Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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Monday, November 11, 2013

Letters 11-11-13

Letters

Kindness matters Three young men’s lives have now been lost in the very same location at Twin Lakes Park. Last week, TC West Senior High students and staff held a memorial service for my son Owen, the most recent of those drowned...

Jobs are out there Where is the bus to pick up all the people on unemployment to pick apples and grapes...

Happy with Obamacare Hallelujah for Obamacare! While I didn’t get what I preferred: single-payer/Medicare for all... Republicans also didn’t get what they wanted. Instead we got this Heritage Foundation/GOP-approved/RomneyCare plan. Oops Obamacare is what the GOP once wanted...

Obamacare: what matters The debate over Obamacare continues to be blurred by fringe issues instead of focusing on what is at the heart of the matter. People should ignore objections due to the incompetent roll-out, perceptions that the law is socialist, or nothing more than that the program was proposed by a black man in the White House...

About dam time Isn’t it time for the entire team that was involved in the Brown Bridge Dam fiasco to stand up and take responsibility for what was a colossal mistake from the git-go...

Correction Last week’s article on friends visiting Italy incorrectly stated that Rebecca and Pete Peterson are married. Rebecca’s husband is Chef Michael Peterson.

 
Monday, November 4, 2013

Letters 11-04-13

Letters The roots of violence

At a recent Forum on Gun Violence there was not a lot of talk about violent video games and movies, but panelists mentioned them as a factor. In my opinion as a retired pediatrician and adolescent and family psychiatrist, one result of the obsession with violent video games by young people is the loss of ability to talk and resolve problems...

Senate sends a message

The Michigan Senate passed a package of bills Oct. 22 that will restrict where people receiving public benefits can withdraw cash from ATMs using their Bridge cards...

They’ll be missed...

Ten years ago this summer, Bronwyn Jones started purchasing food from our Leelanau County Sweeter Song Farm and giving that fresh, healthful food to the Women’s Resource Center. Bronwyn’s idea evolved into the mission for the Fresh Food Partnership: buy locally grown fresh food at a fair market price for our neighbors in need...

Republican tax machine

Where are the campaign signs? Here it is, getting down to another millage election, and who knows anything about the three tax increases on the ballot?


 
Monday, October 28, 2013

Letters 10-28-13

Letters Here, kitty, kitty...

By my count, the picture scorecard of your Annual Tribute to Pets issue was as follows...

Frackdown in Kalkaska

On Saturday, October 19, 25 people gathered in Kalkaska to protest the misuse of Michigan water by fracking companies there. The effort was part of Global Frackdown 2, a world event initiated by Food and Water Watch and 350.org. Protests on Saturday were held in 30 countries and dozens of American cities...

Death in the forest

I agree with most of Steve Tuttle’s premises in “What a Friend Would Do,” but have serious issues with numbers posited for pre-Columbian populations...

New voice needed in D.C.

Retired general and former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon released the following statement on Dan Benishek’s 11th hour government shutdown vote...


 
Monday, October 21, 2013

Letters 1021-13

Letters Benishek’s blunders

Congressman Dan Benishek voted to strip Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Payments (food stamps) from the bi-partisan Senate passed Agriculture bill. According to the USDA, there are over 92,000 SNAP recipients in Benishek’s district. He also voted against the expansion of Medicaid benefits for the most vulnerable Michigan residents.

Who’s to blame?

Regarding Thomas Scribner’s letter, “Reckless Behavior,” 10-7-13, quite a rant. Mindless, totally partisan, uninformed, but quite a rant nonetheless...

What about taxes?

The report, “Obamacare: What’s In It for You” by Robert Downes was certainly biased and borderline propaganda...

Who’s running the show?

Here is a little “pop quiz” re: definitions and examples. What is the government of the U.S.? The U.S. is a federal constitutional republic. The citizens elect who controls their government...

Misinformed on BC/BS

In the October 7 issue, letter writer Tom North stated categorically that he was informed through their customer service department that “Michigan Blue Cross/Blue Shield will terminate ALL-100% of their current insurance plans by 3-31 14.”

The latest free trade threat

TPP: Trans Pacific Partnership. Have you heard of it? If you care about “Pure Michigan” or “All Things Local” you need to be paying attention. This is a trade agreement that for the last three years has been negotiated behind closed doors. It has been called “NAFTA on steroids” for good reason...


 
Monday, October 14, 2013

Letters 10-14-13

Letters Dr. Dan’s prescription

Last month, after attending Congressman Dr. Dan Benishek’s town hall meeting in Traverse City, I came away thinking “what a waste of time!” Upon entering I was asked to register, write any questions, and leave my email address in case the doctor could not get to my question from the floor...

