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 · Lets Get Moving
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Lets Get Moving

- May 4th, 2006
 Let‘s Get Moving
Robert Sweetgall has walked across America seven times. On Tuesday, May 2, he’ll drive to Traverse City to help kick off what has become the king of community fitness events – the annual Let’s Get Moving Northern Michigan-Grand Traverse program.
Sweetgall – author of 17 books on walking, wellness, and active living – will pump up participants with a humorous account of his transformation from an overweight Brooklyn boy dubbed  “Butterball” to a healthy, fit adult who walks 30 to 40 miles each week.
Motivated by the death of his father from a heart attack, Sweetgall gave up cheesecake and his $50,000 a year DuPont chemical engineering job to take his health message on the road – literally, by walking across America. He is the only person to walk through all 50 states in 365 days. He also holds a Guinness World Record for his 10,608-mile trek along the U.S. perimeter in 1982-83.   
Sweetgall will be the featured speaker at the kick-off event for Let’s Get Moving, beginning at 5 p.m., May 2 at the Hagerty Center on the Great Lakes Campus of Northwestern Michigan College. At 5:30 p.m., Sweetgall will lead a  one-mile walk for those who want to log their first mile in the fitness program.  
Let’s Get Moving participants record the number of miles they walk during a 100-day period. Those not interested in walking can accumulate points for other activities, including swimming, dancing, gardening, golf and  more. Credit can also be earned by participants who eat healthy foods or quit smoking. 
Let’s Get Moving is designed to reduce the incidence of sedentary related diseases in the area under the sponsorship of Munson Medical Center and Priority Health.
Last year, 1,716 participants logged 274,422 miles – an average of 159 miles per person. Winner of the grand prize, a new road bike, was 70-year-old Jim Hintz of TC, who logged almost 4,000 miles on his bike.
At registration, participants will receive a training booklet to log miles walked. They can also log miles online. Weekly random drawings for prizes from area businesses will be held for those who turn in their mileage. 
For info on Let’s Get Moving call
(231) 935-2909, or visit www.lgmnm.org .

Sturgeon Tour
 Ever see a sturgeon out in the wild?  Now‘s your chance with a guided tour offered by the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council. 
  Each spring, the famed lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) head up select rivers to spawn along the rocky riverbanks, oblivious to nearby human activity, making these rare fish susceptible to illegal harvest.  The lake sturgeon is a rare, threatened species in Michigan. That’s why a group of conservation officers, volunteer off-duty national guards, and other volunteers concentrate in these areas 24-hours a day during spawning season to safeguard these fish from poaching.   
On Friday, May 12, from 1-3 p.m., Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and Sturgeon for Tomorrow will host a Sturgeon Viewing Guided Tour.   
Experts will be on hand to talk about lake sturgeon, poaching enforcement, netting and tagging, recent Black Lake Watershed research, and the Watershed Council’s restoration work to improve sturgeon habitat.   
“The Black River Watershed is special because it contains the largest self-sustaining population of lake sturgeon in Michigan.  We will walk along the banks of the Upper Black River and not only learn about threats to the lake sturgeon, but also how we can all play a role to keep this fish in our lakes,” said Valerie Olinik-Damstra, Watershed coordinator.
Participants can pre-register by calling (231)347-1181, ext. 100. Also, check out

Super license urged
State Senators Jason Allen and Jud Gilbert have sent resolutions to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security urging the creation of new “super drivers licenses“ for those who make frequent trips over the Canadian border.
“Residents in border towns go back and forth for work and recreation,” said Allen, R-TC, in a release. “We don’t need a burden to commerce, yet we understand the need for greater security measures. There must be cooperation between state and federal government. The best way to begin is with a pilot program to use a ‘super driver’s license‘ that meets the requirements and is easy for residents of the area to use.”
The U.S. Congress passed legislation last year mandating that by 2008 state driver’s licenses will no longer be used for any federal purpose -- such as crossing the border or boarding an airplane -- unless the license meets federal requirements.
In 2008 the federal government will require a digital image of an individual’s face, proof of legal status, mandatory information and card security features on I.D.s.
More than 300,000 business people, truck drivers, tourists and regular commuters travel across the Canadian-U.S. border each day.

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