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Letters 03-18-2013

- March 18th, 2013  

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Sugar buzz in our schools

Too much sugar is bad. Too much of the alternative is worse.

Because my kid’s public school (Glen Lake) doesn’t allow sodas, I naively thought most schools followed that trend.

Unfortunately, while attending a district finals basketball game at Traverse City Central I was a bit surprised to find a bank of soda machines in the school cafeteria. Surprise turned to concern when I noticed they contained only diet sodas, water and sports drinks. Pepsi Next, which boasts 60% less sugar, quickly caught my attention. Guess what’s in it?: “WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, NATURAL FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR, PHOSPHORIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE, CAFFEINE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, ASPARTAME, CITRIC ACID, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, SUCRALOSE.”

So we’ve traded some sugar for artificial sweeteners and known carcinogens? And if that’s not enough, we replace some sugar, a natural preservative, with toxic preservatives “TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS,” as the label states.

Who are we kidding here? I’m not arguing for more naturally sweetened sodas, though that would be an improvement in student health.

There’s no scientific evidence linking diet sodas with weight loss. In fact it’s quite the opposite. Among many other negative health effects, they increase your chances of contracting metabolic syndrome which leads to weight gain by tricking your body to feel hungry when it not in need of calories.

Besides water, there wasn’t a healthy drink in the building. I am fully supportive of an adult making a decision, informed or otherwise, to consume these products. However, these simply don’t belong in schools.

Am I naive the think that if, like my kid’s school, they offered vending machines with fruit juice, the Soda Cartels would pull their vending machines and all the financial perks that come with them?

Timothy Fitzgerald Young, Food For Thought • Empire

Wolves & free-thinkers

Your article (“Confessions of a Save the Wolves Petitioner”) hit home about the lack of citizenship in America where apathy, selfishness, frustration and lack of care is rampant in a government that serves the people.

Mass brainwashing on issues of concern by forces using fear, hatred and money always win out over critical thinkers using logic, facts, history and motives. Free thinkers are called names like conspiracy nuts, unpatriotic, or worse -- deviates -- when trying to express vital concerns in today’s corporately-controlled news via radio and TV pundits.

Then if you try to demonstrate like the Occupy Movement with no leaders, all are outlaws arrested by police for questioning a nonsustainable money system which favors only the few in control. Hmmm where is the outrage leading to solutions or First amendment?

When reading about wolves and asking Sleeping Bear park to put some on the Manitou islands to control deer populations, they instead spent millions to kill off the deer, saying they were DNA-inferior. Never has a wolf attacked a human or done harm; only in fairy tales that vilify this animal which can teach us many things about how to live in wild as a group!

Their howls don’t scare me in the least.

Instead, I welcome my animal brother which only takes what it needs, not like humans. Hunters always kill the best deer, while a wolf kills the least, so where is the problem with wolves?

For shame American citizens for being such sheep to your corporate news and bankers. People that give up their power of freedom don’t deserve to have it.

Bradford Krull • Glen Arbor

New war on marijuana

We pride ourselves on how we take care of the sick in this country. We have the best hospitals in the world, as well as the finest doctors. You would think that America totally supports people getting better with whatever resources are available.

But wait just one minute. If you choose to medicate with cannabis, (aka: marijuana), not only are you NOT supported by most of the medical industry (which won’t treat you if you have THC in your system), but you may find yourself in a jail cell for growing and using it. Not only that, but you’re technically driving under the influence every time you get behind the wheel of a car as the active ingredients in cannabis stay in your system for months.

Medical marijuana laws enacted throughout the United States for sick people have been mercilessly attacked by lawmakers (unlike the pharmaceutical industry which has the full support of the justice system), and judges and prosecutors are locking up caregivers for having too much cannabis in their possession.

It’s a senseless waste of tax dollars, law enforcement resources, and ultimately hurts us all. Yet the war wages on.

In Michigan, a recent State Supreme Court decision makes criminals out of caring providers of cannabis, who are now declared "public nuisances." And instead of helping the sick get better, our government is condemning our choice of medicine, kicking in our doors, taking away our children, breaking up our families, and even murdering some of us. So much for helping the sick get better.

Please contact your State House of Representative member and tell them to support and demand a vote for HB 4271 (The Provisioning Center Act) to give us back safe access to our choice of medicine and stop this insanity.

Rev. Steven B. Thompson, Benzie County NORML

Scott Weiland rocked

I have been a big fan of Northern Express for many years. I have never felt compelled to write a letter to the Express or any other publication in the past. However, the recent article by Rick Coates where he trashes Scott Weiland’s performance at Ground Zero leaves me so compelled.

I was at the show and have seen Scott perform with Stone Temple Pilots as well as with Velvet Revolver in the past. I feel Scott’s performance was just fine. There were some minor problems with the vocal mix, but overall I really enjoyed the show.

I have enjoyed Mr. Coates’ articles over the years, but this review leaves me a little confused. I too have been at many concerts over the past 30 years, and I believe this was one of the best shows I have attended at Ground Zero.

The thing that bothers me the most is Coates insinuation that because the sound quality was lacking somehow means that Scott has not “cleaned up his act and put his demons behind him.” I just don’t see the connection. The article came across as sour grapes to me.

Personally, I have lost more respect for Coates as a music critic than I have for Scott Weiland as a performer/entertainer. I am aware of Scott’s struggles and was prepared to be disappointed with this show, however I was very pleased and thankful that Weiland brought his band to our small town. The criticism was overly negative and uncalled for.

On another note... kudos to Kristi Kates for her article on Tim Hosper. I am an acquaintance of Tim’s and it is nice to see a local musician receive some positive feedback.

Bill Kruse • Eastport

Ordinance clears way for demolishing junk building

On February 19, the Benzie County Board of Commissioners approved Ordinance number 2013-001, adopting the International Property Maintenance Code, provided by the International Code Council.

Approved, adopted and provided by who? The people of Benzie County didn’t know anything about this until it became enforceable law on February 27, when it was published in the Record-Patriot.

Why did they sneak this through the back door and behind the public’s back? It’s because they knew no one in their right mind would approve of this code once they read it. Apparently, the commissioners did not read it either, because if they did, they would have realized that it will affect them and theirs as well.

They adopted this code for the sole purpose of demolishing a certain building in downtown Honor. Guess? Which? One? Do you think it will stop there? This unconstitutional, United Nations-approved code’s purpose is to establish rules and regulations for the maintenance of all existing buildings as well as those to be built in the future.

Violations of this code will cost you up to $500 per day and if the tyrants really don’t like you, they can simply demolish your home or any other building they see fit, without even compensating you for it.

So much for the Fifth Amendment! Please go to the Benzie County Clerk’s office or look this up and you will clearly see that your own home is in violation. Time to pay up, or get your home demolished!

Make your choice by coming to the next Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday, March 26, at 9 a.m. at the Benzie County Government Center to get this treasonous act repealed. Don’t let this happen in your county.

Gordon Lee Dean • Benzonia

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