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May 23, 2003

Letters to the Editor

Cartoon jogs memory
     
      The cartoon in the May 14 edition reminded me that the current President Bush isn't the first Bush to land on an aircraft carrier.
      Several years ago I was involved in the preparation of a historical volume covering 50 years of developments in maritime technology in recognition of the centennial of The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.
      One chapter described the developments in aircraft carriers. The text was supplemented with some personal vignettes.
      One described the role of the two aircraft training carriers that operated on Lake Michigan (and one that operated for a brief time in Grand Traverse Bay) during the war years. It occurred to us that the earlier President Bush might have qualified on one of these vessels and I accordingly wrote him a letter requesting a brief description of his experiences. His response to me confirmed my hunch.
      President Bush did of course serve honorably in the war, was shot down and survived several days on a raft in the Pacific before being rescued.
      Walter C. Cowles
      Bellaire
     
      Firing begs questions
     
      Your story on May 7, 2003, about the firing of Roy Bolles as hockey coach at TC West High School compels a response from his many friends and supporters in the hockey community.
      I am writing on behalf of his Roadrunner teammates in the Adult Senior Hockey League. We all know him as a man of integrity and principle who for many years has unselfishly given of his time and hockey knowledge to benefit young players. Many of us have children who were coached by Roy, and we know his abilities as a coach and role model.
      Roy has always put the kids and their welfare first. Roy believes that academics, integrity, discipline and citizenship are more important than the team record and minutes played. He models these attributes and he expects them of his players.
      His firing begs some important questions:
      Did he receive a timely job performance evaluation, this year or last? Were any performance deficiencies documented? If so, was he given an opportunity to correct those deficiencies? Some letters from parents to the athletic department contained untruthful allegations, according to Roy. Was he given a chance to answer those allegations before the decision was made?
      Athletic Director Konrad Molter said, "It's not about wins or losses, it's just a difference of opinion ... Roy didn't do anything wrong. He interacted with the parents, the boosters, got the kids involved in weightlifting, and was visible."
      His teams were Academic All-State the past two seasons. If Roy Bolles did all these things right, why was he terminated?
      According to Molter: "I'd say we just wanted to go in another direction."
      We wonder what directional improvement he wants, and we wish him luck in finding a hockey coach who will match the standard already set by Roy Bolles.
      Cliff Kelto
      Williamsburg
     
      Take time to remember
     
      Memorial Day is the time when we pay solemn tribute to our members of the armed forces who paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives so that our nation remains free!
      Ask any veteran and he will tell you that "freedom is not free!"
      When I was growing up, Memorial Day was designated as May 30. However, Congress passed a resolution whereby the last Monday in May is now observed as Memorial Day.
      Over the past, Memorial Day has lost its significance as a day of remembrance. Instead, it has become an extended three-day weekend. Our present Memorial Day has become a holiday from work, a back-yard barbecue, or a trip somewhere. How unfortunate!
      People who have relatives or friends now serving in the armed forces indeed take time out of their busy schedules to attend a solemn ceremony honoring our fallen comrades and these veterans.
      This Memorial Day, won't you and your family plan to attend one of the Memorial Day ceremonies? Check your local paper for listings of Memorial Day ceremonies in your area. All of our Veterans will most certainly welcome your presence as you take the time out to remember.
      Ross R. French
      Grawn
     
      Life on Keystone Road
     
      After 37 years of independent study, 99 percent gathered while waiting to exit our driveway, we have decided to widen Keystone Road to four lanes.
      This new improved highway would extend from Chum's Corner east on Beitner, north on Keystone, east on Birmley and north on Garfield to Hammond Road. The total distance is 6.1 miles with an estimated cost of $1 million per mile.
      The automated traffic light at Birmley and Keystone that, mysteriously, is always able to turn red whenever a vehicle approaches it, will be replaced with a toll booth.
      With a toll charge of $1 per vehicle Monday through Friday, weekends free of course, the new road would be paid for in less than two years. The county could even well afford to pay the toll booth staff $50,000 a year to man the booth.
      Our neighbor has an alternate idea. He suggests large signs be placed directing traffic "one way" north from 6 a.m. until noon, and "one way" south from noon until 6 p.m. However, we believe he has been tainted by government's extravagant spending practices as he is requesting a half million dollars for studying this.
      Either way, something needs to be done without spending all our tax dollars. We need a safe and efficient "path of no resistance" route to and from our work places. No animals were harmed conducting this study; however, there was a lot of colorful language and desperate praying while waiting the six to eight minutes to exit our driveways. Please consider the above solutions.
      Dorothy Roush
      Traverse City
     
      Save money or lives?
     
      I have just been informed that a recommendation will soon be made to the city commission for the removal of all lifeguards from our city beaches this summer.
      As an owner of a daycare center and summer day camp business who uses our city beaches on a weekly basis, I am extremely concerned with this news.
      State licensing requires us to only swim at beaches or pool facilities manned with certified lifeguards. I am sure that I am not the only school or camp that depends on safe beaches for our young people.
      At this time, it is almost impossible for us to hire and train a lifeguard whose services will only be needed a few afternoons per week. Red Cross life-saving courses are at this time half over, so training for this summer is out of the question
      The city can surely reduce their budget by implementing this recommendation, but at what expense? Do we really want to send the message that Traverse City is more concerned about saving money than the safety of those who use our city beaches? This affects not only our clients' children, but those of all area residents and tourists who enjoy our wonderful beaches
      I strongly urge the city commission to nip this budget-cutting idea in the bud before someone is hurt.
      Pam Yeager
      Traverse City
      Pam Yeager is an owner of Alphabet Soup Pre School and Daycare Center
     
     
     

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