 percent to well over 20 percent...


 
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Letters 02-22-2016

Letters

The Sad Homeless Situation Once again it seems we are to be treated to the spectacle of homeless men and women wandering in the frigid cold of winter with no place to call their own. Our precious community of liberal humanitarians, lovers of the arts, contributors to every non-profit that promises to save the planet and keep the rolling seas from our doorstep seem unable to provide simple shelter; the very home after all of the world-class humanitarian Michael Moore...

The Goose Is Cooked It’s no wonder that Mr. Kachadurian takes so much heat from the readers of his column. His latest is no exception. His opinions are skewed and he doesn’t seem to have all the facts...

Recall Time Michigan’s government is out of control. Governor Snyder and his band of merry legislators in Lansing are driving the state into bankruptcy. From abandoned railroad cars sitting at a siding in Cadillac at a cost of $1.2 million per year to the unnecessary state-sponsored DRIC bridge and the now infamous Flint water fiasco, the current administration and legislature view the average citizen as its private piggy bank. The election process is a bought and paid for joke, now merely a game of term limited musical chairs...

Sanders’ Plan Is No Fantasy In Mr. Tuttle’s column “The Sanders Fantasy,” he stated his belief that the fantasy that Bernie Sanders and other Americans have for things such as affordable healthcare, higher education and basic security for all (achievements reached by other governments) cannot possibly be achieved because of the way Washington works...

 
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ruler Of The Republic

BOB SUTHERLAND IS ALL ABOUT MICHIGAN

Features

Bob Sutherland, founder and CEO of Glen Arbor–based Cherry Republic, knows a thing or two about the great state of Michigan. He and his retail company have been selling cherry-related products for almost thirty years.

 
Saturday, February 13, 2016

Letters 02-15-2016

Letters

No More Balloon Launches In the recent Wedding issue, a writer noted a trend of celebratory balloon launches at weddings. Balloon releases are nothing more than a wind-born distribution of litter, not an appropriate way to celebrate a marriage or commemorate cancer victims and survivors...

Plenty Of Blame In Flint Many opinions have been voiced about the Flint water crisis; all have left many questions unasked, such as: Lead is the culprit, and a there is a ban on lead in paint, as well as one on lead in new plumbing materials. There are still many service connecting pipes made out of lead in service. Why? Have any been installed despite the ban?

Stop Balloon Releases I was appalled by the column on the wedding traditions article that suggested making new traditions like releasing balloons at the conclusion of the ceremony! I am the president of AFFEW (A Few Friends for the Environment of the World) in Ludington, and we clean beaches four times a year....

Roosevelt Had It Right 202 years ago the British Royal Navy bombarded Fort McHenry during the War Of 1812. While being held captive aboard the HMS Surprise, Francis Scott Key composed the immortal “Star Spangled Banner” poem. 202 years later I ask, “Oh, say can you see” one of the most appallingly dishonest presidential election cycles since the Adams/Jefferson election of 1800...

Avoid Urban Sprawl In Petoskey I urge Resort Township, the City of Petoskey and Emmet County to dissuade Bay Harbor’s proposal to add new business and residential development along U.S. 31 near the main entrance to Bay Harbor...

 
Saturday, February 6, 2016

Letters 02-08-2016

Letters

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

 
Saturday, January 30, 2016

Letters 02-01-2016

Letters

Real Contamination In 1968, Chicago (its Mayor Richard Daley in particular) felt menaced by anti-war protesters (Abbie Hoffman in particular) threatening to put the hallucinogenic LSD into Chicago’s water supply. In reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., we reacted vigorously to a perceived threat of chemical or biological terrorist attacks on our water supply. A religious cult contaminating a city water tank with salmonella in Oregon, sickening about 700, was the only such attack in our country until now. The water supply of Flint, Mich., was attacked and contaminated, not by terrorists or protesters, but by our own government...

Why The Muslim Debate? I was passing through your fine town last week and picked up a couple copies of Northern Express. There I noted a discourse concerning the Muslim situation in Dearborn. It is interesting to note that I see similar conversations in newspapers and blogs throughout the country and, in fact, throughout the world...

