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August 11, 2002

Letters to the Editor

10 good reasons
      In case you missed it, the county health department has just released its annual report of the 10 most prevalent ailments suffered by those who attended this year's Cherry Festival.
      1. High blood pressure due to attempts to find a good parking space.
      2. Sprained necks from watching the Blue Angels.
      3. Tummy aches from ingesting more food than is humanly possible.
      4. Temporary deafness from standing too near a loudspeaker while a rock band belts out a tune.
      5. Eye strain from trying to watch two events at the same time.
      6. An overactive digestive system from consuming too much cherry juice ... cherries ... cherry burgers.
      7. Loss of voice from continually yelling, "You kids stay close. Don't wander away!"
      8. Temporary paralysis of the posterior from sitting on a curb for the duration of the Cherry Royale Parade.
      9. Anxiety attacks suffered while departing, and wondering if you will get out of traffic in time to do your Christmas shopping.
      10. A permanent smile from all the fun you had.
      John Goodman
      Elk Rapids
      For property rights
      Why are the Army Corps of Engineers and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality creating an unreasonable and complicated situation of maintaining beaches on the Great Lakes, including Grand Traverse Bay? The ACOE and the MDEQ are inconsistent and definitely conflicting with information and extremely time consuming in issuing permits.
      Beaches are for the children and families. They make sand castles, run and play, lie in the sun, play Frisbee, volleyball, horseshoes or catch. These are activities that bind and build memories for generations. Turning the beaches back to wetlands is unreasonable.
      The ACOE and MDEQ have asserted the state owns the beaches. A Michigan 1930 Supreme Court Decision (Hilt v Weber) stated that beach owners own to the water's edge. On July 6, 1978, Attorney General Frank R. Kelley issued an Opinion No. 5327. This opinion further confuses the issue of beach ownership. The MDEQ continues to intimidate, bully and even terrorize beach front property owners by selectively enforcing their interpretation of the laws.
      The state of Michigan has been put on a heightened alert by state officials and the University of Michigan Diagnostic Laboratory because of the West Nile Virus. Pooled and stagnant water on the beach front adds to the virus problem.
      Beach owners are the true stewards of water quality because clean water is most important to them. Travel and tourism is America's largest industry. The clean. sandy beaches are the largest factor.
      SOS ( is a non-profit, volunteer organization. nonpolitical and environmentally friendly. SOS started in Bay City and is acquiring membership statewide. Their mission is to maintain our beaches as we have for 60 plus years.
      You can make the difference by standing up for your property rights.
      David and Donna Almeter
      Suttons Bay
      Disappointed in vote
      I am ashamed of all who would spend our tax dollars on a senior center when they just turned down several important millage requests for the Elk Rapids Public Schools.
      A teacher was let go recently because of budget problems and now they have to take out a loan to buy buses because several of the old buses were red tagged as unfit for the road.
      Some people would rather live in comfort, having all the rest of us pay for their retirement, than to invest in our children's' education and school system.
      When my wife and I moved to the area we chose the Elk Rapids School District so that our children could attend this great school district. We heard that the people in this area cared about their school district.
      So far, I am very disappointed. Again, I am ashamed on all of the seniors and others not interested in our future (children).
      Phil Loew
      Now there's aisle rage
      We all know about road rage, but here's a new one: Aisle rage.
      A friend of mine was doing her shopping at a local grocery store, stopping in the aisle to pick out what she needed, when a man came up behind her and told her to move on. When she took longer than he thought she should, the man backed up and charged into her with his grocery cart, striking her in the hip. She swore.
      She got herself home as best she could, and spent the next two days on crutches. What the aisle rage fellow didn't know is that my friend has a congenital hip disorder. When she was a little girl, she spent a year at Munson Hospital, in a cast. Her parents could bring her home (carrying her) most weekends.
      Now she's in her 40s, the hip has grown more and more troublesome and she is being watched by the family doctor and an orthopedic surgeon to decide when she must have hip surgery.
      She didn't speak to the store manager. All she wanted to do was get home if, or as fast as, possible.
      Anger, or rage, can cause terrible problems - personally, locally, even internationally. I hope this aisle "rage-ist" will think twice before he attacks anybody else, be it with a grocery cart, or a gun - or even a hatchet.
      Charlotte Robling
      Unsupported rhetoric
      In a communication to the Detroit Free Press, Lt. Governor Dick Posthumus touted his support of community-based treatment programs for people who are mentally ill. He declared that the results achieved when state hospitals closed in favor of community-based treatment "have been great." That rhetoric has not been supported by diminished funding for mental health services. Where was the lieutenant governor when funds were curtailed by recent budget decisions affecting these services.
      The Great Lakes Community Mental Health Center has, due to funding limitations, been obliged to make cutbacks in personnel and vital services. The pattern of deprivation would only be replicated if the Republican restrictions on funding support of necessary health services continues.
      Frank Tosiello
      Traverse City
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