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- May 10th, 2010
Drill, baby, drill... not
Drill, baby, drill has already caused 11 human deaths, will cause
thousands of wildlife deaths, will destroy sea life and food from the sea
and jobs for an incomprehensible time, all because British Petroleum knew
how to drill three miles below the surface of the Gulf, but didn’t know
how to provide proper safety precautions for their hugely profitable dig.
Not our oil; they profited $5.5 billion in the first quarter this year,
and we bought from them just as if they were Saudi Arabia.
West Virginia’s coal company, Performance Coal, was cited over 100 times
so far this year for safety violations that they failed to correct. They
are responsible for the deaths of 29 miners. Coal companies pollute the
environment with their dirty coal that causes health problems that can
lead to additional deaths. Their profits are scarcely scratched by the
fines they paid to “forgive” their safety precaution failures. Without a
viable alternative, industry keeps buying coal companies’ coal.
These two tragedies demand a change in energy policy. Wouldn’t it be
fabulous for Northwest Michigan to lead the way by establishing the
already existing, profitable, clean energy of wind power? A new windmill
already exists near Bellaire, and the one above Traverse City has been
there for years, a tourist spot, not a blot on the landscape. A company
building windmills already exists in Michigan. Think about the jobs!
Local experts have already identified ideal land sites for wind power in
the northwest lower peninsula, and these high spots are often in ski
Beautiful white arms moving in the wind to match the beautiful white
trillium below in the spring and marshmallow snow banks in the winter.
What a pure picture.
Shanty, Boyne, Crystal, Nub’s Nob, and all of our wonderful ski resorts,
would you take the noble lead in this sensible and
attractive alternative ?

Patricia W. Fox • Bellaire

Biomass & burning rubber
I have been watching the news about the biomass plant that TCLP is
planning to build. I worked in a biomass plant for 11 years and there are
some real drawbacks to such a plant.
Burning strictly wood is fairly easy on the environment, due to modern
pollution controls mandated by the DEQ. The problem is, after a few years
the plant can apply for a variance to burn TDF, which is tire-derived
The plant owners like it because of the high BTU content of tires. It
helps to stabilize the burn in the boiler. The problem is, the DEQ does
not require the plant to install any additional pollution controls for the
tires being burned.
Every biomass plant in Northern Michigan is permitted to burn TDF at a
rate of at least 5% by volume. Ask the neighbors near these plants what
they think of biomass/TDF power plants. The response will not be a
positive one. Go to Grayling, Hillman, Cadillac and Lincoln. Ask the
I would not like to see one here, even though I could most likely land a
job which pays well. I know the business inside and out.

Rick Hoag • via email

Wildlife holocaust
The biomass plan of TCLP deserves a ‘no’ vote from every sensible citizen
in the universe. This is as ridiculous as humans get.
The forest is full of dead trees, branches, moss, leaves, roots from
fallen trees -- all providing habitat and livelihood for every animal that
lives in the woods.
How are animals supposed to survive a Michigan winter with no place to
hibernate, get out of the cold, store food, and hide from predators? The
simple answer is, “they won’t survive, they will be eliminated,” or be the
scrawniest animals imaginable.
Every animal you can think of needs this so-called biomass to survive.
Bears hibernate under fallen logs; they dig burrows under the trees to
sleep and protect themselves and their young from 30 degrees-below weather
and three feet of snow, slush and winter rain. Many other animals do the
same: wolves, fox, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, porcupines and squirrels all
use biomass in some way.
Do you realize the monstrous equipment that they will use to vacuum and
gut the forest? It won’t be pretty and it won’t be quiet.

Chuck Wattson • Indian River

Quiet, please...
Just read the “Shhh....” letter from Mike Dudek (4/26). I took my wife and
daughter to the City Opera House to the Ani DiFranco show. Three tickets,
the drive down from Boyne and dinner in TC resulted in a $200 night. The
crowd noise was very disturbing. We have not returned.
We run a small concert series, 125 seats, at our gallery in Boyne City. We
just completed our first season with all five shows selling out. You can
hear a pin drop during the shows. As a presenter, it is my responsibility
to keep it that way. Come on Opera House, get your act together.

Anthony Williams, Freshwater Studio/Gallery • Boyne City

Environmentalist plot
I read the story about “An Ocean Without Fish” (5/3) and it’s interesting
that there are no other newspapers or magazines that talk about this.
Since it is only one person’s opinion, I can’t help thinking this is just
another way of pushing people into environmental Marxism-socialism where
we will all be forced to buy certain items, such as electric cars, which
will run our electric bills up, be taxed even more out of existence, and
probably everything else that’s included in the Obama regime’s proposed
cap and tax.
From now on, publish articles that won’t scare people away.

Thomas Baird • via email

(Google lists roughly 6,520,000 pages of scientific studies and articles
on the subject of the acidification of the world‘s oceans and lakes and
the threat to aquatic life. -- ed.)

The threat to our seas
Thank you very much for your article “An Ocean Without Fish.” Despite all
the public attention (and denial) given to global warming, the toxic
effect of carbon dioxide on the oceans is very rarely reported.
I was dimly aware of it before, and became much more aware a few weeks ago
when reading parts of “Eaarth,” a new book by Bill McKibbon. But your
fine little local article should help spread the sobering word. So sad.

John Loken • via email

Taking a stand
I am moved to thank Nadine Dolan of Traverse City for her recent letter
(“Racist Handiwork,” 5/3 May 3, 2010). She found some men switching
letters on a business sign to a racist saying and went back to remove it.
People who step up like that and take action make me proud to live here.
Many thanks, Nadine, for preserving Traverse City’s welcoming vibe. We’re
all better for it.

M. Brown • Leland

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