Northern Express - Letters http://www.northernexpress.com/michigan/articles.sec-144-1-letters.html <![CDATA[Letters 07-25-2016 - ]]> Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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<![CDATA[Letters 07-18-2016 - ]]> Correction: In our recent article on Alpenfest music, we accidentally printed a photo of country singer Alan Jackson instead of Alpenfest country performer Alan Turner. Express regrets the error.

More Density? Many discussions/debates have been held re: 10-story buildings and increasing the density in Traverse City. I wonder how many people have considered the possibility of Cherry Festival-size crowds and density 365 days a year in Traverse City...

Send Them Packing If [Grand Traverse County Commissioner] Christine Maxbauer had killed or injured a child, would [County Administrator] Tom Menzel continue to make the statement that “this is personal?” Anyone drunk and driving a car at 3pm has made a poor judgement call...

No Raise From reading your recent letter on raising minimum wages to $15 an hour by 2018 you should’ve studied your Economics 101 course a little harder. A business just cannot raise their employees’ wages to $15 an hour and not come up with a way to offset that high of a wage increase...

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<![CDATA[Letters 07-11-2016 - ]]> Applaud The Blue Angels I read in last week’s Express a letter by Tim Keenan. I have read several letters as of late, in fact, many in regards to the Blue Angels airshow and other demonstration teams like the Thunderbirds. I am appalled by peoples’ lack of respect for these teams and what they do. They put themselves on the line every day, performing for entertainment all over the country. They do it because they believe in America and everything she is supposed to stand for...

A Voice That Is Here I found the guest opinion in the 6/27 issue by Commissioner Gary Howe patronizing and condescending. It is in keeping with  the pro-business bias/agenda and dismissive attitude toward the residential community that has been so apparent with this commission. He tells us it’s critical not to disenfranchise those prospective employees “not yet here.” He claims “many currently travel long distances to fill our needed jobs. That is money and time not spent on family, health, education, or the future.” I want names! Pretty weak point, but it did make me laugh...

Watch What You Print (And Read) Please reconsider placing certain content in your magazine if not necessary. My 4th and 5th graders (at separate times) read the cartoon about the guy who “dry humped” the girl, and brought it to my attention about it being inappropriate. I realize this is in the news, but don’t feel it’s pertinent in this type of magazine...

$12 wage for Grand Traverse The Traverse City Commission and Grand Traverse County Commission should work in unison to pass local ordinances to raise the minimum wage in the city and county from the current statewide minimum of $8.50 to $12 per hour by 2018. While the state minimum will rise to $8.90 in 2017 and $9.25 in 2018, this level is insufficient for a high-cost area like Grand Traverse...

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<![CDATA[Letters 07-04-2016 - ]]> Anti-Air Shows I have spoken to many people over the last year regarding the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. Feedback: 

• Money: Various charities fundraise for new beds at Walter Reed Hospital for our wounded veterans, but the annual Blue Angels taxpayer cost is $100,000,000? How many beds would that buy?

• The noise level the Blue Angels emit is over 140 decibels, a deafening level, far exceeding Traverse City laws. Any level over 85 is considered dangerous and can cause hearing loss or damage...

Cherryland Is Wrong A recent decision by the Cherryland Electric Board merits the attention of all who care about our air, land and waters. The Cherryland Directors, charged with setting policy for this “member driven” cooperative, has adopted a new rate structure that is fundamentally unfriendly and unfair to new solar installations. If it stands, it will virtually kill new installations in the Cherryland service area and the jobs that work supports and may well serve as a model of regressive policy for other utilities to follow as well...

Thanks For Highlighting Tim Green Many thanks for providing the space to an “outside” writer so he could tell the marvelous story of Tim Green’s fight for the civil rights of America’s largest minority. Wonderfully personal article, full of life -- like the subject..

Bring The Housing Gary Howe’s guest opinion last week is spot on! Traverse City is no longer the little Cherry/tourist town I grew up in. Today TC is a fast growing city and thus needs close, in-town housing. Ten to fifteen story condo buildings would add great property taxes and reduce auto traffic. The ideal buildings would be on the west...

Due Process Revisited Reading last week’s “Allow Due Process” letter, I am concerned with the author’s conclusion as to why it’s OK to be on the “No Fly List” and not OK to be on a “No Buy List.” Suggesting that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights make the “No Buy List” the same as the “No Fly List” fails to understand the issue.

