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July 9, 2000

Letters to the editor

Accuracy in language

      Garry Wills' use of the term "Native Americans" may be politically correct, but clearer and more economical it is not, nor is the term factually correct as he applies it.
      I am a native American, a native of Illinois, and a native Chicagoan, all because I was born on the north side of Chicago.
      The people Columbus encountered are correctly described as "Aboriginal Americans," as they were the earliest inhabitants of the continent.
      Aboriginal Americans are also native Americans, just as I and millions of other citizens are, by reason of birth in this country.
      If Mr. Wills truly desires accuracy in language, he must use the correct term to be clearer and more economical, as well as properly courteous.
      Jim Trout

A political football

      This letter is in response to the problem of whether to zone for more wineries and tasting rooms on the Old Mission Peninsula.
      MADD has a mission: "The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to stop drunk driving and to support victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking."
      I was contacted by two residents of the peninsula, and asked to support their contention that more wineries or tasting rooms should not be allowed on the peninsula.
      After writing a letter to the supervisor, I was then contacted by the owner/operator of a winery. I toured the winery and paid particular attention to the wine tasting procedure. I wrote to change my support.
      This situation is a political football for the residents of Old Mission Peninsula.
      I feel that if the wineries conduct the tasting rooms as only tasting rooms, and not allow the imbibing of wine (allowing customers a taste only), that is no threat to the community. There are restaurants and a bar and a store all selling alcoholic beverages on the peninsula.
      One winery, I have been told, does allow weddings and parties on their premises. They need to supply limousines and designated drivers ready to pick up the guests and then deliver them to their home or motel.
      Those of us who have lost loved ones, or the use of a part of our once-in-a-lifetime body, want to warn enablers who don't stop known drinkers, or don't protect their guests from their own foolishness, that they will suffer a world of pain and guilt should that drunk driver kill or maim one or more people.
      If nothing else, remember: People don't "pass away" in an auto crash, they are slaughtered.
      Is that what you want for yourself or your loved ones?
      Jackolyn Hill
      Traverse City
      Jackolyn Hill is the MADD-GT coordinator.

Worst quote

      Regarding the article June 30 on the "Survivor" program update, the Associated Press article said: "Best Quote: 'The only reason I'd bring a Bible out here is if I needed toilet paper.'" (Rudy).
      What in the world is wrong with the AP reporter who printed this?
      It would hardly be called the "best" quote. It is about the worst, most insulting remark that I have ever heard anyone make about the Bible.
      "Rudy" is entitled to his opinions, of course, but he should not be so asinine as to make it public like that.
      Doesn't he realize how many millions of people (including myself) might be offended by it?
      If not, he is even more stupid than the remark itself.
      Final Comment: I sure hope that Rudy doesn't end up winning the $1 million dollars. That jerk doesn't deserve it!
      Ida Saylor
      Traverse City

Bringing back trains

      It is about time that someone brought back the trains, "Resort Trains," and I hope that they do well.
      The train is a great way to travel and they can move much more freight and people than cars or trucks do, and they don't wear out the roads.
      Granted, they are not the fastest way to travel but then do we really need to be in any given place yesterday?
      It seems that we could take a lesson from Europe, where they have been running trains for years and do a very good job of it.
      Our problem is that we are so much in love with our cars and in such a hurry, that we have let the train infrastructure fall into such poor shape that it will be very expensive to rebuild.
      The longer we wait the worse it will get.
      With the price of gas going up and the price of cars being what they are, now is a good time to be doing something about other forms of transportation and for that matter, other forms of energy ... but that is altogether another story.
      Richard Stearns

Candidates excluded

      Having been chairman of the Peninsula Township board of directors for 12 years, township representative on the planning committee for 20 years, township representative for TALAS and secretary for the county chapter of Grand Traverse Township Association, I can understand the Protect the Peninsula and Old Mission Conservancy not inviting me to attend a forum of "meet the candidates."
      Space is limited and they, along with everyone else with any interest, already knows everything I stand for and how I vote.
      In my 20 years of service to Peninsula Township, I have never heard of a "meet the candidate" meeting where the newer candidates were not only not invited, but were refused entrance to the meeting.
      I hope the exclusion of certain candidates from the forum would make Peninsula Township residents do a lot of research before the August elections.
      Harold "Jolly" McManus
      Traverse City
      Harold McManus is a Peninsula Township trustee.

Response disappoints

      I read your article about how to get in touch with our lawmakers and Carol Williams' (July 2) letter in response to that article.
      I would like to add to her latter and tell my experience with our state lawmakers.
      In April I sent e-mails to Gov. John Engler, Sen. George McManus, and Rep. Jason Allen.
      The subject is something I am very concerned about. To date Jason Allen is the only one who replied and he sent e-mail to state his understanding of the concern.
      Neither Gov. Engler nor Sen. McManus has responded via e-mail or postal mail.
      In this day of instant communication via e-mail it is only reasonable to expect a reply from one's elected officials and in a timely manner. I believe three months is more then enough time to reply.
      I am extremely disappointed in those elected officials who failed to reply.
      Nick Andersen
      Traverse City
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