Letters to the editor, May 20, 2017

Bookin’ It For Your Library 5K

Dear Editor,

A huge thank you to everyone who participated and helped with the 6th annual Bookin’ It For Your Library 5K and Dewey Decimal Dash on May 13.

We were blessed with beautiful weather and had a wonderful turnout! This event would not be possible without the dedication of all of our volunteers along the course, including the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), officers from the Brandon Township substation, and countless other adults and students who helped make our route safe and cheered on the runners and walkers. Thank you DPW employees for hanging our banner, putting out road barricades, and maintaining our village so beautifully.

A big shout-out for our wonderful sponsors: A&W Drive-In, Alpha & Omega Nutrition, Alpine Roofing Complete Inc, Bat Removal and Prevention Inc, Blackhawks Auto Repair, Brandon Chiropractic Center, Fortitude Fitness 24 Hour Gym, Friends of the Brandon Twp Public Library, Graveldinger Graphix, Hevel Flooring, Hillside Bible Church (who provided our water stop) JNJ Plumbing, Lazer Lines Parking Lot Maintenance LLC, Liv in the Moment Photography, Lynn’s Dance Studio, Marr Chiropractic, Mindset Management Inc, North Oaks Community Church, Oxford Family Dentistry, Pasteiners.com, Provider Claims Management, Verizon Wireless Zone, and YOGA4U.

Thank you to The Citizen staff for all of the great coverage, and to Olivia Stouffer and Brenda Timmermans, who did a fantastic job taking pictures of our event! Look for them on the Brandon Library Facebook page soon.

Robin Loughlin

Bookin’ It For Your Library 5K organizer

Most overused metaphor

Dear Editor,

The Titanic sinking has a grim lesson for us as we consider changes to Obamacare.

As 1503 souls were lost in the icy Atlantic in 1912, passing ships were within rescue distance, unaware of the Titanic’s distress, their radios turned off for the night. The Titanic’s crews launched lifeboats with empty seats. No lifeboat drills had been conducted in the days since the Titanic left England.

Our own senator from Michigan, William Alden Smith, organized a committee of inquiry into the tragedy. The committee made recommendations for new maritime laws. 24/7 radio coverage, adequate life boats and life jackets for everyone on board were later mandated.

When I worked for Holland America Lines, we did our first lifeboat drill within sight of our departing port.

Practices that keep us safe today were bought and paid for in the cold Atlantic over a century ago with the lives of ordinary people.

Will this be the way we learn that we must provide healthcare to all? As bodies of our fellow citizens float by?

Stories of death and disability from denied care tell us that everyone needs that life jacket, everyone deserves a seat in the lifeboat. What will it take to convince us that healthcare is a moral issue, that as a society we share in the burdens and the benefits?

There is a mean-spirited mood afoot that manifests itself in this argument: on one side, healthcare is a privilege for the few, not a community responsibility, not a right. On the other side: go ahead, destroy Obamacare, embrace Trumpcare, serves you right when you die.

Is this iceberg going to take us out again?

Bonnie Beltramo

Beautiful trails

(In response to: ‘Township trail route meets dead end,’ The Citizen, May 6, page 1)

Dear Editor,

My husband Dave and I rode three bicycle trails this last week—Saginaw Valley Trail, Polly Ann Trail and Paint Creek Trail, a total of 57 miles. We saw no needles, syringes, or garbage—just plenty of friendly people. Hope to see you on these beautiful trails.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Sharon Van Dis


Not in my front yard

(In response to: ‘Township trail route meets dead end,’ The Citizen, May 6, page 1)

Dear Editor,

It was with great surprise that we read the article “Township trail route meets dead end.” We thought it was decided that the trail options through Brandon Township were dead and that the board was no longer pursuing these options.

Now that Option C is off the table, the likelihood has increased that Option A or B will now be considered. As homeowners and taxpayers along one of these routes, we would like to find out how we also get our Option “off the table.” It seems unfair that Option C is now off the table but the other options are not.

We are not convinced that this subject has been fully researched as it only takes a ride down the proposed routes to see what it would take to put a trail in our front yards. The reason we purchased our home was for the rural setting on an unpaved road. To think that a bike path could be put in our front yard, just feet from our front door, is astounding.

