Letters to the Editor

Taxes, Wolves, and a recent business closure come up in this week's opinions

Wake-up Michiganders: It’s Tax Time

Editor:

 

Governor Snyder and the Republican-controlled House/Senate have been in office two years and our Poor, Middle class and Seniors are paying the price.

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), the bottom 80% of Michigan residents pay nearly 10% of their income in state and local taxes while the top 20% pay about 7%– sound familiar.

For 2012 tax year, Seniors suffered a big hit from new taxes on pensions and 401k incomes, reduced deductions such as the homestead property tax credit and elimination of the $2300 senior exemption. Under this administration, you work hard all your life, provide for your family, gather some savings and get nailed in your golden years.

Businesses received $1.4 billion in tax breaks from our Governor with his rationale being to create jobs. Yet, he recently admitted no jobs have been created. Businesses just put this tax break in the bank and lower and middle class families are picking up the tab. Some of the more destructive cuts are in Michigan earned income tax credit with elimination of the child deduction and exemption for seniors receiving unemployment compensation over 50%. Unemployment benefits have been slashed from 26 weeks to 20.

Furthermore, Snyder’s proposed USER fee legislation increasing gas and vehicle taxes, would crush poor and middle class family incomes as most Michigan individuals I know, need a vehicle to get to work. This is a no brainier.

Review your 2012 Michigan tax returns. Most likely you will be paying more, particularly if you are a senior, and/or in the lower/middle income tax bracket. Write your GOP legislators and let them know that this tax shift from business to individuals is not a “shared sacrifice” and you’re not buying it.

Catherine Hunter
Boyne City

Casperson vs. Wolves

Editor:

In March of this year, 253,000 citizens of Michigan signed a petition for a 2014 ballot initiative to stop a state sponsored wolf hunt. This referendum opposes the designation of wolves as game animals.

This week State Senator Tom Casperson introduced Senate Bill 288, which if signed into law, will prevent voters from having a say in what happens to wildlife in Michigan. Clearly, Senator Casperson does not believe in democracy.

In a 2006 referendum the voters said NO to the hunting of doves. If SB 288 is allowed, not only the hunting of wolves will be legal, the hunting of doves, Sandhill Cranes and Great Blue Herons to name a few will also be possible.

SB 288 would allow the Natural Resource Commission, appointed NOT elected to designate any species a game animal. Michigan voters will not be able to challenge this, which is a direct assault on our rights as citizens of Michigan.

Senate Bill 288 was approved in Committee and now moves to the Senate. Whether you believe in wolf hunting or not, this gross move by Casperson takes away our democratic right to decide – our constitutional right to vote.

We urge the citizens of Michigan not to remain silent. Contact your Michigan Senators and Representatives and demand that they oppose SB 288.

For more information: action.keepwolvesprotected.com

Micheal and Joanne Cromley
Afton

 Why Boyne city ‘No Boundaries’ Closed

Editor:

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that I have come to the decision to close the doors on No Boundaries here in Boyne City. It was a tough decision, not one I made lightly, believe me. It took a lot of soul-searching and some in-depth discussions with my wife to come to the realization that it was time to move on.

Many people upon hearing the news were quick to point out “But you guys just moved!”. This is very true; I moved the business to a new location with the very best intentions. At the time, I felt as though the location closer to the water and adjacent to the new bike path would be a real plus for the business and for its ability to serve the customers. I still believe that.

Unfortunately, I just didn’t feel I had the 100 percent commitment and focus I needed in order to bring my “A” game each and every day.

Like any story, there are always plots going on behind the scenes. My situation is no different.

I took over full ownership of the business at a time when the business had some big hurdles to overcome. It wouldn’t have been impossible, but it would have required a huge gamble and monumental effort. Right now, at this time in my life, I just wasn’t able to make that commitment. Some things are more important to me. Really good things, actually!

I will be in the process of winding down the business for a while. I need to get my arms around just how to do that best; how to liquidate inventory, reconcile some obligations to vendors and suppliers, clear out fixtures, tools and supplies, etc. It will be a while before we leave the scene for good. I will try to keep folks posted on where things are – I will probably do that via our Facebook page, through e-mail blasts, here on the blog site, or on the store website. Stay tuned.

It’s important that I say “thank-you” to each and every person who has made the effort to be part of No Boundaries, either as a friend and supporter, a team member or employee, or as a valued customer. All of you have made this a truly rewarding experience for me and my family.

We have made and solidified lifelong friendships for which we are extremely grateful.

I have no doubt that these relationships will continue!

By leaving the business community, I realize there may be a number of loyal customers who will be bummed. The list of great people who relied on us for quality bike service is long indeed, and I’m sorry I won’t be there to provide you with service any longer.

Many have asked what I plan to do next.

Honestly, I’m not entirely certain.

Because I gave myself up to the concept of No Boundaries completely, I never really had a plan for an exit strategy.

It’s hard to look forward when there is so much to do in the present. That being said, I will begin to look to the future—I’m sure that there will be an opportunity somewhere for me. I can tell you a few things:

I’ll be spending a lot of time with my wife and kids!

We’re looking forward to spring and summer and all that those amazing seasons have to offer.

• I will continue to work on behalf of Challenge Mountain and its Board of Directors. It is a truly amazing organization, with so many wonderful, compassionate people. There are a lot of plans in place to enhance what is already an incredible organization! I am excited to be a part of that process.

• I will continue to be involved with the community and local events.

• I will continue to have an active role in the school system, as an involved parent of three kids.

• I will play a role in the development of a Youth Wrestling Program here in Boyne City, and I will continue to help coach the high school wrestling team.

• I will continue to operate Human Powered Adventures, the race/event business I started in order to raise funds and awareness for Challenge Mountain, and specifically, the Adaptive Bike Program.

I will also add some services and features to the business. You can keep up to speed with those developments by going to our Facebook page or by going to the website humanpoweredadventures.com.

• I will ride a ton more than I have in the last few years.

Things are going to work out, folks.

Change is good, something we should all embrace, because it’s going to happen whether we want it or not.

I am at peace with where I am, where I have been, and where I am going. It’s all good!

Bob South,
Boyne City