Over a smoking ban?
According to Webster, there are at least five shadings of the definition of the word "liberty" in the social sense and several others in the context of the legal system and the military. Mr. Pack's May 13 letter in the Record-Eagle, in which he contends that the smoking ban in bars and restaurants is an affront to "liberty" would, I suppose, be based on what Webster describes as "freedom from arbitrary or despotic control" — the contention that smoking on premise should be the sole right of the proprietor to determine.
Non-smokers and restaurant employees might see "liberty" as the next listed definition: "The positive enjoyment of various social, political or economic rights and privileges." The contention that they should have the right to not be exposed to a proven health hazard and that this right, if needed, should be protected by law.
The arrogance or ignorance of his assumption that any employee has the "liberty" to just find another job tells me that he might never have had to look for a job in a bad economic climate. As for the Patrick Henry reference, give me liberty or give me death? Over a smoking ban? Really?
Not thinking straight
I have been stunned by the news that Traverse City, a proud and beautiful city, filled with kind and friendly people, has been talking about laying off firefighters and police officers. If we are to continue re-building and "placemaking" our hometown and surrounding area into a draw for others to want to live here, like all those "young professionals" the planners keep mentioning, then this move will certainly scare the dickens out of them. No young professional single, couple or family person will find it comforting to live in an area that treats the safety of its citizens so shabbily.
Please re-think this absolutely stupid idea and allow us to pay our few dollars a year to have protection when we need it. Who ever first suggested this idea certainly was not thinking straight, in my humble opinion.