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- June 28th, 2010
Curtains for BP
While I’m opposed to capital punishment for humans, I’m in favor of
capital punishment for businesses.
Companies behaving recklessly without regard for human and
environmental safety, as BP has a history of doing, should lose their
privilege of conducting business in this country. Our government
should confiscate all of BP’s property. Business should have to at
least face a 99,999 strikes and you’re out policy.

Daniel Robbins • Mackinaw City

Pipe down
Writer Corrie Lambert states “loud pipes save lives” (Letters, 6/21).
Would Lambert care to show evidence of that? The American Motorcycle
Association, leading cycle publications, the Hurt Report and even
Harley Davidson oppose this theory. What has been demonstrated is
‘loud pipes risk rights’ for all cyclists.
Contrary to the “saves lives” claim, Lambert points to an example of
recently being cut off by a motorist, which indicates that loud pipes
apparently had no effect in deterring a near accident. Maybe it was
because the loud noise was behind Lambert’s bike, rather than in front
where 75% of cycle accidents happen.
There are more effective safety measures such as full face helmets and
wearing bright clothing. However, it seems most (all?) riders of
excessively loud cycles opt for minimal helmets and dark attire. Note:
deaf people do drive cars, blind people do not. Perhaps there is
something more to the loud pipes than safety. Like image.
Why do some people in $500 rusty econo cars bolt $250 blasters on
their exhaust pipes, or why do others choose to cruise down crowded
streets, forcing their thumping bass and choice of entertainment on
everyone else? So others will notice them and somehow be impressed?
The opposite is more likely. Plus, they are immune to a motorcycle’s
loud ‘safety’ pipes, as would be Norbert Turtle if he were wearing
earplugs as Lambert suggested.
In a civilized society the adage of “One’s right to swing one’s arm
ends where another’s nose begins” should apply not only to not
urinating in your end of the pool but also to unnecessary noise
Bill Hagan • TC

A foolish war
The interview with Jack Segal (June 21) reveals his nuanced view of
the Afghanistan War. It makes points both valid and mistaken.
Segal’s approval of Greg Mortensen’s work establishing schools for
girls, his support of Afghani decision-making, his understanding of
Afghani ways of thinking, and his acceptance of limited goals for US
involvement—the containment of Al Qaeda—are sensible and not
particularly out of line with Administration thinking. But his
insistence that a NATO withdrawal would diminish our standing in the
world, his failure to address the fiscal and human costs of the war,
his ready acceptance of Bush terminology, “War on Terror” are
wrong-headed and hurtful to American interests.
Many nations of the world — Russia, countries of South America, the
Muslim world, the citizenry (if not the governments) of European
nations — see United States policy as arrogant and aggressive because
of the collateral damage inflicted by our drone attacks. The war
presently costs our country many billions of dollars per year, money
that could be spent here to create jobs and restore the economy.
Al Qaeda is not the main culprit behind murderous attacks in
Afghanistan; most “insurgents” (the term is loaded) are Afghanis who
want us to get the hell out of their land.
The “War on Terror” is simply a metaphor, like the “War on Drugs.” It
is used for propaganda reasons, to influence Americans to sacrifice
their resources in order to ship men and materials to remote parts of
the world. It is a term that has no resonance outside the U.S.; most
of the world’s people cannot connect isolated events in Gaza, Iran,
Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea to signify a unified conflict
against a common enemy. The Afghanistan War was a mistake from the
very beginning; it is foolish to sacrifice our soldiers and our
treasure for such an ill-advised project.

Richard Fidler • TC

Road flap goes on
I thought NE readers may be interested in an update regarding our
continuing saga with the Leelanau County Road Commissioners (LCRC).
We are in a legal battle against the LCRC to protect our private
easement and the future of Wings of Wonder. The easement in question
begins at the end of the county road (South Gilbert) and meanders one
mile through the woods back to our house, garage and Wings of Wonder
flight pens which were all built 10 years ago. We obtained the proper
building permits prior to breaking ground and passed all necessary
building inspections along the way. This battle began almost two
years ago and now our life includes meetings, hearings, lawyers, LCRC
hearsay, and much stress.
In May, Judge Power granted us a preliminary injunction against the
LCRC ordering them to replace the Dead End and Road Ends signage along
South Gilbert Road, which had previously been removed. In court the
Road Commission engineer and attorney confirmed that this signage had
been up for over two decades, but that it “was wrong.” Additionally
this engineer stated that the Road Commission web site, which lists
all legal descriptions for seasonal roads, “has a typo and is wrong”
for South Gilbert Road. A convenient reply.
Aren’t we paying these guys to know correct signage and road status?
The LCRC has now counter-sued all contiguous land owners along this
private easement. Our court date is in February, 2011. What a
tremendous waste! There is no logical reason for the LCRC’s actions.
In August they will be asking for a millage renewal... is this how we
want our county tax dollars appropriated?

Rebecca Lessard
Wings of Wonder • Empire

Get tested
Consider this: one in five people living with HIV doesn’t even know
it. This startling fact from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention brings new importance to National HIV Testing Day on June
In Michigan, more than 14,000 people are known to be living with
HIV/AIDS. But how many more people do not realize they have HIV?
Unfortunately, those who don’t know they are infected don’t realize
they are transmitting HIV to others and can’t take advantage of
medical treatments that can keep them alive for many years.
Planned Parenthood is providing free HIV testing on Wednesday, June 30
at its Traverse City Center, 1135 E. Eighth Street. (Testing was
offered in Petoskey last Friday.) Our simple goal is to break down the
barriers to talking about HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases
(STDs), and getting tested for them.
Testing is easy and painless. There is no shame in testing — it is a
positive step in protecting your health. What is a shame is that
people unknowingly live with, and spread, HIV or other STDs.

Karen Griggs • Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan

Poor management
Can you believe that the governor, who says nothing is more important
than educating and preparing your children for the future, is looking
to “steal” more money from schools again? Really! She has done this
year after year. Class sizes are getting larger, teachers are being
laid off, programs are being cut. All so she can hide the poor
management practices that she and the state legislature has made.
Funding a floundering state on the “backs of our children” -- that
should really make people want to visit our state and sure should
convince businesses not to look at Michigan for future workers! There
won’t be a properly educated work force for them to draw from.
Tell Lansing to keep their hands off of our children’s future. Enough is enough!

Kelly LaPeer • via email

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