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 · Features · My Migration
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My Migration

Krista Hirr - June 1st, 2006
I couldn’t wait to get out of Michigan. I needed to be by the sun and sand or mountains or big city lights or anywhere but where I was. You see, I lived near Flint, and couldn’t wait to get out of Michigan.
After college, I packed up my little gold Sunfire and took off on my first cross-country road trip sans Mom and Dad. Three days later I arrived in paradise, a.k.a. San Diego, California. It was January. It was 70. It was sunny. I was happy.
After a few months something strange began to happen. I found I actually missed the seasonal changes. I missed fresh water. I missed my summers at the cottage. I missed down-to-earth people. I needed to be somewhere less surreal. I needed familiar territory, but not too familiar. And to be close to my family, but not too close. I decided the perfect spot would be Chicago. It’s a four-hour drive from home, still in the Midwest, but new and exciting and young and fun. So for the next three years, I called the Windy City my home.
This past summer, I decided to make a career change and thought maybe it was time to leave Chicago. I had loved it for three years, but was stressed and tired and it was time to slow down. Then, I got a job offer in Traverse City. I had some college friends from here and I had visited often, so I took the job.
I recently went back for a visit in Chicago and I realized that I didn’t miss the busy city quite as much as I thought I would. I began comparing the lifestyles of those residents to those of Northern Michigan, and it made me appreciate what we have here. For those of you who are dying to get out of this town or wish you could spend a few years in a different environment, I have made a list of comparisons and contrasts. Here is what I have found:

Public Safety: One thing I don’t miss is carrying around my pepper spray. In Chicago, I couldn’t walk my dog after dark. Parking on the street was always a gamble, and I once looked up that there were six sex-offenders residing within a block of my apartment. Although I have seen a lot more bar fights since I’ve moved to Northern Michigan, I’d still say it’s a bit safer here. In 2004, there were 448 murders in Chicago and 0 in Traverse City. There were 51 burglaries here, compared to 24,428 in Chicago. Now granted, there are a lot more people in Chicago, but it helps that the number one public enemy in Northern Michigan is the drunken male ego.
Advantage: Northern Michigan

Transportation: I became rather horn-happy while living in Chicago. It’s just a form of survival there. Even if you are not using it to warn others of a potential hazard, it’s a good stress relief and everyone knows that road rage never solves anything. But maybe it’s not that Chicagoans are bad drivers, but that everyone is, in their own right, a bad driver and it just so happens there are a lot more people to irritate on the roads in the big cities. Therefore, traffic sucks.
Then there is the total lack of parking. If you do find a spot, it ends up costing at least $10, and don’t even think about staying overnight. The meter maids are like evil little fairies; you know they are out there haunting you, but no one ever sees them.
However, in Chicago’s defense, they have a very convenient public transportation system, you can hail a cab at any street corner and you rarely have to travel far to get to all the necessities. It’s actually very practical to not own a car, as well as cost-efficient.
Advantage: Draw

Night Life: For the number of choices alone, Chicago has some of the best dining places in the world. There are numerous clubs that stay open until 4 or 5 a.m. The diversity will satisfy anyone’s night life appetite with reggae clubs, comedy shows, any and every kind of dancing and your good ‘ole gin mills.
I went to see a friend who was performing at a place that was an underground club scene. There was poetry, punk rock, hard-core rap groups and break-dancing -- all at the same club. I don’t mind the U&I or Dillenger’s, but nothing beats the big city clubs.
Advantage: Chicago

Day Life: When I think of things to do in Chicago, I think museums, small theatres, sidewalk cafes, Cubs’ games. There’s a lot, but it’s a 45-minute drive to the nearest state park, you can’t go for a run in the city without some sort of comment or horn honking every other block, and bike rides on the boardwalk can be like dodging traffic on I-75. In the summers there are great beaches, but no one would ever dare to go swimming in that side of Lake Michigan. The winters serve as a sort of hibernation period for most, and when it does snow, the city usually goes into a panic mode.
Advantage: Northern Michigan

Shopping: One would think this was a given. All the shops in Chicago, glorious malls in the suburbs and outlet centers with more choices than all of Michigan combined. It’s true that Chicago is the premier shopping capital of the Midwest, but better for an annual trip than your everyday wardrobe. Sometimes a girl just needs a pair of jeans or a simple tank. When the only stores within a few blocks of your apartment are designer brands and a little out of the budget, you end up taking a $15 cab ride to find one item or driving to the suburbs for better deals. Not to mention that last summer the sales tax in Chicago was raised to 9%.
Advantage: Draw

So I have come to the conclusion that Northern Michigan is a superior living experience to that of Chicago. Although I loved the big city, I’ve learned to enjoy the simpler lifestyle (and the five-hour road trip to visit when I get nostalgic). If you are like I was, and dying to get out of Michigan, I urge you to go and explore. Happy travels and maybe we’ll see you back in a few years.

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