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 · Calling all volunteers for...
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Calling all volunteers for the Governer‘s Conference

Anne Stanton - March 1st, 2007
Calling All Volunteers for
the Governors Conference
If you’re a political junkie—Republican or Democrat—you might want to consider volunteering at the National Governors Association (NGA) Annual Meeting in Traverse City on July 20-23 at the Grand Traverse Resort.
Volunteers will meet and greet state governors, along with cabinet officials, business leaders, and national and local media representatives.
Conference organizers need about 200 volunteers in total. There are two requirements: volunteers must pass a criminal background check conducted by the Michigan State Police and attend a July 19 mandatory volunteer orientation to learn about their specific duties.
Drivers have already been chosen, but support is still needed for airport welcome, registration, hospitality events, greeters, and command center support.
“If they state a preference and their skills on the application form, that’s really helpful for us to put them in the right slot,” said Rhonda Estes, volunteer coordinator.
Preference will be given to volunteers willing to commit to all three days of the event. Every effort will be made to provide volunteers with their area of choice, but they may be reassigned to where they’re most needed during the meeting.
All volunteers will receive a polo shirt and are invited to attend a Volunteer Appreciation Event following the Annual Meeting (date to be determined).
If you’re interested, do apply immediately. For forms, go to the Governors Conference Website at www.visittraversecity.com/07amvol or pick them up at the Traverse City Conference and Visitors Bureau on Grandview Parkway and Union St., across from the open space. Feel free to call Rhonda Estes, volunteer co-chair, with questions at 231-929-0827.
New Winds Are Blowing
Rep. Howard Walker is taking another shot at encouraging windmill energy, in Michigan.
Walker is passionate about windmills, in part, because Michigan has a long history of producing traditional energy and has the “brainpower, knowledge and infrastructure” to supply alternative energy that doesn’t drain natural resources.
His original bill to create uniform state standards for their operation was shot down last year, in part, because it gave local governments no control over where the windmills would go, noise, distance from the road, etc.
Walker believes that uniform state standards are important to companies who don’t have the time or money to deal with a mish-mash of local ordinances. But townships believe that windmills should be zoned—especially because some people believe they are unsightly and ruin the picturesque views of the countryside.
So Walker is drafting a compromise bill that will add some local control. Townships, for example, could ban windmills in 10% of their municipality—viewsheds or sensitive areas, for example.
“I’m hoping to have more dialogue—10 percent is a starting point, and the drafted set of guidelines is a starting point. I want to have discussions to get to a point where landowners and entrepreneurs who are interested in generating energy from the wind have enough certainty to make an investment. But we also need to provide enough protection for the local communities. I think we can get our heads together and work out a compromise.
The draft bill would allow windmills under a conditional or special use permit. In the last bill, they would have been allowed as a use of right.
“This bill puts local municipalities in the loop of the approval process, so no one is surprised. And two, they would make sure the enterprise or land owner complies with all the guidelines outlined in the state statute,” Walker said.
Walker also believes there is a manufacturing opportunity in Michigan for windmills. He confirmed with General Electric that there’s a two-year backlog for the purchase of windmills.
“To me this is a no-brainer. Let’s manufacture windmills in Michigan. We have laid-off workers, empty factories and there’s a demand. One of the pinch points in production is supplying gear boxes. Guess what? Michigan has an 80-year history of building gear boxes.”

TC Film Fest Seeks Interns
The Traverse City Film Festival recently announced that it is offering unpaid internships for the third annual film festival, July 31-August 5, 2007.
The internships would run May through mid-August for students and young professionals who want hands on experience in festival management. Interns will help in one or more areas, including office administration, concessions and merchandise, development, box office, hospitality and guest services, bookkeeping and finance, scheduling and logistics, venue set up, theater operations, publicity, programming and publications.
Positions offer flexible hours, full or part time. Details are available on the festival web site at
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