Northern Express - Letters http://www.northernexpress.com/michigan/articles.sec-144-1-letters.html <![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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<![CDATA[Letters 03-07-2016 - ]]> Not A Good Record Kudos to Michigan Republicans. Not only have they allowed our roads to deteriorate to the point of being dangerous, they are allowing an old pipeline carrying corrosive chemicals to threaten the largest body of fresh water in the world... 

The Real Oscar Math The irony of the State Theatre’s mast (#OscarsSoWhite) exhibiting its solidarity with the supposed dearth of black Oscar nominees is perhaps more prodigious than the ego of its beloved founder...

Help At Home I am disgusted by the cover that shows how white locals are changing Africa. I wonder what it would be like if these locals did work in their own backyard: Flint, Detroit, Benton Harbor, Saginaw, etc. My life work is around racial justice in Indigenous-Native American communities. As 0.5 percent of the U.S. population, I am an invisible minority as a mixed-race Native American. There is plenty of racism in northern Michigan and instead of buying organic dental floss, white liberals could help dismantle the oppressive system they benefit from...

A Heapin’ Helpin’ of Why with a Dash of Would I would like to know: Why aren’t corporations held completely accountable for the environmental devastation that they create? Why aren’t corporate heads prosecuted when they break laws? Why does our government keep giving corporations huge tax breaks and subsidies? Why is so much of the wealth in the hands of the one percent?

Aquaculture Fish Pens It seems we have a never-ending task of monitoring our Great Lakes water and keeping it pure for our health and recreation (not to mention the creatures that live and swim in it). We have a new threat upon us – aquaculture — the farming of large quantities of non-native fish in cages (fish pens) in the near shore waters. At this point is it is mostly a proposal introduced by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and generally sanctioned by that ever vigilant and protector of our “pure” water — the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality...

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<![CDATA[Letters 02-29-2016 - ]]> Corporate America I talk to David and I get this insurance BS. I talk to Mike and I get this Microsoft BS. Talk to John and everything is BS. My sister too with the insurance BS. Corporations have taken over, and control so much. Is everything a conspiracy? I believe so, more than ever before...

What Can Be Done I may or may not be a Sanders fan, but does Stephen Tuttle somehow imply that Sanders’ numbers don’t work out but that the other candidates’ numbers do? We have been financing the government on the backs of our children for decades, both Republican and Democrat administrations...

The Homeless Situation The writer of “The Homeless Situation” letter recently portrayed the liberal community as an ill-suited group to address the needs of the homeless, though he expressed gratitude to the church community for their efforts. Is it not possible to be a liberal and a member of the faith community? These groups are not mutually exclusive...

Obamacare Is Working Premiums for plans sold in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace increased 6% this year nationwide. In fact, according to a recent Record-Eagle article, 5 out of 21 companies selling individual insurance plans in Michigan did not raise prices at all this year. Contrast this with the 15 years prior to the Marketplace being established, when annual increases for my individual insurance policies ranged from 13 percent to well over 20 percent...


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<![CDATA[Letters 02-22-2016 - ]]> The Sad Homeless Situation Once again it seems we are to be treated to the spectacle of homeless men and women wandering in the frigid cold of winter with no place to call their own. Our precious community of liberal humanitarians, lovers of the arts, contributors to every non-profit that promises to save the planet and keep the rolling seas from our doorstep seem unable to provide simple shelter; the very home after all of the world-class humanitarian Michael Moore...

The Goose Is Cooked It’s no wonder that Mr. Kachadurian takes so much heat from the readers of his column. His latest is no exception. His opinions are skewed and he doesn’t seem to have all the facts...

Recall Time Michigan’s government is out of control. Governor Snyder and his band of merry legislators in Lansing are driving the state into bankruptcy. From abandoned railroad cars sitting at a siding in Cadillac at a cost of $1.2 million per year to the unnecessary state-sponsored DRIC bridge and the now infamous Flint water fiasco, the current administration and legislature view the average citizen as its private piggy bank. The election process is a bought and paid for joke, now merely a game of term limited musical chairs...

Sanders’ Plan Is No Fantasy In Mr. Tuttle’s column “The Sanders Fantasy,” he stated his belief that the fantasy that Bernie Sanders and other Americans have for things such as affordable healthcare, higher education and basic security for all (achievements reached by other governments) cannot possibly be achieved because of the way Washington works...