Complainers take note

I’m writing in response to a couple letters complaining about improvements along the waterfront. I grew up in this town and also moved away to do blahblahblah and then came back...

Value what we have

I have lived in the Grand Traverse Region since 1984, and I have seen continued improvements in the vitality of the region from the restaurants, boutiques, waterfronts, salons -- and, yes, to the festivals in the last almost 30 years...

A musical thank you

A love letter to Traverse City on behalf of my family and me. I want to give a huge thanks to the Traverse City community, and the musicians who helped with the benefit for my family. I wish I could hug you all...

False claim

I spoke with Blue Cross/Blue Shield this morning concerning this statement made by Tom North in the Oct 7, 2013 issue of the Northern Express that “Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, through their customer service department, told me in August that ALL - 100% - of their current insurance plans are being terminated by March 31, 2014.” This is not a true statement!

Misguided state rep

Representative Greg MacMaster, (R) 105th District, voted NO on Common Core for Michigan. These standards define expectations for what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade...

 
Monday, October 7, 2013

Letters 10-07-13

Letters

Picture this:

This is a political cartoon in words. In the background is a band: Karl Rove on drums, Grover Norquist on keyboard, the Koch brothers (not to be confused with the Allman Brothers) on guitars... 

Healthcare for fat cats

Our Michigan State Senators have feathered their own nests, garnering lifetime, full-family insurance coverage. The requirement is an astonishing minimal six years of service...

Tuttle & Obamacare

Stephen Tuttle’s editorial about “Obamacare” (“No Points Scored,” Sept. 30) may be a decent attempt at a balanced analysis. However, the article contained a couple critical and glaring factual errors about that law...

Reckless behavior

Where’s the justice when a small band of zealots can wreck the economy and damage the paychecks of millions simply because they don’t wish to obey the law of the land -- a law that’s been upheld by the Supreme Court?

MPA contest honors:

Northern Express Weekly took first place for Graphic Design in this year’s Michigan Press Association contest for class B weekly newspapers, with honors going to Colleen Zanotti and Kyra Poehlman. Investigative reporter Patrick Sullivan took first place in News Enterprise Reporting for his story, “Upland Forest or Forested Wetlands?” Stephen Tuttle took third place for “Best Local Columnist.”

 
Monday, September 30, 2013

Letters 9-30-13

Letters Too many festivals

Rick Coates hit the nail on the head with his recent article on the increasing number of festivals and events up north, particularly the Traverse City area. Personally, I am “festivaled out” and no longer attend any of them, no matter what the theme...

Living Badly in Eden

Born and raised in Michigan, I moved away 33 years ago to pursue an education and career. Now, at age 60, after living in Boston, Dallas, Calgary, and earning a PhD in Brisbane, Australia, I chose to come back to Michigan because of its breathtaking beauty, its localized economy, and its commitment to community and culture. Indeed, sitting at the epicenter of the world’s fresh water supply, Michigan is second to none...

Just a stoners’ convention?

The logo for the medical marijuana convention does NOT instill faith that this is a viable form of medicine for the suffering. The conference also starts at 4:20 - another reference to going against societal norm...

Circadian Rhythms Influence Organs

The biological clock that regulates day and night cycles is called the circadian rhythm. Besides color, the healing of congestion is rhythm. It is a tremendous healing factor...

No yard signs for mayor

As mayor, documentation of my city service is public information that is recorded on public TV and commented on by the media on a regular basis. As such, my campaign for re-election will have no expenditures and will not include the display of yard signs...

Improvements not for us

It seems some of the Traverse City locals are confused about a few things. The improvements to the Open Space, the waste-of-money Splash Pad, and the new Marina, were not made for us that live here year round. We are already here, and most were here for years before...


 
Monday, September 23, 2013

Letters 9-23-13

Letters Overpopulation blues

Thanks so much for your column on over-population (re: “Not enough workers or too many?”). Nobody talks much about this issue but I recall when Helen Caldicott was a speaker at NMC in the ’80s. She said, “If we don’t solve this problem, we won’t have to solve any of the others.” Yet, here we are, billions of people later...

Moderates: the enemy

The recent editorial by Stephen Tuttle regarding possible Republican presidential candidates is quite typical of the far left. The praising of candidates like Bush or Christie, both moderates while simultaneously trashing other more conservative people will end should one of these moderates get the nomination...

Race & I.D.

Regarding Stephen Tuttle’s piece on race: So much to say, so little space. Let’s settle for his uninformed comments on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act...

