Letters to the editor Oct. 14

(In response to, “Talk on the Streets, The Citizen,” Sept. 30, page 6)
Stand up
Dear Editor,
In general siting or kneeling during the anthem irritates me. Not necessarily because I think it disrespects the flag and our country, but because I think it disrespects those who paid the price for allowing people that freedom. If those who kneel have done nothing to preserve their own right to free speech then it is kinda like steeling, taking cuts in a line, or getting stuff for free that others have to pay for.
By kneeling they are attempting to call attention to a problem, but they are doing little to correct that problem. I just wonder what could happen if all of those who choose to protest in this manor could actually pay (in a small way) for their right to freedom of speech by forming and contributing to a nationwide scholarship fund to benefit the same people that the kneelers are protesting on behalf of. I think that we all can agree that one of the best ways to preserve our country and way of life is through better education for all of our children. Not standing or kneeling could mean that this person has donated $10,000 to this scholarship.
Kip Bonds, Ortonville
No trails, no business
Dear Editor,
I’m surprised we didn’t hear more from our businesses about trail installation in Brandon.
I’ll present my own anecdote as a reason for businesses to be vocal about the failed trail initiative. I am someone who wears a pedometer and shoots for 10,000 steps per day. The roads near me are unsafe to walk on.
I currently drive to either Oxford or Lake Orion, park my car in a specified lot, and walk 2-3 miles on their paved, even trails. Greeting others and enjoying the sense of community while keeping a safe distance from vehicles. While I am there, I spend money. This means I’m buying ice cream at Yo Club instead of Frosty Boy or Cook’s. It means we are grabbing a pizza at Vendetti’s instead of Papa Bellas, It means we are purchasing feed at Oxford TSC instead of Hamilton’s. It means we are picking up groceries at Meijer instead of Bueche’s. You get the idea. I love our local businesses, especially the ones who give so generously to our schools (I’m looking at you Wojo’s and Bueche’s) since our community doesn’t feel that our schools deserve proper funding as evidenced by the failed millage last year.
I want to see our community thrive and succeed and provide jobs. We need forward thinking officials who are willing to do the difficult work to make sure we are not left behind and made obsolete. I love this area and I love the sense of community here.
The trails would have been another way to build community spirit, live healthier lives, and spend money in Brandon.
Marisa Prince
(In response to, “Talk on the Streets, The Citizen,” Sept. 30, page 6)
Stand with us
Dear Editor,
The NFL players say “lock arms” or “kneel in unity” … join us. WHAT? … We were standing in unity already with our hands to our hearts or at a salute. We have been since, at least World War I, in 1918 when the Boston Red Sox vs Chicago Cubs World Series game played The Star Spangled Banner to honor those in war as a unified support for our military and our country. “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
These NFL players say stand with us. Where are they when a family calls 911 as armed suspects are breaking into their house? The police arrive. The police protect. The police are there. Where are these NFL players when the house catches fire with people trapped inside? The fire department arrives. The firefighters run into the burning house to save occupants. The ambulance/EMTs are there to start medical aid and get them to hospitals. When our communities are riddled with crime, violence and despair … where are the NFL players? There are hundreds of unpaid volunteers, community leaders and religious leaders working every day to get things right. These people, who try to make our communities safer, make way less money than these football players.