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<![CDATA[Letters 02-15-2016 - ]]> No More Balloon Launches In the recent Wedding issue, a writer noted a trend of celebratory balloon launches at weddings. Balloon releases are nothing more than a wind-born distribution of litter, not an appropriate way to celebrate a marriage or commemorate cancer victims and survivors...

Plenty Of Blame In Flint Many opinions have been voiced about the Flint water crisis; all have left many questions unasked, such as: Lead is the culprit, and a there is a ban on lead in paint, as well as one on lead in new plumbing materials. There are still many service connecting pipes made out of lead in service. Why? Have any been installed despite the ban?

Stop Balloon Releases I was appalled by the column on the wedding traditions article that suggested making new traditions like releasing balloons at the conclusion of the ceremony! I am the president of AFFEW (A Few Friends for the Environment of the World) in Ludington, and we clean beaches four times a year....

Roosevelt Had It Right 202 years ago the British Royal Navy bombarded Fort McHenry during the War Of 1812. While being held captive aboard the HMS Surprise, Francis Scott Key composed the immortal “Star Spangled Banner” poem. 202 years later I ask, “Oh, say can you see” one of the most appallingly dishonest presidential election cycles since the Adams/Jefferson election of 1800...

Avoid Urban Sprawl In Petoskey I urge Resort Township, the City of Petoskey and Emmet County to dissuade Bay Harbor’s proposal to add new business and residential development along U.S. 31 near the main entrance to Bay Harbor...

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<![CDATA[Letters 02-08-2016 - ]]> Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

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<![CDATA[Letters 02-01-2016 - ]]> Real Contamination In 1968, Chicago (its Mayor Richard Daley in particular) felt menaced by anti-war protesters (Abbie Hoffman in particular) threatening to put the hallucinogenic LSD into Chicago’s water supply. In reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., we reacted vigorously to a perceived threat of chemical or biological terrorist attacks on our water supply. A religious cult contaminating a city water tank with salmonella in Oregon, sickening about 700, was the only such attack in our country until now. The water supply of Flint, Mich., was attacked and contaminated, not by terrorists or protesters, but by our own government...

Why The Muslim Debate? I was passing through your fine town last week and picked up a couple copies of Northern Express. There I noted a discourse concerning the Muslim situation in Dearborn. It is interesting to note that I see similar conversations in newspapers and blogs throughout the country and, in fact, throughout the world...

Kachadurian Has It All Wrong Thank you for continuing to publish Thomas Kachadurian’s bigoted editorials. If not for this publication, I wouldn’t know that such people lived in my sweet northern Michigan...

Over The Line I felt Sarah Palin crossed the line when she indicated our president did not care about those like her son who came home wounded. No one challenges her on these remarks; to me it is shameful...

Flints’ Man-made Disaster Governor Snyder’s Financial Emergency Manager Law has created a State of Emergency in Flint. In 2011, newly elected Governor Snyder signed Public Act 4, giving him the freedom to take over any city government his office found financially bankrupt, with power to override any decision of elected city officials. This law showed his primary motive — money before people. In November 2012, the People of Michigan voted down his Financial Emergency Manager Law, as they resented losing control of their cities. In December 2012, he showed his contempt for the people’s vote and signed a revised version, one that did not give power back to the people...

Defending the AR15 And Gun Rights I was amazed to read David Downer’s recent letter. He admits he is a gun owner but he expresses his ignorance of what an “assault rifle” really is, and thereby spreads the antigun position that an AR15 is an assault rifle...

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<![CDATA[Letters 01-25-2016 - ]]> Weapons of Mass Destruction Are assault rifles weapons of mass destruction? They are designed and manufactured with the primary purpose of efficiently killing people, lots of people. Recent reports of assault rifles being used in the mass killing and maiming of scores of people in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds, would seem to qualify them as “weapons of mass destruction”...

Easy Fix? It seems an easy fix for the dispute on the Petoskey Northmen Indian logo would be to discontinue its use, keep the Northmen name, and develop a new logo and helmet graphic for the football team that would be acceptable to the local tribes...

Levels Of Faith & Understanding Most of the people I know are nominal Christians. They don’t take their faith too seriously; it’s just a small part of who they are. Occasionally, some of them become more devout, and, for whatever reason, they begin to study the Bible and attend church regularly. As they become more sincere, life change happens, they begin volunteering to feed the needy and are more generous to the disadvantaged. Organizations such as Feed the Children or Mercy Medical Ships could not operate without them. Like Christians, most Muslims are nominal too...

