Letters 10-17-2016

Here’s The Truth The group Save our Downtown (SOD), which put Proposal 3 on the ballot, is ignoring the negative consequences that would result if the proposal passes. Despite the group’s name, the proposal impacts the entire city, not just downtown. Munson Medical Center, NMC, and the Grand Traverse Commons are also zoned for buildings over 60’ tall...

Keep TC As-Is In response to Lynda Prior’s letter, no one is asking the people to vote every time someone wants to build a building; Prop. 3 asks that people vote if a building is to be built over 60 feet. Traverse City will not die but will grow at a pace that keeps it the city people want to visit and/or reside; a place to raise a family. It seems people in high-density cities with tall buildings are the ones who flock to TC...

A Right To Vote I cannot understand how people living in a democracy would willingly give up the right to vote on an impactful and important issue. But that is exactly what the people who oppose Proposal 3 are advocating. They call the right to vote a “burden.” Really? Since when does voting on an important issue become a “burden?” The heart of any democracy is the right of the people to have their voice heard...

Reasons For NoI have great respect for the Prop. 3 proponents and consider them friends but in this case they’re wrong. A “yes” vote on Prop. 3 is really a “no” vote on..

Republican Observations When the Republican party sends its presidential candidates, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people with a lot of problems. They’re sending criminals, they’re sending deviate rapists. They’re sending drug addicts. They’re sending mentally ill. And some, I assume, are good people...

Stormy Vote Florida Governor Scott warns people on his coast to evacuate because “this storm will kill you! But in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Florida’s voter registration deadline be extended because a massive evacuation could compromise voter registration and turnout, Republican Governor Scott’s response was that this storm does not necessitate any such extension...

Third Party Benefits It has been proven over and over again that electing Democrat or Republican presidents and representatives only guarantees that dysfunction, corruption and greed will prevail throughout our government. It also I believe that a fair and democratic electoral process, a simple and fair tax structure, quality health care, good education, good paying jobs, adequate affordable housing, an abundance of healthy affordable food, a solid, well maintained infrastructure, a secure social, civil and public service system, an ecologically sustainable outlook for the future and much more is obtainable for all of us...

Topic: could
Monday, September 19, 2011

Justice & Geography

Features Patrick Sullivan The story of how the body of the Traverse City teenager was found in a sand pit on the eve of her 17th birthday was splashed over newspapers across the state, broadcast on television and radio throughout Michigan, and spawned at least four Facebook groups with over 10,000 members.
Monday, January 9, 2012

Letters 1-09-2012


H2S poses problems

A little after midnight on Christmas Eve morning, a valve failure at the Beaver Creek gas injection well in Crawford County owned by BreitBurn Energy Partners sent a plume of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas across Northern Michigan. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is deadly and often compared with cyanide. It is detected by a rotten egg smell. Higher levels of H2S destroy olfactory senses and can cause coma and death.

Luckily, when sensors at the Beaver Creek injection well site detected a blown needle valve, the H2S being injected into the well was shut down automatically. But sensors did not shut the injection well boreout, and H2S gas spewed back up from the injection well though a 1⁄4 inch hole...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Letters 01-30-2012


Gov't not a business

Candidate Romney claims that his qualification for President is that he is a successful businessman. What he does not seem to understand is that government is not a business. A business produces products or services for a profit for its shareholders. A government provides services paid for with taxes collected from the citizens and businesses.

If the government were a business it could privatize the Defense Department. Following the Romney business tactic, the Pentagon Corporation could sell our surplus aircraft carriers to China, as Russia did. We do not need seven nuclear aircraft carrier task forces when no other country has more than one. We could level the playing field, sell off some of our ships and pass on the profits to the shareholders. That’s what businesses do.

If that meant laying off a lot of sailors, taking away their pensions and medical benefits and dumping them onto the distressed labor market, so be it. What matters to business is dividends for the shareholders.

Business thinks in terms of short term gains and quick profits. Governments think long term. It takes years to plan a bridge, for instance, and no private corporation is going to take that long range view...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Letters 03-04-2013


Time for gun insurance... Guns are not toys. They are lethal weapons. Just as in order to drive my car it must be registered and insured and I need a valid license, a similar approach to guns should remind people that owning a lethal weapon is a serious responsibility. Instead of banning guns by type and magazine capacity, let’s require liability insurance and registration along with licenses to carry...

Incredible waste of water... A mind-boggling 21 million gallons of groundwater was mixed with toxic chemicals and used to frack State Excelsior well 3-25 HD1, located within the Mackinaw State Forest in Kalkaska County...

Now showing at Northern Express Video Seen: Saving Michigan's Gray Wolves.

Monday, April 29, 2013


A year after motorcycle crash, Jim Lumley still thanks his helmet

Features Patrick Sullivan The U-M study has prompted a call from insurance and medical groups to reestablish the state’s helmet law, but proponents of the repeal argue it’s too early to draw any conclusions about the data and note that last year’s remarkably long period of warm weather led to more motorcycles on the roads.
Monday, May 13, 2013

A Cornish Tradition in Cadillac

Mr. Foisie’s Pasties

Features Kristi Kates So. You’re retired, you love Northern Michigan in the summertime, and you still “have enough energy to do something”… but what exactly do you do? Well, if you’re Nancy Vollmar and her husband, Jerry, you take over a restaurant, of course.
Monday, June 10, 2013

My 90 Days in Prison Boot Camp

Features Mike Morey But for real, telling me I’m weak and a bad worker has the same effect as being called a retard and a princess by some of the other corporals. It makes me smile, but only on the inside. Smiling with your face is a rule violation and could result in demerits which could lead to a hearing before the board and theoretically eventually being kicked out.
Monday, July 8, 2013

The House on the Beach

Home relies on a nonexistent ‘Shore Avenue’ on the beach

Features Patrick Sullivan When the Smiths packed up for the season in 2011 and left Northern Michigan for their homes elsewhere in the country, the building in front of their cottage was little more than a falling-down shack, something that had been there as long as anyone could remember.
Monday, August 19, 2013


Dining Ross Boissoneau Starting a restaurant is a demanding endeavor. But for the After 26 project, the scope of the challenge was even more daunting. Its mission was also to provide employment opportunities for people with special needs who had aged out of public educational programs.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Not a Small World After All…


Features Patrick Sullivan The attention set the couple on a course that saw them get cited with a civil infraction for a zoning violation and be refused a variance from the township zoning board of appeals. Ultimately, despite early, optimistic signs, they failed to see through a change in township zoning that would have enabled them to live a simpler, green lifestyle.