“’Tis the star-spangled banner—O long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”
After September 11, 2001 where were our NFL players? They took a week of postponement but then right back on the field while our military, law enforcement and emergency personnel stood guard to protect the game they play. And now these players scoff at those who have to keep our past times safe for all. “From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
I stand with my hand on my heart, unified as my parents and grandparents did, to honor those who risk their life to protect us and our country with thankfulness, patriotism and honor for the United States of America. “And the Star – Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave. O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Diane Salter
Iron Belle Trail
Dear Editor,
The Brandon Township Board met On October 5th to reach a decision on whether or not to bring a segment of the Iron Belle Trail through Brandon Township. Prior to this meeting the Township Board approved a sub-committee to compile questions and research answers to all of the components involved in building and maintaining a trail. The sub-committee consisted of 3 Board Members: Kris Kordella, Terri Darnall and myself along with resident volunteers: Dwight Woodbridge, Candy Hill, Paul Barber, and Jennifer Bickel. The sub-committee was given the difficult task of compiling this information in a very short amount of time. Countless hours were spent on this project which culminated in an abundance of reported information and a presentation. I commend this group whole heartedly for their efforts and determination.
Although the sub-committee process was not perfect, it proved be very effective. The Board was able to reach a consensus on this challenging decision and voted against bringing the Iron Belle through Brandon Township. It was made clear to me that we didn’t have the public support necessary to move forward with this project.
Many people asked why it took so long to come to a decision when the Township began entertaining this topic back in 2015. It began with a public survey, a public input meeting and a couple focus group meetings. Potential routes were identified and an engineering study (paid for by grant funding) was performed to provide rough cost estimates. In the spring of 2016 another survey was conducted which showed 82% of respondents wanted a non-motorized trail. A work session followed and the Township Board Members asked for more information. Next, came the 2016 election which delay progress by a year. All Board positions were up for re-election. All seats on the Board were not filled until February of 2017. Once the new members were brought up to speed the trail proposal was re-introduced. Again, more information was requested by the Board and the Trail Sub-Committee was formed to provide it. Sometimes the wheels of government turn very slowly.
Kathy Thurman
Trail decision
Dear Editor,
I can’t believe it took all this time to convince some people the bike trail was never fully funded and probably would have bankrupted our township or at the very least raised our taxes to pay for a minority of people’s recreation. It was a total waste of time, people with blinders on could not see the whole picture.
For our sake this should be a dead issue never to be brought up again. Thank you to our board for finally voting it down.
Rick Gibbons

(In response to, Township takes aim at transients, The Citizen, Oct. 7, page 1)
Reconsider transient rule
Dear Editor,
I guess the Brandon Township officers and some trustees would consider me a transient.
Over the years, our family has grown. There are spouses, a grandchild, and more dogs. At least 3 or 4 times a year we get together in a rental home or adjoining homes for a week or a long weekend of relaxation and being together. It’s a wonderful way to get away under one roof, with the ability to cook meals and dine together, go to bed early or stay up late. We’ve stayed at a 200 acre cherry farm, a house on the Au Sable, and just ordinary homes near skiing, biking, hiking or beaches. We always respect the rights of the locals, leave the house clean, and usually look forward to returning. I’m quite sure there that is this respect, we are not unusual. Perhaps some have had bad experiences with Airbnb and VBRO, but those are issues that can be addressed without ending the fun for everyone, and depriving homeowners income on homes they wish to rent out.
Sherrie VandePutte
I Lost My Shoe in the Haunted House
I lost my shoe in the Haunted House on Halloween. At least that is the last time my shoe was ever seen. Friends and I had gone to the Haunted House on a dare, We had paid to enter, while betting nothing could scare.
First, there were just the usual Halloween soundings, Screeches and deep growls and our own heartbeat poundings.
My scaredy-cat friends and I went through each gloomy room, Past spooky masked beings, bats, and a witch on a broom.
My shoe must have slipped off during that confusing time, When the headless zombie came at us dripping green slime.
A big luminescent sign said, “Beware, Turn Back Now.”But in the house’s black darkness we could not see how.
That last gory sight sent us running blindly but quick. I heard one kid say, was it me? “I’m gonna be sick.”
Straight through the sticky cobwebs and dangling huge spiders, We bolted through the nearest door; we were outsiders.
We kept on running until halfway around the block. We stopped our terrified screaming, but were still in shock.
Once we knew we were safely away from any scare, I looked down at my trembling feet; just one shoe was there.
The rest of the way home that night, I walked lop-sided. Then about the lost shoe, to my Mom, I confided. Her face couldn’t hide her amused parental delight, Finally, my fashion faux pas was out of her sight.
You see, those shoes were my favorites; they were so cool. Mom had forbidden me wearing them to church or school.
The shoes survived years of gym class and daily wearing. Their treads from the upper soles were completely tearing.
They had no Velcro closures or even a shoelace, Which might explain why I had lost one in the first place. I told Mom my idea of searching for my shoe. Would she help me look? I didn’t know. What would you do?
Mom comforted me with a hug and Halloween snack. She promised new shoes for me if I didn’t go back.I still wonder about my lost shoe to this very day. Is it in the dark Halloween Haunted House display?
Does a Haunted House have a box labeled Lost & Found? Is my lost shoe stored among the skeleton bones bound?
Those were the shoes I wore for all special adventures. Now, does the shoe’s open-toe wear vampire dentures?
Is a story told of the shoe to gross out more kids? That the original wearer was eaten by squids?
Happy Halloween to you – here’s my friendly advice – When choosing your costume, please consider it twice.
My story’s told; it’s printed in The Citizen news.
So beware, only wear what you can afford to lose!
Happy Halloween 2017 from Gina Joy Roemer

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