Don't share goals
With regard to the Sleeping Bear Dunes bicycle trail: Not so long ago my friends and I would visit the base of the dunes to find Showy Lady's Slippers. This year they were gone, replaced by invasive plants that inhabit disturbed ground.
I should not have been surprised that the company charged with writing an environmental impact statement declared there would be no negative effects to the building of the trail. An engineering firm is not likely to study construction's effects on the biota.
The lesson I have learned is this: Bicyclists and wildlife enthusiasts do not necessarily share the same goals. A 10-foot-wide expressway for bicycles laid down through environmentally sensitive areas is an insult to the swamps and forests through which it passes. This project should never have been approved.
Leadership is shameful
In response to the June 20 letter, "What are we thinking," and with all due respect to the military vet writer, his facts are incredibly wrong. He stated the national debt rose from $5.6 trillion to $10.1 trillion under President Bush. That is factually incorrect. According to the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department, the national debt rose to $4.9 trillion during President Bush's entire eight-year term, mainly due to the fact that we were in the middle of two wars, tax cuts and the economy freefall. As of June 2012, the national debt is at $15.6 trillion, in three short years under Obama. At this rate, if Obama is re-elected, the debt will increase to a staggering $20 trillion.
No one likes war. But, as I watch daily of the human slaughter going on in Syria of young children and their families, I can't help but wish our fine military were deployed to stop these horrific scenes.
The world expects no less of the United States. As the leader of the free world we are expected to lead when dictators turn on their own people. Unfortunately, President Obama's leadership in this matter is shameful and embarrassing.
Sharon L. Neumann
Congress not proactive
Mitt Romney announced that he would do the "opposite" of President Obama with regard to Israel. Well, that's a detailed foreign policy response, isn't it? Or wait, isn't that the same position of the GOP representatives and senators in Congress, even on proposals they have initiated and supported in the past? If the president is for it, then they're against it.
How I wish the GOP Congress and Mitt Romney would be proactive on behalf of this country and not negatively reactive to President Obama.
Has to be an easier way
So, I thought when I left church about 11:30 a.m., thinking there won't be as many people at the Northwestern Michigan College Barbecue that time, I was wrong. I had planned on a take-out for both my husband and myself. He is not well, and I could not take him.
I drove from one parking lot to another. All were full except one, but if I had taken it the owner of a van parked nearby could not have gotten back in.
All the while, I got more hungry for the baked beans and buffalo burgers. The beans originated in the kitchen at Munson Hospital. It was Harold Tucker's recipe. I had the first taste of it, but never knew the ingredients.
There has to be an easier way to park cars. It would have been almost impossible to take two orders back to the car to some back parking lot in the heat of the day.
Well, there is always next year.
Mrs. Gerald (Elfriede) Robinson
Primer on economics
Recently there has been a spate of letters supporting or criticizing each major political party with regard to how they are or would improve our economy. I am writing to suggest that anyone wanting a more in-depth discussion of the economy consider reading "How The Economy Works" by Roger E.A. Farmer. Farmer's book is a primer on macroeconomics that is easily read and very understandable. It has no particular axe to grind and for its length covers quite a bit of material. It certainly helps me understand the arguments being put forth much better.
Stop wasting resources
I agree with the opponents of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Trails for hikers, kids, families with strollers, wheelchairs and bicycles can only make the Most Beautiful Place in America ugly.
What we need are more and wider highways to get the visitors from Empire, Glen Arbor and campgrounds to the popular sites of the National Lakeshore. Bigger parking lots will also be a plus. I love that shopping mall-sized lot in front of the dune climb (and the view of it from the top of the dunes) and will be very sad to see wasted, unused parking spaces as families staying along the new trail decide that it would be nicer to walk than to drive during their visit to the National Park.
How can we stop wasting precious resources on this trail when we can put them into useful amenities like a bigger parking lot at Glen Haven Beach or a four-lane M-22?
In regards to Ann Rogers's impassioned albeit confusing letter (June 8), one is struck by her assertion that somehow democracy itself is undergoing some sort implosion brought on by ideological discord.
Politics are division by definition. That having been said, critical thinking requires one to look beyond the simplistic talking points of our elected officials. The assault on the United States and its civil society is being delivered to us courtesy of a violent, anti-Semitic and irrational group of actors. If one wants to attempt to co-exist with people representing this latest brand of fascism, then one is free to do so.
I, for one, am very pleased to see the American armed forces relentlessly demonstrate to these thugs that our way of life and our democracy are absolutely non negotiable.