Kachadurian Has It All Wrong Thank you for continuing to publish Thomas Kachadurian’s bigoted editorials. If not for this publication, I wouldn’t know that such people lived in my sweet northern Michigan...

Over The Line I felt Sarah Palin crossed the line when she indicated our president did not care about those like her son who came home wounded. No one challenges her on these remarks; to me it is shameful...

Flints’ Man-made Disaster Governor Snyder’s Financial Emergency Manager Law has created a State of Emergency in Flint. In 2011, newly elected Governor Snyder signed Public Act 4, giving him the freedom to take over any city government his office found financially bankrupt, with power to override any decision of elected city officials. This law showed his primary motive — money before people. In November 2012, the People of Michigan voted down his Financial Emergency Manager Law, as they resented losing control of their cities. In December 2012, he showed his contempt for the people’s vote and signed a revised version, one that did not give power back to the people...

Defending the AR15 And Gun Rights I was amazed to read David Downer’s recent letter. He admits he is a gun owner but he expresses his ignorance of what an “assault rifle” really is, and thereby spreads the antigun position that an AR15 is an assault rifle...

 
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Letters 01-25-2016

Letters

Weapons of Mass Destruction Are assault rifles weapons of mass destruction? They are designed and manufactured with the primary purpose of efficiently killing people, lots of people. Recent reports of assault rifles being used in the mass killing and maiming of scores of people in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds, would seem to qualify them as “weapons of mass destruction”...

Easy Fix? It seems an easy fix for the dispute on the Petoskey Northmen Indian logo would be to discontinue its use, keep the Northmen name, and develop a new logo and helmet graphic for the football team that would be acceptable to the local tribes...

Levels Of Faith & Understanding Most of the people I know are nominal Christians. They don’t take their faith too seriously; it’s just a small part of who they are. Occasionally, some of them become more devout, and, for whatever reason, they begin to study the Bible and attend church regularly. As they become more sincere, life change happens, they begin volunteering to feed the needy and are more generous to the disadvantaged. Organizations such as Feed the Children or Mercy Medical Ships could not operate without them. Like Christians, most Muslims are nominal too...

Final Word On Native American Mascots I would like to respond to the article regarding the Petoskey High School football team’s mascot depicting a Native American. The only opinion regarding whether using Native Americans as mascots that should matter are the opinions of Native Americans...

 
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Letters 01-18-2016

Letters

Last Word on Muslims This is the last response I’ll write on Islam in America, as I feel the subject has become repetitive at this point. I’ve been to Dearborn and I have a few close friends there. It’s a lovely place, not the theocratic hellhole that many are trying to smear it as. But putting personal experience aside, the fact that Muslim immigrants assimilate more easily in the United States than in Europe because of our melting-pot culture is borne out by the data — like it or not...

Please Explain, Rep. Inman Will Rogers once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Well, the facts coming out of Lansing in the closing minutes of last year’s legislative session would have given him plenty of material. Perhaps our local politician, Rep. Inman, could enlighten his constituents on his support for SB 571...

Snow Thanks Very impressed, TC. After mucho snow Saturday night, my family and I enjoyed a lovely early Sunday morning walk downtown on already cleared sidewalks...

Sympathies We are heading into the eighth year of Barak Obama’s presidency. Nothing surprises me any longer about conservative Republicans’ inability to deal with facts...

Useless Words So, ah, it seems that some words have been suggested to not be essential to the English language. Well, I mean, can’t a person, like, you know, use those unessential words if they so desire? The simple fact is, I’m thinking, it should be fine to use these words...

 
Saturday, January 9, 2016

Letters 01-11-2016

Letters

Real Muslim Talk A recent letter stated that most Muslims assimilate to American culture just fine. This feel-good statement doesn’t reflect the whole picture: Muslims in the U.S. adapt minimally to local customs while aggressively asserting their own religion and culture upon their surroundings. Dearborn, Mich. is an ideal “laboratory” to observe this phenomenon, since it holds the largest Muslim population in the United States...

