Letters to the Editor

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snyder for circuit judge
Over the past several years I have had the opportunity to interact with Valerie on  both a personal and professional basis.  Her proven experience and knowledge of the law makes her an excellent choice as our next circuit court judge. I have always been impressed with how freely she gives of her time and knowledge to a variety of community organizations.  I am  involved  with a local non-profit organization and have called upon her many times for legal advice and she has always responded in a timely and thoughtful manner.  Valerie, in my opinion has all the qualities that will make her an outstanding judge.
Mike Costa
Boyne City

vote for gillespie
Richard Gillespie, a Charlevoix County Commissioner for four years, is an advocate of the non-motorized trail and respects personal property rights.  He voted for the trail and the funds to maintain it. The booklet developed by the Charlevoix County Non-Motorized Steering Committee states: “In the late 50’s and early 60’s The Charlevoix County Road Commission secured easements from nearly all landowners along the road.” Commissioner Gillespie knows that the road commissioners did not secure easements from all landowners and the interpretation of easement language (deed restrictions on the extra 16 ½ feet) could be challenged in court.  The Charlevoix Road Commission has been concerned about their legal standing for years because of the unique easement.  Gillespie has worked hard to avoid a possible expensive and lengthy legal disagreement.  He has been a voice for the Right-of-Way Agreement required by the Charlevoix County Road Commission that would allow the planners to use the extra 16 ½ feet as needed with property owners’ permission and stay within the 66’ when not permitted.  Commissioner Gillespie has not suggested we give up our rights for the greater good.  His opponent Nancy Ferguson recently said, “The public benefits of a detached trail far outweigh impacts on property owners along the route” and “sometimes you have to give up something maybe for the greater good.”  The property owners did give up something fifty years ago: they sold 16 ½’ of their property to the road commission, often for $1.00, so the road could be made safer. Look at what it got them!  Commissioner Gillespie has been very vocal from the beginning about the property owners not having any formal input. As mentioned in several meetings, the long term goal is to build a trail around Lake Charlevoix.  The county needs Commissioner Gillespie because he is an advocate for the trail and still has respect for personal property rights.  To learn more about the trail, Google: Charlevoix-Boyne City Non-Motorized Trail, Charlevoix-Boyne City Non-Motorized Trail Easement, and Charlevoix County Commissioners meeting minutes.
Nancy La Croix

black robed regiment
The book “Bringing Back the Black Robed Regiment” (2013) examines the “patriot preachers” of the 18th Century who led their congregations to battle the abusive tyranny of the Redcoats, and on a Sunday in January of 1776, the Shenandoa Valley (Virginia) Pastor Peter Muhlenberg preached a sermon on Ecclesiastes 3 in which Solomon wrote that there is a time for peace and a time for war. Muhlenberg ended his sermon by saying that “now is a time for war.” Having said that, he cast his clerical gown aside revealing his Colonel’s uniform of the Continental Army, strode down the aisle of the church, recruited the men of his congregation and with a Bible in one hand and a musket in the other, together, they went off to fight with Washington, right through to the final battle of Yorktown years later. A large number of pastors went off to war with their men who would tell their pastor, we’ll go if you lead us. The Founding Fathers explicitly believed that politics and religion had to be mixed. That “shot heard round the world”, that came from the pulpit, was fired in front of Jonas Clark’s church on the Lexington green and during the battle, men went back and forth to the church to get ammo, because that’s where their powder and ball were stored. A 19th Century historian, James Adams, said “that freedom was not born a bastard. Freedom was birthed when the church and state were still married.” To the extent that politics today are dirty, it’s because Christians have too often removed themselves from participation and our preachers should teach about the biblical principles of liberty, government, and about all of life, so their congregants will have a template to use with politicians. Failure to do so today has resulted in many Christians voting wrong. President James Garfield, who began his working life pastoring a church, and when the War Between the States started, he entered the ranks of the Northern Army as a General and stayed until the end. But serving in the military was not his final calling, as he served in Congress almost 20 years. As a Representative in 1877, Garfield wrote an article for the Atlantic Monthly where he emphasized the need for Christians to participate in politics: “Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” A good warning from the Congressman who would become our 20th President – an encouragement to “Bring back the Black Robed Regiment!” Please make sure your pastor reads this letter about Preachers, Pulpits and Politics. Duty and Honor For God and Country.
Jerry Evans,

Kowalske supports Schraw
Tom and Marleen helped Jody and I, not only with our clients, but personally. He is a down to earth guy that would do anything for you. I am proof of that. Tom would make a fantastic addition to our judicial system. I am excited he is running for judge. Please give him your support by getting out to vote for Tom.
Mark Kowalske
Boyne City

character counts
I can relate to Tom because we come from big, ‘blue collar’ families with seven children. We both had paper routes for four years too.
His character can be defined through his faith and his love for his wife, children, and their families.  He is a church leader.  He has been married to Marleen for nearly forty years.  He is so proud of his children and, when he talks about his grandsons, his eyes light up.
Through the last five years Tom has shown me patience on the golf course, shared laughter on an ice-boat, played Euchre at our home, ate campsite meals and enjoyed hot sunny days on Lake Charlevoix.
I have become even closer to Tom in the last two years due in part to his twenty three year commitment to the Nehemiah Homeless Center for men in Petoskey.  This guy even gets me to go with him every month.  I have seen his compassion compiled with his humor connecting and encouraging strength in those men.
This hard working, faithful, family man wants to give back.  He has chosen to run for Circuit Judge, knowing the sacrifices that it means for his family and with their full support.
Heck yeah I’m voting for Tom ‘because Character counts’!
Bob Bobowski
Boyne City

supporting schraw
Congratulations on your decision to run for Circuit Judge in Charlevoix.  I have known Tom for over 20 years, both professionally and personally and I have experienced great counsel from him in both areas.
Tom is fair, unbiased, knowledgeable and strong. I have not been disappointed with his assistance, ever.  I support Tom for Circuit Court Judge.
Wayne Hunter