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 5/10/07
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Letters 5/10/07

- May 10th, 2007
Don‘t cut state services
An open letter to State Sen. Jason Allen and State Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer:
Daily we see news stories highlighting the shortfall in funding that our community has for schools, for prisons, for law enforcement, for environmental protection, for medical care and hospitals, for park maintenance and for social services.
When Republicans abolished the Single Business tax, Standard & Poors downgraded Michigan, and will downgrade us more, making it even more costly for Michigan. All because you have refused to find some sort of tax structure to fund our state’s needs!
Remember, tax cuts = service cuts. We have been cut to the bone. Find a service tax, an income tax increase -- something -- to allow for long term planning to get our state back on track. The negative publicity generated by your incalcitrance is hurting efforts to attract new business and to maintain tourism.
Just as our people willingly help those who suffer from the Katrina disasters, we are willing to help our state in its time of need. Lead us to invest in Michigan needs. Then, instead of putting Republican after your names, the people will put statesmen after them.

Gerald R. Klinefelter • Kewadin

Cut back on legislators
State Republicans don’t want to raise taxes; they want to cut spending. Spending on education, prisons, law enforcement, medical care, roads, etc. have been cut.
I think it is time to cut the salaries of our legislators and their staffs by 25% and eliminate their retirement, health insurance, expense accounts.
Maybe when they have to live like many people in our state do they will be able to solve our budget problem.

Richard R Riker • Mackinaw City
New creative approach
In response to Oran Kelley’s letter regarding my piece on state arts funding: Indeed, I have read Richard Florida’s book The Rise of the Creative Class. I have also heard the author speak in Lansing several years ago on the same bill as Governor Granholm. Far from being opposed to state funding of the arts, as Kelley alleges, Mr. Florida was the keynote speaker at the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs annual meeting.
Kelley is correct that Richard Florida is no fan of arts organizations conducting business as usual. Neither am I. Florida would be a big fan of the creative, entrepreneurial spirit of the Grand Traverse region’s arts organizations. He is correct that organizations like symphony orchestras and museums must become “less institutionalized and more responsive to what’s happening out on the street.” This is exactly what the arts in our region have been doing for years. And it’s working. Far from seeing our audience decline, for example, during the past five years the Traverse Symphony Orchestra’s concert season has grown from a total of seven concerts to 15, and annual attendance has more than doubled.
Mr. Kelley doesn’t seem to have been to a Traverse Symphony Orchestra concert in the recent past, but if he did, he would discover we are anything but a “business as usual” organization.
I’m a fan of coffee shops, bookstores, galleries, as well as museums, symphonies and ballet. And the good news is that Traverse City has them all. Let’s figure out how to keep them growing and thriving!

Andy Buelow • TC

More on MySpace
I think Molly Willette-Green misunderstood what Mrs. Szydlowski was saying about the MySpace issue (Letters 5/3). She never said the girl in question had a MySpace account that was hijacked. Her
friends made a fake profile and used it to antagonize and defame others. The girl had never even used MySpace before and when she came back to school she found that everyone thought the profile was hers and that she had been saying nasty things about her classmates, when she did not even have Internet access.
It is good that Ms. Szydlowski wants parents to be involved in their childrens‘ Internet lives. If you are the parent of someone under the age of 18, please, be pro-active and keep an eye on your child’s affairs on the Internet. You never know who they are speaking to, what they are posting, or who is seeing it. The Internet is a great resource, but MySpace is nearly unmonitored. Self-reporting does not always make a safe environment, as Molly Willette-Green seems to think.
Ms. Willette-Green is right about MySpace’s privacy options. Please ask that your children to make their profile private if they MUST have a MySpace account. Parents shouldn’t expect programmers and good souls on the Internet to keep an eye on their children; parents must also take a role, because until that child is 18 years
old, it’s not only their moral duty, it’s their legal responsibility as a guardian of that child’s welfare. To teenagers it may seem like Mom and Dad are trying to police them, but to parents, safety should be the number one priority.
Ms. Szydlowski never asked that parents be the cyber police, she just asked that MySpace accounts be registered in a more thorough way so that children cannot exploit them to harass each other both at school and at home. Where children used to be able to escape bullying when they entered their front door, the Internet has given bullies a new reach into their lives.

Amanda Thomas • Cadillac

War & profits
To whom are we fighting against? How can we win over an imaginary enemy?
The U.S. war in Iraq has gone on unchecked long enough. It’s time for a change; throwing more money at the same failed strategy will only lead to more death and devastation without bringing Iraq any closer to stability and peace.
Maybe someone is making huge profits out of the war.

Kyo Takahashi • Roscommon

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