Final Word On Native American Mascots I would like to respond to the article regarding the Petoskey High School football team’s mascot depicting a Native American. The only opinion regarding whether using Native Americans as mascots that should matter are the opinions of Native Americans...

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<![CDATA[Letters 01-18-2016 - ]]> Last Word on Muslims This is the last response I’ll write on Islam in America, as I feel the subject has become repetitive at this point. I’ve been to Dearborn and I have a few close friends there. It’s a lovely place, not the theocratic hellhole that many are trying to smear it as. But putting personal experience aside, the fact that Muslim immigrants assimilate more easily in the United States than in Europe because of our melting-pot culture is borne out by the data — like it or not...

Please Explain, Rep. Inman Will Rogers once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Well, the facts coming out of Lansing in the closing minutes of last year’s legislative session would have given him plenty of material. Perhaps our local politician, Rep. Inman, could enlighten his constituents on his support for SB 571...

Snow Thanks Very impressed, TC. After mucho snow Saturday night, my family and I enjoyed a lovely early Sunday morning walk downtown on already cleared sidewalks...

Sympathies We are heading into the eighth year of Barak Obama’s presidency. Nothing surprises me any longer about conservative Republicans’ inability to deal with facts...

Useless Words So, ah, it seems that some words have been suggested to not be essential to the English language. Well, I mean, can’t a person, like, you know, use those unessential words if they so desire? The simple fact is, I’m thinking, it should be fine to use these words...

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<![CDATA[Letters 01-11-2016 - ]]> Real Muslim Talk A recent letter stated that most Muslims assimilate to American culture just fine. This feel-good statement doesn’t reflect the whole picture: Muslims in the U.S. adapt minimally to local customs while aggressively asserting their own religion and culture upon their surroundings. Dearborn, Mich. is an ideal “laboratory” to observe this phenomenon, since it holds the largest Muslim population in the United States...

Shame On Us I am a Native American living in northern Michigan. Natives believe in the sanctity of life. We believe women are givers of life, not takers. Abortion creates a scenario of a mother taking her own child’s life...

Embrace Our Water I would like to gather together a group of like-minded people to focus on cleaning our water…water in our lakes, rivers, aquifers, etc. After seeing Masaru Emoto in the documentary film, “The Secret” and after reading his books, “The Hidden Messages In Water” and “The True Power Of Water,” I realized that we have the power to clean our terribly polluted water that we cannot live without...

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<![CDATA[Letters 01-04-2016 - ]]> “Grow Up” In the Dec. 21 issue, Thomas Kachadurian writes that attempts to alleviate hunger and poverty (you know, as in sunday school: “feed the hungry,clothe the poor, care for the sick”) are childish fantasies like the belief in Santa Claus. And for good measure he also includes pacifism, gun control, government aid programs and religious tolerance...

No Sympathy For Merchant Class I would like to respond to the “help wanted” letter about local businesses. Perhaps our region’s merchant class would benefit by reading The Walmart Effect; it’s a bit dated, but it applies. And it does so painfully...

Don’t Generalize About Millennials In its Dec. 14 issue, the Northern Express published a letter from a local business owner which blamed the large number of local help wanted signs on “young millennials’ poor or non-existent work ethic and/or their refusal to show up on time and do what is expected.” While I cannot speak for all millennials, I did want to provide a counter-narrative..

A Modest Proposal Indeed I very much enjoyed Grant Parson’s column, “A Modest Proposal” in the Dec. 20 issue of Northern Express. His proposal which was spot on, and indeed very modest, suggesting that the conditions imposed on a woman seeking an abortion be applied to an individual seeking to purchase an assault weapon...

Senator Peters Misinformed Senator Gary Peters made a fool out of himself at a subcommittee meeting recently when he sited the Law of Conservation of Energy, saying, “additional heat does not just magically disappear, it makes the planet warmer.” He clearly was absent on the day his sixth grade teacher explained the First Law of Thermodynamics...

My Story Of Climate Change Climate change is here. Although no single weather event can be attributed directly to a climate trend, the increasing number and intensity of these storms can. My own story is a mix of facts and fear. Returning from our family reunion, my sister and I engaged in a philosophical discussion about climate change...

Not Talking About It Recently many of us have watched a stage full of Republican debaters thump their chests, rattle their imaginary sabers, glower directly into the camera, and promise our enemies death and destruction, all in the interests of national security. But we hear nothing about climate change...

