Letters to the Editor

Letter to Senator Stabenow

Dear Senator Stabenow:

I have contacted you before–never receiving any response. I haven’t supported you because you have always supported former President Obama in all his policies. I feel  he has done more to divide this country than any other president. When he began to disparage our policemen growing a movement of disrespect for our men in blue, you never said a word.  When he started with racist remarks that have contributed to the increase of  the growing racial divide we now experience, you never spoke up.  You supported Obamacare even though it has proved a disaster and admitted it was intended to be by its author.  Now the Democratic party, instead of spending its time working to solve our country’s serious problems, is bent on wasting time and money on lies and deceptions to undo our duly elected president. Your party is no longer the Democratic party my immigrant father supported one hundred years ago.  It has become the Communist Party bent on taking over this country! Why don’t you step out of the sheep pen and stand up for what you know is right. You might even change my mind about you!

The Opportunity to Vote

submitted by Brenda M. Moore, Muskegon County Drain Commissioner, 141 E. Apple Muskegon, MI

Our democracy is at a social and environmental crossroad.  Be part of choosing which direction we take! The best new thing about voting this year is we all have access to absentee ballots. You need not leave the house to cast your vote.  You must be registered to vote before you can ask to absentee vote.

Register to vote with the Secretary of State, your local township or city’s clerk, or online @ https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/registervoter

Absentee voter applications are available from your local township or city’s clerk or online @:  https://www.michigan.gov/documents/AbsentVoterBallot_105377_7.pdf

For a Spanish version of the absentee application:

Note that the current state absentee ballot application is for both the March presidential primary and the November full election.  On your application you can also request to be placed on the permanent absentee voter list.

If you never voted because you think nothing ever changes; now is your chance to change that.

Denial of Veteran’s Peddler State License

My name is David R Padecky.  I am a Vietnam Era Veteran (Coast Guard).

I own a State Licensed STFU Food Wagon.  I am SafeServ Certified.  I have Food Vendor’s Insurance, I have been issued a Veteran’s Peddler License by the State of Michigan, through our Muskegon County Clerk’s Office.

Brian Werscham (zoning) of Muskegon Charter Township and the Township Attorney, Mr. Hughes, are denying me , and other Veterans who may come forth in the future, our State given Right to Vend Food in Muskegon Charter Township, for more than 30 days.  At Brian’s discretion, he may allow an additional 30 days.

To stand for the Veteran Right, I had to hire my Attorney Brianna T. Scott.  However, since this is new to her and her firm, we are in need of addition help by other Veterans and anyone else who is interested in engaging into this battle, to protect the Right of Veteran Peddlers and Vendors.

Please respond.


David R Padecky
HotDogs In A Hurry

Noah Webster

submitted by Arline Helms

nwebsterNoah Webster, the Father of American Education, was a revolutionary soldier, judge, legislator, American Founder, and the creator of Webster’s Dictionary. He served served nine terms in the Connecticut General Assembly, three terms in the Massachusetts Legislature, and four years as a judge.

One of the first Founding Fathers to call for a Constitutional Convention, he was also one of the most active in the ratification of the Constitution.   He  was  responsible for the  copyright  and patent protection clause of the Constitution and wrote textbooks.

He strongly believed that all Americans should speak the same language, and he was quite concerned about spelling and pronunciation. Hence, he compiled the first American dictionary. His first edition was published in 1806 with 37,000 words. He published two more the following year.

webstersignHe spent the rest of his life cataloguing words. In 1828, he completed his final dictionary, one with 70,000 words. He used words like “color” instead of “colour,” and “magic” instead of “magick” and added uniquely American words such as “skunk,” “hickory,” and “chowder.”

dictionaryIn December, 1808,  he wrote in a letter to Thomas Dawes:
“About a year ago, an unusual revival of religion took place in New Haven…and I was led by a spontaneous impulse of repentance, prayer, and entire submission of myself to  my  Maker and Redeemer.    In the month of April last,  I made a profession of faith.”. This unusual revival was a part of the Great Awakening that shook America in the early 19th Century.”

As evidenced in his textbook, “History of the United States, published in 1832, he believed that Christianity and government could not and should not be separated:
“The  religion  which  has  introduced  civil  liberty  is the religion of Christ  and  His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence;  which  acknowledges  in  every person, a brother or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights.    This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.”

“Every civil government is based upon some religion or philosophy of life.  Education in a nation will propagate the religion of that nation.    In America, the foundational religion was Christianity. And it was sown in the hearts of Americans through the home and private and  public  schools  for  centuries.  Our liberty,  growth,  and  prosperity was the result of a Biblical stampphilosophy of life.   Our continued freedom and success is  dependent  on  our  educating the youth of  America  in the principles of Christianity.”

Whether or not you believe in Noah’s philosophy of government,  one thing can’t be argued;   he was man of deep, abiding faith in God and appeared to be a Christian.

Letter to the Editor – Save Our Library!

Why the November Vote Matters to Fruitport!
Kate Holtrop

In 2015, Fruitport residents hit the polls to show the MADL we meant business when it came to providing funds to our library. Our voters approved the separation of the Fruitport Library from the MADL in order to establish a library of our own. The Fruitport Library began the process of becoming its own library district.

In May of 2016, our library got approval for a “new,” “additional” millage of .75 ($0.75 on each $1000 taxable value) for operating costs for 3 years beginning in December of 2016 and ending in December of 2018. THIS CURRENT MILLAGE WILL EXPIRE THIS DECEMBER.

On our November ballot, we will see the millage for the Fruitport District Library, which is the first time the Fruitport Library will be on the ballot as the Fruitport DISTRICT Library. The millage that voters are being asked to approve this year is NOT AN ADDITIONAL MILLAGE. It is actually a RENEWAL of the original amount of .75 mills.  The words “new” and “additional” are legally necessary to have on the ballot because of the name change and because of a legal technicality based in our library’s previous request for a millage in May of 2016, but there is NO ADDITIONAL FUNDING being taken from our taxes, only the original .75 mills.

IF WE DON’T VOTE TO FUND OUR LIBRARY, WE MIGHT SEE OUR LIBRARY CLOSE. We as voters, library staff and volunteers, board members, and all residents of Fruitport, did not work so hard to fund our library just to see it collapse after only 3 years, did we?

If the Fruitport District Library closes, residents who are members of the Fruitport Library won’t have access to library services until they join another library outside Fruitport. Local residents who join other districts may be charged a non-resident fee by their new libraries for their new library cards. Some libraries do not have non-resident programs at all. But if we vote to continue funding our library here in Fruitport, the Fruitport District Library can remain funded and continue providing free and inexpensive library services to Fruitporters for the next 10 years, that’s 2019-2028!

Our library’s board members are not being paid for their hard work. The “Friends of the Fruitport Library” contributed over $400, personally, for a postcard campaign that provided information on the millage for the August 7th Primary vote. However, because enough people weren’t reached with the RENEWAL news, August voters didn’t realize the importance of their “Yes” vote. Voters may have believed their property taxes would be raised to a point even higher than the amount necessary to support the 1.25 mills the MADL was requiring for its funding. Then, this thinking would have been a huge mistake. Now, thinking like this will be disastrous, since we may not get another chance to vote on this millage for a long time. THE .75 MILLS OUR LIBRARY IS ASKING FOR WILL NOT INCREASE OUR PROPERTY TAX AT ALL. As a result of the misunderstanding between our Fruitport District Library and the general public of Fruitport, our library proposal was voted down in August and lost by 90 votes. 90 votes between 4 precincts! Our library, the jobs of the good people who run it, and the many services and programs it provides, will hang on our decision to vote for the renewal of funding for the library we worked so hard to create.

