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- October 11th, 2010
Bad PR move
I’m a TC resident and can barely afford my utility bills. I resent
seeing a flood of TV ads where TCL&P sings their own praises. How much
is this costing ratepayers?
How much did TCL&P spend on the “survey“ and “public forums“? How much
was spent on the marketing campaign and consultants to promote biomass?
TCL&P has added almost a half million dollars annually in newly-
created management positions since Ed Rice started. How can a public
utility have millions in profits?
It’s not shocking to see headline news where TCL&P is involved in
another sneaky maneuver by sending a mailer endorsing board member
Ralph Soffredine (who is running for county commissioner) and
manipulating customers to vote against the proposals. Rice cried
innocence, but innocence doesn’t require legal counsel.
A couple of other shady activities: TCL&P exclusively advertised in
one out-of-area paper for job recruitment and has a cozy relationship
with Keith Schneider (founder of the Michigan Land Use Institute,
MLUI), hiring him as their biomass consultant. MLUI is fostering ways
to profit from their relationship with TCL&P, i.e., the feed-in tariff.
Recently, another TCL&P mailer was sent to rate-payers which still
includes biomass as a potential energy source after they supposedly
“took it off the table.“
It’s madness that the TCL&P TV spots claim they listen to customers.
As they did over biomass by blatantly disrespecting citizens who
opposed them? As when the city had to fight TCL&P to get them to
take down the coal plant; or how the champions of wind power lost
thousands in grant dollars due to delaying development?
Thanks Jeff Gibbs, Margaret Dodd and all others who are a part of MCE3
for blowing the whistle on TCL&P.
The only thing transparent is TCL&P‘s contempt for the public!

Valorie Gibbs • TC

Parents & education
Finally - someone who has the courage to speak about that which no one
else, it seems, in all the recent media coverage about education
reform, has had the will to do. I write about Stephen Tuttle’s
comments about the role of parents in the need for education reform.
(re: “Reforming the Education Reformers,“ 10/4.)
Parents, indeed, need to support teachers and administrators, and not
just complain when their kids are having to knuckle down and do some
honest work. When I entered school the first day, my single-parent
mother told me if I got into any trouble at school, the discipline I
would receive at home would be twice as strong - and I believed her!
Lack of discipline in the classroom is far more often the product of
parents who “do not have the guts to be parents” and who do not
require all that is necessary for a kid to behave properly and develop
good study habits. They seem, in today’s world, to want it to be
“easy” for their kids all the time. There are exceptions of course,
and it is those families whose kids do well in school and strive for
the best.
My wife, whose last teaching job was in a private school in Texas,
feared for her job because of parents who didn’t want their kids to
have to knuckle down and work hard, and who therefore complained to
the administration. Often, her administration would not support the
teachers as they feared losing a tuition check, or some other
retribution from a parent. She saw a number of really good teachers
lose their jobs as the result. We can no longer afford to lose good
teachers for these reasons.
Bravo to Stephen Tuttle for speaking with courage on this important

Don Th. Jaeger • Lake Ann

Proud of party
Democrats brought us Social Security, Medicare, health care, civil
rights, veteran benefits, unemployment compensation, workman’s
compensation, middle class growth, women’s rights, environmental
safety regulations, workplace safety regulations, consumer
protections, the minimum wage, collective bargaining, ending the Iraq
War, improved international relations, renewable energy technology,
steady job growth, job retraining, financial regulations, college and
small business loans, and rebuilding infrastructure.
Republicans plan cuts to the above. Republicans brought you the
unfunded Iraq War, Afghanistan War, and Abu Ghraib torture. They gave
tax cuts to multimillionaires who promised to create jobs but brought
us humongous job losses and outsourcing. Lack of regulations brought
us the financial market collapse, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and
protected insurance companies dropping customers. There was the
Katrina debacle, Koch brothers funding the Tea Party, campaign attack
lies, domestic surveillance, Chinese credit card borrowing causing
trillions in national debt, the party of No, and religious and racial
intolerance. Want more?
I’m proud to be a Democrat!

Beverly Christensen • Cedar

Well qualified
As a former magistrate in the 86th District Court, I read with
interest the report that Kevin Elsenheimer had 44 cases in the
district court. That figure didn’t ring true to me. I was provided
with the following statistics that came from the 86th District Court
administration and the Antrim County Prosecutor’s office.
Kevin Elsenheimer’s Antrim District Court casework is as follows:
• Cases: 826
• Jury trials/non-jury trials: 35
• Motion hearings: 141
Kevin Elsenheimer does have district court experience. I worked with
Kevin and know he has the judicial temperament needed to be district

Cameron (Cam) M. Lacy • Bellaire

Highly endorsed
I’m voting for Kevin Elsenheimer for 86th District Court Judge and by
the endorsements he’s received, others support him too. He’s been
endorsed by former Gov. William Milliken, Lt. Gov. Connie Binsfield,
and State Sen. George McManus. The current District Court Judge John
Foresman has endorsed Kevin to replace him on the bench.
Kevin is the only candidate who has served as a prosecutor and,
including Antrim County, he has had 911 cases, including 35 trials in
the district court.
Kevin is a smart, clear-thinking person, and he has my vote.

Pete Strom • TC

Experience counts
The most important qualities of our next District Court Judge should
be experience and community commitment. Mike Stepka has practiced in
the district court for the last 20 years, handling thousands of cases.
He has worked in all three specialty treatment courts, which are now
in place throughout this country. Mike is committed to the community
as a county commissioner and board member of the Women’s Resource
Center. He has provided free legal service to those who could not
afford it. He is a lawyer for the people and he cares for his community.

Troy Orman • TC

Elect Kromkowski
I’ve been a practicing attorney in this area for 30 years. I have had
many opportunities to see Marian Kromkowski at work. I have always
been impressed with her thoughtfulness and hard work. She is
respectful and not afraid to make the difficult decisions. I have
found her to be very knowledgeable in the law. Her broad
understanding of the law and experience in the courts make her an
excellent and the best candidate. A judge needs good judicial
temperament. She will be a judge Leelanau County will be proud of.

Mark Risk • TC

(Regrets, the Express is unable to accommodate the large number of
letters supporting candidates Elsenheimer, Stepka and Kromkowski. The
paper will run representative letters over the next few weeks leading
up to the election. - ed.)

Garbage cartoon
I made a recent and rare visit to Traverse City last week and had the
opportunity to read through a copy of the Northern Express Weekly,
Sept. 27. Most of it I enjoyed, but I was very disappointed that you
would publish garbage such as that produced by “Derf.” It degrades
the paper considerably in my estimation, and I think that you should
be able to do much better than that.

F. Howard Hague, MD • via email
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