The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments grant a Constitutional right to each citizen to “due process,” which means we are guaranteed a fair legal process when the government tries to interfere with a person’s protected interests in life, liberty, or property, and that Constitutional right will not be encroached on by either the Federal or State government...

Ignore Campaign Financed Ads As a registered 1st District voter, choosing an effective U.S. House district voice is a big challenge. Something is wrong when national and state outsiders try to “buy our primary.” Large outside contributions to local elections is a serious problem. You’d expect parties to wait to endorse until after the primary. Yet state and national Republicans and Democrats are already funding candidates. For example, DNC and state PACs are backing Lon Johnson in the primary...

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<![CDATA[Letters 06-27-2016 - ]]> <![CDATA[Letters 06-20-2016 - ]]> More About Kachadurian Columnist Tom Kachadurian’s recent fit to slash out at the world of science and scientists is just another example of his profound ignorance and shallowness...

Love Wins Wow! Donald Trump scares me! He is a nasty individual who has the one thing that makes him dangerous…money! If he becomes president, the U.S. will be completely destroyed. It is already in serious trouble...

The New Normal Fifty more gunned down. They say it was a gay bar. Remember “saloons” had a connotation of a specific “type” of entertainment. Today, bars are simply social meeting places for all walks of life...

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<![CDATA[Letters 06-13-2016 - ]]> Take Back Science?  This letter is in regards to Thomas Kachadurian’s piece concerning his faith in science. He says we were told that the low levels in Lake Michigan were due to global warming. Was this presented in a scientific journal (no reference was cited)? Was it an off-the-cuff remark by a climate scientist? Was it some journalist’s headline? He cites a number of examples where science got it wrong, and where politics has crept in...

Intellectual Dishonesty The scientists peddling their “scientific” papers questioning the certainty on climate change are betraying their dishonesty. To assert that there is uncertainty regarding a scientific finding describes all scientific conclusions. Science is unable to prove truth or guarantee certainty but only able to show their conclusions are likely true...

Kachadurian’s Environmental Entertainment Thomas Kachadurian’s essay in the June 6th issue was clearly written as entertainment rather than as serious thought. As such, it should have been placed near the end of the magazine with the astrology and advice columns...

Real Science As Thomas Kachadurian in the June 6 issue suggests, we should be skeptical of scientific studies, especially when they are produced by industries or individuals vested in promoting certain products, positions, or books. However, is he really suggesting global climate change is a scam like the one perpetrated by tobacco companies...

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<![CDATA[Letters 06-06-2016 - ]]> Baseless Trump Claims In reference to James Mason’s letter about Donald Trump in the May 30th edition, I would like to ask him on what information did he base his inconsiderate attack on a fellow American? Where was the info written that led to this name-calling and what purpose did you hope would come of your actions? And why would the Northern Express even agree to print such garbage...

Close The Deer Park It is stated in the May 30th Express article “Showdown at Deer Park” that the former city manager doesn’t recall people complaining about the park from 1988 – 2009...

He Doesn’t Want It I think Donald Trump has pulled a scam on the Republican Party and the American public. He does not want to be President; he wants to win! And he has defeated 17 competitors and created havoc for leaders in his party. That is good enough. He has no taste for White House food or politics, or playing “nice” to people he can’t stand. His career with business, women and entertainment is too much fun. Making money is too much fun...

Water & Fracking Stephen Tuttle’s recent column on our awful state water management misses a prime polluter: fracking. Millions of gallons of fresh water are permanently poisoned and shot back into the ground with every frack. And the state continues to see no threat to our booming tourism industry. Have any of these guys seen what’s happening in Oklahoma...

Act To Stop Line 5 With each passing day of spring, winter yields to 70-degree weather and gloomy forests become a sea of green. Many will travel across the Mackinac Bridge, a fivemile feet of engineering that towers above the straights. Underneath is Line 5, a 63-year-old pipeline owned by Enbridge that transports natural gas and light crude oil from Wisconsin to Canada...

COVER: Thank you to Traverse City-based Anderson Aerial Photography for the photos on the cover. More info at andersonaerialphotography.com.

