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 · Cardboard classic
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Cardboard classic

Express Staff - March 17th, 2005
A Northern Michigan tradition goes on the slide this Saturday, March 19, when Shanty Creek hosts its 18th annual Cardboard Classic in conjunction with 106 KHQ Radio.
Utilizing only cardboard, glue, tape and paint for their sleds, contestants will race the slopes at Schuss Mountain.
The weekend will also feature nine hours of nonstop music at Ivan‘s Restaurant at Schuss Village both Friday and Saturday.
Prizes for the Cardboard Classic will be awarded in Adult and Junior divisions for single sleds or team entries. Judging for the design awards will begin at 11:30 a.m. when racers line up at the foot of the course. The race begins at noon on the lower portion of The Face. Registration for the event is free and takes place from 9am -11am in Ivan‘s Restaurant at Schuss Village. Racers must wear helmets.


Death to all Spyware: Legislation making it a crime to install software that tracks Internet users’ activity without their consent was overwhelmingly passed by the State Senate last week.
If signed into law, Senate Bills 53, 54 and 151, sponsored by State Sen. Cameron Brown, would protect consumers from unwelcome spyware installation, which can monitor online activity without the user’s knowledge or consent.
“Personal privacy rights have been violated on the Internet, and this anti-spyware legislation will help put a stop to that,” Brown said. “People should be able to log onto the Internet and not have their privacy violated.” Brown’s legislation applies to both home and business computers.
Spyware can diminish the performance and stability of computer systems, and may even cause computers to crash. So far two states, California and Utah, have passed laws restricting spyware installation. Seventeen other states have legislation pending.
A survey conducted by Internet service provider America Online found that 80 percent of home computers are infected with some form of spyware.
If signed into law, SB 54 would not only prohibit individuals from installing or attempting to install spyware into another person’s computer, computer system or network, it would also prohibit individuals from manufacturing, selling or possessing spyware with the intent to violate the act.
Violators could face fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to five years.
Federal lawmakers are currently advancing similar legislation in the United States Congress.

The Envelope, Please: Wondering which local rockers won a spot on the “Northern Michigan Rocks Volume 5” compilation CD produced by Double Rock KLT? You’ll be hearing from SMYT (Interlochen), Dose (Mancelona), Two Faced Heroes (Charlevoix), The Push (Petoskey), Miram Pico (Interlochen), Corduroy Bones (Presque Isle), Bad Side (Sault Ste. Marie), Still At Large (Williamsburg), Jeff Bihlman (Frankfort), and Indulge, Mike Moran, Blufrog, Blisstripp, Amanda Waggener, Illusion and Jimbo Fuller (TC). Watch for announcements on the CD’s release, along with plans for the showcase concert.

Al Fresco: Michigan diners and downtown restaurateurs alike could be enjoying the outdoors a bit more this summer, if new legislation in Lansing manages to do away with restrictions to sidewalk dining.
Recently, the State Senate unanimously passed legislation which would allow outdoor dining along a “state trunkline right-of-way.“
Translation: Senate Bill 234 will allow the Michigan Department of Transportation to issue permits to business owners to set up outdoor dining areas as long as they did not impede safety or traffic and comply with the other conditions of the permit.
The bill goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. Approval doesn‘t mean a slam-dunk for outdoor dining, however: Additional hurdles for restaurateurs come in the form of restrictive ordinances in various communities.

Lifesaver show: An April 8 concert is in the works to benefit Project Lifesaver, a new program which will provide tracking devices to find persons who, due to Alzheimer’s or related disorders such as Down‘s Syndrome or autism, may easily lose their way or wander.
The tracking system requires clients to wear a specially designed wristband at all times. This bracelet allows Sheriff’s Department personnel, using advanced locating technology, to find the wandering person and bring them back to safety.
The benefit will be held at the St. Francis High School Auditorium in TC, starting at 7 p.m. Performers will include: Encore Winds Symphony under the direction of Martin VanMannan, The Northwest Michigan Ballet, and vocalist Scott Carter. Refreshments and an auction of handcrafted goods will follow the performances. Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at Horizon, Borders, or Rainbow Bookstores, Kurtz Music, or State of the Art Framing. All proceeds will go toward purchasing equipment and maintaining services.
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