Our Fruitport District Library millage will pay to keep our librarians at work, to keep the lights on, and pay for services the library provides for us like:
-this year’s Summer Reading Program
-the 1,567 library cards it has issued as of June of 2018
-the Hoopla Program
-inexpensive access to printing and faxing
-free access to public computers and Wi-Fi
-access to more than 26,000 individual items in-house
-access to library books from libraries all over Michigan
-ability to use your Fruitport library card at any West Michigan library
-access to E-books through the Overdrive Program
-music, movies, and more through Hoopla
-SCOLA for different language learning and information
-MeLCat- Michigan eLibrary Catalog
-certified, hardworking, and courteous staff
-weekly children’s programming

Public information about the FDL vote in the November 6th Midterm election is available on the Fruitport District Library website under the heading “November 2018 Millage,” here in our Fruitport Area News, and especially at our very own Fruitport District Library. Information is also available on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, October 17th, at 5:30pm, when the library board meeting is held at the Township Hall. An open discussion on the millage will be held that will then lead into the board meeting itself.

The library will also be holding a book sale on the week leading up to the election, November 1st-6th, where information about the millage will be available and staff will be able to answer questions you may still have. Public information can be distributed by citizens of Fruitport, and by our library. But only citizens who do not work for the library can encourage others to vote “Yes”. Information can be distributed at the polls 100 feet or farther from the polling place. Watch your ballot carefully: the library’s vote is listed last of all on our ballots and, in some cases, on the back of the ballot form.

We have to vote “Yes” for our library’s millage on November 6th if we want to see our library survive for the next decade’s worth of Fruitport residents and their children. We worked hard to get our library, and we have to put in the voting power to keep it!

Letter to the Editor – I Fell in Love

When I first moved to Fruitport about 10 years ago, I immediately fell in love with the charm of the village.

I quickly discovered the little library by the park and felt welcomed by the staff and other patrons.

Two years ago there was a vote to separate from the Muskegon Area District Library and I voted against because I did not want to lose what had meant so much to me.

The vote to separate passed and after a few months of transition the Fruitport District Library begin to take shape.  Over the past two years I have watched our community come together to create an  astounding  library.

Our library provides more than just a large collection of books or even the access to books from other libraries.   It provides  more than just a wonderful  staff who are able to help us or a place for people to be able to use the computers. The library is more than just a place that provides learning opportunities with guest speakers and children’s programs.

The Fruitport Dristrict Library is a place of connection, of people, of the community coming together where all are welcomed and encouraged to be a part.

I am very proud of what the Fruitport  District Library  has become and I’m excited about our future.

Please take the time on November 6 to Vote Yes to keep our library open.

If the doors close, not only do we lose our library, but we lose part of who we, as a community, are.

Julie Sanderson

Letter to the Editor – Fruitport District Library Millage

To the Editor:

Regarding the so-called “new” millage to continue financing our Fruitport District Library. There’s really nothing new about this, although the Lansing bureaucrats who make the rules on ballot proposals would have us imagine there is. The requested millage will continue funding at exactly the same level as we’ve paid for years, with zero tax increase. To vote “No” is to vote to close Fruitport’s library, which for two generations has served the needs of Fruitport families at its home in Pomona Park. So let’s vote “Yes” to keep our library open and separate from intrusive, expensive county control.

Eric Wiggin, resident of Fruitport Township, a former school librarian, a retired pastor/school teacher, and author of 16 books found in libraries across America.

Letter to the Editor – Fruitport District Library Millage

Dear Fruitport residents,
My name is Darlene Field and have been living in this area since 1968.
We have always had a library • Sort of the heart of the Village. It’s where things happen!
Recently the community decided to be an independent library.
So therefore we as a community need to step up and fund our library – Books – programs, etc!
So at the present time we have a millage of .75 to fund our library. At the end of the year this millage goes away.
Therefore a millage is on the Nov. 6 ballot asking for .75 to fund the library. This is not new. The wording that’s “official” sounds like it’s an addition. It is not! It will be exactly the same.
So please vote on Nov. 6 – for our library!

Darlene Field

Letter to the Editor – Fruitport District Library Millage

Please vote “yes” for the Fruitport District Library millage on November 6th. Since state funds and penal fines provide less than 10% of our library budget, this millage is essential for the operation of our library. The current .75 mill ends on December 31st, 2018. The requested .75 mill begins on January 1, 2019. A “yes” vote for the library will NOT raise your taxes. As a former Fruitport Library director, I urge you to support our library and help us move forward. Trust me, our children and our community as a whole will benefit. Love our library. Thanks!

Karla Brown

Letter to the Editor – This library really rocks…

I love this little library and want to see this millage pass because it is a very important place for kids to come and read and be inspired to use their imaginations. To me, this library is a place where you can go a million places and never leave your comfortable chair. It inspires my creativity and offers children a safe place to hang out and do homework and get involved in activities that may be scheduled for that day. This is an awesome place and I don’t want to see it go away…

Audrey Aamodt

Letter to the Editor – The Last Minute

The last minute- is it a curse of mine that I’m always doing things at the last minute? Everyone is busy, we are all trying to find a little time for relaxation, exercise, family. This letter is important to me and I’m happy to spend the time even though it’s midnight on the day of the deadline.

It’s funny how I moved out of this area for somewhere bigger, where everyone didn’t know everyone else’s business, but decades later moving back to a small close-knit place sounded so perfect. Fruitport is a great place to live. I called it the “undiscovered gem of the lakeshore” when we moved here 12 years ago.

I was especially proud of our residents when we voted to take control of our own library and withdrew from the MADL. It seemed like a big job to get everything up and running but the people did it. Then, I was confused when recently those same independent voters didn’t renew the millage needed to operate their library. I had to consider why and I believe a miscommunication is to blame.

As I mentioned everyone is busy and trying their best to spend their time wisely.  The millage was listed on the ballot as “additional“, and that made me examine it carefully even though I had read a flyer explaining it was legally required to be listed that way. The newly approved Fruitport District Library was asking for the same amount of money over the same length of time as we used to pay the MADL. I voted yes, and I will vote yes again on November 6th.

I could follow up with a lot of facts about how Michigan is producing kids who need local libraries- more than half of third grade students can’t pass their State Assessment reading goals (it is true), but I’d rather just tell you my family’s experiences at our library. Our oldest is in college now, her love of reading and her time at Fruitport High School served her well, she excelled on the English portion of her SATs. The baby was two when we moved here, she is 13 now and still loves going to the library. I have to take books away from her to convince her to do other schoolwork. My little surprise was born here in Fruitport and I have the best memories of her attending the children’s programs and spending time playing at the park afterward.

I still feel like we have a great place here- the people and the setting. I want to be sure everyone understands what’s at stake; the Fruitport District Library would be greatly missed by our family. The millage on the ballot November 6th is our last minute chance; please spend your valuable time voting yes.

Mrs. Jennifer Michaels

Letter to the Editor – Fruitport District Library Millage

I am a Fruitport resident that would like to encourage you to vote YES on the Fruitport District Library Proposal on November 6th.

The library is important to me. Many access our local library through the internet for books, music, movies and other programs, but I simply like to walk into the building and check out my books. I also appreciate that they have other walk in services such as internet use, copy services and more.

The ballot language is confusing, but I understand the .75 mills we now pay expires in December 2018 and by voting YES we can continue to pay the same .75 mills for the next ten years. It is not really new or additional, but more like a renewal.

Please support the Fruitport District Library “renewal” millage proposal on November 6th.

Thank you,
Nan Riekse

Planned Parenthood: a Non-Political Political Organization?

As Planned Parenthood’s health services and client figures continue to decline every year, their involvement in the political system continues to expand. And that’s not all.

On February 27 it was reported by Buzzfeed News that Planned Parenthood was getting involved in the gun control debate. Planned Parenthood has pledged their support to the March for our Lives event on March 24.

CNN reported on March 1 that Planned Parenthood is planning on spending $20 million in eight battleground states as part of their 2018 election plan, including Michigan.

And then on March 8, the Government Accountability Office (GAO ) released a report to Congress showing that the abortion industry received more than $1.5 billion in federal tax funding and federal-state matching funding from 2013 to 2015. That includes Planned Parenthood Federation of America, International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Marie Stopes International.

Can you imagine the outcry if the National Rifle Association received $500 million taxpayer dollars a year for hosting gun safety trainings? Would that fact not be reported on a near-constant basis? What about National Right to Life? The howling would be deafening and unending.

