Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 18, 2012

Letters to the Editor: 08/18/2012


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Exit, prevent poverty

The two Aug. 4 editorials on poverty, "Nation's Poverty Rate Threatens Our Future" and "Candidates Should Address the Poor," present some facts, some misleading statements and some political issues.

Yes, the 2010 U.S. poverty rate of 15.1 percent is high, but it has been there three times since 1965.

Seven recessions in that time have produced a poverty percentage uptick. Projected worsening remains to be seen.

Our local Poverty Reduction Initiative believes that reducing poverty is a local issue.

We have observed that individual and family steps out of poverty are all about one on one help — in first accessing the safety net and then progressing toward self sufficiency.

Right here, we have an outstanding safety net, composed of public, nonprofit, church and personal effort.

You know the names of many.

We have learned that the real answer to poverty reduction is a combination of helping people exit poverty and poverty prevention.

It will take a community commitment, but we can succeed in wiping out regional poverty. Go to: to learn more.

Jim Rowlett

Traverse City

The writer is with the Traverse Bay Poverty Reduction Initiative.

Many not at half-mast

The funeral for Marine Corps Sgt. Justin M. Hansen was held on a recent Saturday.

The funeral procession went from Kingsley to Traverse City, where Hansen's body was buried.

I have lived in Traverse for 20 years, and I have never been more ashamed of my city.

On that day, many flags were not at half-mast.

The family and friends of Justin Hansen drove past flags that did not show their support for this heroic person.

The right to have a flag is one we cannot take for granted, and it is a right that people like Justin Hansen and James Morgen lost their lives protecting.

We may not agree with the war, but please do not belittle our troops' deaths.

Ignorance is what we are fighting worldwide, but it starts with us on the home front.

Susan Taylor

Traverse City