Traverse City Record-Eagle

July 5, 2012

Letters to the editor: 7/5/2012


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Should join the army

Let's all hope that the little girl from Copemish, who was shot multiple times with a .45-caliber automatic pistol, somehow survives.

There's nothing wrong with owning rifles and shotguns for target shooting or hunting, but a weapon that's only purpose is for killing people should be taken off the streets. I refer to them as "assault weapons." If a redneck wants to strut around "packing heat," he should join the military.

Four-star General Wesley Clark, who earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, is for gun control; he said people who want to carry assault weapons should join the Army (stated on CNN's 'Crossfire,' aired June 25, 2003, http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0306/25/cf.00.html).

Leo Gabier

Traverse City

Let him continue

Men who stand out, who deserve our admiration and support, who are the Navy Seals and Army Rangers of our energy infrastructure, who labor hard without fanfare long hours into the night because they like it like that, remind me of Mark Carson. Mark has done this for years, working hard on our board of directors at Great Lakes Energy.

Now we have a chance to re-elect him with our ballot included in the magazine Country Lines.

Mr. Carson's fiscally conservative, war-room mentality has saved us millions of dollars — so I say, "let him continue his fine service."

Send in that ballot from Country Lines voting for the return of Mark Carson to the board of Great Lakes Energy.

I like the cut of his jib.

David Henry Wyant

Petoskey

No 'sweaters' for trees

Walking downtown recently, I noticed many of the trees were covered in knitting. It was soggy and discolored from the recent rain and many of the pieces were ragged, stretched and torn. Frankly, it was embarrassing to think that tourists visiting our town were seeing this. It wouldn't have been so striking had I not just seen a man removing spray-painted graffiti in a nearby alleyway. Aren't these tree "sweaters" just another type of graffiti? And why are they allowed to remain on the trees while other graffiti is considered a crime and immediately removed?

After comparing the two, one can only conclude that the graffiti on the trees was in fact the more damaging. A wall can always be resurfaced or repainted. Trees need to have air circulation around not only their leaves, but also their trunks and branches. Inhibiting air flow around trees encourages growth of molds and fungi by retaining water and creating damp, dark places. The wrappings also provide concealment for destructive insects.

It appears that the city is not concerned over this new type of graffiti and hasn't taken action against it. Trees have bark; they don't need "sweaters."

Wendy Schopieray

Traverse City

Trail fun, great exercise

My husband and I have just returned from a quick trip to your beautiful community and want to praise the local committee and all volunteers who worked on the gorgeous Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. The bike trip from the Dune Climb through Glen Haven, into Glen Arbor and then back to W. Day Forest Road in Empire was fantastic. It was being used by bikers, hikers, joggers, baby strollers and even a wiggliing scooter, and everyone shared a friendly "good morning!" with others on the trail. It was fun, great exercise, and provided a wonderful "close up" look at the natural bounty of your area.

Congratulations to everyone involved! Bring your bikes to Ann Arbor and ride our trails along the Huron River. That's wonderful, too!

Claire Dahl

Ann Arbor

Trail is contrary to law

Why do bureaucracies (Sleeping Bear Dunes) and special interest groups (Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail backers) propose to destroy the environment and ignore the impact on the residents of the area where they plan their trail? They propose to slash trees and dig out steep sand hills and pave a trail on the north side of Traverse Lake Road and go through a swamp and more sand hills on the Bufka farm. This would destroy the narrow, scenic road that winds through the woods and serves the needs of the residents of Little Traverse Lake.

Public Law 91-479, which created the Sleeping Bear Dunes, states that "such features ought to be preserved in their natural settings, and protected from developments and uses which would destroy the scenic beauty and natural character of the area."

Sec. 6(d) says: "In developing the lakeshore the Secretary shall provide public use areas in such places and manner as he determines will not diminish the value or enjoyment for the owner or occupant of any improved property located thereon."

The proposed trail is contrary to the law.

Eminent domain was used to obtain this land.

Recreation seems more important than the impact on environment and residents.

Jerome E. Bufka

Cedar

Plant a tree

I would like to recommend a really good book, "The Man Who Planted Trees," by Jim Robbins.

It is about David Milarch from Copemish. He has successfully cloned many of the ancient trees of the world. They said "it couldn't be done," but he did it. After reading the book, my husband and I went to hear David speak. He is an engaging speaker with a great passion for trees.

Hearing him speak made me cry and also inspired us. This past weekend my husband and I planted 11 white pine trees, Michigan's state tree, in our normal-sized yard in Slabtown. We planted them for your and our grandchildren. Recently, on an National Public Radio travel show, it was reported that Americans go to Europe and visit cathedrals, while Europeans come to this country and visit the national parks, particularly to see the redwoods and sequoias, our natural cathedrals.

If you want to change the world and help climate change, plant a tree.

Joann Rosi

Traverse City

ed - dm

Tyranny of the minority.

Our current perception of broken politics goes well beyond issues like debt limit and spending. This atmosphere did not emerge overnight. The roots began in 1978 with the election of Newt Gingrich to the House. How, Gingrich wondered, could the minority party overcome the seemingly complicated situation in which people hated the Congress but loved their own Congressional representative?

As the 1994 midterm election approached, Gingrich was able to convince Republicans to unite in opposition, daring the majority to find votes within their own ranks. This resulted in policy delays, along with a deepening sense among voters of a broken political system. This is exactly what Gingrich and his allies hoped.

Now the Republicans want to use obstruction to prevent the Senate from doing its job by requiring super majorities to pass any legislation which would further lower the favorability rating of Congress among the American people.

The single-minded focus on gaining power over solving problems is putting our country at risk because it limits our ability to govern effectively. To use filibusters to undermine laws on the books from being implemented weakens our democracy by a process most aptly described as the tyranny of the minority.

Ronald Marshall

Petoskey