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 · Letters · Letters 12/12/02
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Letters 12/12/02

Various - December 12th, 2002
Strikers allege unsafe practices at NMH

I am one of the more than 300 nurses on strike at Northern Michigan Hospital. I am also one of the many who did not want a union, when this all began. I went to several of the bargaining meetings and saw first-hand how the hospital was stalling and refusing to bargain in good faith. It was a very difficult decision to go out on strike.
Since we have been out, the hospital has continued to lie to the public about what is really going on. Unfortunately, the local paper and news stations have reported with bias, instead of with the facts.
I am the educator for the operating room, as well as team leader for the ENT/Oral surgery specialties. Our Surgical Technicians (ST) are still working. Unfortunately, they are having to deal with all of the unsafe work environments that continue every day. The hospital‘s policies, JCAHO regulations, and national nursing standards are being ignored in the operating room. Our central supply department has seen a lot of violations with sharps and knives coming down to them in instrument trays. Usually, they would take photos of this and write up occurrence reports. The polaroid camera has been removed and occurrence reports are being shredded. They are being told it is not an issue right now.
Since when did employee safety and national standards and regulations go by the way side? Our department policy is that no person in the operating room can wear jewelry, nail polish, or fake nails, due to the increased risk of infection for patients. These strike breakers are doing all three. Some are not wearing safety glasses while in the field operating. That alone would be a five to ten thousand dollar fine for the hospital if JCAHO/OSHA were to make a surprise visit.
The hospital refuses to set up a meeting to even start negotiating. We have sent them many letters, as has Rep. Bart Stupak, to urge them back to the table. We are waiting for them to set up a meeting. Nothing will be resolved until they finally agree to sit down and talk. They say this is about money. They have never come to the bargaining table and discussed wages, never. They have not discussed the nurse/patient ratio, which was our number one issue. Your paper has always been neutral and not afraid to print the truth. I hope you will continue that tradition in printing this letter and sending a reporter to the picket line to discuss our issues, where all the other media has failed.

Dawn Whiteside C.R.N.F.A.
• via email

(This letter is supported by signed affadavits from a number of strikers. We‘ll have a story on the strike in next week‘s Express, including a response to these allegations from the hospital‘s administration. -- ed.)

Mines still thriving

Last week, my wife and I had occasion to leave our home in Upper Michigan and travel south of the Bridge. On the return trip, I picked up your paper at a restaurant in Gaylord.
Let me compliment you on a really diverse paper that was a truly enjoyable read. I especially liked your article on Ted Nugent vs. Eminem (Random Thoughts 11/21). Your descriptions of the U.P. were quite accurate with only one exception concerning the “mines.“
Two iron ore mines are all that are left in the U.P. Together they produce about 14 million tons of iron pellets annually that go to blast furnaces at Rouge Steel, Cleveland, and Gary, just to name a few.
These remaining mines are not being shut down as your article suggests. You are absolutely right that foreign competition is certainly posing a challenge to us to remain competitive, but “our demise is greatly exaggerated.“
These mines are world-class operations that function in a modern work environment that includes a lot of sophisticated technology. I wouldn‘t blame anybody above or below the bridge who might think we are still using picks and shovels and hauling the ore with mules and wagons. Outside of the communities closest to the mines, not much is known about how we extract virgin iron ore from the ground and turn it into a pellet to be melted down into steel.
My hat is off to you and the newspaper staff for the great paper you publish. My only regret is not having a paper like yours somewhere in the Central U.P. that would give us an alternative to the Marquette Mining Journal, a paper that just seems to copy articles from the Detroit News.

Ron Lovel • Ishpeming
Local 4950 - Empire
Mine •  United Steelworkers of America

Guess that student:

State school superintendent Tom Watkins and governor-elect Jennifer Granholm may want to consider the fate of the Michigan child described below, had the state then required school attendance to age 18 -- as Watkins and Granholm propose:
“He started school at age eight and returned home in tears after three months.  His teacher had called him “addled.“  His mother took over, reading with him.  A science book was a favorite.  At 12 he persuaded his mother to let him apply for the post of newsboy on the Port Huron-to-Detroit train (which left at 7 a.m. and returned at 9:30 p.m. with a six-hour layover in Detroit for library time).   He sold fruits and produce from Port Huron in Detroit and evening papers on his return trip. At age 15 he bought a printing press and started a train-focused newspaper. His total formal classroom instruction was just three months.  His productivity as an adult: 1,000 patents.*“
*From Notes on  Edison: The Man Who Made The Future by Ronald W. Clark, 1977, pp. 9-15.

Tom Shuford • Public School
Teacher, Retired • Ventura, CA

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