Shame On Us I am a Native American living in northern Michigan. Natives believe in the sanctity of life. We believe women are givers of life, not takers. Abortion creates a scenario of a mother taking her own child’s life...

Embrace Our Water I would like to gather together a group of like-minded people to focus on cleaning our water…water in our lakes, rivers, aquifers, etc. After seeing Masaru Emoto in the documentary film, “The Secret” and after reading his books, “The Hidden Messages In Water” and “The True Power Of Water,” I realized that we have the power to clean our terribly polluted water that we cannot live without...

 
Saturday, January 2, 2016

Letters 01-04-2016

Letters

“Grow Up” In the Dec. 21 issue, Thomas Kachadurian writes that attempts to alleviate hunger and poverty (you know, as in sunday school: “feed the hungry,clothe the poor, care for the sick”) are childish fantasies like the belief in Santa Claus. And for good measure he also includes pacifism, gun control, government aid programs and religious tolerance...

No Sympathy For Merchant Class I would like to respond to the “help wanted” letter about local businesses. Perhaps our region’s merchant class would benefit by reading The Walmart Effect; it’s a bit dated, but it applies. And it does so painfully...

Don’t Generalize About Millennials In its Dec. 14 issue, the Northern Express published a letter from a local business owner which blamed the large number of local help wanted signs on “young millennials’ poor or non-existent work ethic and/or their refusal to show up on time and do what is expected.” While I cannot speak for all millennials, I did want to provide a counter-narrative..

A Modest Proposal Indeed I very much enjoyed Grant Parson’s column, “A Modest Proposal” in the Dec. 20 issue of Northern Express. His proposal which was spot on, and indeed very modest, suggesting that the conditions imposed on a woman seeking an abortion be applied to an individual seeking to purchase an assault weapon...

Senator Peters Misinformed Senator Gary Peters made a fool out of himself at a subcommittee meeting recently when he sited the Law of Conservation of Energy, saying, “additional heat does not just magically disappear, it makes the planet warmer.” He clearly was absent on the day his sixth grade teacher explained the First Law of Thermodynamics...

My Story Of Climate Change Climate change is here. Although no single weather event can be attributed directly to a climate trend, the increasing number and intensity of these storms can. My own story is a mix of facts and fear. Returning from our family reunion, my sister and I engaged in a philosophical discussion about climate change...

Not Talking About It Recently many of us have watched a stage full of Republican debaters thump their chests, rattle their imaginary sabers, glower directly into the camera, and promise our enemies death and destruction, all in the interests of national security. But we hear nothing about climate change...

Real Renewable Progress Well done, Wolverine Power Cooperative and member organizations Cherryland, Great Lakes Energy, PIE&G, and others. Wolverine recently announced it will source approximately 30 percent of its power supply from renewable sources by 2017. The wind power will be supplied from the Deerfield Wind Project in Huron County and the Michigan Wind 3 Project in Sanilac County. This commitment far exceeds Michigan’s goal of 10 percent renewables met this year. That’s leadership...

Zero Tolerance In response to Jack Segal’s column from the Dec. 21 Northern Express regarding “Tolerance and Free2Choos,” has Mr. Segal ever heard the term “zero tolerance?” It is highly disturbing that an educated individual would allow the gallering neo-Nazis outside a peaceful Jewish faith assembly while threatening innocent people. Many who know the horrors of Hitler and his Nazi regime will be intolerant of such interferences...

 
Saturday, December 19, 2015

Letters 12-21-2015

Letters

Too Much Attention Our culture has entered into the theater of the absurd. Because it has become popular to distrust anything and everything our government and Obama are doing, we have given in to an angst that makes us do and say ridiculous things...

Care for Others At a time of year when we normally hear calls for peace and love, we are inundated with harsh and hostile rhetoric from politicians and presidential candidates calling for endless war, carpet bombing, closing mosques, barring refugees, and deporting immigrants. Cutting any and all assistance for the poor and their children also seems to be on the agenda...