Real Renewable Progress Well done, Wolverine Power Cooperative and member organizations Cherryland, Great Lakes Energy, PIE&G, and others. Wolverine recently announced it will source approximately 30 percent of its power supply from renewable sources by 2017. The wind power will be supplied from the Deerfield Wind Project in Huron County and the Michigan Wind 3 Project in Sanilac County. This commitment far exceeds Michigan’s goal of 10 percent renewables met this year. That’s leadership...

Zero Tolerance In response to Jack Segal’s column from the Dec. 21 Northern Express regarding “Tolerance and Free2Choos,” has Mr. Segal ever heard the term “zero tolerance?” It is highly disturbing that an educated individual would allow the gallering neo-Nazis outside a peaceful Jewish faith assembly while threatening innocent people. Many who know the horrors of Hitler and his Nazi regime will be intolerant of such interferences...

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<![CDATA[Letters 12-21-2015 - ]]> Too Much Attention Our culture has entered into the theater of the absurd. Because it has become popular to distrust anything and everything our government and Obama are doing, we have given in to an angst that makes us do and say ridiculous things...

Care for Others At a time of year when we normally hear calls for peace and love, we are inundated with harsh and hostile rhetoric from politicians and presidential candidates calling for endless war, carpet bombing, closing mosques, barring refugees, and deporting immigrants. Cutting any and all assistance for the poor and their children also seems to be on the agenda...

Climate and Our Congress The United Nations has approved unanimously, by almost 200 nations, a landmark climate accord which promises to move our planet forward to preserve our way of life and those of our children and progeny (New York Times, 12/12/15)...

Dangerous Worldviews Letter writer Gordon Lee Dean should be reported for possible inclusion on the terrorist watch list, immediately. I am serious. He calls our twice-elected president a “tyrant.” He believes he has a “Godgiven right” to use his arsenal against not only terrorists, but also against “government gone wrong,” whomever that may be, and however he happens to define that phrase...

The Real Muslim Facts Contrary to the assertions made in a letter in the Dec. 7th issue, most Muslim immigrants assimilate to mainstream American culture just fine, and they are more law-abiding and productive than almost any other immigrant group. The most educated female religious group, only behind Jewish women? Muslim women. Most importantly, the vast majority of the world’s Muslims are against religious violence and against ISIS. All of these facts come from Gallup and the Pew Research Center.

9 Stories of Rebranding We love Traverse City because it’s beautiful and offers so much to all of us. We can see the skyline and the nature around it. People of all ages object to River West because we don’t want tall buildings, a crowded city, and more traffic that would destroy our quality of life. This project will turn our lovely downtown into another big city with tall apartment complexes, condos, and business developments. Goodbye, pretty town...

Ending Wars Will End Terrorism We are such a frightened people. We are inundated daily with fear: In our local and national news, packaged as entertainment in which we have no way to defuse except to be uninformed. Consider now we want to build an actual/virtual wall around the U.S. Our politicians are building up the fear as we speak. Fear works! It separates us and makes being different become bad and dangerous. Fear makes it easy to control our thinking and hence control our decisions...

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<![CDATA[Letters 12-14-2015 - ]]> Help-Wanted Signs We, a small group of local, small business owners, meet informally every few months to discuss the ups and downs of surviving on the endangered species list of “mom & pop” retailers in the day of the big box and the revered Internet...

Evil Guns Miracles do happen, because I just survived another safe hunting season here in northern Michigan by not getting killed by one of those evil guns. My gun unfortunately did not kill any deer but it probably would have if it had seen a buck. I was just there to carry that damn gun around and if need be to drag a dead deer home...

Exaggerated Idea Statement Regarding Stephen Tuttle’s column two weeks back, I agree with Mr. Tuttle that Republican candidates need policy questions....unlike what we saw with MSNBC...

Better Ideas Needed NPR claimed “the shooting in San Bernardino, Cal., was the 355th mass shooting in the U.S. this year — or more than one per day on average so far in 2015.” We may not all have faith in the same news sources, but clearly we’ve become a society in which massacres are becoming a daily routine...

ISIS’ Real Genesis In his recent column “What Do They Want”, Jack Segal fails to connect easy dots that can readily explain much of ISIS’ behavior. The bombing of the Russian airliner is clearly linked to the bombing of Syrian targets by Russia a month prior. So too, the French attack is a direct response to the year-long bombing of ISIS targets ordered by President Hollande. While the attacks can only be described as heinous, they are easily understood as collateral...

