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 4/12/07
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Letters 4/12/07

- April 12th, 2007
Teens & MySpace
Thank you for publishing the article on Internet bullying (3/22).
I have a girlfriend whose daughter was bullied online. She didn’t even have a MySpace account and was not allowed to access it, so she didn’t know that over the summer her so-called friends were sending out nasty grams in her name to other students.
Boy, did she get a shock when the new school year started. It has ruined her chances of having friends in high school.
It’s about time a lobby was started to make MySpace do some monitoring. They should have a delay for picture posting to allow nude photographs or semi-nude photographs to be removed.
Any teen using a MySpace account should have to have parent verification with a parent’s credit card and personal phone call from MySpace before that teen is allowed to use MySpace, and parents should get copies of all postings by email.

Bonnie Szydlowski • via email

Scandal & John Adams
I have to credit you on your presidential choices for “The Most Scandalous Presidents” editorial. I agree with most of the men you appointed to your list, except for #10, John Adams. When I read your reason as to why you chose him, “Just before leaving office, Adams created dozens of new judgeships by appointing judges loyal to his party,” I had to re-read that sentence. Now, Mr. Foster, I find it hard to believe that an intelligent newsman such as yourself could actually write something that appears to have been pilfered from Wikipedia.
Let me set the record straight for your incorrect statement.
According to Joseph J. Ellis, author of Passionate Sage, The Character and Legacy of John Adams, “On the evening of Tuesday, March 3, 1801, the outgoing president actually appointed only two minor officials in Pennsylvania and three lower court judges in the District of Columbia. That was all the official business he did.”
Adams made a few appointments, and none that would change newly elected President Thomas Jefferson’s political agenda. David McCullough, author of John Adams, writes, “But Adams’s court appointments particularly were given careful consideration. There were no frenzied rush to name ‘midnight judges,’ as portrayed by Jefferson and the Republican press. Most of the nominations for judges were made on February 20 (1801), the rest completed by February 24, more than a week in advance of the inauguration.”
McCullough also points out, “In fact, most all of the nominees were perfectly good choices and the Republicans (Jefferson’s party affiliation) opposed hardly any of them.”
Mr. Foster, let me give you a little advice. Next time you decide to write a scandalous and incitive historical account, however minor you may think it is, please make sure you check your facts and use credible sources. Even though John Adams may not be alive to defend himself, there are but a few people with enough knowledge of Adams to properly maintain his honor.

Beth Fisher • via email

(Beth, you got me. I plagiarized the Adams story from something I wrote 10 years ago. Also, I‘ve never heard of Wikipedia until now. Thanks for the info. -- G.F.)

Help for autism
Thank you for your articles on autism (4/5). As a grandmother with two grandsons on the autistic spectrum, I would like to add that not enough credit is given to the fantastic teachers at TCAPS and the staff at TBAISD for all the effort they put into these special children. We are fortunate to have the best teachers and one of the best school systems in the country.

Judy Albers • TC

Step It Up rally
Our country’s government has done little to combat global warming. Everyone from the National Academy of Sciences to the National Association of Evangelicals tells them that it’s high time we cut carbon dioxide out of our energy mix, but Washington refuses to respond.
Why? Because special interest groups are just too strong. The oil and coal companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars urging our legislators to ignore the scientific reality, and so far they’ve been successful.
As John McCain said a few years ago, “Until enough citizens who are voters care, then these special interests will be able to block any meaningful policy change. It’s as simple as that.”
We care! On Saturday, April 14, at 1:30, we will be gathering in downtown TC to demand that Congress finally gets serious, Step(s) It Up, and cuts carbon emissions. There are over 1,200 other (Step It Up) actions planned so far, in every state of the union on that same day. It will be the largest grassroots political action in years, and it’s our best hope of actually starting to force a little change.
We invite anyone who cares about climate change to join us. See www.michigan.sierraclub.org/traverse for info.

Monica Evans • Traverse Group of the Sierra Club

A bad idea in Benzie
This letter concerns the decision by Benzie County townships Homestead and Inland to opt out of county zoning. Outside of township meetings, there was no public announcement at the time of the decision in July of 2006.
The plan will likely represent a considerable budget increase for the townships, compared to staying with county zoning. Almira Township budgets $40-$50,000 for township zoning. Start up costs will be $30-$40,000. A zoning administrator must be hired, adding more cost.
The county has a larger budget and is better equipped to cope with the lawsuits that occur in every growing community. Court costs and attorney fees could decimate the budgets of these two townships.
Public informational sessions would allow the two township boards to explain the reasons for the move. Residents could then explore the pros and cons of county versus township zoning.
Government must go beyond minimum requirements for openness. Broad public input sets the stage for better public policy decisions. By involving citizens in the decision-making process early on, governments build trust and avoid situations like that which occurred with the proposed Frankfort Airport expansion.
Residents of Homestead and Inland should attend meetings and question their representatives on this issue.

Benjamin M. Pelch III • Homestead Township

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