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Letters 11-11-13

- November 11th, 2013  

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Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification.

Kindness matters

Three young men’s lives have now been lost in the very same location at Twin Lakes Park. Last week, TC West Senior High students and staff held a memorial service for my son Owen, the most recent of those drowned. Emergency responders, ER Staff, many community members have expressed great concern that this area is NOT a safe area to allow any public access to swimming. Perhaps it is a combination of natural phenomenon such as a very cold spring-fed area, soft bottom, unusual drop off, it isn’t clear why this area has claimed three lives in just the past few years. There are no easy answers in situations like these.

I would like to recognize some very important work done this summer. Lifesaving equipment and a phone have been placed at Twin Lakes Park. More significantly, Coast Guard and Red Cross experts have provided much needed information for TCAPS to use implementing new water safety education in the high school phys-ed/health curriculum. Possibly, this may become a model for other area schools as well. Thank you to everyone involved for helping to save countless lives in the future!

It is discouraging to hear about acrimony between GT County Commission leaders and our County Parks and Recreation staff. Public officials: please remember you were asked to provide public service and to make real decisions that help our whole community. We are asking you to listen carefully, speak openly, and then to consider thoughtful responsive actions. Our public schools, parks and trails, recreational and senior centers are treasures that we can all be involved in, making them the best possible.

HUGE thanks are due to all those who so generously give their time and resources for the benefit of others. Isn’t it rewarding to touch someone with a smile or a laugh, to look into another’s eyes with understanding? Please let’s keep working together for everyone’s good. It is important to reflect on the reasons we are here today, to love one another and to appreciate the wonders of the world we live in.

Whether we are considering bullying, bicycle safety, water safety... let’s remember, Kindness Matters.

Ann K. Parker • TC

Jobs are out there

Where is the bus to pick up all the people on unemployment to pick apples and grapes? I am sick of working sooo hard, and people sitting on their BUTTS collecting unemployment. I was taught, I can always push a broom.

K.B. Sutton • via email

Happy with Obamacare

Hallelujah for Obamacare! While I didn’t get what I preferred: single-payer/Medicare for all... Republicans also didn’t get what they wanted. Instead we got this Heritage Foundation/GOP-approved/RomneyCare plan. Oops Obamacare is what the GOP once wanted.

The Affordable Care Act is the most exciting new government program since Medicare.

Readers, you or your loved ones or neighbors will benefit from this. I know of at least four single adults about age 40 -- all employed --- who can now afford an insurance plan. With subsidy their premiums will be as low as ZERO per month.

One friend wrote, “this plan may even save my life.”

As for the glitches at, I had no problems at all last week getting on and setting up an account. I know some folks are having glitches, but they will be fixed by Nov. 30.

Let’s be rational, a major undertaking as this is bound to have glitches. Does anyone remember the roll out of Medicare Part D prescription plan? It was an unfunded plan by Bush which added to our national debt. It was an absolute nightmare!

The Affordable Care Act is a national plan that I am happy to help fund. We have had too many uninsured citizens for too long. According to a Harvard University study, we’ve had an estimated 45,000 fellow Americans dying each year due to lack of access to medical care.

For those who are not working there is now an expanded Medicaid program, although it comes with a huge flaw. Our Republican legislature is limiting coverage to only five years.

I still prefer single-payer.

Karen Martin • Cheboygan

Obamacare: what matters

The debate over Obamacare continues to be blurred by fringe issues instead of focusing on what is at the heart of the matter. People should ignore objections due to the incompetent roll-out, perceptions that the law is socialist, or nothing more than that the program was proposed by a black man in the White House. They should also ignore support based on utopian expectations for improving our society. Such arguments range from inconsequential to invalid - and, most important, they don’t matter to most people.

What matters - what the debate should center on - is the main impact of Obamacare: the minority of Americans who are economically disadvantaged will receive affordable access to health insurance.

The majority will pay for the minority’s access, however, either through higher health insurance premiums, or indirectly through subsidies paid-for with our taxes.

Conservatives resist the program because they believe that people should be responsible for their own welfare: those who do so successfully shouldn’t be compelled to support others who do not.

Progressives support the program because they understand that some people are disadvantaged due to forces beyond their control: unavoidable health crises, the demands of caring for loved ones with special needs, jobs lost to competition overseas or economic problems at home, etc. They believe that while such people aren’t entitled to the best our country has to offer, we, as a society, should provide them with a basic level of health care - even though we sometimes help people who neither deserve nor appreciate it.

Those are the basic concerns regarding Obamacare. To support or reject it, people just need to decide what kind of society they want to have. Everything else is background noise: program weaknesses, large and small, which will be resolved over time.

Doug Welker • TC

About dam time

Isn’t it time for the entire team that was involved in the Brown Bridge Dam fiasco to stand up and take responsibility for what was a colossal mistake from the git-go?

They have done more damage than mother nature or our forefathers could ever do. And the idea of letting this team move forward on the removal of the other two dams before they have completely settled with all 66 of the home owners who were compromised and something done to remove the toxic waste that was released into Boardman Lake is not even rational.

Then I believe that whoever is in charge of this mess should take bids on making all three of the dams into high tech hydroelectric plants. In this way they could at least make an effort to pay back the rest of us for the damage they have done.

Isn’t it time to listen to the people?

Walt Lund • Kalkaska


Last week’s article on friends visiting Italy incorrectly stated that Rebecca and Pete Peterson are married. Rebecca’s husband is Chef Michael Peterson.

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