Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 2, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 05/02/2013

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Don’t be intimidated

As a resident of Leelanau County, I would like to apologize to the staff and reporters of the Record-Eagle for the outlandish behavior of the spouse of one of our elected representatives (Karen Zemaitis). I would like to assure you that this does not reflect the opinions or attitudes of many of us who live in the county. A free press is one of the foundations of a representative democracy, and it is very disturbing that there are those among us who do not share this view (especially those in public office).

It appears that the Constitution is used to support their views when it is convenient and totally ignored when it does not.

I applaud your determination to continue to call it like you see it, and not be intimidated by threats and violence. Keep up the good work and please know that you have support from your readers.

Sara Wellman


Assault on free speech

I believe Northwestern Michigan College’s new “Campus Expression” policy is an assault on free speech that may be imitated by other public entities if it is allowed to stand.

This attack on free speech would have been unthinkable when I was an NMC student from 1973 to ‘75. Students then were encouraged to speak out about the Vietnam War, women’s rights and Watergate, to name a few of the heated issues of that time. Could you imagine the reaction if free speech on those issues had been corralled to a “Free Speech Area”?

Free speech at NMC will be restricted because a particular message might make some uncomfortable. But isn’t that a part of higher education, to allow the free expression of ideas, even those we may find not agreeable to our view?

Finally, this policy will be a public relations nightmare for those seeking support for NMC’s request for a 0.4-mill tax hike. NMC can’t explain how the additional funds would be used, but is limiting public expression of an opinion. Do you suppose some of the additional funds would be earmarked to further stifle free speech?

Jim Dewey


National priorities?

For your reading enjoyment (or anger, hopefully), Google “U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s Waste Book 2012,” where he lists just 100 examples of wasteful spending by our government, which includes such things as $27 million for pottery classes in Morocco (they have been making pottery since the fifth century B.C.), $2.6 million spent to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly, $400,000 to study gay sexual behavior in Argentine bars (and let’s not forget about the robotic squirrel).

Perhaps Sen. Coburn’s own description of this waste explains it best, “As you look at these examples, put your personal political persuasion aside and ask yourself: Would you agree with Washington that these represent national priorities, or would you conclude these reflect the out-of-touch and out-of-control spending threatening to bankrupt our nation’s future?”

And we can’t keep the people’s White House open for tours?

Robert Bremer

Rapid City

Visitation rights

How many of you have heard of PAS? Probably not too many of us are familiar with it, and I feel it needs to be brought to not only to our attention, but to the attention of the family court judges.

PAS stands for Parent Alienation Syndrome and the definition, “An aggressive form of psychological abuse whereby one parent degrades and destroys the relationship between the children and the other parent.”

With divorce having become so commonplace it is time that the courts start to recognize that, in some cases, PAS is real. The children need to be protected against this evil act of one parent alienating children from their biological father or mother. Unless there is proof that the non-custodial is harming the children in any manner, the visitation orders need to be enforced. How else are the children going to have a relationship with the non-custodial parent otherwise? These children weren’t divorced, they are the victims of divorce.

Please judges, enforce the visitation orders and, as with any other court order not being followed, penalize the violator. One day, a child will thank you for ensuring they have had a relationship with both parents.

Susan Elliott

Traverse City

Makes more sense

Few would argue against a new library for Kalkaska, but the library commission seems to be determined to build a memorial to a past librarian. Rather than build on a hidden site west of U.S. 131 there are some well-built modern buildings available at a fraction of the cost on the main street in Kalkaska. This just makes more sense.

Richard Asmus