CORRECTION: Last week’s feature on the Great Lakes Center for the Arts at Bay Harbor should have specified that the young artist vocal program Up North Vocal Institute (appearing at the groundbreaking) is from Crooked Tree Arts Center.

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<![CDATA[Letters 05-30-2016 - ]]> Oaks & Moths All of last week’s letters regarding recommendations for the best native plants from “Listen to the Experts” from the previous week were right on target. Those who are interested in learning more about native plants, and their importance to birds, bees and butterflies, would do well to read Dr. Douglas Tallamy’s wonderful book, Bringing Nature Home...

Poor Grades On Standardized Testing We have been enduring standardized testing for the last few weeks as our district isn’t allowing for opting out without student removal. I think other parents need to know and the district needs to address their own inconsistencies in policy...

Beware Trump  To describe Trump: hubristic, narcissistic, misogynistic, sociopathic. There are more descriptors. Should we pity this misfit or fear that his values attract such a large segment of our society? Hitler was spawned in the ferment of economic unrest...

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<![CDATA[Letters 05-23-2016 - ]]> Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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<![CDATA[Letters 16-05-2016 - ]]> Truth About Schools & Incentives 

In his May 4 column “Why Schools Are Closing,” Grant Parsons blames recent school closings on state tax incentive programs, but he failed to mention two points that discredit this premise.

First is that the tax revenue he speaks of does not exist. It is not like schools are giving up the money because they do not have it nor would they ever if the property does not get developed. When the state approves such tax incentives, they do so only to the extent that the project were not feasible without the incentive...

CORRECTION 

Last week’s profile of the partners in the Wineguys restaurant group incorrectly said two owners were Bob and Mary Reedy. Their correct last name is Keedy. We apologize for this error.

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<![CDATA[Letters 05-09-2016 - ]]> Benishek’s Forgotten Flint Once again, our savior Rep. Dan Benishek wants to remind us how much he cares about us. In his latest newsletter, Benishek cries about the “abuse of power and disregard for the Constitution” by President Obama’s administration and the burdensome regulations...

Parsons Right About Schools Regarding last week’s column about why schools close, Grant Parsons speaks truth to power! He speaks for me...

The Benefits Of Medical Marijuana I recently attended a free showing of “Ride With Larry” film at the Bay Theatre, which was sponsored by Parkinson’s Network North and Leelanau County Senior Services. It was a film about an amazing man with Parkinson’s who biked 300 miles across South Dakota to raise awareness about living with Parkinson’s...

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<![CDATA[Letters 05-02-2016 - ]]> Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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<![CDATA[Letters 04-25-2016 - ]]> Taking Our Trees Seconds ago this pine tree was alive. Well, Mr. Cook — our County Road Commission head —and Peninsula Township government … by not weighing in (I guess it’s not your problem or responsibility to communicate with residents), you allowed the County Road Commission to bulldoze down huge swaths of lakeside trees in order to increase the bike lane. This can’t be happening. I have no clue why they would cut trees down that help block snow from creating drifts on Peninsula Drive and help keep the beach area intact. Plus, they are not increasing the width of the road when they repave. I just don’t get it. This is amateur hour at county and township government...

Government Service Unrewarded I served the federal government for XX years with the [agency], [doing XX]. I also worked in the private sector, [doing XX]. When I retired, I was surprised to learn my Social Security benefit would be $XXX less per month than my colleagues and neighbors who had never worked for the federal government. This is all because of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) under the Social Security law...

Which Greased Palm Now that “Chicago values” have utterly corrupted the executive and judicial branches of our federal government, this November We the Plebeians shall either vote to right the governing integrity of the United States constitution’s twin pillars of limited government and separation of powers or turn and step collectively onto the blood soaked road to serfdom...

The Political Mess And Challenge As citizens we are faced with a real challenge. The media and the political candidates have taken over a year to attack those whom they are opposing. The unfavorable ratings of those who may be nominated are above 50 percent. That should be no surprise, considering the length of time given to bloodying one another with opinions that have little relationship to truth. The polling companies, which confess they are not reliable, make everything a game of winning...

CORRECTIONS In last week’s issue we had photos with the incorrect stories on page five. The dance photo should have accompanied the story about grants to nonprofits. The image of Crooked Tree Arts Center Petoskey should have accompanied the story about the ArtPrize exhibit at CTAC.

