Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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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