Here’s a question that’s not been properly discussed lately: what does a women’s healthcare provider have to do with gun control? If Planned Parenthood’s mission is simply to provide healthcare to women, why get involved in other political issues?

Their mission creep goes beyond gun control. In the last year Planned Parenthood has involved itself in nearly every major public policy issue. They’ve been lobbying and making public statements on immigration laws, tax laws, and even telecommunication regulatory policy. Planned Parenthood is a de facto political party now; they have a platform that extends to every major policy issue.

It’s perverse to see a major political player receive an incredible chunk of their budget from the taxpayers. Without your tax dollars, Planned Parenthood would have to drastically rethink their business model. Your money affords Planned Parenthood the opportunity to spend $20 million on elections you vote in and lobby your legislators about what Planned Parenthood thinks your tax rates should be.

Planned Parenthood is treating the U.S. Treasury as a political slush fund to help them flex their muscles into every aspect of your life. Even people who don’t necessarily object to taxpayer funding of the abortion industry should be concerned about the terrible precedent continued tax funding creates for our national politics.

Death to the Culture of Death

Gun laws could obviously be fine tuned following Cruz’ gruesome shooting spree but a greater task awaits our nations remedial efforts. Stricter gun laws would not change  America’s willingness to cheer for gladiators if they could take center stage today. America is dripping in blood with it’s unquenchable thirst for violence. Hollywood knows where the money is so it pours out the violence. Movies such as Hunger Games, had no respect for nor value to human life. Teens watch videos that make death laughable. Many of our school massacres were committed by teens immersed in the culture of death. Until American begins to see that mankind is made in the image of God and has a sacred value our communities and our schools will be riddled with violence of some sort. America needs a cultural change. Teens nation-wide are being asked to demonstrate against guns, hopefully they will protest  against violence and turn from their own lust for violence via entertainment. There is a choice between life and death. It might help if the Ten Commandments were posted in public places. The Moral Laws of God would be a good foundation to build upon. The Commandments can be summed up as love for God and for one’s neighbor.

William Randall, Chaplain, Muskegon Rescue Mission
Chairman, Muskegon County National Day of Prayer

Letter to the Editor: Communism in America

Remember these three things: Hitler took over Germany by [1] controlling the police [Gestopo] and [2] appointing high-ranking military officers to the [SS] controlling secret service and FBI. and [3] brainwashing children [Hitler youth groups] now our schools!

The so-called Socialist hide under the guise communist party. Here is where it gets interesting, notice that word socialist is cleverly hidden in the phrase Russians like to use, “United Soviet Socialist Republic” we are soon to be United Socialist States of America!

It’s not important to me what your political preference is but unless I’m mistaken this nation was founded fighting against tyranny and oppression?

I’m not wrong about this, that the DNC is openly practicing tyranny, stacking the deck with only Democrats in public office on the DNC payroll.

Is there no way to fight back using the media? Geo. Soros has openly declared war against FOX News and vowed to close it down! It’s working.

Who is going to run for the next president in 2020 on the democratic ticket Joseph Stalin? Carl Marx? Chavez?

What does not seem to bother Americans is the fact that the Communist party has had an election seat on the presidential ballot since 1919.

Ninety percent of all immigrants coming to America in the last 20 years have known only communism their whole life! Who do you think they will vote for?

Are we three years away from the most violent, bloody, civil war in world history? And no chance to fight back? Divide and conquer is alive and well.

Mike Simcik

Letter to the Editor: Socialism in America

I watched the upheavals at Charlottesville, VA, on TV, on Saturday, 12 Aug 17. Both sides were inspired by wrong thinking people. Communists on one side and Fascists on the other. It appears that too many Americans don’t know what a Communist is or what a Fascist is. I will make it as simple as possible. Both sides are Socialist.

Socialism is necessary in a modern dictatorship, so that a private sector cannot cut off a military that is ruling it’s country by force. Communists start by rallying the underprivileged behind them, and convincing them that everyone else is their adversary. Fascists will rally everyone else behind them convincing them that the underprivileged are their adversaries.

Upheavals like in Charlottesville, VA, are inspired to tempt our lawmakers to pass bills centralizing more power in government. We already have civil rights laws, labor laws and environmental laws that are steps toward government control of our defense industries, and violate the 10th Amendment of our constitution. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the constitution or any civil rights lawyers who think they know the constitution, the 10th Amendment is the one that limits the Federal Government to the powers specifically delegated to it. Americans need to wise up to subversive activities and hold our lawmakers accountable when they violate the constitution.

James E. Caldwell
Doyle, CA

My Visit to Cuba

My Visit to Cuba
To Family and Friends
Bill Cooper

Please do not ask me about the beaches or sunsets – The goal was to stare Communism in the face, to see and learn about a country and its people who have lived with government mandated “equality” in exchange of liberty for 55 years. Actually, before his death, even Fidel Castro finally acknowledged that his centrally planned and controlled economy (Communism), is unsustainable. His mission of creating equality, resulted in a country where everyone is poor, with the exception of those directly connected to his corrupt regime. Ironically, his estate when he died was estimated to be worth almost a billion dollars – it’s hard to avoid human nature. Raul Castro (Fidel’s brother and successor), no longer uses the word Communism. Several free market reforms are now taking hold by necessity. For the 1st time in more than 55 years, Cubans have a very controlled and limited ability to work on their own behalf – Capitalism.

Meanwhile millions of American college students are attending Bernie Sander’s rally’s protesting the very freedom Cubans yearn for, and in many cases have died in search of.
Our friend and guide, we will call him Ernesto, had an acute knowledge of Cuban history, including its relationship with the United States.

In this city of about 3 million people, every beautiful building, engineering marvel, or landmark we saw was completed prior to Castro’s communist takeover in 1959. Since then, Cuba has been pretty much frozen in time, less the accumulated depreciation of a once thriving city.

U.S. influence – I returned disappointed that despite U.S. television not being allowed in Cuba, the Cubans we met seemed more knowledgeable about our current events and politics than most of our own citizens. Many Cubans receive a thing called the “Cuban Package.” That is a black market service where someone downloads several U.S. news broadcasts, political programs, and current movies, puts them on a “thumb drive,” and exchanges them weekly. Though delayed, they pay close attention to us, especially our politics.

8% of Cuban households own a car – and most who do are connected to the government. Since 2011 Cubans no longer need permission from the government to purchase a car newer than 1959. The bad news – a $20,000 Peugeot costs about $100,000. With an average salary in Cuba of less than $30 per month, unless you have family in the United States sending money back to you, or are politically connected, your opportunity to own a car is remote.

Healthcare – is free. Ernesto’s wife is going back to school to become a pharmacist which pays about $25 per month, so their family can be more connected to the healthcare system. It is a great benefit. The best way to have a procedure authorized, or an appointment set, is to be connected to the system. Doctor salaries are about $40 per month – but hey, their education is free.

Education – free. The difference is the government decides if you qualify for the education you are seeking. With education too it is very beneficial to be connected to the government that gets to make the decisions ruling your life.

Homelessness – We did not witness a lot of homelessness. Why, because you are not allowed to live on the streets of Havana. You will be brought to your family and they will be told they will lose their home unless they keep you there

Drugs – not a visible drug problem. When drug dealers are imprisoned for life, or killed in the public square, the problem is minimized. I guess in Cuba the punishment acts as a deterrent.

Food – each member of your family receives government food rations each month. If you bring your certificate in early enough to the government store, you will receive; ½ chicken, 5-eggs, 2lbs. of rice, a pound of beans, 1-cup of cooking oil, etc. Cubans are fortunate if they are able to eat meat more than a couple times per month.

Enterprise – the best paying jobs outside of Cuban government are jobs where you receive tips or cash from tourists. You need a government permit for jobs, and they are not easy to get. Ernesto is technically a photographer. He must walk around with a camera, and not get caught discussing Cuban history, landmarks, or especially the oppression caused by equality. His brother spent time in jail for selling wood carvings on the street, without the proper permit. Just about everyone in Cuba who is motivated works Por la izquierda, which means under the table, in addition to their government salary.

