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 · Dark waters/Volunteers...
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Dark waters/Volunteers wanted/Pig farm mess

- May 24th, 2007
Something Fishy: James Crossman, a student with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU, netted a 25 pound sturgeon as part of a Sturgeon Viewing Guided Tour hosted by Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and Sturgeon for Tomorrow in the Black Lake watershed.
Each spring, the sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) head up select rivers to spawn along the rocky riverbanks, almost oblivious to nearby human activity, making these rare fish susceptible to poachers and illegal harvest.
The lake sturgeon is a threatened species in Michigan and a rare species throughout the United States. That’s why a group of conservation officers, volunteer off-duty National Guard personnel, and other volunteer groups concentrate in these areas 24-hours a day during spawning season to safeguard the fish from poaching. Photo by Marci Singer.

Dark Waters?
Some residents of Alba are questioning the wisdom of a plan to pump contaminated water from the Bay Harbor kiln dust pollution site into a well in northern Antrim County.
CMS Energy, which is responsible for the toxic kiln dust cleanup, owns the property on which the proposed disposal well is located. The company would like to truck in 135,000 gallons of runoff water daily for disposal in the well in Star Township. The company claims that the geology of the site is ideal for the project, being largely impermeable limestone.
The EPA is reviewing the permit application for the project, which is drawing opposition from Star Township residents.

Volunteers Wanted
The Traverse City Film Festival needs volunteers, supplies and fundraisers for the July 31 - August 5 event.
Contact jane@traversecityfilmfestival.org or call 231-392-1134 if you are able to help the festival with an in-kind donation this year.
The festival is also hosting a Film Trailor Contest to promote the event. All trailers must be in English and should be a maximum of 30 seconds in length. They may be of any genre (comedy, drama, documentary, horror), with a limit of five film submissions per person. Submissions should be mailed in DVD format to:TCFF Competition Submission, PO Box 4064, Traverse City MI 49685.
Info? Go to www.traversecityfilmfest.org.

Pig Farm Mess
How would you like a big, smelly pig farm next door to your property?
That could be a reality for some Michigan residents due to four bills (SB 501, 502, 503 & 504) that would dramatically weaken Michigan’s regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
The Sierra Club of Michigan says the bills are on a fast track in the State Senate.
Among other things, the bills would, “chill the public’s right to file complaints with the DEQ regarding potential violations of environmental laws by banning anonymous tips and threatening fines for “unverified” complaints.“
The Sierra Club also charges that the bills would allow for the degradation of Michigan‘s water resources by weakening discharge regulations from highly-polluting factory animal farming operations.
Info at www.michigan.sierraclub.org

TUFF TUG: Watch out polluters and alien species: the 22-foot aluminum Baykeeper tug is on patrol.
The tug is used to patrol the Grand Traverse Bay, along with educational events and monitoring the water quality of the region’s lakes and streams.
A project of Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay at Northwestern Michigan College, the tug helps boost public awareness on the importance of water quality in the region. “We are excited to be out showing the public our boat. It is a visible symbol of our commitment to preserve and protect our waters now and for future generations,” says John Nelson, the Watershed Center’s Baykeeper.
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