Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Elmore Leonard kicks off season...
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Elmore Leonard kicks off season for National Writers Series

Robert Downes - June 27th, 2011
Elmore Leonard kicks off season for National Writers Series
By Robert Downes
One can only wonder what Elmore Leonard’s laconic heroes and tough-talkin’
villains would have to say about an upcoming ‘Pure Michigan Picnic’ by
West Grand Traverse Bay to kick off the National Cherry Festival this
That might well be a question for the author himself, who will be the
guest of honor at “An Evening with Elmore Leonard and the National Cherry
Festival” this Saturday, July 2 from 6-9 p.m.
The event also kicks off the summer/fall season of the National Writers
Series (NWS) which has partnered with the National Cherry Festival. In
addition to a presentation by the 84-year-old crime novelist from
Birmingham, MI, the event at the former Clinch Park Zoo will include a
dinner prepared by the Boathouse Restaurant and Bowers Harbor Vineyards.
Plus, everyone who attends will receive a complimentary book authored by

Author Doug Stanton (“Horse Soldiers”, “In Harm’s Way”), who heads up the
NWS, will be interviewing Leonard onstage for his second time around.
“Elmore was our first guest in June 2009 and he’s a real friend of the
National Writers Series,” Stanton says. “Since we created this new event
at the Cherry Festival this year, he seemed like the ideal guest, both for
avid readers and for visitors who want to experience a one-of-a-kind
With more than 100,000 people in town for the National Cherry Festival,
Stanton says there’s sure to be strong interest in a cultural event on par
with Leonard’s appearance. “They all read, and in addition to the
shopping, the beaches and the visits to our wineries, a lot of people want
something more to do than just going to the carnival.”
With dozens of westerns, crime novels and films to his credit, Leonard is
on a roll these days. A film about bomb-making ’60s radicals based on his
book, “Freaky Deaky”, began shooting in Detroit this week, and
“Justified”, the TV series based on three of his books is a big hit on the
FX channel.
“‘Justified’ is hugely popular -- it’s based on his character U.S.
Marshall Raylan Givens and just won a Peabody Award,” Stanton says.
“Elmore writes terrific novels that are turned into great movies.”
As for the rest of the season, Stanton and the NWS are bringing in some of
the brightest literary lights on the book scene today, with many
publishers and authors eager to participate in a new event-based way of
selling books.
How are the authors selected?
“So far, it’s basically people I’ve met since I’ve been writing full-time
since 1990,” Stanton says. “It’s people I’ve always admired or have met on
the writing trail.”
He adds that this fall, the NWS is planning a multi-day event which will
focus on three themes: women & well-being, young adult literature, and
crime & thrillers. The event will also delve into narrative non-fiction,
inviting some of the best reporters in the country to attend, possibly
including Mark Bowden (“Black Hawk Down”), Hampton Sides (“Ghost Soldiers,
Hellhound on His Trail), and Gay Talese (“The Silent Season,” “Thy
Neighbor’s Wife”).

Tickets for the Elmore Leonard event ($39.95 and $49.95) can be purchased
online at www.cherryfestival.org/events.

Who’s Coming:
In addition to Elmore Leonard, this season’s lineup
for the National Writers Series includes:

July 21 -- Daniel Silva.
“A world-class practitioner of spy fiction” (Washington Post), Silva has
written over 10 best-selling espionage novels.

September 8 – Gretchen Witt. After her son was diagnosed with pediatric
cancer, Witt started a bake sale to raise money. She will discuss “The
Bake Sale Cookbooks” and how she created a national movement.

September 15 – Tom Perrota.
The author of “Election,” “Little Children” and the “Abstinence Teacher,”
Perrota has earned critical acclaim for his biting, empathetic novels
about American life.

October 20 – Jeffrey Eugenides gained national attention for “The Virgin
Suicides” and with “Middlesex” in 2002. He will present his new book,
“The Marriage Plot.”

October 24 – David Sedaris.
Author of collections of personal essays, including “Naked,” “Me Talk
Pretty One Day,” “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim,” and “When You
Are Engulfed in Flames.” His newest book, “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A
Modest Bestiary” was published in September 2010 and immediately hit the
New York Times Bestseller List.

November 10 – Chuck Klosterman, a long-time rock and sports reporter for
magazines including Spin, GQ, New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and the
Washington Post, has gained national attention for “Fargo Rock City” and
“Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.”

Tickets for the Summer/Fall National Writers Season are on sale now at the
City Opera House box office or by phone at 231-941-8082.

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