Banking – enterprising Cubans prefer mattresses and coffee cans in the backyard to banks. Ernesto said he keeps less than 5 Dollars in his bank account. He saves his money in Euros, Canadian Dollars and U.S. Dollars. Amazingly, he was already aware of Donald Trump’s intention to devalue the American Dollar, and was acting accordingly. Cuban’s level of sophistication was inspiring.

To my Cuban friends that would prefer no one travel to Cuba and support this oppressive regime, I say this; We did not stay in a government hotel, rather a small 6 room hotel where I am confident the government will never see our money. Ernesto received cash and does not employ Cuban banks. The restaurants were small, local restaurants that pay a monthly fee to the government, per seat. We were sure to tip them well in CUK (Cuban Exchange Currency). I believe that our time in Cuba helped the Cuban citizens directly and intentionally. There is a large, underground economy in Cuba that is empowering its citizens. I welcome the discussion and want to learn.

I am hopeful that as the citizens gain wealth, they will have the resources to rise up and fight for the freedoms we as Americans take for granted.

Bill Cooper

Historic Resources in Michigan Jeopardized by Bill to Amend 1970 PA 169

Michigan’s historic places drive economic development, attract businesses, draw tourists and new residents, create a sense of place, and enhance our quality of life. Keeping these historic places is so important that historic preservation has been upheld as a public purpose under the U. S. Constitution—preserving historic resources is a valid governmental goal and local historic district ordinances have been upheld as an appropriate means to secure that goal. Local historic districts are the only way for communities to manage and protect their historic assets, and 78 communities to date have chosen to enact ordinances to protect their historic assets at the local level, under current state law. The bill to amend 1970 Public Act 169 jeopardizes the efficient and fair process for establishing local historic districts already in place under PA 169, reduces protection given to resources in local historic districts, and diminishes the authority of local historic district commissions and local legislative bodies.

Weakens Protection for Historic Resources
• This bill would dispose of the current process for dissolving historic districts, allowing local legislative bodies to eliminate local historic districts without guidelines or justification, and without community input.

• This bill would reduce reliance on accepted, best-practice Standards used nationwide for commission decision-making, introducing uncertainty into the process.

• This bill would change the appeals process for an aggrieved property owner within a district. Instead of appealing to a neutral state board, which has appellate jurisdiction because of its expertise, appeals would be heard at the local level where political and development pressures could affect the outcome.

Reduces Local Control
• This bill would make it impossible for local legislative bodies to act quickly to head off a sudden development threat to a community landmark. Currently, in municipalities with a historic district ordinance, a local legislative body can place a threatened resource under study for local designation and delay development in that area for up to 6 months. This bill proposes to petition local property owners and acquire a 2/3 majority in support before a historic district study committee could even be appointed, wiping out the local body’s ability to act quickly under threat.

• This bill would mandate that after a local legislative body decides to establish a local historic district, the public in that unit of government must vote in support of the district in a general election to make it official. Further, the electorate will have to vote on its local historic districts every 10 years, even in communities with long-standing historic districts, imposing unnecessary and substantial costs upon municipalities in staff time and community education. These inefficient processes undermine local representative democracy. Why would the State impose a sunset clause on local decisions?

Political Commentary

Political Commentary, etc. by Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) Max Riekse, United State Army – 32 years; and Vietnam War & Iraq War Veteran

• Max’s book of the ‘day’ recommendation: “The War Against Putin – What the Government-Media Complex Isn’t Telling You About Russia” by Marcus S. King. King is a private investigative journalist and researcher and Rutgers University graduate.

• “Nowhere is mass mind control more evident than in the West’s dishonest effort to vilify Russia and its dynamic leader, Vladimir Putin.” Chapters include: “The Rape of Russia”; NATO’s Encirclement of Russia”; “Obama’s Dirty War Against Russia and the World”; “The Anti-Putin Propaganda Blitz”; “A Violent Coup in Ukraine”; and “The Russian ‘Invasion’ of Crimea”. Order the book from the American Free Press online.

• ‘U.S. television news shows and newspapers continue to lie to Americans about ‘Putin’s invasion’ of Crimea. The fact is, Russia has owned Crimea for centuries. Check the date of the Crimean War (1853-56) when Britain and France sent armies to invade Crimea. Less than a century ago, all American high school students had to memorize the “Charge of the Light Brigade,” which took place during the Crimean War. Our press keeps lying to us about Crimea and it’s quite obvious that they just hate Russia. That, with Common Core, and dummying down of Americans, is what the neo-cons are using to drive us into another Cold War; a neo-con war for the wealthy, military, industrial and intelligence complex. And part of ‘their’ plan is for us to have war with Iran. And remember, the neo-cons have their base as Russian Trotskyite Communists who were directly responsible in the blood thirsty death of over 65 million Russians, mostly Christians – whom all good communists hate and want to see dead. Vietnam Veterans have a word for the national network news CBS – Communist Broadcasting System; and remember, the lying news media cannot be trusted; Fox News is unfair and unbalanced; and that is why all the news media hate Donald Trump. He is not one of them nor does he dance to their tune. He is his own man; he made his money on his own, and can and does thumb his nose, etc. at the rotten, corrupt, anti-Constitution, anti-Bill of Rights, anti-Second Amendment, anti-American flag, anti-American and anti-Christian Jesus haters. The same people who facilitate the death of over 65 million Russian Christians want to trash the – our/your constitutional rights and especially the / our Second Amendment and disarm Americans so ‘they’ can eliminate all God-fearing American Christians.

• Presidential candidate Donald Trump recently put out a position paper echoing NRA talking points, and declaring unwavering support for the Second Amendment. This is a position shift for ‘the Donald’ who during his 2000 foray into presidential politics, declared support for a ban on so-called assault weapons and called for a three-day waiting period for firearms purchases. Trump has expressed strong support for Second Amendment rights in 2015; while United States Senator Rand Paul, another Republican presidential candidate, has been a solid Second Amendment supporter for many years. I like Trump!

A new poll conducted by Gallup has found that almost half of Americans, or 49%, believe the Federal government poses “an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.” (American Free Press; Sep – Oct 2015 – Vol. 39 & 40). Enough said!

Letter to the Editor – Football

Unknown writer

Is your life like a lifetime movie? What if Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser had been teachers instead of the political business for careers? Would they have lost their jobs and lots more? Doubtful – and a lot of we women would know who got tired of middle-aged former husbands, lovers and current husbands who suffer from the Peter Pan disease of liking guys in costumes beating the stuffing out of other guys in costumes, than discussing football with more old guys better than being with us.

At least the males get out of the house long enough for some of us to be appreciated by grown men instead of well over-aged boys who never grew up.

Soon there will be 40 football bowl games on TV. It isn’t about the pageantry. It’s about the money and always will be. There should be a retirement home for Peter Pan types but there isn’t and that includes the Disney complexes, also very popular with millions of people with money to blow. Guys often wonder why their marriages fall apart, or why things just don’t seem magical anymore. It all started when football became the main religion in America and along the way, some ardent former cheerleaders opted for new game plans.

Happy Holidays!!

Sincerely, 65% of women in America with college degrees
   (Some wives enjoy the game sitting next to their man. They may not be the 65% of the smart college women you refer to, but are probably the real winners, I wonder if being a sports fan is a healthier escape for those whose marriages have fallen apart and no longer magical, then the outlet you suggest for the unhappy women. – I’m looking forward to a response, but how about sharing your name to make the exchange more meaningful?– The Editor)

Op Ed from John C. Kennedy

As a Michigan business leader, I see the direct effect of illiteracy in the workplace and our talent pool and it is a roadblock to Michigan becoming a leading state economy.

I was a member of the Governor’s bi-partisan 3rd grade reading workgroup this spring. The workgroup proposed a series of recommendations to improve literacy and the report was widely hailed for its recommendations.

The solutions proposed in House Bill 4822 have been carefully selected from best practices through extensive 3rd grade literacy research. And, I believe this bill will improve literacy in Michigan.

