Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 7, 2012

Letters to the Editor: 12/07/2012


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The root of all wars

We were offended by Pastor David Walls and the other officials at the First Congregational Church by their lack of understanding of today's U.S. military and their disregard of the First Amendment by barring the Muslim Call to Prayer portion of the Mass for Peace, and shame on director Jeffrey Cobb for his spineless decision to continue the performance piecemeal.

This country's military is not a "Christians-only" organization and one needed only to visit our Veterans Day Memorial to the Michigan Fallen at the Open Space to see the names of Muslim-Americans along with Christians, Jews and others who gave their lives for freedom and peace.

Censoring their religious beliefs as though it were somehow offensive to veterans makes a mockery of their sacrifice and reflects a shameful benightedness and bigotry not welcome in this community. Former Air Force Officer Michael Weinstein said, "When one proudly dons a U.S. military uniform, there is only one religious symbol: the American flag."

Pastor Walls' intolerance in a forum dedicated to the celebration of peace illustrates to our community how ignorance perpetuates the tribalism at the root of all wars.

James A. Kulczyk

Traverse City

The writer is writing on behalf of Veterans for Peace Chapter 50 in Traverse City.

Editor's note: This letter is being reprinted because of an editor's error.

Design from the 1950s

Wow, did you see Sunday's front page, Nov. 11, the bath house and concession stand at Clinch Park? When I first saw it, it reminded me of two old trailers pushed together. Will someone please tell the city commissioners that this is 2012. Not only is this building "ugly" but its design is from the 1950s and for over $600,000, couldn't your "great minds" come up with something newer? All the wooded areas that we live in ... oh well just a thought.

Bob Hall

Traverse City

Would be good business

Since reading the article by Susan Odgers about accessibility, I have some comments to make as I have dealt with similar situations with a family member. There are ways to fix accessibility situations, but attitudes account for most of the reasons why they aren't done, not only here but in other communities. You then hear all the reasons why we can't do that, then the final comment is because our building is so old we don't have to comply to the ADA, and by the way it costs too much.

In a community where older retirees will be a good portion of our community it seems to me accommodating a person in a chair or walker would be good business.

Thomas L. Vert

Traverse City

Someone to emulate

Readers of the Record-Eagle have another reason to express gratitude to our newspaper. Your extensive coverage by your staff writers and Joyce Braithwaite, as well as George Weeks, and your editorial regarding Helen Milliken, was not only important but also simply splendid.

Helen was summed up by Joyce as "wonderful" and fleshed out for her contributions and beautiful personality. I hope all young people read about this incredible person — an example that is hard to follow, but certainly one to try to emulate.

Thank you for caring enough to let everyone know the extent of Helen's marvelous contributions to our state, world and our own lives.

Joan Wolfe

Frankfort