We also reported the incorrect day for the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City. The correct date is Sat., May 28.

We apologize for these errors.

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<![CDATA[Letters 04-18-2016 - ]]> Fairness Legislation North Carolina’s new law aimed at blocking anti-discrimination rules for the LGBT community requires transgender people to use public restrooms that match their biological gender...

The Ironic Fall Of Trump Citizen A plans a murder, contracts with a hitman, names the date, drives the getaway car, enters the scene of the crime, cooperates with the hitman in every way except for the actual pulling of the trigger, and drives away. Is Citizen A in any way guilty? No, not if the crime is abortion...

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<![CDATA[Letters 04-11-2016 - ]]>

Don’t Comment, Take Action I am constantly amazed by the so-called “experts” who send in their comments regarding articles in the Traverse City Ticker...

Demand Action On Line 5 Communities throughout Michigan are working to restrict Line 5 pipeline to nonoil cargos. To date, 34 resolutions have been adopted asking the Governor and Attorney General to implement their statutory responsibility under the 1953 Easement. This effort is non-partisan, reflecting the public’s broad demand for action now...

An Addict’s Life Regarding Kate Heady’s recent letter about addiction and diet, there is truth in that shoveling sugar down your kids’ throats helps create future addicts. But there is a bigger picture. We live in a sick society that chases and promotes everything that doesn’t matter, giving birth to lost kids who give birth to lost kids who give birth to lost kids...

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<![CDATA[Letters 04-04-2016 - ]]>

Bring Water Fairness There are deeply troubling issues around water in Michigan. We’re painfully aware of the lead-contaminated water in Flint. The lack of a water affordability plan in Detroit has meant mass water shut-offs to seniors, the ill or disabled, pregnant women, and families with children...

Co-ops Rock, Too Your recent article about Nathan Havey and conscious capitalism was good but it neglected to mention that this business model already exists in the form of cooperatives. In fact, the first successful cooperative was founded in 1844 in Rochdale, England by a group of weavers tired of overpriced and inferior goods. Co-ops operate based on many of the same principles as conscious capitalism, having multiple bottom lines: purpose, people, planet and profit, very similar to the four pillars mentioned...

Snyder’s Failure I agree with Governor Snyder when he says there was a huge failure involved in the Flint water crisis. I disagree with him however, when he says it was a “failure of government at all levels.” The huge failure was not with government, but rather with how he chose to exercise it...

Addiction & Diet I wanted to respond to Joe Connolly’s short but stinging letter in the last issue. His remark that heroin is a huge problem in northern Michigan is a reality but not a permanent one. The problem lies in the last half a century and can be fixed in the next 50, slowly but surely...

Education Overhaul I couldn’t agree more with Thomas Kachadurian about “TCAPS’ Sinking Ship.” The whole education system needs a massive makeover. Yes, there are good teachers, but a lot of bad ones as well. The educational sector cries publicly that “it’s all about the children.” Is it?

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<![CDATA[Letters 03-28-2016 - ]]> Women Beware These are perilous times for women. If you are female, be prepared for the upcoming Dark Age. If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, you’re going to be in the crossfire of a right wing misogynist blowback the likes of which you have never experienced. You’re going to hear the terms bimbo, Hildabeast, ugly, fat, and other words to describe the first female candidate for president. Every inch of her body will be will be subject to mockery by the same men who sported Sarah Palin buttons that said “Coldest State Hottest Governor”...

Fair and Balanced? At the latest Republican debate, Fox News came prepared to ask the tough questions. They went after Trump’s tax plan that would greatly increase our debt and income inequality by giving the biggest tax breaks to the wealthy. While exposing the ramifications of a candidate’s policy is fair game, Cruz’s tax plan was not exposed, even though his plan also increases the debt and income inequality. Fox confronted Trump for being endorsed by KKK member and Cruz attacked Trump for not denouncing such an endorsement. Fox made no mention of Cruz being endorsed by an extremist anti-abortion group that believes killing doctors who perform abortions as justifiable homicide...

Heroin Statement Heroin use is an epidemic of extreme proportions in northern Michigan. Period....