Climate and Our Congress The United Nations has approved unanimously, by almost 200 nations, a landmark climate accord which promises to move our planet forward to preserve our way of life and those of our children and progeny (New York Times, 12/12/15)...

Dangerous Worldviews Letter writer Gordon Lee Dean should be reported for possible inclusion on the terrorist watch list, immediately. I am serious. He calls our twice-elected president a “tyrant.” He believes he has a “Godgiven right” to use his arsenal against not only terrorists, but also against “government gone wrong,” whomever that may be, and however he happens to define that phrase...

The Real Muslim Facts Contrary to the assertions made in a letter in the Dec. 7th issue, most Muslim immigrants assimilate to mainstream American culture just fine, and they are more law-abiding and productive than almost any other immigrant group. The most educated female religious group, only behind Jewish women? Muslim women. Most importantly, the vast majority of the world’s Muslims are against religious violence and against ISIS. All of these facts come from Gallup and the Pew Research Center.

9 Stories of Rebranding We love Traverse City because it’s beautiful and offers so much to all of us. We can see the skyline and the nature around it. People of all ages object to River West because we don’t want tall buildings, a crowded city, and more traffic that would destroy our quality of life. This project will turn our lovely downtown into another big city with tall apartment complexes, condos, and business developments. Goodbye, pretty town...

Ending Wars Will End Terrorism We are such a frightened people. We are inundated daily with fear: In our local and national news, packaged as entertainment in which we have no way to defuse except to be uninformed. Consider now we want to build an actual/virtual wall around the U.S. Our politicians are building up the fear as we speak. Fear works! It separates us and makes being different become bad and dangerous. Fear makes it easy to control our thinking and hence control our decisions...

 
Saturday, December 12, 2015

Letters 12-14-2015

Letters

Help-Wanted Signs We, a small group of local, small business owners, meet informally every few months to discuss the ups and downs of surviving on the endangered species list of “mom & pop” retailers in the day of the big box and the revered Internet...

Evil Guns Miracles do happen, because I just survived another safe hunting season here in northern Michigan by not getting killed by one of those evil guns. My gun unfortunately did not kill any deer but it probably would have if it had seen a buck. I was just there to carry that damn gun around and if need be to drag a dead deer home...

Exaggerated Idea Statement Regarding Stephen Tuttle’s column two weeks back, I agree with Mr. Tuttle that Republican candidates need policy questions....unlike what we saw with MSNBC...

Better Ideas Needed NPR claimed “the shooting in San Bernardino, Cal., was the 355th mass shooting in the U.S. this year — or more than one per day on average so far in 2015.” We may not all have faith in the same news sources, but clearly we’ve become a society in which massacres are becoming a daily routine...

ISIS’ Real Genesis In his recent column “What Do They Want”, Jack Segal fails to connect easy dots that can readily explain much of ISIS’ behavior. The bombing of the Russian airliner is clearly linked to the bombing of Syrian targets by Russia a month prior. So too, the French attack is a direct response to the year-long bombing of ISIS targets ordered by President Hollande. While the attacks can only be described as heinous, they are easily understood as collateral...

The Real Muslim Facts Contrary to the assertions made in a letter in the Dec. 7 issue, most Muslim immigrants assimilate to mainstream American culture just fine, and they are more law-abiding and productive than almost any other immigrant group. The most educated female religious group, only behind Jewish women? Muslim women. Most importantly, the vast majority of the world’s muslims are against religious violence and against ISIS. All of these facts come from Gallup and the Pew Research Center...

The Trump Limbo Donald Trump is confused. He has mistaken the presidential campaign for a Limbo dance competition. How low can you go...

Vote On Height I am opposed to the proposed nine-story building in Traverse CIty. I believe that the size of the project is going to forever alter the way we view our town. This development could possibly benefit approximately two hundred residences that will be a part of this project. Assuming for the moment that each of these will house two people, this means that potentially 400 residents will stand to benefit. Should we, for the sake of 400, permanently alter our skyline? Instead of five stories, we will be looking at a building that will overshadow the surrounding neighborhood and adjacent buildings...

 
 
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