The Real Muslim Facts Contrary to the assertions made in a letter in the Dec. 7 issue, most Muslim immigrants assimilate to mainstream American culture just fine, and they are more law-abiding and productive than almost any other immigrant group. The most educated female religious group, only behind Jewish women? Muslim women. Most importantly, the vast majority of the world’s muslims are against religious violence and against ISIS. All of these facts come from Gallup and the Pew Research Center...

The Trump Limbo Donald Trump is confused. He has mistaken the presidential campaign for a Limbo dance competition. How low can you go...

Vote On Height I am opposed to the proposed nine-story building in Traverse CIty. I believe that the size of the project is going to forever alter the way we view our town. This development could possibly benefit approximately two hundred residences that will be a part of this project. Assuming for the moment that each of these will house two people, this means that potentially 400 residents will stand to benefit. Should we, for the sake of 400, permanently alter our skyline? Instead of five stories, we will be looking at a building that will overshadow the surrounding neighborhood and adjacent buildings...

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<![CDATA[Letters 12-07-2015 - ]]> Defining Art Appreciation to Delbert Michel for so succinctly stating what art is, should, and can be and also for calling out area arts groups, galleries, and media outlets for not promoting it. You missed one though, Delbert, that being the Northern Express, who seems to go out of it’s way to seek out the dullest of the dull, the beigest of the beige...

Don’t Tie Muslims To Barbarians I am totally appalled by the column about “how to tell the difference between ISIS and a Muslim. “ I am an area representative for a foreign exchange organization and have hosted ten students as well. I hosted a young lady from Pakistan; she was an angel and we still communicate to this day. She and her family left Pakistan because they fear for their life...

Climate Thoughts As the Paris climate talks get underway, we learn the response to falling gas prices in the U.S. to be (drum roll) record sales of SUVs and trucks for the month of November, of course! While this behavior might seem irrational in the face of what increased carbon emissions mean for our future and the future of our children, it is predictable given the short-term perspective that is pervasive in our culture of immediate, insatiable consumerism. It is our right as long as we have the cash to pay for it..

I Love Socialism Let me rephrase that. I love Democratic Socialism. I like the idea of boarding an airliner that’s regulated, health care for all, my Social Security, Medicare, driving on good roads (Michigan being the exception), public schools, national and state parks, and yes, our county parks, the Eisenhower Interstate highway system, national cross country hiking trails, and our own socialist Leelanau trail...

This Is America Thomas Kachadurian’s recent assessment of Islam is timely and accurate. Early waves of European immigrants blended in to American life. There seems to be a different attitude with Muslim immigrants, that America should assimilate to them, rather than they assimilate to the U.S. In Dearborn, public schools have had to change to halal meats in their cafeterias (more costly), and now have to break for Ramadan in addition to Christmas, due to Muslim demands...

Reject The Fringe On Friday, Nov. 27, Robert Lewis Dear attacked a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, killing three innocents, including a University of Colorado police officer. Dear was heard yelling, “baby parts” during the attack. The continued willingness of these “fetal fetishers” to kill postnatals in their misguided attempt to save prenatals suggests that the label “Right To Life” should be narrowed to “Right To Fetal Life” in order to more accurately label those fringe persons so violently motivated by the inflammatory rhetoric of mainstream “Right To Life” members against Planned Parenthood...

Visual Arts Solutions Redux In his guest column, Delbert Michel (Nov. 30) is correct in suggesting that the success of any work of art depends on more than its subject matter. He is helpful in alluding to the formal elements (shape, value, color, and texture) that comprise the compositional basis of the art of painting. It is feasible for him to assert that all visual art is abstract...

References For TC In reference to the “Nine Stories” feature in the Nov. 23 Northern Express, anyone interested in helping design TC’s future should consider watching the YouTube videos “The Value of Downtown” and “Joe Minicozzi in Traverse City”...

Rural Fire Extinguished Green Lake Township will be withdrawing from the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Department now that Long Lake has dealt the fatal blow to its continued existence. That is the only logical decision because the remainder of Rural Fire is now on the far side of the county...

Act Intelligently About Vaccines Sarah Stagray’s letter in the Nov. 20 issue hit it right on the head. Yes, far too many unnecessary, untested, potentially dangerous vaccines are being pushed on children and the general public, and parental rights are being stripped away by mandates. Medical schools do in fact teach how to strong-arm hesitant parents to conform...

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