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 10/23/03
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Letters 10/23/03

Various - October 23rd, 2003
Believe it

In regards to the article on music file sharing (10/2): I once saw an episode of Star Trek in which captain Picard, standing in his quarters, addressed the ship‘s computer and stated the name of some classical piece. Instantly music was heard. It could be assumed that the captain could have named one of millions of songs and been able to enjoy it immediately. And taking into consideration hyperspace communication systems, that database didn‘t even need to be on the Enterprise.
Star Trek is a fictional story line, which takes place 300 years in the future. Are we to believe that we have to wait 300 years and achieve captain of a starship status to enjoy such luxury? Should we believe that the best the music industry has to offer -- the best we can enjoy in the mean time is tapes that stretch and lose sound quality and CDs, which easily scratch? Both of these mediums hold a very small amount of music compared to what is available and are of a tangible financial value.
Are we to believe that to have a variety of music available we must spend ridiculous amounts of money on an inferior product and decorate an entire wall of our house with plastic? Are we to believe that our neighbor, to have the same or a similar selection of music, must redundantly do the same? Are we to believe that a person of lesser wealth doesn‘t deserve to listen to as great a variety of music as we do? The future is now. The technology is available. The only thing missing -- no, that which is abundant: greed.

J. Scott Petersen • via email

Nursing on the ropes

I implore you to read the article in the September issue of the Reader‘s Digest, “America‘s Biggest Health Care Crisis,“ if you have any questions of why the nurses are on strike at Northern Michigan Hospital. There is a crisis in nursing.
There are a half million licensed nurses today that work outside their profession. I was almost one of them. Six years out of nursing school, I was so disillusioned because I could not care for my patients the way I felt they needed to be cared for due to short staffing. You want to be able to go home at the end of the day and feel that you did the very best for each and every one of them, for their lives are dependent on you. I didn‘t feeel that way.
I have remained a hospital nurse for 31 years and have not witnessed much change. Change needs to occur!
Across the country, caregivers are joining unions at a record pace in order to solve our health care problems. Their top reasons for organizing are not the usual pay and benefits, but staffing, working conditions and bringing quality health care to all Americans. There are more than 41 million Americans with no health insurance in the wealthiest nation on earth.
As quoted in the Denver Post by nurse Linda Luton, “I am convinced that one of the keys to solving our health care crisis is for caregivers to join a union and work with the health care industry to improve quality and access to health care. In order to be truly effective advocates for our patients, we decided to form a union so that we could speak with one voice.“
In the legislative arena, health care employees are turning up the heat on politicians to make health care the top issue in the next round of elections. Members of the Service Employees International Union recently helped spearhead a successful effort to provide $20 billion in federal aid to states for Medicaid, which restored or will maintain critical services to seniors, children, people with mental illness and other residents.
We want to be a part of hundreds of thousands of nurses throughout the country who are demanding better staffing and increased access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Health care reform needs to happen.

Jeannie Stephenson • Alanson

Big Rock‘s shell game

During the past few days people have called me and stopped me, almost in a congratulatory way, thrilled that the Big Rock reactor vessel was now gone from our beautiful shores.
That transport seems to lull people into a wrong sense of all that “bad“ radioactive material is gone now, we are safe, lets go and have a pool party in the old, spent fuel pool.
Although I am not glad to see that transport go on our highways and rails, it‘s a deed underway, after all the “stuff“ has to go somewhere -- NIMBY, but Barnwells.
Point is that the real highly radioactive fuel rods are still out there on Lake Michigan in above ground storage, with enough poison to build a few bombs in containers -- for how long, no one really will know.
Missile tests in Germany done on above ground storage containers that are better built than our U.S. ones, could not withstand the impact of a missile -- nice to know in these times of terrorists fear. So I ask, how and for how long, in what way are those above storage containers monitored, maintained and secured?
From what I read in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission papers, not much is required -- not enough to make me feel more at ease. How much staffing will be there at all times to monitor the above ground storage containers?
Come on Big Rock, we live here; fess up and tell us about your dismal record in Palisades in regards to above ground storage containers; tell us where did all the water from the spent fuel pool go? Diluted in small batches into Lake Michigan, while I was rock-picking next to it at the road side park?
The reactor vessel might be gone, the turbines might go next, then the green ball and all the contaminated parts it contains. But that does not make the ground “lily-white.“
You are still leaving Charlevoix County a legacy of nasty poisons right next to the lake for many years to come with little assurance that those casks are as safe as apple pie.
To have that reactor vessel leave is just a small part of the dangerous material that is still out there and our community seems to be nicely lulled into a false sense of security that all is over now. Not so.

Christa-Maria • Charlevoix
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