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Letters 08-12-13

- August 12th, 2013  

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The bully on the beach

His yelling got my attention in the beach parking lot. “Where have you been?! We’ve been waiting an hour!” He was yelling at a teenage girl who had wandered off at the beach. He grabbed her by the hair and shook her, then dealt a forceful, open-handed hit across her head.

My husband approached the man. “That was abusive! That’s not okay. You don’t do that.”

“Mind your own business! I’m disciplining my kid!” The bully thought he had the right to assault his child and couldn’t care less who saw and heard him in this public place.

“So call the cops then,” the bully challenged. “I will. I’m calling 911 right now,” my husband said. And he did.

I don’t know the outcome but I know how shocked we were by the violence. No matter your views on parental discipline, when violence enters the picture that is the time to put your foot down and stand firm.

Child abuse is an epidemic and we have to speak up and make it clear: What that man did to his daughter was not okay. Violence toward a child is not okay. It will never be okay. Call 911.

Felicia Seeburger • TC

Threat from GMOs

There’s a terrific battle taking place between the biotech industry and their supporters and consumers who would like the opportunity to choose whether or not they want geneticallymodified foods (GMOs).

A labeling law was narrowly defeated in California, with Monsanto and the biotechs spending $77 million on a campaign to defeat labeling laws.

Now, there’s a ballot initiative in the state of Washington to require labeling and, given the defeat in California, this election may shift odds of having labeling laws passed elsewhere, like here. So, according to the Organic Consumers Association, Monsanto and their ilk are “pulling out the big guns.”

I’m appalled that I haven’t seen much about what I consider to be a really important issue (we have so many in our country/world these days, don’t we?).

Some countries ban the production or import of genetically-modified or transgenic foods (sometimes dubbed by food-labeling and food-quality proponents as “frankenfood”), while others restrict them. GMO is relatively new and controversial not just because it’s new; there’s a question of unintended consequences, be they biologic, economic or otherwise.

Shouldn’t we be able to choose whether or not we buy these foods? The only way we can choose is if we know they’re modified and that comes through labeling. For me, I’d just ban them, but they’re already a huge part of our food supply (bought any corn chips lately? Potatoes?)

Anne Kantola • Charlevoix

Bicycle uproar

Wow. As I read Susan V. Ruoff’s letter, all I kept thinking, was wow. I have never seen such ignorant, blatant disrespect for our law officers. YOU broke the law! At a stoplight, you stop, and wait for a green light. You do not proceed after you stop. SAME ROAD SAME RULES. The officer was enforcing our laws.

Recently, I had a cyclist perform the same type of “stop” that she performed and I almost hit the cyclist. I suppose that would of been my fault as well.

I didn’t realize that we had to “guess” what laws a cyclist will obey. The laws are designed for all of our safety. Suppose a driver of a vehicle went through a red light and hit another driver, maybe her; how would she feel about that silly law then?

Melissa Cutting • Suttons Bay

This is in response to the letter, “Cyclists Beware.” Do you really think that you are above the law? Do you really believe that the police target cyclists instead of busting meth labs? It's about time the police ticketed bike riders who disregard the law. And that donut remark, what was that? Girl I hope you never have to call the police to your salon for any reason.

Butch Faux • via email

It’s about time police start ticketing bicycles on the road. Last week's letter to the editor showed exactly how much disregard people have for their safety while on bicycles.

It's time for all bikes to be registered and insured on any state road. If you want to ride on our roads then pay up! I'm tired of bikes that think they own the roads when we do. Ride on the other side of the white line or take a chance you might get hit (hope it never happens though).

Ryan Cook • via email

Wrong state

Correction for Stephen Tuttle: I have lived in North Carolina for 33 years and have not always been proud of our elected officials. However, Mark Sanford was the governor of SOUTH Carolina when he had his affair and said he was on the Appalachian trail.

Thank you for making that correction.

Maxine Cleveland • via email

SodaStream fizzle...

The “Gear Box” column in your August 5-11 issue pushed the product SodaStream. Some of your readers may want to know that this product and the company that produces it are part of a consumer boycott of companies, goods, and services involved in Israeli policies that violate Palestinian human rights and international law.

SodaStream’s main production site is in Mishor Edomim, an Israeli settlement industrial park located in the West Bank. The land where the SodaStream factory is located was illegally confiscated by the Israeli military occupation authorities from Palestinian owners. These confiscations—although decried by the world community and even by the U.S.—continue and are an ongoing impediment to peace and a violation of international law.

Companies should not profit from products that are made on stolen property or that perpetuate the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

More information on this boycott can be found at the Interfaith Boycott Coalition’s website

Mary Heffron • Cedar

Un-natural gas

Gas from 15,000 psi fracking wells that use unknown toxic chemicals and millions of gallons of water per well is certainly not natural!

Consequently, I suggest we simply differentiate UN-NATURAL gas produced by the new horizontal fracking wells from the gas acquired from traditional vertical wells. Then we should also ban that dreadful industrial process from Michigan‘s beautiful lakes, rivers, forests and farmland forever.

Please sign the Michigan anti-fracking petition for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

Dick Landback • Pierport, MI

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