This summer, Grand Rapids Public Schools piloted a 5-week program in three of their lowest performing elementary schools. The program put into practice the bill’s intervention proposals that reflect our workgroup’s findings.

The pilot program attacked two key success influencers: curriculum and teacher training. The students all scored one grade level or more behind reading proficiency on Michigan’s standardized test. Curriculum today assumes students obtain some basic literacy skills at home, but in many cases they haven’t. The pilot curriculum measured each child’s literacy through diagnostic instruments and performed targeted, individualized interventions to master the five basic building blocks of reading (phonics, phonemics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension).

Elementary teachers today are not prepared to teach diagnostically-informed interventions. We provided teacher training and reading specialists to coach teachers throughout the 5-weeks on how to use diagnostic instruments and how to perform individualized interventions for teachers to take back into their classrooms in the same schools this year.

68% of the pilot program students who attended all five weeks showed progress on the NWEA MAP assessment test. In contrast, 53% of a control group of like-performing students who did not participate in the program declined over the summer. The teacher feedback has been extremely positive. It’s not a question of intelligence or capability. When children have the basic building blocks of reading, the information necessary to move forward in learning, they can achieve like anyone else.

If we pass this bill, GRPS’s success can be scaled across the state.

Through a Rapist’s Eyes

(Submitted by Kristine Babiarz)

According to this information, a group of rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim, and here are some interesting facts:

The first thing rapists look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

The second thing rapists look for is clothing. They look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around specifically to cut clothing.

They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse, or doing other activities while walking because they are offguard and can be easily overpowered.

Rapists are most likely to attack and rape in the early morning between 5 and 8:30 a.m.

The number one place women are abducted from or attacked is grocery store parking lots. The number two: office parking lots/garages. Number three is public restrooms.

The thing about these rapists is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to another location where they don‘t have to worry about getting caught.

Only two percent said they carried weapons because rape carries a three to five year sentence, but rape with a weapon is 15 to 20 years.

If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn‘t worth it because it will be time consuming.

They said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.

Several defense mechanisms are: if someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or is with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like “What time is it?” Or make general small talk: “I can‘t believe it is so cold out here.” “We’re in for a bad winter. Now you‘ve seen his face and could identify him in a lineup. You lose your appeal as a target.

If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell “STOP or STAY BACK! Most of the rapists said theyd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an easy target.

If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes), yell, “I have pepper spray,” and holding it out will be a deterrent.

Letter to the Editor: Drug Editorial Response

To the Editor:

I am writing to applaud Ron Cooper’s May 2015 editorial on the “elephant in the room:” the role of drugs in promoting crime and the decimation of drug users and their families. He argues cogently for decriminalization of “natural” drugs, that is, drugs that are manufactured from herbs and other flora: marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and opium. I am a public defender in New Jersey, and many of my clients are fundamentally no different from you and me. When they are prosecuted, and usually over-prosecuted, for possession with intent to distribute or distribution of these drugs, they serve very high sentences. If they live in urban communities, where it is impossible to walk outside a 1000-foot distance from school property, they receive extended terms. But, at least in Newark New Jersey, none of the people who are arrested for drug crimes have ever been arrested while selling to children. Moreover, if a police officer sees them even walk through the school zone, but arrests them for selling outside the school zone, they receive the extended terms. Young men and women spend most of their lives in prison for nonviolent crimes.

In New Jersey, the State government is promulgating diversionary programs into drug courts, which certain people charged with drug crimes, if they are found to suffer from addictions, can choose a rigorous drug treatment program as a form of probation, rather than serving a prison term. The program works! Michigan has such a program as well. Drug court is a beginning in a movement to remove the horror of prison terms for nonviolent drug crimes.

But it is only a beginning. Ron is entirely correct to hold that decriminalization or legalization would reduce the violent crimes that are committed when people with drug addictions become entangled in the underground economy of drug manufacture and distribution. An additional benefit is that the “new jim crow,” the segregation of people of color by putting them in prison, would no longer be a cause of the alienation and rage that black and Hispanic Americans feel toward the criminal justice system.

In the interest of full disclosure, Ron is my cousin and I am only, by virtue of my family ties, an honorary Michigander, but I carry that label with great pride. I cannot vote for Michigan legislators, but I can, as here, applaud the conversation that Ron will undoubtedly cause. He an I do not always agree on politics, but we share a concern for the increasing violents caused by mass incarceration due to our draconian drug laws.

John Douard, Esq.
2 Fairfield Street
Montclair, NJ 07042

Letter to the Editor: Choose Life License Plates

Choose Life License Plates could be on their way to Michigan

 On March 5, the Michigan Senate Transportation Committee reported SB 84 out of committee by a vote of 4‑1. If passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor, SB 84 would authorize a Choose Life fundraising license plate. The license plate would raise funds for organizations that submit grant proposals for specific abortion prevention projects. The bill stipulates that the funds will be used to promote alternatives to abortion, including adoption, provide practical support to pregnant women, and conduct outreach to at‑risk populations regarding positive pregnancy options.

Choose Life license plates are a common way states allow charities to help women experiencing an unplanned pregnancies. More than 25 states have passed Choose Life license plate legislation including Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Michigan has allowed a wide variety of special causes to raise funds using specialty plates including Michigan’s 15 state-supported universities, the Boy Scouts of America, breast cancer awareness, lighthouse preservation, veterans’ memorial, water quality, wildlife habitat, and disaster relief through the American Red Cross and Salvation Army.

If the legislation passes, the money would be used to support pregnant women and promote alternatives to abortion. The legislation directs that “money disbursed to the Choose Life Michigan Fund under this section shall be distributed to eligible nonprofit organizations that expend money on projects that promote alternatives to abortion.” Eligible non-profits include “crisis pregnancy centers, homes for pregnant women, and other organizations that provide practical support to pregnant women, provide practical outreach to at‑risk populations, and promote life‑saving programs and projects as alternatives to abortion.”

Unfortunately, pro-abortion groups are already lying about this legislation. Planned Parenthood, the leading abortion provider in the United States, opposes this legislation and in an e-mail to supporters, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan falsely claimed “tax dollars” would be used to administer the funds from the Choose Life license plates. This claim is false. The proceeds from the sale of specialty license plates (they cost an additional $35 per year) fund the administration costs and the grants to eligible non-profits.

On the other hand, Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million a year in government funding.

Those in favor of legal abortion often claim they are not in favor of abortion but the choice to have an abortion. Only organizations that are pro-abortion would be opposed to prolife people using their own money to buy license plates which help fund efforts to help women in unplanned pregnancies choose life. None of the funds or distribution of funds can legally prevent a woman from obtaining an abortion.

To learn more about Choose Life license plates in Michigan, visit www.RTL.org.

Letter to the Editor: Protection of Marriage Act

The constitution of the United States, contains a clause that protects the citizens of this nation from unjust or wrongful laws or decisions by the Congress, the Executive Branch,  or the Judicial Branch of our government.

This clause is referred to as our Checks and Balance system.

The U.S. Supreme courts decisions by a 5 to 4 vote,  declared the Protection of Marriage act unconstitutional.

This decision is one of the most immoral, absurd illogical decisions ever rendered by the U.S. Supreme court,  with the only exception being the decision to legalize abortion on demand.

There is nothing unconstitutional about limiting marriage to one man and one women.  The Supreme court is clearly exceeding their authority.  We as citizens must contact our Legislators to reverse this decision.  In the event this decision is not reversed this court will legalize same sex marriage in June.

Same sex marriage is an abomination to our creator, and will cause an economic drain on Social Security. Same sex marriages, will enable a same sex spouse to draw on their spouses Social Security, also these same sex spouses will be entitled to be covered by their spouses insurance.  In other words they will be entitled to every benefit that traditional couples receive. Write or call your Senator, your Representative or the Supreme court judges themselves,  Their addresses and phone numbers can be obtained off the internet.

Don’t let this happen.

