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Letters 07-30-2012

- July 30th, 2012  

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Penn State's punishment

“...the fundamental chapter of this horrific story should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down.”

-- Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee

A months-long coma would have been the only way to have escaped hearing of the tragic events at Penn State. At first, the sickening realization that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused at least eight underage boys on or near university property. Then the deep disappointment in learning an investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh found school officials, including the school president and vice president, head football coach Joe Paterno, and athletic director had known about the allegations of child abuse as early as 1998, but failed to disclose them.

Now the NCAA has handed down penalties that some say are close to a “death penalty” for the school’s football program, including a $60 million fine, four year bowl-ban, loss of some scholarships and withdrawal of wins dating back to 1998. The statue honoring Joe Paterno has been removed by the university. Sadly ironic, the statue’s inscription reads, “Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.”

These appalling events and revelations have shed light on behaviors most people would rather not examine. Yet it also creates awareness of deep-seated cultural attitudes and hopefully a willingness to learn more about ourselves, our society and what we value.

If we continue to value power over people, money over individual well-being and the celebrity associated with sports, politics and the entertainment industry, we will continue to fall victim to the reprehensible effects of power, privilege and entitlement.

Janet M. Mancinelli, Executive Director • Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan

Joe Sloan best for district

Grand Traverse County has finished growing up. We now comprise our very own state congressional district. And here, in 2012 we have a total of four candidates to represent our values and beliefs.

First is the incumbent, Wayne Schmidt. He brought us taxes on pensions, reduction in the value of our public schools, while committing millions and millions of dollars to for-profit education and PA 4, the let-Lansing-run-your-town law. Just to name a few.

Next we have the Republican challenger. Letting his local sometimes controversial activities aside, he brings with him outside forces whom we have no idea who funds their activities - - or why.

Getting to the Democrats, we have two progressives. The first is a fine young woman with deep roots in social activism.

But finally, and thank goodness, we have Joseph Sloan. Joe stepped up at the last moment and comes in as a proud, traditional party guy. He too has seen what Lansing has been doing over the past couple of years. He wants to go down there and remind them of who and how this state was built. He has no outside contracts, no insider obligations. he just has plain values and grand ideas, our ideas too.

Bill Brown •TC

Betsy Coffia for State Rep

Betsy Coffia’s talents, dedication, and new ideas are critically needed in Lansing to reform a state legislature that has become unresponsive to Grand Traverse County and all of Michigan’s residents.

Betsy is committed to the notion that government should serve its citizens, not rule over them. She fought hard to repeal the undemocratic Emergency Manager law, and believes that government can be a positive force for good when the right people are in office. She is one of the right people.

Please join me and my friends in supporting Betsy Coffia for the 104th District in the Michigan House.

Robert Atallo • TC

Stanton for probate judge

I encourage readers to support Melanie Stanton for Probate Judge of Grand Traverse County. In her 22 years as an attorney in Leelanau and Grand Traverse County, she has served as Misdemeanor Defense Counsel, Mental Health Court Defense Counsel, Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Leelanau County, Felony Defense Counsel, Domestic Relations Mediator, and Attorney or Guardian representing neglected children and the mentally ill.

I have known Melanie for 27 years; she is smart, understands the law, and is one of the most honest people I have ever met. I strongly urge you to vote for her August 7th.

Terry J. Baumann • via email

Keilitz best qualified

I've practiced law in this town for 16 years, and have known Kirsten Keilitz, candidate for Grand Traverse County Probate Judge, for most of them. Kirsten has had over 14 years of family law experience. For over two years she has served as the Domestic Relations Referee and Grand Traverse County Juvenile and Family Division Referee. No other probate judge candidate has this level of judicial experience in the courtroom.

This experience links the significant similarities between probate and family law: money, emotions and family. The Grand Traverse County Probate Court touches the lives of many county families in a very personal way. Kirsten upholds and enforces the law in an understanding and compassionate manner. There's no drama. She's professional, decisive and balanced.

Gracious and committed to this community, she's the right person to preside over a court that deals with people facing some of the most troubling situations of their lives.

Mardi Black • Suttons Bay

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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