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..

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Public Safety

Patrick Sullivan - September 5th, 2011
A 50-year-old man who told police he was stabbed by robbers actually stabbed himself to cover up gambling losses.
The man first reported that he’d been stabbed and his wallet robbed as he walked on Eighth Street in TC at around 2:15 a.m. Sept. 2.
Police later learned the man stabbed himself in the abdomen because he didn’t want to tell his family he’d just lost over $1,000 at a casino, TC Police Capt. Brian Heffner said.

A semi and a passenger collided on US 131, killing an elderly woman.
Emmet County Sheriff’s deputies investigated the accident, which happened Sept. 1 at around 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Intertown Road in Bear Creek Township.
Agnes Failey, 86, of Indianapolis and Harbor Springs, was pronounced dead at the scene, Sheriff Pete Wallin said.

Police are looking for a man who demanded money and cigarettes from a gas station clerk.
The Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Department is investigating the Sept.1 robbery at the Shell gas station at Hammond and Three Mile roads, Sheriff Thomas Bensley said.
A man entered the station at around 5:05 a.m. and told the clerk, “Give me all your cash and Newports.”
The suspect escaped with money and 23 packs of cigarettes. He never showed or implied he had a weapon, Bensley said.
Police are looking for a black man in his 30s, about five feet nine inches tall and weighing around 150 pounds. He wore sunglasses, a baseball cap, gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. Anyone with information should call police at (231) 995-5000.

A 69-year-old Romulus woman was injured in an accidental shooting.
Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the incident, which happened Sept. 2 at around 3:30 a.m.
Police and an ambulance were called to the EZ Mart in Interlochen where they learned the shooting happened at the Dubonnet Campground, where the woman was camping with her 61-year-old brother.

A motorcyclist was injured and a dog killed when the dog ran into the biker’s path.
Charlevoix County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Aug. 31 crash at around 6:45 p.m. in Marion Township, according to a press release.
Steven Curtis, 51, of Charlevoix, was headed west when a black lab ran across the road. Curtis struck and killed the dog and laid his motorcycle down, causing him to fall and slide about 50 feet.

Two men face robbery charges after a man said they held and punched him while an unidentified man took his watch, cellphone and cash.
TC Police officers on patrol on the 100 block of South Union Street were approached by a bleeding man Aug. 27 at 1:45 a.m.
The 28-year-old TC man told police he’d been walking near the Union Street Dam when he was jumped and beaten. He said cash and other items were stolen from him during the assault, Capt. Steve Morgan said.
The officers checked the area and found two suspects who then fled. One of them was arrested and items belonging to the victim were recovered.
Gregory Sawmick, 30, from Suttons Bay, was jailed on charges of strong-armed robbery. Police later arrested Dakota George Stevens, 30, of Suttons Bay, who faces the same charge. The victim said a third man took his stuff while he was beaten, but that man has not been identified.

A woman accused of attempting to steal over $1,000 worth of video games from Sears has five previous convictions for shoplifting.
Haley Elisha Robertson, 34, of Traverse City, faces a charge of felony retail fraud.
An assistant manager at the Garfield Township Sears store told police he saw Robertson leave Aug. 23 with items she had not paid for worth $1,038, according to the charges. The items were video games and video game accessories, Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Department Lt. Chris Clark said.
Robertson was arraigned on the charge on Aug. 26 and ordered not to enter any retail establishments if she is released on bond.
According to court records, Robertson has convictions for retail fraud on five previous occasions, dating back to 1996.

Know someone who inexplicably acquired three flat-screen TVs and a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix? Police would like to hear from you.
Tuscarora Township Police are investigating a burglary at the Indian River VFW Post Aug. 30 where theives made off with a flat-screen TV, a printer, a laptop and money. Anyone who has any information about the break-in should call the township police at (231) 238-9481.
In Cheboygan, thieves struck the Moose Lodge on Huron Street the same night. Plunderers opened cabinets and a safe and made off with cash, a flat-screen computer monitor, and a flat-screen TV, according to the Cheboygan Department of Public Safety.
A day earlier, a break-in was reported at the Cheboygan Life Support Systems garage. Two employees were asleep in the building when the theft occurred and someone stole a flat-screen TV, an employee’s wallet, and an employee’s car, a 2007 black Pontiac Grand Prix, police said.
Anyone with information about the break-ins in the city of Cheboygan is asked to call police at (231) 627-4321.

A homeless man is in jail accused of assaulting a woman and then threatening to kill her.
Grand Traverse Sheriff’s deputies arrested Brian Jeffrey Sandberg Aug. 24. Sandberg, who is unemployed, is alternately listed as homeless and having an address in Romulus in court records.
Sandberg, 33, is accused of assaulting the woman at a residencee on W. Silver Lake Road by pushing her to the ground and then punching and kicking her in the head, face and torso. He also is reported to have told a deputy, upon arrest, that he would kill the woman once released, according to the charges.
Sandberg was held on a $50,000 cash bond.
Sandberg faces charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and being a three-time habitual offender. His previous convictions include one for assault with intent to murder in 1997. Sandberg was discharged from prison in 2009.

A man who entered someone else’s house faces felony charges after he was arrested in Emmet County’s Littlefield Township.
Emmet County Sheriff’s deputies responded Aug. 28 at approximately 5:40 p.m. after a man was reported to have entered a residence on Haines Road and caused an altercation, Sheriff Peter Wallin said in a press release.
Michael Van Allsburg, 22, of Petoskey, faces charges of home invasion, a 20-year felony, and aggravated stalking, a 5-year felony.
Van Allsburg remained in jail in lieu of a $10,000 cash bond, Wallin said.

A man died after he capsized in a rowboat while fishing.
Two men in a row boat on Shell Lake in Leelanau County wound up in the water after one of them stood up in the boat at around 9:20 p.m. Aug. 31.
Charles Herweh, 71, and George Houdek, 77, were able to right the boat and they attempted to swim to shore while clinging its side, police said.

Houdek became unresponsive during the swim and was pulled to shore by Herweh, who got to a nearby residence and called for help. Houdek was taken to Munson Medical Center but he died.
Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Oltersdorf said it appeared Houdek died of a medical issue and did not drown, but a final determination will be made by the county medical examiner.

A motorcyclist was injured after a pickup pulled out in front of him.
State police were called to the crash at 6:25 a.m. Aug. 30 on North Mitchell Street in Haring Township near Cadillac.
Anthony Price, 34, of Manton, was listed in serious condition at Munson Medical Center.
A 1986 Chevy pickup driven by Kevin Schaaf, 54, of Lake City, exited the parking lot of Kountry Kitchen into the path of Price’s motorcycle, according to a press release from the Cadillac Post of the Michigan State Police.

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