Free Fracking Film

Michigan residents may or may not know about the petition-drive for a 2014 ballot initiative to ban/block shale gas and oil fracking in Michigan. The deadline for 250,000 signatures is October 1. Time is running out and we need your help...

Stop Toxic Lawns

There are a large growing number of concerned citizens in Traverse City who want lawn chemicals and pesticides out of this city. What does one have to do to drill it in peoples heads that these chemicals are extremely toxic.? Toxic, toxic, toxic! Chemicals and nature don’t mix...


 
Monday, September 16, 2013

Letters 09-16-13

Letters Protect the Manistee

In Manistee, a newly formed group of concerned citizens called the Manistee Water Guardians is working to advance the dialogue about horizontal hydraulic fracturing, known commonly as “fracking.”

Fracking’s blight

What do we picture when we think of a hydraulic fracturing (un) natural gas well? Not a large, 24/7, noisy, smelly, permanent scar on the natural landscape, I’ll bet. Or an assembly of huge pumps, pipes, storage tanks and collection ponds.

No to war in Syria

I generally do not agree with Stephen Tuttle’s articles but found “We Can’t Fix This” to be right on! We still have not learned that the Middle East will always be a no-win situation. If only our government could remember a little history-- if you don’t know it, you are bound to repeat it. Kudos Tuttle.

The risk of war

As we consider a military attack on Syria, I ask myself: is another war affordable? Spiritually? Financially? What are the risks? How long would it last? Are there alternatives?

Small house idea

Re your article “Not a Small World After All.” The subtext of this article would appear to be that there would be less environmental impact if Centerville Township allowed smaller houses to be built. I don’t think that this is the case, however, because the primary environmental impact of housing is created by where the house is located and to what degree that location then requires the people that live there to drive in order to work/show/recreate.

Great experience

I just had to share this with as wide of an audience as possible so Northern Express seemed like a good starting point! How many times do folks drive by Little Bohemia on Front St. in TC and dismiss it as “just another tavern”? I sure have been guilty of that numerous times!

Move to Amend

Remember going to a party where a loudmouth monopolizes the conversation with your girlfriend? Corporations, trade associations, superpacs, and multinational companies with big money are romancing our politicians and writing legislation through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that definitely does not favor you and me. It is not freedom if only rich people’s voices are heard. Congress will not change unless we speak out.


 
Monday, September 9, 2013

Letters 09-09-13

Letters Booze & fireworks

Northern Express Weekly and reporter Patrick Sullivan have written a scandal sheet story that does not paint a true picture in the fireworks case against James Goodyear (Express, Aug. 26). It seems that they have cherrypicked the official police report leaving out pertinent information and timelines to sensationalize the story...

Cycling & cell phones

As a past cyclist and a current driver, I see the need for both groups to co-exist on the road for everyone’s safety. Some of the issues with motorists stem from a road selection by cyclists, choosing a road that has minimal shoulder room to allow safe passage past cyclists...

Ditch all traffic signs

Tear down ALL TRAFFIC signs inside Traverse City. I mean it. Every single one. Every traffic light, every speed limit sign, every stop sign...

No bombs for Syria

An open letter to our senators, members of Congress, and President Obama. I urge you to do everything you can to reject bombing of Syria...

 
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Letters

Letters Bikes & cars, compared Thanks to Michael Dettmer for contributing the article about the pertinent laws pertaining to cyclists in your Aug. 18 edition.

Bikes & cars, compared  Okay, really? A car and a bike. A car weighs several THOUSAND pounds. Most bikes, under 40. I just read the Aug. 19 issue. In the everpopular “Public Safety” section, there are two articles about accidents involving cars running stop signs. One resulted in death, the other in injuries.

One-ton death machines Driving my F-250 diesel to work a few months ago, I started to pull away from a stop sign and, BAM - a reckless bicyclist ran the stop, sheared off the front end of my truck, and put me in the hospital for a week... SAID NO DRIVER EVER!!!

Doggone whiners... The whiners have won. Everything is regulated because of whiners. I wish people would stop whining, figure out problems on their own, forgive other people, and quit ruining America with all the whining.

 
Monday, August 26, 2013

Letters

Letters Bikes & self preservation

The recent vitriol against bike riders is short-sighted at best and pathetic at worst. Talk of getting the police to ticket cyclists more and of licensing and insuring bicycles are solutions looking for a problem...

Endless crowds

I found Sam Porter’s marketing comments about his new “Spectacular Structures” mobile venue being touted for our area perplexing. On the one hand he comments about how we should celebrate all that is great and good about life in Northern Michigan and laments those events that can “close down our parks and streets.”

Where’s the love?

