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 · Region Watch · Group accuses CMU of...
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Group accuses CMU of keeping a lid on survey of controversial wind project/Groundbreaking for Sleeping Bear bike path

- August 8th, 2011
Group accuses CMU of keeping a lid on survey of controversial wind project
By Patrick Sullivan
A citizens group opposed to a wind farm in Benzie and Manistee counties
says Central Michigan University (CMU) is keeping documents related to the
project from public view.
An attorney for Arcadia Wind Study Group filed a lawsuit last week that
seeks to force CMU to release hundreds of pages of documents.
CMU and Duke Energy entered into an agreement on March 1 to undertake a
study called “Township Views of Alternative Energy and Wind Farms.”
Duke agreed to pay CMU $21,581 for the work.
Now, Arcadia says, CMU will not release the results of the study.
A call for comment to the CMU general counsel’s office was referred to the
school’s communication’s office, which did not return a message seeking

The Arcadia group filed a request under the Michigan Freedom of
Information Act on May 5 for records related to that study and a report
university researchers prepared for Duke, according to the lawsuit.
Three weeks later, CMU informed Arcadia that its request would only
partially be granted, citing exemptions in the
FOIA law.
The university refused to turn over survey results, survey data, and the
final report on the basis that those items were the property of Duke
When the university was still slow to turn over documents it did deem
public, Arcadia filed a lawsuit in the 19th Circuit Court in Manistee

For the study, CMU agreed to conduct telephone and mail surveys of
residents of Arcadia, Blaine, Joyfield and Pleasanton townships.
Jesse Williams, attorney for Arcadia, said he doesn’t know why the
university is reluctant to turn over documents.
“I don’t know, I have not spoken to their counsel,” Williams said. “I
would like at least an opportunity to have someone explain that to me.”
The lawsuit seeks an order to force CMU to turn over all of the requested
documents, damages of $500, and attorney fees for Arcadia. The maximum
damage amount allowed under FOIA is $500.
“We really hoped we could have avoided going through the courts,” Doug
Carter, president of the Arcadia Wind Study Group, said in a statement.
Duke Energy is not a party in the suit and the suit does not allege any
wrongdoing against Duke.
“This was a privately commissioned survey, commissioned for the sole
purpose of helping Duke Energy refine the project’s footprint,” said Duke
spokesman Greg Efthimiou.
The wind proposal has divided some residents of the rural townships.
Some residents object to the project, saying the turbines would be placed
too close to homes and they could harm property values.
Proponents of the project say it’s a way of producing clean energy while
bringing millions of dollars into the region’s economy.

Groundbreaking for Sleeping Bear bike path
The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail in the national park will have its
groundbreaking ceremony at the Dune Climb on Friday, August 12 at 11 a.m.
When completed, the 27-mile trail will run from the southern edge of
Leelanau County through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore north
to Good
Harbor Bay.
A news release from TART Trails states that the groundbreaking will
celebrate the upcoming construction of nearly five miles of trail between
Glen Arbor and the Dune Climb. Construction is scheduled to begin this
fall and be completed next year.
The trail is a project of the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route Committee
(LSHR) in partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation,
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes,
and TART Trails.
Funding for the trail comes from federal and state grants, foundations,
and individual donations.
“After five years, this amazing Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route project is
taking physical shape. By this time next year, we will be able to safely
bike, walk, or wheel from the Dune Climb to Glen Arbor with the
opportunity to stop at other park sites in between, ” said Patty
O’Donnell, Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail project manager - Northwest
Michigan Council of Governments
The trail was included in the National Lakeshore’s most recent management
plan and garnered strong public support during the planning process.
According to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Superintendent Dusty
Shultz the “The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is the single most exciting
project to come out of our recently completed General Management Plan.
The trail will provide a wonderful way to explore and learn about the
park, as well as become a meaningful alternative for visitors to travel
between park sites and local businesses – without having to use their
cars!” -- Express staff reports
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