Richard L. Lang
Ravenna, MI  49451

Letter to the Editor: Common Core

Many of us have fought Common Core in our schools, the slow takeover of the Federal Government. Our Constitution gives this right to each state, not the Federal Government. I understand that money was held back, not given to “Smart Balance,” then the M.D.A. gave 4.9 million to them for a membership to use “Smart Balance” and calls it “INSTEP,” only the name change.

Parents, do you know what your children are being taught, tested for or the questions asked them? Have you checked the books for reading recommended by Common Core? I feel our schools are being dumbed down.

Think of the changes that have taken. It isn’t Christmas Break or Christmas Play, etc. It is Winter Break. Not Easter Break – it’s Spring Break. The history of how our forefathers gave and died to give us our freedom and Constitution is being taught less and less. Now, we have a war on Christianity in most countries, yes, even in America!

March 24th at 6:30 p.m. will be an informational meeting at Central Assembly of God, 896 Home Street, Muskegon. Enter at door #2. Our speaker, Melonie Kunds, is a math teacher and has many other qualifications. Come, listen, and ask questions.

–Billie G. Picklesimer, Ravenna

Letter to the Editor: Taxes

To the Editor:

In regard to the Muskegon County Road Millage, voting February 24, 2015. Four times within 6 – 7 months, asking for tax increases. This will be 5 by the State Sales Tax increase this May. Millions of taxpayer money is spent for these voting days. Why not combine some of these voting days? If money is so tight, why pay $230,000 to remodel a house on Leahy Street, then sell it for $75,000? Who pays the $160,000? We do!

The new MATS bus center, $2.356 million. Officials have plans for recreation – does not include city or townships. This county tax is at market value, not taxable value, a huge increase in our property taxes. There is a discussion about taxing how many miles we drive our cars. Our state and federal are talking about adding more tax at the gas pump. Isn’t it time to stand firm, let politicians know we have had enough of their taking from the people they work for?

Perhaps it is time we clean house. Where is the accountability for all these monies? I haven’t found that money tree they think we grow! Read the fine print. Ask questions.

–Billie Picklesimer
Ravenna, MI

*What about the war on Christianity? Who is fighting to stop this?

In Michigan, the Silence is Deafening

In reflecting on this sad fact I googled the term, “The silence is deafening”, and came across some good definitions:

Deafening Silence:

1. A silence or lack of response that reveals something significant, such as disapproval or a lack of enthusiasm. In other words, not saying something can reveal something so shocking that you feel like you can’t hear anything else above the silence.

2. Deafening silence in simple terms is silence that tells you something no one wanted to say. For example, say you thought your spouse cheated on you, so you asked about it. you: “Did you cheat on me?” spouse: says nothing . You automatically know there is a reason for the silence, and you can conclude the answer yourself. Many times this is because a person may think not saying anything will prevent hurting the other person, when in actuality it says just as much, maybe more.

From where I stand, these two definitions sums up what I see has been happening in our fair State for far too long, namely, most citizens are silent when it comes to the incompetence and corruption that is very prevalent among those in public office. This issue crosses party lines and should no longer be tolerated.

If the majority of Michigan’s citizens would come together and say with one voice, “We will no longer be silent; we will not go quietly into the night”, our collective voices will shatter the silence, and bring about a second American Revolution. Only this time not with bombs and bullets, but with hearts and minds united in a just and noble cause. I propose that this just and noble cause be to restore the greatness of the Great Lake State. (I really miss that slogan). One person, which is each and every one us can make a difference, many of united in a just and noble cause, will make a miracle.

We must also not allow our collective voices to be weakened by the voices that choose to overly focus on socially divisive issues, while important to many, such as abortion and same sex marriage. The sad truth is that many politicians use these and other divisive social issues to drown out the voices from being heard on such issues as transparency in government, which will lead to accountability for the corruption and incompetence in government, as well as the disenfranchisement of many people in the Democratic process.

It is also a sad truth that too many citizens do not demand better from candidates for public office, and from those currently serving in public office. As the old saying goes, “We get the kind of government we want by the choices that we make, or fail to make”.

As Ronald Reagan so eloquently put it in his “Time for choosing speech”:

“You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well, I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism”.

It is my well thought out conclusion that we are losing our individual freedoms at an ever increasing pace due to those in public office hearing the deafening silence from the majority of the citizens of Michigan.

Robin Sanders
2636 Bernice St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Reported Abortions Increase for 2013

One Dynamic: Clinic Law Increases Accountability

Data released by the Michigan Department of Community Health showed a 12.4 percent increase in the number of reported abortions performed in 2013. The total number of abortions performed rose from 23,230, to 26,120. While the increased numbers are tragic, they are not unexpected and have predicted explanations. A law passed in 2012 requiring abortion clinics to be licensed caused 5 abortion clinics to close in the early months of 2013. The location of those closed clinics corresponds with the four counties (Muskegon, Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland) that showed substantial increases in abortions, accounting for the increase in the number of reported abortions.

Those closed abortion businesses were suspected of violating the state reporting law. As those abortion businesses closed, their clients went to other abortion businesses; previously unreported abortions may be reported now. There was also a shocking 44.4 percent increase in late-term abortions (after 20 weeks), which may be attributed to better reporting and an influx of women from Ohio after abortion businesses in Toledo closed.

In Muskegon, Right to Life of Michigan identified anomalies in past abortion data. The sole abortion business in Muskegon was not reporting abortions for two years prior to being shut down for dangerous conditions. It is suspected that women from Muskegon County are now traveling to other abortion businesses that follow state reporting laws. Metro Detroit may be experiencing something similar, four clinics from that area closed in 2013 following passage of the Prolife Omnibus Act (PA 499).

The numbers could reflect an actual increase in abortions, possibly due to the especially difficult economic times Detroit is facing as the city undergoes bankruptcy. About 29 percent of the 2013 increase was reported in Detroit, despite the city having only 7 percent of the state’s population. Abortion continues to disproportionately devastate the black community, with more than 50 percent of all abortions being performed on black women, even though they are only 16 percent of the female population. Recent media coverage showing Detroit’s maternal death rate at triple the national rate proves that abortion fails to improve women’s health.

The trend of declining abortions committed on girls under the age of 18 continued. That number dropped to under 1,000 for the first time ever. In 2012, 1,035 minor abortions were reported. The reported figure of 971 in 2013 represents another 6 percent decrease. Since 1990, abortions among minors has fallen 75 percent.

Whether it is real increases or better tracking, we are deeply saddened by the loss of those additional 2,900 precious lives. While the overall trend of decreasing abortions is encouraging, this year’s increase and the annual overall numbers serves as a reminder that our prolife efforts must continue, because lives depend on us.

Your help is needed. Learn how you can be part of saving lives by visiting Right to Life of Michigan at www.RTL.org.

Letter to the Editor: Thank You For Your Support

As a resident of Fruitport Village, plus a graduate from Fruitport School, I would like to say this is a wonderful place to live and have raised my four kids here. What a great community we have, for I personally need to thank many persons whom have helped me through difficult times, as well as, my utmost two traumatic accidents.

September 2012, I accepted a ride as a passenger on a motorcycle, regrettably a car pulled in front of the bike, causing the driver to crash the motorcycle. I suffered a shattered ankle – on the left side – requiring two surgeries. More severely, I hit my head so many times causing an open head injury on the right side (32 staples) a closed head injury on the left side, and much swelling, numbness, along with pressure so severe that my skull continue to crack. I will live the rest of my life with ongoing vertigo, head pain, and memory problems. Oh yeah, I was not wearing a helmet!

One of my major concerns I had just before impact was re-injuring some old injuries (which I did) that I endured 28 years earlier during a horrific automobile accident. A truck had broadsided me, totaling my car. I sustained many broken bones, along with major internal injuries. More severe, I suffered a shattered pelvis – on the left side – requiring surgery with plates and screws holding me together for life. Oh yeah, I was not wearing a seat belt!