Military in School Your maturing child in public school has frequent encounters with military recruiters present in the schools. Other groups such as Veterans for Peace are restricted. Students have indicated that recruiters’ pitches are strong on patriotism and adventure, giving little or no mention of adverse effects such as loss of control over your life for a number of years, chance of being maimed or killed, increased risk of being raped and risk of emotional consequences such as PTSD and increased likelihood of suicide...

Fighting the Strawman Democrats are wasting time campaigning against a Republican strawman. Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee and he does not want to be president because that is not his game plan. Trump considers himself to be the “king of deal makers.” His greatest thrill is manipulating others into some arrangement where he controls the outcome, ultimately to his personal benefit...

Tuttle Is Off Mr. Tuttle, I protest. Methinks you paint with far too broad a brush. The power of the written word lies in the details. “Us vs. Them,” (3/21/16) is a total train wreck. Next time, instead of briefly addressing several major topics connected with a weak subject thread, write one column properly skewering Bernie, and thank you so much for actually writing about Bernie again. Didn’t you get the memo...

Bernie Bashing Is anyone else tired of Steven Tuttle’s Bernie bashing? Week after week he dismisses Bernie Sanders while singing Clinto’s praises; now he’s gone too far (“Us Vs. Them,” 3/21). Tuttle claims Sanders is trying to scapegoat Wall Street firms and big banks for America’s woes, but “that the facts don’t line up with the accusation is just an inconvenience”...

WAR What is it good for? As the old Vietnam protest proclaims: “ War is good for business; invest your children.” Yes, war is good for business; the business of selling products for killing. World arms sales are up 14 percent, with the U.S. supplying the largest amount. Modern weapons of destruction such as drones and missiles have isolated us from the horror of death and environmental destruction. Endless wars built on meaningless pretexts are sucking us dry economically and morally...

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<![CDATA[Letters 03-21-2016 - ]]> Earth to Trumpsters Our technical team set out to make preliminary plans for the big wall that President Trump will build on the Mexican border. We arrived in Brownsville, Texas to discover, much to our surprise, that the border there consists of a river called the Rio Grande. Extensive research by our experts (on Wikipedia) revealed that the border meanders northwesterly for 1,248 miles along this river to the city of El Paso, Texas (or only 889 miles if you don’t measure every little bend)...

The Social Security “Problem” Social Security needs fixing. But before we embark upon a “fix,” perhaps we should look back on what happened to this great program so history will not repeat itself. Where did the money go? The answer lies in 1983, when the Great Republican President Ronald Reagan signed the Social Security Amendments. This increased payroll taxes, ostensibly to invest and fund Social Security’s future. However, it allowed the government to remove nearly $3 trillion over time for use within the General Fund...

Bring Some Civility I find it ironic that Northern Express publishes an issue decrying a lack of civility, polarization, anger and bigotry while at the same time, in that very same issue, it publishes insulting mean spirited cartoons aimed at conservatives...

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<![CDATA[Letters 03-14-2016 - ]]> A Word from the TCHC The Traverse City Housing Commission (TCHC) does not agree with the statements offered by Mr. Parsons in his opinion in the Mar. 5 issue pertaining to representations allegedly offered to or from the TCHC and regarding his client...

The Real World Social media can be an interesting thing. Writing one’s feelings, passions, etc. is much easier on a screen. It’s easier to perhaps be our true selves when we’re just looking at computers and not other humans. It’s an entirely different story when we’re face to face with someone else...

Plant the Right Trees Municipal tree plantings are a very important opportunity for the cities and towns around the state of Michigan to providing biodiversity and sustainability for their citizens. In the late 1990’s the city of Petoskey experienced one of the greatest Arborio blights in the city’s history, resulting in the removal of the vast majority of the maple trees along its streets. The removal costs for these trees was ultimately tens of thousands of dollars...

Bus Drivers Are Champions A few weeks ago a local school bus driver was proceeding merrily on her rounds when she came upon a man lying on his back next to a snow shovel. She stopped and secured the bus, determined that he was not breathing, called 911 and commenced artificial resuscitation. By all accounts she saved his life and eventually continued on her way. Thus is a day in the life of the largely unsung school bus driver...

What We Need Fifty years ago we instituted K-12 education for all children. Now a high school diploma won’t “buy you a cup of coffee.” We need to make available affordable college or technical school for all...

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