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 7/17/03
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Letters 7/17/03

Various - July 17th, 2003
Bike was stolen

You all can laugh at me (like it isn‘t no big deal), but my bike got stolen tonight. It was a metallic orange, black pinstriped cruiser, designed by Von Frank.
I can‘t replace it ( I say that in case anyone has seen it). At first I was just angry, then I remembered that it was Traverse City spring break. Where the shallow, selfish, intoxicated, and underage get to rule the town, ‘cause their parents pay for it. They get drunk, they have sex in chemical bathrooms, they drink and they steal.
My question to the Cherry Festival “Captains“: is this worth it? We all (local residents), know that you, (the local government), fudge the tourist numbers. It‘s really a joke. There is no money coming in, except the quick buck accepted by the self-appointed leaders of the community. This small town turns into “Spring Break,“ and like every other vacation town, Traverse City is more than ready than to bend over for the cash, like a tired old whore.
The only things growing here are condominiums, not cherries. Why not call it the “condominium festival.“ The only cherries pimped out to the tourists are from Washington State. Get honest. The lost and lonely are allowed to run rampant in this town. Throwing their pennies around, scorned by local merchants, actually tolerated at best.
Anyway the bike had been safe. Since I bought it from Brick Wheels two years ago, I‘ve kept it on the street untouched. What I‘m saying here is that I don‘t like the people drawn into this community during the Cherry Festival, I don‘t believe there is any financial gain, and the town is trashed and disrespected. It‘s the only time that I‘m concerned about thieves. I say to community leaders: if you want ugly in your town then import from South Central L.A. Get honest, get real, and deal with it.
And by the way, while I‘m at it, stop ignoring the homeless. They live under the bridges and on the beaches, and does anyone even care? You think that you can hide the reality of this town? Just try. People like me won‘t let you. This town is not “pretty“ -- we are overbuilt, polluted, overpopulated and cold. We are unconcerned about those in need. “Community“ isn‘t about money, It‘s about people. It‘s actually about people.

Mike Morey • TC

Making sweet music

Surely you can find something else to whine about other than the fact the new “buskers“ ordinance has restrictions (Random Thoughts, July 3). The fact that there is even an ordinance is ground-breaking. Restrictions are not defned and enforced because communities are “upper-midwestern-uptight.“ Our litigious society has seen to that. Just ask the city folks in Key West. Mallory Square has its fabulous share of “buskers.“ Have you ever noticed that they do not perform wherever they wish in that community? There are reasons, sir. I applaud our city commission for taking precautions so that citizen tax dollars are not wasted on lawsuits.
Instead, lets celebrate the fact that our community will be culturally richer in light of the new ordinance. Wow, perhaps some spaces that have been designed for performance and congregation that are underutilized may now be re-discovered. I cite the space in front of the Chamber of Commerce, the entrance space at the Clinch Park Zoo, the Open Space, etc. The “hip-hop group that‘s really dope“ that‘s “really itching to get your crew down on the streets to bust a few moves“ needs room do that! It would be tragic if they were struck by a “fudgie-mobile.“ The 100-300 blocks of Front St. are full of merchants who want people to shop. Let‘s let them shop, safely.
And if pickle bucket bangers would give away the pickles to their audience before they start banging . . . food always draws a crowd!

Sally Guzowski • TC

BATA worth to the community

July 29, BATA will be asking the taxpayers of Grand Traverse and Leelanau County for a small millage increase. Why would taxpayers vote “yes“ to a service that is used by a small number of people? What does BATA service accomplish, and by what expenditure of resources?
BATA is public transportation, which is a social service. That is, it is designed to promote the welfare of the community and the individual. The following are just a few of the services BATA performs for our community: Transporting employees and volunteers to hospitals, nursing homes, blood banks, the Senior Citizens Center, and dialysis. Also, busing children to schools, Boys and Girls Club, the Civic Center, and other functions throughout the two-county area. In addition, BATA provides rides to the disabled so they can enjoy opportunities in the community.
Regarding expenditures, there is indeed a price for transporting people to various locations, but what would be the price without BATA‘s service? What is the price for independence, freedom, and dignity?

