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

Hops Are Hopping

Features Patrick Sullivan “We bought 10 acres about 10 years ago to camp on and things got out of hand,” said Brian Tennis, owner of New Mission Organics and creator of the Michigan Hop Alliance, who quit his corporate job in February because hops have taken over his life. “Now we’ve got 30 acres in hops and we’re looking to buy more property to expand.
 
Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Danger Zone

It’s hard to talk politics with people you disagree with these days; that hasn’t stopped some people from trying

Features Patrick Sullivan Rahrig set out to create a safe place on Facebook for people who disagree about politics. It was a success in its early months, bringing together diverse people in Traverse City who debated difficult topics. However, in reflection of national politics, things fell apart—debate Rahrig got heated, a comment was removed and Rahrig closed the group.
 
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Postcards From Africa

Northern Michiganders Work to Improve Life in a Faraway Place

Features Patrick Sullivan

Not all travel is about relaxation and fun. Some people travel for a purpose. In recent years, people from across northern Michigan have found themselves in Africa to heal the sick, to help the poor obtain access to water, and to oppose the victimization of women. These are some of their stories.

 
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pig Trouble At Baker’s Green Acres

Features Patrick Sullivan Mark Baker said stores or restaurants that carry his pork products made from his Mangalitsa pigs have been intimidated by county, state and federal inspectors. Officials deny this. They say Baker’s recent trouble with health regulations is unrelated to an earlier feral pig dispute.
 
Saturday, February 13, 2016

From the Third World to Front Street

Features Patrick Sullivan Chef Anthony Craig has come a long way from Bluefields, Nicaragua, an isolated, tropical trading village where he began his life. In Bluefields, Craig lived on a dirt floor and watched his father load boats with ice for days-long fishing trips into the Atlantic.
 
Saturday, February 6, 2016

Boom Or Bust?

Features Patrick Sullivan In the 1990s, 1,000 new oil wells were drilled across the state of Michigan. In 2015, only 100 wells were drilled. Many of the people who drill and service those wells live and work in northern Michigan. This is the other side of the incredibly cheap gasoline seen in recent months.
 
Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Michigan Oil History Primer

Features Patrick Sullivan People drilled for oil in Michigan before there were cars to fill up at gas stations. Prospectors drilled for oil in Port Huron in the 1880s. They cooked it and turned it into axel grease for wagons, said Dr. William Harrison, director of the Michigan Basin Core Research Laboratory at Western Michigan University.
 
Saturday, January 30, 2016

Putting The Exchange In Foreign Exchange

Features Patrick Sullivan This school year, Rotary is hosting three foreign students in Traverse City. At the same time, there are students from Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High School studying through Rotary’s foreign exchange program in Brazil, Germany and Columbia.
 
Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Drifter Out To See The World

Local Sees Syrian Refugee Crisis Up-Close

Features Patrick Sullivan Winowiecki, a Kingsley High School graduate, travels and writes about traveling on his blog, headedabroad.com, whenever he can; he’s also a student at Lake Superior State University, where he majors in creative writing and marketing. Last fall, the 21-year-old came face-to-face with desperate Syrian refugees and he found it heartbreaking.
 
Saturday, January 30, 2016

Robot Battle!

Features Patrick Sullivan One might think schools from northern Michigan wouldn’t stand a chance in robot competitions against Detroit-area teams sponsored by General Motors or Delphi that have some of the world’s best engineers on speed dial. One might think that, but one would be wrong.
 
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Go Fighting Whities!

Is the use of Native American imagery in Petoskey sports teams offensive?

Features Patrick Sullivan

What would happen if a high school football team decided to call themselves the “Fighting Whities” and used a Caucasian stereotype as a mascot?

Fred Harrington said it wouldn’t fly — neither would mascots portraying Jewish, African American, Italian, Asian or any other racial identity. So why, he asks, are Native American mascots, like the one used by the Petoskey Northmen, acceptable?

 
Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sitting, Sugar, Sun

THE NEW VICES

Features Patrick Sullivan Sitting too often, eating too much sugar or spending too much time unprotected from the sun can have harmful or deadly effects equal to more obvious dangers. The Northern Express talked to experts about how we can redefine these behaviors as vices in order to live healthier lives.
 
Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Place in the World

Cadillac’s After 26 Depot Helps Connect Disabled Adults to Their Community

Features Patrick Sullivan Forty-four-year-old Keith is finally in touch with the world. As he washed dishes, he thought about why he loves his job at After 26 Depot restaurant in Cadillac. Keith, who is cognitively disabled, once worked at a sheltered factory that employs disabled adults.
 
Saturday, December 19, 2015

Northern Michigan’s Crystal Ball

Features Patrick Sullivan Development, big and tall, will be the hottest topic in Traverse City for the foreseeable future. Debate has raged for months over whether the city should allow the construction of a nine-story building, a project that would either promote density,...
 
Saturday, December 12, 2015

Glimpse Into the Past

Features Patrick Sullivan Rudolf Paziener arrived in the Boardman River Valley in 1922, it was known as “plains country” because loggers has stripped the land of trees as far as you could see.
 
 
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