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 · Northwest Airlines braces...
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Northwest Airlines braces for August 20 crash landing

- August 18th, 2005
Hundreds of Northwest Airlines employees are bracing for a possible strike or a lock-out on August 20 in an industry-shaking event that could have an impact on airports in Northern Michigan.
Northwest is a major carrier at both the Pellston Regional Airport and Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City with up to six flights per day flying to hubs in Detroit and Minneapolis.
At Detroit Metro Airport, some 900 Northwest employees are facing the imminent loss of their jobs -- an event which could affect the airline’s 590 flights per day. The Detroit Free Press reports that the shock waves of the labor dispute “could be devastating for the Michigan economy.”
Northwest is demanding major concessions from its unionized employees, having lost $878 million last year and $683 million in the first half of 2005. Its stock has lost 63% of its value since the beginning of the year, and some experts believe that a strike could tip the airline into bankruptcy.
The result is a life-and-death struggle over jobs. The airline wants to cut almost half of its workforce of 4,000 mechanics and all but 30 of its 800 aircraft cleaners. That on top of a 25% pay cut for the remaining mechanics, whose average salary is $70,000, according to the Free Press. The plight of employees is compounded by the fact that they are ineligible for unemployment benefits in Michigan and there are no union plans to provide strike pay.
The mechanics’ union has countered with an offer to cut their own pay by 16%.
August 20 is the last day of a federally-imposed “cooling off” period. Talks are reportedly ongoing between Northwest and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association in Washington, D.C., but according to press reports, both sides are braced for the worst.
In fact, Northwest has been working on a strike contingency plan for the past year and plans to hire 1,000 replacement mechanics, if need be, to carry on flight operations. A wild card in that plan, however, is that other unions which work with Northwest could honor the mechanics’ picket line, sending the airline into a tailspin.

The snakehead threat
When the Asian eating machine known as the snakehead fish was found in Maryland in 2002, environmental authorities poisoned the entire pond.
Now, the fish have resurfaced in Meadow Lake in Queens, New York, and biologists fear they could be spreading.
That would be bad news if they hit Michigan waters because, according to the New York Times, these “top predators” and “nightmarish creatures“ are said to be “able to breathe air and walk on their fins, devouring everything in their path.”
Here‘s an expansion of that description from the Times: “The snakehead, a native of Asia, is a compact stalking machine packed with rows of sharp teeth, a torpedo-like body suited to darting out of hiding holes to chase, and catch, other fish and a voracious appetite that can lead them to devour every other fish in the lake or pond where they live.”
In fact, Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton called for a federal ban on the fish, calling them, “something from a bad horror movie.”

Our GM geniuses
General Motors may be making a mess of itself here in Michigan, but it‘s the toast of China these days with a new $5,000 minivan that gets 43 miles-per-gallon in the city, built by workers who earn $60 per month.
While the company‘s stock has sunk to junk bond status as a result of low sales of its gas-guzzling Chevy Suburbans and Hummers, a GM-led venture in China has sold 170,000 Wuling Sunshine minivans, landing GM in the top spot in that country‘s auto market.
But in an ironic twist worthy of a “News of the Weird” item, the company forced the resignation of executive Philip F. Murtaugh who spent nine years building its success in China. Murtaugh quit after being informed that GM execs from Detroit would be taking over his project, according to an article by Chinese business writer Chang W. Lee.

Mars moment
Whatever you do, don‘t miss the biggest event in 60,000 years on August 27 when Mars comes within 34,649,589 miles of Earth.
Astronomers say it‘s the closest the Red Planet has been to us in 5,000 years due to the tug of Jupiter‘s gravity on Mars‘ elliptical orbit.
Astronomers add that it‘s possible that Mars may be this close the Earth again in 2287, but it‘s also possible that we won‘t see the like of this celestial show for another 60,000 years. One claim has it that Mars will be as big in the sky as the full moon. We‘ll see.
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