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Fireworks out of control
In response to “Get off my Lawn” by George Nemetz (Letters 7/23). First, I assure you that I am well under the age of 80, if that even matters. Also, the Express is not solely read by your age group of 30 and under.
Michigan has lifted a ban on some of the higher grades of fireworks and you can now obtain a permit to use the more powerful grade.
I also had problems with my dogs climbing the walls when a neighbor was setting off professional grade fireworks for several nights in my neighborhood. These are not just bottle rockets and firecrackers, they are the ones that are shot high in the air and are so loud they shake your house. The police were called by many in my neighborhood about this.
With the fire danger being so high, I was very concerned about my home and my neighbors’ homes catching on fire.
If you choose to use these types of fireworks they should be used at least in an open area, not in a neighborhood.
How very inconsiderate of you to think only of families having fun and not caring about the neighbors that might have to work the next day and their pets that have very sensitive hearing. One of my dogs will not even go outside at night now because she is still scared.
Having fun should never be at the expense of disturbing your neighbors or their pets; it’s something called morals, which it seems you and the people who do this are lacking.
Melody Bajema • via email
Voter ID now required
To vote in the November 6 presidential election, register by October 9 with your city/ township/county clerk or Secretary of State.
On www.michigan.gov/vote you can check to see if you are registered, find clerk’s info, correct precinct, map, poll times, and sample ballot.
Voters are asked to show a current picture ID. Voters who do not have a picture ID can vote after signing an affidavit. Their ballot will count. Acceptable ID includes a driver’s license, State or Federal government-issued picture ID, US passport, military, tribal, high school or college student picture ID.
First-time voters must appear in person to vote in their first election except those over 60, disabled or overseas voters. If unable to “vote in person,” you can request an absentee ballot “in person” from the clerk where you are registered by the day preceding the election. Tell all college students about this procedure now. Make it count! Be informed, register and Vote!
Beverly “BJ” Christensen • Cedar
(See Stephen Tuttle's column on the voter ID controversy in this issue. -- ed.)
Setting things straight
Hello, I just wanted to reach out and ask a question about the recent ad I saw in Northern Express about natural gas. I’m not accusing anybody of anything (until I get the facts) but isn’t it the gas corporations who are all about fracking the hell out of our state? Again, I could be wrong and the people advertising in your rag could not be the ones wanting to frack our state up. Please set me straight!!! Tell me it isn’t so! That the Northern Express hasn’t sold out to big gas money. Until then I remain a faithful reader (and local journalist).
Bob Lovik • via email
(Thanks Bob, but as every journalist knows, the press operates under the princlple of “freedom of speech.” Certainly, Northern Express could censor opinions, ads and stories we don’t agree with, but that’s not journalism. -- ed.)
Anti tax gripe
It seems that those involved in the many layers of government have little regard for those who actually pay the taxes that they consume. I believe that many of them have the same attitude toward the taxpaying public that the bear has toward the honeybee. In devastating attacks on the honeybees’ home, the bear voraciously consumes and relishes the honey that the bees worked so hard to produce. Sure, the bear gets stung now and then but that’s nothing compared to the richness of the honey. I then realized that only some in government are like the bear, far more are like the beekeeper. The beekeeper uses a smoke screen to quiet and mislead the bees while stealing the honey from the bees’ home that the bees worked so hard to produce.
In Michigan, and especially Northern Michigan, the bears in government are simply after the money, giving no thought at all to what this devastating process actually does to the well-being of the taxpayers they feed on. While the beekeepers, on the other hand, use smoke screens of lies, misstatements, and misleading numbers to fool and quiet the taxpayers so they can pick the pockets of those who pay taxes to finance their foolish ideas and self enrichment. Hasn’t there been enough proof brought forward over the last few years to clearly show that this has been going on in most, if not all, aspects of Wexford County government?
If you want to stop this feeding frenzy on your taxes, you must personally intervene with your vote to cutoff the flow of the tax dollars to the beekeepers by voting no on all the millages this August. That will force those involved to present responsible financial plans that will bring a stop to the waste and misuse of your money.
Michael H. MacCready • Manton
While I agree with Stephen Tuttle Spectator column this week (“Congress Has No Clothes”), he did not mention the two greatest problems: everyone in Washington has their own agenda and there is no leadership in our Congress, Senate or from the White House.
Sheri Worm • via email
A welcoming heart
In 1993 my family and I came to Traverse City as refugees from the Soviet Union.We had a hard time adjusting because we did not speak any English and people had a hard time understanding us.
In 1999 Linda Raetz and her family adopted us through the Salvation Army on Christmas to buy presents for us. We were very nervous to meet Linda and her family because we did not know how we would communicate, but we were surprised when Linda understood us and even served as a translator for her family.
Once, my father, who was 75, was talking with Linda and even though she could not understand him, she kept saying “Slava Bogu,” (meaning “Praise God” in Ukrainian). When we told my father that she did not understand him, he said “She may not understand my language, but she understands my heart.”
From then on we became good friends with Linda and her family. Linda’s heart is open for all sorts of people, and she truly understands their hearts. She takes people’s problems seriously and with understanding. She not only listens but wants to help as well. She is a very intelligent woman with a soft and goal oriented character.
In the Traverse City area, there is a Ukrainian community of about 50 families. Every family has 5-10 children. We’ve had many problems within our community and when we did not know what else we could do, we came to Linda. Linda would listen, and within the next few days, the problem was solved. Not only did she help with her skills, but also financially whenever she saw a family in need.
If she helped us with such care and kindness, then it is easy to see how hard and willingly she would try to help her own city. She would truly make a wonderful probate judge that would wholeheartedly work to help each and every family in need. God bless you Linda Raetz!
Nina Alekseyenko • via email