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Letters 04-07-14

- April 7th, 2014  

Email letters to: Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page). 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. Faxed letters are not accepted.

ACA Has Benefits

I hear people bashing the Affordable Care Act and wonder why they like the old plan better. The ACA: Covers preventive screenings like blood pressure, diabetes and cancer screenings free of charge without a co-pay or deductible.

Stops insurance companies from overcharging or canceling coverage when you get sick and need it most.

Removes annual and lifetime caps on benefits so your treatments are covered.

Requires 80 percent of your premium to go for actual medical care or you get a rebate.

Gives tax credits to individuals and small businesses so they can afford to offer quality health care for employees.

Prevents insurance companies from charging women more than men.

Prevents companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Creates state-based marketplaces where people can compare and shop for insurance.

Young adults can stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26.

Helps seniors save money on their medications.

Increases penalties for Medicare fraud and abuse recovering $19.2 billion over the last five years. (Source:

Beverly Christensen • Cedar

We Are Clean

The artist in the “A Door Closed, A Window Opened” in the March 10 issue is a nice looking woman with some interesting jewelry creations. However, her assertion that “we” come to God “broken and dirty: and then somehow get ‘cleaned up’ by him” is a rationale I find offensive and ridiculous. I am also angry that she makes this pronouncement on behalf of all of us rather than for herself by using the big “we.”

“We,” meaning myself, my close friends and relatives, believe that we actually enter this universe wonderfully clean, whole, and full of the potential and ability to bring happiness, love and fulfillment into our lives and the lives of others.

Michael Kearns • Northport

Oppose Griswold Racetrack

When it comes time for Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners to make a decision regarding the conditional rezoning of Griswold Mountain, I hope they will show the same amount of professionalism, attention to detail, and commitment as their own Planning and Zoning Commission has already demonstrated.

It is imperative to sort out the emotion and hype from the relevant zoning law and supporting facts. We all know that some people in Cheboygan County love the noise and excitement of race-tracks, while others are more interested in serenity and nature. We also know that some people in Cheboygan County believe that a racetrack will bring economic prosperity, while others believe that most of the revenue will be swallowed up by traveling vendors along with the owner of the racetrack. However, neither of these issues is relevant to a zoning decision.

What is relevant is whether Griswold Mountain is an appropriate location for a racetrack. The Planning and Zoning Commission looked at hundreds of documents and listened to hours of public comment. They determined that the conditional rezoning of Griswold Mountain did not meet any of the ten standards under consideration. They voted unanimously to not recommend the conditional rezoning of Griswold Mountain.

There is a good reason for this decision.

Common sense and historical precedent dictate that you do not place a racetrack in the middle of an existing residential area.

I hope that the Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners will follow the recommendation of their own Planning and Zoning Commission. To ignore their recommendation would make a mockery of the entire zoning process.

Jess Miller • Indian River

Ban Pesticides

Lawn pesticides (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides etc.) are poisons that kill insects, weeds and organisms. Numerous studies show them to also cause cancers, birth defects, autism, infertility and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities). Pesticides can also damage the brain, nervous system, lungs, kidneys, liver, endocrine and immune systems. It is also against the law to advertise or market pesticides as “safe.” Even tiny amounts are harmful.

Research indicates that Round-Up, a popular weed killer used in the U.S., can cause liver damage, reproductive disorders, Non- Hodgkins lymphoma, as well as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, nerve and respiratory damage. Round-Up is blamed for poisoning ground water throughout the U.S. and beyond.

2,4-d, used in Vietnam (with Agent Orange ) on crops and people, is another herbicide (weed killer) found in Speed Zone and many other products. Despite decades of scientific evidence associating 2,4-d with cancer and other illnesses and diseases in humans and animals, the chemical continues to be one of the top 3 pesticides sold in the U.S.

These poisons can easily get into your home, even with windows shut. They can also be tracked in by foot or paw. If neighbors use pesticides, they can blow onto your property. Rays from the sun increase their toxicity.

Using lawn or orchard pesticides or hiring lawn chemical companies to use them can make other people sick, including your neighbors, children, pregnant women, cancer survivors, the elderly, and people with serious health issues.

In 1995, Cleveland Heights was the first American city to ban lawn chemicals from city property. New York and Connecticut banned lawn chemicals from school grounds. In 1991 Quebec, Canada banned pesticides and six more provinces have followed since.

Julie Collins • Traverse City

Uncap Social Security

I agree with Mr. Don Semen’s letter from the March 24 issue. I see no reason to have a cap on income taxed for Social Security. People who have income greater than $110,000 can most afford it and it would help keep Social Security and Medicare healthy.

Karen Rogers • Traverse City

Volunteer Thanks

During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 6-12, the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) pays tribute to the dedicated and generous individuals that volunteer with our organization.

It is with sincere gratitude that we celebrate WRCNM volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Week and every day. They provide invaluable help to our organization, making it possible for us to continue to provide vital programs and services to individuals and families in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Cheboygan and Otsego counties.

Last year, community members provided more than 5,386 volunteer hours to the WRCNM. They performed important tasks and activities such as providing information and support to those who call our 24-hour crisis line; assisting customers at our Gold Mine Resale Shops; helping prepare direct mail pieces; performing maintenance at our facilities; creating craft projects with the children of domestic abuse survivors at our Safe Home; or serving on our Board of Directors and Violence Prevention Team.

WRCNM volunteers are an inspiration to our staff, as well as those who seek and need our services. Please know that the contributions of WRCNM volunteers make a positive difference in northern Michigan communities!

Jamie Winters Safe Home Coordinator, Petoskey

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