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 · Sign of the Times
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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.”

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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