Richard Pittman • BATA driver • TC

BATA & kids

In response to letters about saving money by cutting BATA funding:
BATA transports high school students to both Central and West. A few years back TCAPS eliminated their busing because of budget shortfalls. With no BATA, who will pick up the tab?
BATA busses deliver area residents to doctor and therapy appointments through Munson‘s Health Ride. It might be a windfall for the local taxi companies if this service is cut, but who do you think will pay the tab for elderly and low-income patients who can‘t drive?
Our area is home to a higher than average number of seniors. Many take BATA to shopping, appointments, the senior center and church events, some because of difficulty driving at night or in heavy traffic. What options will they have if BATA folds? To stay home or to ignore physical limitations and get back behind the wheel? We‚ll all pay through increased insurance premiums and public safety services.
Our most affordable housing is outside the city. Fixed bus routes make it possible for many living on lower incomes to travel into town for jobs, medical care and other necessities. The cost of unemployment and welfare benefits paid to those who can‚t make it into work comes out of the public budget, undoubtedly at a higher rate than a BATA millage.
And what about those among us who can‘t drive because of a physical or mental handicap? There but for the grace of some higher spirit go all of us.
Its been said that one measure of a society is how well its senior citizens and children are treated. On July 29 we have the opportunity to support our public transportation system or to dismantle it. Lets measure up Traverse City. Vote “yes“ to keep BATA on the road.

Kathleen Prentice • TC

BATA cares

Public Transportation is an absolute must. Having been employed by BATA
for more than four years, I‘ve come to appreciate the organization as both a
valued service organization, but also as a decent and challenging place to
work. BATA employees care about their customers, which makes the upcoming
millage so important. Literally thousands of residents throughout the two
county service area depend upon BATA services and we feel the absolute
obligation to provide the service while fulfilling their need. Without a
“Yes“ vote on July 29, that will be impossible.
During my 21 years of military service, I was able to witness
first hand public transportation throughout the United States as well as
overseas and how important it is for those who use it daily, weekly, monthly
or on an occasional basis. One may ask, why vote for the millage if I don‘t
use the service? I‘ll tell you why! If the service were not available, whom
would the current users turn to for their ride to work, school, dialysis,
radiation therapy, the doctor, grocery store, the local pharmacy or to
visit a loved one? They would tend to lean on friends, neighbors and family
members who may not otherwise have the time or resources to provide a ride.
BATA is an essential part of the community and its existence and growth
potential must remain. Please exercise your right to vote... and vote
“Yes-Yes“ on July 29th.

Mike Fegan • TC

Price of a lie

A former president was accused of Iying to the American people. An independent counsel at the cost of $70 million conducted a thorough investigation.
Our current president appears to have lied to the American people. Remember weapons of mass destruction? Cost to date $62 Billion -- that‘s Billion with a capital B folks, and still counting

Robert Bucklin • Houghton, MI

Speak out on bridge

Unbelievably, the Grand Traverse County Road Commission hasn‘t stopped its quest to spend $40 million on a new road and bridge over the Boardman River Valley to connect Hartman and Hammond Roads. It is incomprehensible that some people who live here are apparently blind to the treasure we have. Maybe it‘s time they spent a month commuting in LA, Washington D.C., or San Francisco -- then they‘d understand what traffic congestion is.
The proposed bridge would destroy one of Grand Traverse County‘s most beautiful areas and irreparably harm the environment. (Have you considered where the runoff of salt and sand from the winter months and the oil and gas from the vehicles that will inevitably clog the new bridge go? Hmm. Into the Boardman River and out to the bay?)
On July 17 a public hearing with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will be held to consider the Road Commission‘s application to fill wetlands and alter streams. The public hearing will be in the Little Theater Room at West Junior High School on West Silver Lake Road at 6:30 p.m.
Everyone‘s voice is needed that night to assure the DEQ that the residents of Grand Traverse County appreciate the beauty and quiet of this area and recognize that there are smarter and significantly less costly alternatives to this proposal (check out: www.mlui.org).
Lets not pave over the paradise that is ours to enjoy. If this project goes through the Boardman River Valley will be harmed forever. Let your voice be heard on July 17.

Mary Jo Zazueta • TC

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