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 · Other Opinions · What I‘ll miss
. . . .

What I‘ll miss

Brooke Whitten - August 8th, 2011
What I‘ll Miss ...going back to school
By Brooke Whitten
As August arrives, I’m forced to pack my belongings into boxes and
suitcases for a third time. I’m getting ready to start my junior year at
Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. I’m only four semesters
away from graduating with a major in photojournalism and minor in outdoor
and environmental education.
As some college students might agree, shoving possessions into boxes gets
a little bit easier each time. It’s a routine we are forced to become
accustomed to. What I am never quite prepared for however, is saying “see
you later” to the place that I was fortunate enough to have been born and
raised in, Northern Michigan.
There is no place I would rather be, especially in the summertime. What
is difficult to come to terms with is the fact that I really did not
appreciate this place until I left. Mount Pleasant is about as flat as you
can get, and pretty dry when it comes to the water situation.
What I am going to miss about Northern Michigan spreads from Empire to
Lake Leelanau; from the little shops in Glen Arbor, to the Grocer’s
Daughter chocolates near Crystal Lake, Cedar’s Blue Moon Ice Cream Shop
and not to mention Pleva’s hotdogs. Those are the only dogs I’ll eat,
besides an occasional brat, but only if it’s cooked with a stick over a
campfire. North Bar Lake and Leland will be on my mind, along with
Fishtown and Suttons Bay.
Recreation in Northern Michigan brings my feet back to the ground,
clearing my head of any negative connotation or emotion. A reassuring hike
reminds me that there are still good things in this world and that there
is still so much world to be seen and walked on. It makes me feel small,
and my problems even smaller.
Stormer Road in Empire leads past a farmhouse with a giant red barn.
Across from the barn there is a trail that escorts you into the woods. As
you hike, you are overcome with the sweet smell of leeks and fresh air.
From the forest you’ll see an old barn and what looks like a domed cellar
that was built into the side of a grass-covered mound. Past the cellar,
which is a wonderful spot for sunbathing, resting and chats with fellow
hikers, you enter a field surrounded by tree-covered hills. There is a
narrow pathway overcome by grass, weeds and little critters such as
grasshoppers and bumblebees.
While making your way through the field, there is a slender sand path that
makes for an awesome workout. You climb straight up and around a few turns
through tall trees and roots in the trail. At the top of the climb you
realize the trudge was all worth the shortness of breath and sweat.
The view is Lake Michigan. So big and blue, it’s like it has been sitting
there waiting for you to arrive. We don’t have bluffs, much less hills,
where I am going.
I’ll miss the pleasure of sitting on top of a hill with a few friends,
absorbing the sunset over Lake Michigan. What’s stunning about Northern
Michigan is the array of places to sit and watch a sunset. So many choices
and different grounds to explore, I always wonder why I even left this
One could say Northern Michigan’s terrain has shaped me into who I am.
It’s never easy saying goodbye, however reassuring that this is my home,
our home. I’ll be back.

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