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 7/10/03
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Letters 7/10/03

Various - July 10th, 2003
The No-Nuke Nuns

While the world awaits and doubts the much ballyhooed evidence of Iraq‘s Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Northern Express reports that two Traverse related Catholic Sisters, Carol Gilbert and Ardeth Platte opened up one Weapon of Mass Destruction in Colorado. (“Harsh Justice,“NE 6/19).
This well-researched, in-depth article by the Express reminds us that the U.S.A. has 530 intercontinental ballistic missiles, each “with a destructive power 20 times that of the bomb that obliterated Hiroshima in l945.“
The “no nuke nuns“ remind us that these are not defensive weapons --they don‘t block or shoot down incoming invaders -- they are first-strike weapons.
Mr. Bush, who talked nuclear during the war on Iraq, is investing an initial $15 million for research on mini-nukes.
In detailing the nuns‘ story, the Express provides citizens with information for “a choice“ (protest and don‘t pay for war) “not an echo“ (go along with so called leadership).

Tom Shea • Traverse City

A total insult

The Bush-run IRS has a photo on the front of the IRS‘s homepage -- it‘s a picture of an infant climbing around stacks of cash. It is an effort to tout the Bush administration‘s tax cut.
The ironies of this are amazing.
First and foremost, this must be the baby of one of Bush‘s ultra-wealthy pals, because the fact is this tax cut package is skewed almost exclusively to the super-rich (80 percent of taxpayers would receive less than the average $1,083 tax cut Bush promised “average Americans,“ and half would receive $100 or less).
Secondly, and more insultingly, this graphic is on the front of the IRS web site despite the fact that Bush left out millions of people from even receiving the child tax credit. It is as if they want to rub it in the working poor‘s faces. The link even has the nerve to say “Just sit back and think of how you‘ll spend the money.“
Check it out for yourself: http://www.irs.gov

David Sirota • via email

David Sirota is spokesman for the minority members of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.

A better BATA

On July 29, 2003 BATA will be asking voters to support a request for continued millage. BATA will cast the issue in terms of non-support or support for public transportation. For many voters the issue is not that simple; they support the idea of public transportation but do not approve of the manner in which it has been offered.
Voters might consider four aspects of public transportation. These are: (1) How many people in the area served by BATA use its services; (2) How does the equipment match ridership demand; (3) What cost is involved in terms of dollars and the use of non-renewable energy resources; and (4) What is the present trend of ridership?
Using BATA‘s ridership report for last year, one may make a calculated estimate of the number of people who use BATA‘s services. That number is 600, or 6 tenths of one percent of the area served by BATA
Cherriot buses weighing 20,000 pounds and seating 24 people have been the choice for the fixed route system. The number of passenger fares per week divided by the number of bus runs per week equals two. That is two people on an average run are picked up somewhere along the line.
The cost of providing a one-way trip is about twelve dollars per passenger. The cost in terms of consuming nonrenewable energy sources is 194,000 gallons of diesel fuel or gasoline. The amount of fuel consumed for each of the number of people using BATA is 194,000 divided by 600, or 320 gallons per year.
Ridership, according to BATA‘s count, was 332,000 in 1999, 392,000 in 2000, 423,000 in 2001 and down to 373,000 in 2002. This trend is continuing in 2003.
Clearly the system put into place by BATA does not serve a broad segment of the area. At the same time it is inefficient and environmentally unfriendly.

Gene Rundell • Traverse City

Support BATA

BATA’s purpose is to serve you, the people.
Opposition began with fixed routes. Bus size, frequency, loud brakes. Public input meetings were held. Management listened. Buses were downsized, routes split, brakes fixed. Complaints subsided, save a few who would like you to believe the buses are always empty and serve no purpose. These few are not riders and base their observations on a 10 second window of a 30 minute route.
I drive one of those buses and I can tell you they are not always empty. I pick up and drop off as I go. These few won’t support the millage and think BATA will continue without it. Not true. Without the millage, BATA will not survive. A giant step backwards for our ever growing community.
Instead of killing BATA, we should all work together to make a system we can be proud of. Attend public input and BATA board meetings. Make suggestions. Management does listen.
Personally, I would like to thank BATA administration and staff for taking in an inexperienced, middle-aged, burned out hairstylist over four years ago. They gave me training and helped me obtain my CDL. They gave me a great job where I get satisfaction every day by helping you, the people.

Christy Penrod • via email
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