Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Region Watch · Sign of the Times
. . . .

Sign of the Times

- April 14th, 2005
A new local group, TC Common Sense, hopes to energize area Democrats and “blue-value” citizens to get involved in local and state-level politics. They‘ve established the first in a series of billboards which point out that Traverse City voted “blue” (as in the “blue states” in the last election, with 4,191 votes for Kerry and 3,936 for Bush. The billboard is located on Cass Street, north of South Airport facing south-bound traffic.
“It’s important that people know there are lots of like-minded folks out their – people who want to stand up and be counted,” said group spokesman Gary Appel.
The mission of TC Common Sense is to encourage blue-value residents to run for office or to help out with a campaign. The billboards will direct people to visit the website tc-commonsense.org, where people will find many ways to get involved, Appel said.
He added that the group is committed to defending constitutional values.
“We’re here because those values are under assault, and we’re not going to let that happen. Not without a fight,” Appel said. “We’ve joined forces to do our part in reclaiming this country from recklessness in government. Where to start? Well, there’s no place like home.”
According to a news release from the group, TC Common Sense is made up of parents, professionals and business owners -- everyone from artists and stay-at-home moms to writers, daycare providers and teachers.
TC Common Sense plans to actively endorse candidates, although not necessarily based on their party affiliation. The organization has a manifesto defining “blue” values:

Last-resort defense: Armed conflict is physically, emotionally, psychologically and economically devastating to those who must endure it and those who commit it. We must not pursue armed conflict unless there is imminent, irrefutable peril to American citizens, and unless all other reasonable options have been exhausted.

The Bill of Rights: Government should not infringe on our Constitutional freedoms except as a last resort, when national security or others’ rights are undeniably imperiled. These include freedom of speech, press, religion and the right to a fair trial, a speedy trial and equal treatment. We oppose cruel punishment and torture, as did our nation’s founders. Government must respect its citizens’ privacy-our homes, bodies, families, bedrooms, medical histories and private information-and government must not mandate who we should marry or what our bodies must carry.

Opportunity: All citizens are entitled to a quality public education. All workers are entitled to a living wage. All children are entitled to have enough to eat.

Tolerance: Our republic was engineered to prevent a tyranny of the majority. This intentionally secular nation, filled with people of faith, cannot impose a particular sect’s moral principles on the masses. Efficiency—In addition to creating and upholding just laws, government exists to build and maintain public infrastructure. These activities should be performed as efficiently as possible given current technologies and resources.

Fiscal responsibility: No heavy borrowing. Don’t default. Don’t duplicate services better provided by private business or non-profits. We must pay for services we commit to for the common good. We must not allow other countries to finance our choices.

Accountability: Don’t pass the buck, including to future generations. Elected officials are proxies of the masses, and their actions must be subject to public scrutiny.

Eliminating payola: Those who contribute to political campaigns should have no preferential treatment when it comes to writing laws, enforcing laws, and receiving government contracts.

Preservation: Government must establish and fairly enforce reasonable limits on personal and corporate activities that harm natural environments and ecosystems needed for our survival and quality of life.

Compassion: No citizen should ever be starving, homeless, in extreme poverty or without adequate medical care, except by their own choosing. Families, nonprofits and communities and churches are best suited to caring for their own. When all else fails, however, government must come to the aid of the destitute.

The group also plans to distribute bumper stickers featuring an image of blue cherries to demonstrate Traverse City‘s progressive values. For more information on the group‘s activities, see www.tc-commonsense.org

A jewel preserved
in Harbor Springs

A 109-acre property well known by cross country skiers in the Harbor Springs region has been permanently protected with a conservation easement through the Little Traverse Conservancy, thanks to Laura and Vern Kors. For years, the Kors have allowed a local ski tour to cross their private property which consists primarily of woods and farm fields. “We know that the skiers appreciate the beauty of the property and will leave it undisturbed,” Vern said.
Originally purchased in the early 1970s, the couple has always wanted to protect their land which they enjoy for hunting, hiking, and farming. When a neighboring tract was discussed for a large development, the Kors decided it was time to take action.
“We are gaining the permanent assurance that this land will never be developed in the future,” Laura said. “We see Conservancy properties around us and are so pleased to know that ours will always be one more jewel on the landscape.”

 
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