From both of these accidents; neither one was the fault of mine. More disturbing, neither driver who caused these horrific accidents: had their vehicles insured! Subsequently, in both accidents I had to rely on (PLPD) what my policy covered for the uninsured motor vehicle coverage. Thank God my policy covered all my medical costs, but as for my pain and suffering? Let’s just say that the uninsured liability I had in both accidents will never change the quality of my life! I will continue to live in pain, physically, psychologically, and financially “the rest of my life”.

I can only hope my story will help people become aware how injuries affect your outcome of life do to auto accidents; then to comprehend how truly the no-fault insurance system works! How nice it would be if those commercials on television will explain thoroughly the reason the severely injured in automobile accidents are able to receive millions, is, because the negligent driver stands properly insured. Otherwise, the significance of your injuries in now on your own policy for the uninsured and/or under-insured motorist coverage! But those commercials do not tell us – that if we do not recommend to our insurance agent the maximum uninsured/ under-insured motorists’ coverage on our PLPD policy it will be the bare minimum, therefore, the injuries you sustain from someone else’s negligence will forever hinder the rest of your life. Please take caution, motorcyclists; just because your bike is fully insured, it’s likely you don’t even carry medical coverage let alone any protection from an uninsured automobile.

In closing, please wear your seat belt and a helmet at all times, like I mentioned I hit my head 28 years ago and severely hit my head 2 years ago: sporadically I will remember every detail of both accidents like they happened yesterday. Sadly, I can’t recall much that has happened in between, therefore, my sincere apologies to anyone that I may have acted out too. Believe me when I say – being in constant pain can make a person very irritable, then when you add consistent head pressure, dizziness, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, and memory problems. Need I say more?

Oh yeah, my two daughters were also in the first accident and suffered injury, trauma, anxiety, as well as, being separated from me during recovery. My two boys have had to take care of me, along with putting up with me throughout this second accident. These misfortunes have affected me and my children far deeper from what it appears. There are extremely more vehicles on the road today that are not properly protected let alone carry any insurance at all. I have always been under the impression that insurance is intended to help the devastating injured person continue on an adequate quality of life? Honestly, I am so very fortunate that my children and I have survived these shocking events. For at first glance you would never know how physically injured and mentally wounded, I myself, has sustained. Injuries are hard enough to deal with, let alone financial hardship! What’s in your insurance policy?

Special thank you Mom, (Jean Livingston) in spite of all you have tolerated you still continued to work and managed to help me and my kids as much as you could.

Utmost, this is dedicated to my four amazing children: Amanda (Swanson) Osterhart, Shannah Swanson, Robert Swanson, and Thomas Swanson. I could never have had the strength to endure our many hard times if not for you kids. I am so proud of each one of you! Blessed my beautiful grandchildren, family, friends, and neighbors who helped me along the way, you know who you are, Nancy Rizzo, and many more.

Thank you.
Julie Swanson
3578 Pontaluna Rd.
Fruitport MI 49415

Letter to the Editor: Faith, Conscience and Commonsense Win the Day

Understanding Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

After the Supreme Court of the United States’ June 30 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby there has been a tremendous amount of rancor and misinformation from individuals and organizations which do not believe in or understand conscience rights and religious freedom of employers.  With so much misinformation, it is important to understand the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision.

The U.S. Supreme court 5 to 4 ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties was a critical victory in protecting the right of conscience and religious liberty against government overreach. This case was much more about the proper role of government than about contraception and abortion-causing drugs. No one should be fined for following their faith; and employees should not be unwillingly complicit in participating in health insurance which destroys members of the human family.

Sarah Torre is a policy analyst in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. Torre explains the results of the Hobby Lobby decision:

Passed by Congress in 1993 by broad, bipartisan majorities, RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] protects Americans from substantial burdens on religious freedom unless the government can show it has a compelling government interest and does so in the least restrictive way possible. That’s a high bar and one the Obama Administration failed to meet under this mandate.

 [The Hobby Lobby] decision is a strong rejection of the Obama’s administration’s faulty argument that Americans’ religious freedom ends when they open a family business. The government cannot unreasonably force Americans to set aside their beliefs simply because they go into business to provide for themselves, their families, and their employees…

To be clear, the decision applies only to the coercive Obamacare rule that was threatening the religious freedom of the Greens’ and Hahns’ family businesses. Other claims for religious exemptions by closely-held family businesses from other laws will have to be litigated on a case-by-case basis. RFRA doesn’t provide a blank check for religious believers to do whatever they want in the name of religion and neither does today’s decision.

While the ruling applies only to Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, some individuals seem to think this ruling is part of the “War on Women.”

The Hobby Lobby decision protects the rights of Americans to run a family business consistent with their faith. Thankfully, it was faith, conscience and commonsense which won the day when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

Pamela Sherstad
Director of Public Information
office: 616-532-2300


Letter to the Editor: Declaration of, our loss of, Independence

With our bloated governments non-stop engagement of over-reach into everyone’s lives, the self evident truth of the unalienable rights that we have been endowed with by our Creator, we find ourselves facing the nightmare of government usurping the Creator, and are slowly but surely taking those rights from us.

That word “unalienable” is a most interesting word. The dictionary defines unalienable as something that cannot be given away, but does not say that it cannot be taken away. It is a sad truth that too many citizens either turn a blind eye to it, too afraid to confront it, or too apathetic  to be outraged, and take lawful active steps to take back the rights that have been given to us by our Creator.

In my book, this amounts to spitting on the graves of our fellow citizens who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend those rights, and sends a terrible message to the countless Americans who continue to make sacrifices that support and defend them.

Far too many citizens have forgotten or no longer believe in the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident” and “Liberty and Justice for all”. Far too many citizens do not participate in the Democratic process, with many more who do not participate intelligently.

Plato said that one of the penalties for those who refuse to participate in the Democratic process is that they end up being governed by their inferiors. I would go further to say that many of our inferiors, who end up being elected to public office, treat citizens as their inferiors, by actively participating in institutionalized corruption, which tramples on the rights of most citizens.

If citizens continue to turn a blind eye, lack courage, or give up on the Democratic process, we may as well make a Declaration of the loss of our Independence. I will close with some quotes that should be a chilling warning to most critical thinking citizens.

Ronald Reagan said that history will record that those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent it from happening, and, Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Thanks in advance,
Robin Sanders
2636 Bernice St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

WMKG: Local Television Station

After being on the air for over 24 years, WMKG TV is still not on the Fruitport, Spring Lake, Grand Haven and Whitehall cable system.

WMKG TV started broadcasting 24 years ago from a location just a few miles from Fruitport at 4237 Airline Road. It started out as W40AK, a low power television station with 100 watts and a 65 foot tower. Soon they switched from channel 40 to channel 38 and the call letters changed to WMKG. After being approved by the FCC, WMKG was changed to WMKG-CA. The CA stands for Class A, which is the highest class for a low power station. Now, changing from analog to digital and broadcasting from a 200 foot tower with 15,000 watts erp. WMKG-CA is on channel 49 and broadcasts over 45 miles with 3 additional channels. Broadcasting on channels 49, 49.2, 49.3 and 49.4. Channel 49 has the original AMGTV Network, 49.2 is broadcasting the Launch Network, 49.3 is an advertisement for 49 with local and children’s programming coming from 49. Also channel 49.4 broadcasts local and children’s as well as a stationary weather program. The additional channels will become more local in the near future with one of them hopefully being local music.

Comcast cable did put WMKG on it’s cable lineup and although the channel has changed from channel 4 to channel 16 to channel 295 to it’s present channel of 397, it has been on the lineup for over 20 years. The Charter cable that is servicing Fruitport, Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Whitehall has never offered any channel regardless of the many inquires.

We are the only real, over the air broadcast television station in the Muskegon area. The other over the air broadcast stations are 40 miles away in Grand Rapids, and we here at WMKG don’t consider them local Muskegon broadcasting.

The switch over to digital was a very big move for the station. We have plans in the future to expand our localism with more local churches, local sports and local talents such as music. We have been broadcasting the Fruitport Memorial Day Parade for over 20 years and plan to continue, along with plans for more holiday events.