Has it even been determined how wide the path would need to be? The article discusses that it would need to be wide enough to get an ambulance down. This essentially means we would need it to be the width of one lane of our gravel road! This would absolutely ruin our entire front yard! We did not purchase a property without a front yard for a reason. We have landscaping, roses, fruit and decorative trees that would all need to be demolished in order for the bike path to be installed.

If the bike path is in our front yard, what happens if someone is injured on the trail in front of our home? Is it us? Could it be us? Is it the township? Will my homeowner’s insurance rates go up? What if someone veers off the path into our now very small front yard. Who is responsible then?

What about our dogs? We could no longer allow our dogs in the front portion of our property since there would always be a threat of other dogs coming into our yard and attacking.

We have a well in our front yard. Does it need to be moved? It not moved, what happens if it is damaged during the construction of the path?

We will likely be called negative and uncooperative by those who want the bike path. This is really unfair. If you drive the proposed routes and see the beautiful trees and landscaping in many yards, then picture it with a bike path instead. What about the disruption to the wetlands along the routes?

These are some of the issues that come to mind when we think about the bike path in our front yard. To say that it only affects a few for the good of the many seems a bit naive. After all, our home is our largest investment and we do not believe for a moment that our property values will increase because of the trail. That just doesn’t seem logical. What data is being used to draw this conclusion? We would never have purchased our home if there was a trial in the front yard. We do not think others who come to a rural community would draw a different conclusion.

Furthermore, we do not recall ever being surveyed to see if we wanted the trail. We were surveyed to ask which option we preferred for the trail. Why don’t we have a survey asking if the majority want a trail? Why isn’t a survey being conducted to ask the homeowners on the routes what they think? It’s easy for people to vote and say yes I like that alternative when they are not impacted in any way by their response!

It is unfortunate that we now have to think about selling our home because of the mere threat that the path will somehow, someway get approved and could possibly come down our road and through our front yard. There has to be a better alternative!

Concerned taxpayers along proposed Route A,

Paul & Susan Barber

Thank you DPW

Dear Editor,

Thank you to Bob Hauxwell and his Ortonville DPW crew for repairing the Mann One-Room School situated behind the Old Mill Museum and an integral part of the historical complex.

They spent hours chipping away old glazing on the windows, replacing it with new, priming and painting them. They replaced the back door and threshold after the bottom had rotted away, and power washed and painted the deck leading to the door.

The workmanship and care taken on these historical projects are commendable and the men are a pleasure to work with.

Judy Miracle

Ortonville Community Historical Society

Stamp Out Hunger

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the Ortonville Post Office, I would like to thank the entire community for your generous donations to this years “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign.

On Saturday May 13, we held our 25th annual food drive. I was just hoping that we would collect as much as we did last year. (an amazing 8,200 pounds). Well, you guys did it! An astonishing amount of 17,000 pounds was picked up by your mail carriers and volunteers! That is over double the amount from last year! This is unbelievable for such a small town. I am so proud to be living in such a caring, generous, community. All of the donations were taken to OCEF and stay here in Ortonville to help your friends and neighbors.

I would like to thank each and every one of you kind-hearted people who placed food out by your mailboxes or brought the bags into the office. We had a better turnout than we could have ever expected, and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

I really need to thank all of the hard working mail carriers here in Ortonville for spending a little extra time on their routes that day picking up all of the donations. Also, thank you to Christine McCready and Steven Welch for driving around in front of the carriers, picking up donations to help lighten their load. I would also like to thank The Citizen newspaper for helping us get the word out a couple of weeks before the food drive and Alpine Roofing for donating the bags that we delivered.

Also, Michele, Josh, and Mike Siemon, John Kantorski and Betty Garrett for helping us get the food over to OCEF. And, a special thank you to Drew Okolovitch for using his truck and trailer to haul all of the donations over to St. Anne Church. None of this could have been possible without all of you guys! You all made a difference! Be proud!

Rachelle Welch

Mail carrier/ “Stamp Out Hunger” coordinator

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