Investigate library issues
The Traverse Area District Library board should not make a hasty decision at their May 17 meeting concerning services for the visually handicapped patron. That artificial deadline cuts off time to examine unresolved issues. Examining budgetary questions, exploring partnerships with local business and service organizations and contacting the other 15 counties for their fair share of financial support deserve investigation.
The Woodmere library design is ideal, with handicapped services right next to the front door. The logic of closing that "store-front" location escapes me. Impaired patrons eloquently expressed this fear at the April 30 meeting.
The proposed change from a Regional Library to an Advisory and Outreach Center fits our digital age. It deserves support. Delivering personal assistance by a familiar librarian at a familiar location also deserves to be continued. We can do both.
Two library board members were present at the April 30 meeting besides board president Jerry Beasley.
Ellie K. Long
Please act like adults
After reading the April 26 article detailing the evaluation of Mary Gillis by Grand Traverse County Road Commission members, I've determined they need a timeout.
I have lived in this county for more than 20 years and have witnessed a lot of embarrassing behavior by elected officials. This is in the top five. To give all ones or all fours in any evaluation is ridiculous under any circumstance. Those playing that game should be ashamed of themselves and, furthermore, have no place in public office. Additionally, they have to be anonymous?
Where else does that happen? This is beyond the pale. Please act like adults.
Nation at a disadvantage
Kudos to Traverse City Area Public Schools for introducing a foreign language at an early age. Young children learn a language much quicker than they can when they are older. The United States is at a disadvantage globally because too few Americans can speak or understand foreign languages.
Give constituents priority
Regarding "Debate lights up over smoking ban" in the April 29 Record-Eagle: As he seeks to "burn holes" in the smoke-free workplace law, Sen. Howard Walker, R-Traverse City, is quoted as saying "Philosophically I'm opposed to the smoking ban & I think these decisions should be left to the property owners."
Does Sen. Walker believe that property owners should have the right to expose their employees to arsenic and hydrogen cyanide? Should they have the "freedom" to allow benzene, formaldehyde and radioactive polonium-210 to waft through the air of their establishments and into the lungs of their patrons?
These and 5,000 other chemicals are found in every puff of cigarette smoke. Second-hand smoke causes far more deaths than any other environmental exposure. As a consequence, Michigan's highly popular smoke-free workplace law likely constitutes the single most important public health measure adopted by the state Legislature in decades.
Smoke-free workplaces are the norm nationwide — 30 states currently require them — and they represent the most basic of public health protections. I hope that Sen. Walker will amend his philosophy to give priority to the health of his constituents.