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 · Other Opinions · Changing Seasons
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Changing Seasons

Anne Morrison Perry - November 17th, 2005
Title IX mandates equitable athletic scheduling, including access to “prime time” which consists of prime days, times of practices and games, and seasons. The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) schedules six girls’ sports in non-traditional or disadvantageous seasons, but sets no such seasons for the boys.
Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Virginia switched their seasons (after being sued) to reflect the NCAA women’s fall volleyball and winter basketball schedule. Alaska, North Dakota, Hawaii and Rhode Island voluntarily changed their seasons. Only Michigan will be out of sync with the rest of the nation in women’s high school volleyball and basketball in the ‘05-’06 school year.
Because of inequitable scheduling, MHSAA currently restricts high school females in ways it has not limited males.
For instance, many Upper Peninsula high school men’s teams play basketball and football in Wisconsin; this provides many opportunities for male teams and less travel. Because Michigan’s female seasons do not mirror Wisconsin’s, our U.P. female volleyball and basketball players do not have equitable competition opportunities and travel farther. Furthermore, Michigan female basketball players have never experienced the true feeling of “March Madness” because in March our women are spectators on the sideline, not competitors on the floor.
Athletes often play in club sports such as the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) or Olympic Development Programs (ODP). Michigan females suffer on a national basis because the interstate competitions and tournaments are geared around the traditional seasons for females. They also miss promotional events such as 3-on-3 tournaments and national shoot-outs for the same reason. Why? Because females are prevented by MHSAA rules from competing elsewhere when they are in their high school seasons.

Less media attention and recognition is given to Michigan female athletes whose state is out-of- alignment. Fewer are named to All-American teams and their schools are left off national rankings. At the state level, MHSAA schedules fall male and spring female golf, yet the annual Michigan All-State Honors Golf banquet is held after the boys’ fall season. Female golfers who were given Ms. Golf or all-state awards last year must wait until this school year to be honored. Not exactly an equitable athletic experience!
It is unfortunate the realignment of seasons will cause some coaches who train both genders in a sport currently held in different seasons to choose between coaching males or females. We will need more coaches and more referees. Easy, no. Possible, yes.
Alas, the argument that girls’ basketball won’t have time to practice. Please do the math.Michigan schools already have freshmen, junior varsity, and varsity women’s volleyball and men’s basketball practicing concurrently in gyms in the winter season. If schools do not have time slots in which to schedule girls’ basketball it is indicative that these schools have been scrimping on providing opportunity for females in their volleyball programs--a clear violation of Title IX.
Volleyball and boys’ basketball coaches have been fine-tuning practice schedules since 1972; I am confident boys’ and girls’ basketball coaches can do the same in the future. Besides, the current men’s basketball season is about three weeks longer, so the women will have additional opportunity in a lengthened season.
Women’s basketball must not take a backseat to men’s basketball. Varsity women and men’s basketball teams have been competing on Friday nights for 50 years in Iowa. It’s a great local attraction. Scheduling female competition on Friday evening also puts a stop to females competing on two school nights and maintaining the same grade point averages as their male counterparts in football and basketball who receive the spotlight at Friday night competitions (and no school the next day!).
NCAA National Letter of Intent dates for women’s soccer and volleyball occur prior to Michigan women even starting their senior seasons. Few college coaches hold scholarships for Michigan female volleyball or soccer players when athletes from other states have completed their senior season by November.
Psychology plays a role in providing equity in scheduling seasons. The Michigan Department of Education’s study “The Influence of Gender-Role Socialization on Student Perception” revealed students of both genders believe males and the positions they hold in society are more important than females and their role in society. Additionally, both genders believe a woman’s role in society is to look attractive and appeal to men. The most widely given response of high school students to validate these beliefs was the prominence given to male high school athletes and their sports.
Unequal shares of athletic “prime time” during the school year reinforces the belief women are worth less in society; that their participation and achievements are less significant. Both genders transfer this belief system into adulthood resulting in diminished expectations for females in their professional and personal life.
The realignment of Michigan women’s high school athletic seasons has been ordered by federal judge Richard Enslen after he determined the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) discriminates against athletes by scheduling female athletic seasons and tournaments during less advantageous times of the school year. This past spring the United States Supreme Court heard the case and remanded it back to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for review of the original appeal.
It is unfortunate a federal court order must provide equity in athletic seasons for females and males in Michigan. The legal decision awards to females what has been given to males for a long time. No more, no less. Not really too much to ask, is it?
The federal court opinion can be found at www.ca6.uscourts.gov.

About the author...
Anne Perry retired from teaching in Traverse City Area Public Schools last spring, but continues to work for TCAPS as the gender equity coordinator.
Her background in civil rights included being fired from a girls’ volleyball coaching position in 1984 for allowing five boys to play on the girls’ 7th and 8th grade volleyball teams at TC West Junior High. “There were no “cuts” in volleyball at that time therefore all girls made the team; if they followed training rules they received equal playing time,” she recalls. “The teams and the parents supported the presence of the boys. Concurrently a boy was denied high right to play at the elementary level.”
Tim Keenan, a parent of the elementary student, and Perry filed a state civil rights case based on Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Act and a federal civil rights case based on Title IX on behalf of the boys’ right to participate and Perry’s right to allow them to do so. “We won based on Michigan law. The district spent $247,000 pursuing this case. I was reinstated in my coaching position.”
Because of these cases boys and girls play on a coed basis at the elementary level; the boys’ junior high team was discontinued temporarily because a lack of interest and competition a few years ago.

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