So many disagreeable comments appeared in your article about Fridrich Furs: Trapping... fur farms...Fridrich seems to be comfortable rationalizing the most despicable and inhumane treatment of animals to further his profession...

Our poisoned roads

Once again Team Services has been caught using toxic waste chemicals from oil and gas drilling as dust control on roads. Team Services reportedly sprayed 300,000 gallons of toxic fluid on 121 miles of roads in Benzie County...

Christians & science

The incessant and unnecessary conflict between science and religion continues, but we can and should learn from history. Beginning in 1534 when Copernicus published “On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies,” until at least 1633 with church decrees against Galileo, a battle raged which bore striking similarities to the evolution versus creationism war of today...

 
Monday, August 19, 2013

Letters 08-19-13

Letters

The leakers & freedom

Stephen Tuttle’s writing exemplifies the confusion surrounding Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. You say that names of Afghan and Chinese nationals have been released? The list please. You write that “they’ve exposed nothing illegal under current law.” If one looks at what Wikileaks published thanks to Mr Manning (http://www.bradleymanning.org/learn-more/ what-did-wikileaks-reveal), then one may be exposed to revelations describing what should be illegal acts.

Exposing the insanity

I have to disagree with Stephen Tuttle about the comparison between Manning, Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg (who released The Pentagon Papers). Ellsberg had the support of the New York Times and a country that was sick of the war in Southeast Asia. The people that supported us were doomed at the end of the war. The same thing will happen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She’s following the rules

Dear Fellow Cyclists/Commuters: I am surprised and dismayed at your anger towards me and I feel you missed the point of my letter in the August 5 issue. I DO NOT feel that I am in any way above the law.

Violations everywhere

I have taken a week since reading the letter to the editor about being ticketed for running a red light in downtown Traverse City. I was so filled with different emotions as I read it that I needed to take some time to sort through it all.

By the book

Far too often cyclists violate traffic laws with little regard for drivers. I’m not saying that all cyclists are bad drivers and that I support this form of transportation. I wish I had the ability to ride a bike to work as Susan Ruoff does.

Reckless riders

I live in TC and the behavior of some cyclists is quite frankly scary. Running red lights, wearing dark clothes without any lights and only minimal reflectors at night, riding three abreast taking up the entire street, riding on the wrong side of the road, weaving from one side of the road to the other, not signaling turns, not stopping at crosswalks when riding on the sidewalk, cutting in front of cars and jumping from riding on the sidewalk to riding on the street are all things I have seen cyclists do in the past two weeks.

Negligent motorists

The recent bevy of hostile letters directed at cyclists (Letters-8/11) has me convinced that there is more going on here than just frustration over how long a cyclist sits at a red light. First of all, if the drivers of motorized vehicles that require licensing and insurance convey this much hostility in a letter, I, as a cyclist, certainly don’t want to share any road with you.


 
Monday, August 12, 2013

Letters 08-12-13

Letters The bully on the beach
His yelling got my attention in the beach parking lot. “Where have you been?! We’ve been waiting an hour!” He was yelling at a teenage girl who had wandered off at the beach. He grabbed her by the hair and shook her, then dealt a forceful, open-handed hit across her head...

Threat from GMOs
There’s a terrific battle taking place between the biotech industry and their supporters and consumers who would like the opportunity to choose whether or not they want geneticallymodified foods (GMOs)...

Bicycle uproar
Wow. As I read Susan V. Ruoff’s letter, all I kept thinking, was wow. I have never seen such ignorant, blatant disrespect for our law officers. YOU broke the law! At a stoplight, you stop, and wait for a green light. You do not proceed after you stop. SAME ROAD SAME RULES. The officer was enforcing our laws...

Wrong state
Correction for Stephen Tuttle: I have lived in North Carolina for 33 years and have not always been proud of our elected officials. However, Mark Sanford was the governor of SOUTH Carolina when he had his affair and said he was on the Appalachian trail...

SodaStream fizzle...
The “Gear Box” column in your August 5-11 issue pushed the product SodaStream. Some of your readers may want to know that this product and the company that produces it are part of a consumer boycott of companies, goods, and services involved in Israeli policies that violate Palestinian human rights and international law...

Un-natural gas
Gas from 15,000 psi fracking wells that use unknown toxic chemicals and millions of gallons of water per well is certainly not natural!

 
Monday, August 12, 2013

Beyond Bullying

Photographer focuses on getting past teen stereotypes

Features “Basically what the program is, is local girls and boys, women and men, telling their stories about how they were bullied, or were the bully,” she says. “A lot of the stories that you can read on their Facebook page hit home.” (See https://www.facebook.com/.
 
 
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