I agree with Keith Schneider and Kelly Thayer that we need an alternative to the Hartman Hammond bypass (re: “Just Say No,“ 12/18). However, the Cass Road bridge should not be one of the alternatives. It is a bad choice because it is in dire need of repair already. Widening it will not fix what is underneath.
Why couldn‘t the bridge on Keystone/Beitner be widened as well as the road? This alternative would not ruin the beautiful valley where the bridge is now proposed. Then you could either hook up with Hammond Road or possibly even use Potter Road over to 3 Mile or 4 Mile Raod as a by-pass. Why not keep the traffic where it is already flowing?
G.T. County, stop pushing and start looking at alternatives.
Tom Webster Grawn
In praise of John Mayer
I can‘t resist picking on Kristi Kates a little bit for her review of John Mayer‘s new CD, “Heavier Things.“ She sounds like a jilted lover.
Hearing a John Mayer tune follow Bon Jovi on the radio is a godsend -- especially to a fellow musician who has to rely on subscriptions to Paste mag, Inradio, and hours at Borders to hear something inspiring. I can‘t speak for his first CD because somehow I missed it; but I picked up the second one for a simple reason: it instantly hooked me. When dissecting it, there might be a few cliched lyrics, but I was probably sidetracked by “I survive on the breath that you finish with.“ That and “one hand on the trigger of the telephone“ are tangible and transparent.
As a 49-year-old female, it‘s engaging to hear the “heavier things“ relative to the life and loves of a twenty-something-year old male. At least they seem “heavy“ when contrasted with the ironic musings on tunes such as “New Deep.“ I agree there are some production issues, but lets give him a break. I think the glass is more than half-full here.
I am not an expert like Kristi, but my ears hear a promising, thoughtful, striving young artist who surely has room to grow and mature (don‘t we all) and I‘ll be the optimistic one listening for it.
As for one-trick voices, look under ‘S‘ for Sinatra or Sting.
Sharron May via email
Flags & fascism
My head plays funny games of wishful thinking at times. One wish of late has been to go to bed and miraculously, over night, all those silly U.S. flags being flown from cars and the bumper stickers with “God on our side“ sort of slogans could change to a swastika over night. Then in the morning all those silly people could see, or might see, how fast we approach the same dimensions that did the Third Reich in 1932.
Start with putting fear into your people; Then add an extreme case of patriotic nationalism; you soon are entering into the fascism that follows.
History repeats itself.
“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power.“ -- Benito Mussolini.“
Jim Porter Lake Leelanau
Reject coal plant
The executive committee of the Traverse Group of the Sierra Club, on behalf of its members, most specifically including those living in Manistee County, but on behalf of the residents of Northern Michigan, its environment and its wildlife and their habitats as well, has passed a resolution officially opposing the proposed “Northern Lights“ coal burning plant in Manistee County.
The resolution lists only a few of our concerns regarding the proposed plant and its impacts on the environment and to the residents of Manistee County, as well as the residents of Northern Michigan and Canada. Other concerns, too numerous to mention, include the impact from noise and light pollution, the fact that the Tondu Corporation‘s application meets only minimum environmental standards, the unanswered questions regarding the actual brown field clean-up, and the issue of environmental justice, which is one of the Sierra Club‘s priority campaigns, as this plant is proposed for a low-income area of Manistee.
The promise of new jobs is a tactic that is both misleading and insulting, as the majority of the new jobs that the Tondu Corporation is promising will likely be given to those currently employed by the corporation and brought in from other locations.
The Traverse Group is committed to working with the people of Manistee County to ensure that the proposed plant is rejected. The resolution can be read on our website at: www.michigan.sierraclub.org/traverse
Monica Evans, Chair Traverse Group of the Sierra Club
Sold out on Medicare
Medicare prescription drug bill that was rushed through Congress was prepared by the drug companies, the insurers, and the HMOs and it looks like nobody read the fine print before it was voted into law.
Now the Vanguard, the official newsletter of the Michigan Association of Retired
School Personnel reports “there is a provision in the (Medicare prescription drug) legislation which would allow an employer -- public or private -- to eliminate all health care benefits, not only prescription health care benefits for its retirees over age 65 who are eligible for Medicare.“
That means employers who promised retirees supplemental insurance can back out. My state retirement plan provides for prescription drug benefits that are better than what the new Medicare bill promises. We also get dental/visual and supplemental Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance, but the new law threatens to strip those benefits. We are howling with rage that our elected representatives could be so gullible and quick to sign on to a bill that will dismantle Medicare and hang us out to dry.
That AARP, an insurance provider, endorsed the bill is seen by many as a betrayal of the membership.
It is difficult to express the depth of our outrage and frustration at the failure of our government to represent the best interests of the people. We have been sold out.
Harley L. Sachs Houghton