We get very little national advertising and have relied on local businesses to support us. We are always looking for more local programming such as talk shows, sports, music, church/school events, and are thinking of starting another news program. We are your “hometown” local television station and hope to continue to be.

Fenton Kelley

I Have Water in My Basement!

A response by the Muskegon County Drain Commissioner, Brenda M. Moore

We have had numerous calls from throughout the county from people with water in their basements. Unfortunately, many of them are outside a formal drainage district, so this office is unable to provide immediate assistance. Even so, because groundwater can span over miles, there is only so much that can be done to address it seeping into basements.

This was a high water year in the county– we had a large amount of snowfall coupled with heavy spring rains. Muskegon County received over 131 inches in snowfall this winter— nearly 11 feet. That is about 39 inches above average. Average rainfall for the area March-May was over 11 inches—much of that was record rainfall in April. Granted, the facts don’t offer much comfort to the homeowner with water in their basement, but it does put things in perspective. Although there is very little we can do to control groundwater, we can share how people from across the county have protected their basements in different ways:

  • Using sump pumps, with a back-up pump, pump alarm, and generator (in case of pump or power failure) to pump water out of the basement (generally from sub-surface tiles). There is a danger if water is pumped too fast that soil can flush from under the footing and floor causing structural failure.
  • Where walk-out basements allow surface water intrusion; removing the slider or door; adding a couple of blocks at floor level, then replacing the exit with a window. This slows the intrusion of surface water, but a sump pump is still generally needed.
  • Waterproofing the footing or area below the groundwater level if water intrusion is in smaller amounts (a few inches). Dampness, mold, and mildew may still be a factor. See also: http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html

    Caution: If water is an issue at higher volumes,
    hydrostatic pressure of the groundwater pushing on a foundation that has been waterproofed can pop the floor, causing new leaks or structural damage to the home.
  • Where there is room; some owners have filled basements and crawl spaces with sand, above the groundwater level, then capped the area with cement. This can solve the water problem but it does cost living space.
  • If a full basement is desired it is possible to physically raise the home and add several blocks to the basement. This is the most expensive option, but it can give you a usable basement. As with the previous option the areas between the high groundwater mark and the bottom of the new basement area is filled with sand and capped with cement.

Regardless of your situation, it may help to speak with reputable engineers, contractors, house movers, or your local building inspector to choose the option best for your situation. It may be best to speak with a few people so you can feel comfortable you are getting consistent information.

Senate Majority PAC ad misrepresents Terri Lynn Land

The Senate Majority PAC has produced an ad which misrepresents Michigan’s U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land by deceitfully citing Right to Life of Michigan. The ad falsely states that Terri Lynn Land wants to outlaw common forms of birth control.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “I want to set the record straight. Right to Life of Michigan does not have a position on contraception. It is reprehensible to cite Right to Life of Michigan in a deceptive political ad as the source of Terri Lynn Land’s position on an issue in which we are not involved.”

Right to Life of Michigan was never contacted by the Senate Majority PAC regarding our endorsement criteria or our policies as an organization.

The Right to Life of Michigan PAC, which has endorsed Terri Lynn Land for the U.S. Senate, does not consider the issue of birth control when making endorsements of candidates. Right to Life of Michigan is focused on abortion, infanticide and assisted suicide.

Terri Lynn Land’s opponent, Rep. Gary Peters and his allies, cannot defend Peters’ radical pro-abortion position which includes support for partial-birth abortion, sex-selection abortions and tax funded abortions. Because of Gary Peters’ extreme position in support of abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, he has tried to attack Terri Lynn Land by misrepresenting her.

Listing said, “For those looking for the truth about candidates, consider the source. It is clear the Senate Majority PAC cannot be trusted.”


(Forwarded by Reverend R.A. Shackles)

Next time you have to fill up at $3.49 a gallon, think of this!!

Unemployment in North Dakota is the lowest in the nation at 3.4 percent last I checked. See anything in the national news about how the oil industry is fueling North Dakota’s economy?

Here’s an astounding read. Important and verifiable information:
The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10 percent of the oil is recoverable (5 billion barrels), At $107 a barrel, we’re looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion.

“When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea..,” says Terry Johnson, the Montana legislature’s financial analyst.

However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken’s massive reserves, and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 per barrel. That’s enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 2041 years straight.

And if that didn’t throw you on the floor, then this next one should, because it’s from 2006: “U.S. Oil Discovery –– Largest Reserve in the World.” Stansberry Report Online 4/20/2006. Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world. It is more than two trillion barrels. On August 8, 2005, President Bush mandated its extraction.”

In three and a half years of high oil prices, none has been extracted. With this motherload of oil why are we still fighting over off-shore drilling? We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth.

Here are the official estimates:
8 times as much oil as Saudi Arabia
18 times as much oil as Iraq
21 times as much oil as Kuwait
22 times as much oil as Iran
500 times as much oil as Yemen,  and it’s all right here in the Western United States!

How can this be? How can we not be extracting this? Because the environmentalists and others have blocked all efforts to help America become independent of foreign oil! Again, we are letting a small group of people dictate our lives and our economy. Why?

James Bartis, lead researcher with the study, says we’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East, more than two trillion barrels untapped. That’s more than all the proven oil reserves of crude oil in the world today, reports the Denver Post.

Don’t think “OPEC” will drop its price even with this find? Think again. It’s all about the competitive marketplace. It has to.

Think OPEC just might be funding the environmentalists? Got your attention yet? Now, while you’re thinking about it, do this: Pass this along.

By the way, this can be verified. Check it out at

Fort Knox is Empty (The Gold’s Missing)

by Robert Williams, publisher, Wall Street Daily

I have a troubling situation to discuss. Whispers are swirling around Capitol Hill that Fort Knox is empty….That  all the gold is gone….That the U.S. government has been shipping gold to nations like China (as collateral for a weak dollar). Scary, isn’t it?

Without any gold in Fort Knox, the United States has nothing backing the dollar but faith.

Here’s what Wall Street Daily analysts have confirmed: The U.S. government has not done a public audit of the gold in Fort Knox since 1974. Policymakers have ignored all requests for a new audit, too.

Worse yet, $982 million worth of gold has left JFK International Airport in New York since the year began. The destination? Somewhere in South Africa. The gold shipment was confirmed by the U.S. Census Bureau’s foreign trade division.

That begs the following question:
Do you think Fort Knox is empty?•

Letter to Editor: 11-27-13


The biggest reason for the moral downfall that exists in the U.S.A. is the so-called Supreme Court of the United States of America. I am referring to two major decisions.

The 1973 decision that allowed the murder of millions of unborn babies – Roe verses Wade. Does anyone believe the authors of our constitution would allow the murder of babies? Or same sex marriage? At conception babies are persons. The baby is an individual carrying both the mother’s and father’s DNA. Why is it that the father has no say whether or not to end an unborn baby’s life?

As for same sex marriage is concerned, I believe the so-called Supreme Court does not have the authority to render such outrageous decisions.

The Defense of Marriage was passed by the people of California. The Congress of the United States passed The Defense of Marriage Act. How can five members of the so-called Supreme Court override Federal and State laws?

Our country has no right to preach morals to other countries as long as evil decisions exist. Wake up people, these decisions must be struck down!

I have recently seen on television and in the newspaper, that our government is considering keeping troops in Afghanistan until 2024. I strenuously object to this insanity. We don’t need any more of our troops killed or wounded.

And why do we have such a large National debt? As ex-President Clinton stated during a campaign, it’s the economy, stupid. In this instance it’s the cost of Mideast wars that’s stupid. It is one of the biggest reasons for the national debt. Pull the troops out of Afghanistan now instead of cutting Social Security, Medicare and other programs that benefit average people.

Contractors have made billions off these Mid-East wars, and million dollar vehicles are being burned because it is too expensive to ship them back to the U.S. What a deception! There are government officials listed periodically in the Muskegon Chronicle, many with toll-free numbers. Call them or write them. It may help them decide to get all troops and contractors out of Afghanistan now. If the President signs an agreement to keep troops in Afghanistan, I will lose all respect for him.

Richard L. Lang, Ravenna