Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 5/20/04
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Letters 5/20/04

Various - May 20th, 2004
No morality in war

I’m a Vietnam infantry veteran and I find it almost amazing that there is this big “scandal” about our military beating, raping, killing prisoners.
When you say its okay to kill and wave the flag and cheer - then its okay to kill. The other stuff just goes along with it.
There is no morality in war. No matter how much paint (be it “patriotic” or “religious” or “Just War Theory”) you apply, the blood comes through.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake

Bad for business

My wife and I are the owners of the Harbour View Centre project, which lies adjacent to the Hall Street property on both the north and west sides. The purpose of this letter is to express our opposition to the granting of the Special Land Use permit (SLUP) that is required for BATA to occupy the Hall street property.
In 1997 we approached the city planning director about the concept of placing a five story building on our property. We were told that it was the intention of the city through the master plan to create in this area a village like atmosphere of residences and ancillary commercial businesses. Adhering to this concept and with substantial direction and input from the city planner, we designed and built a first class mixed use building. We had to include residential units to fit within the zoning requirements. In fact the Master Plan was quite clear when it spelled out that “Along Hall Street, residential units with ancillary commercial businesses are planned” and “Mixed use developments typically include residential units, offices and small scale commercial uses.”
We have a substantial investment in this project and we feel that it will be seriously jeopardized by placing next to it a bus transfer station that will emit noxious diesel fumes and noise from the anticipated 168 buses per day. In fact we have several open air terraces that directly front on the proposed area and will no doubt be subject to these fumes and noise. This definitely does not meet the standard of subsection (f) of Specific Standards for SLUP’s which states “Noise, lights, glare and odor will not unreasonably disturb the surrounding land uses or members of the public.”
The uses specifically prohibited in this D3 Redevelopment area include every type of business that has a drive through. It being the intention of the city to exclude these businesses, I ask you how the bus station, which is in fact a large drive-through business delivering people instead of goods, could possibly fit into what is to be a residential area?
By granting this SLUP you would be effectively sabotaging the intent of the Master Plan and writing off this neighborhood and its future as a residential/commercial focal point of Traverse City. It would send a very clear signal to other land owners and developers to be very wary of investing money in downtown Traverse City when the city government cannot be trusted to adhere to its own guidelines.
Can you remove from the tax rolls yet another valuable piece of property while the city is running an annual $900,000 deficit and over 46% of the city land is off the tax rolls? People are justifiably scornful of the high taxes in this city and this would only make it worse. The city would be foregoing a ten year property tax payment somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500,000 that could be garnered from development of this parcel other than as a bus station.
Also, at this point I would say it is highly unlikely that my wife and I would build our intended second building if the bus station was allowed and that would account for another $1,500,000 in lost tax revenue. All of this doesn’t even account for the damage that will be done to the values of surrounding properties.
The concerned citizens of the Hall St./ Garland area have already collected the signatures of over 800 individuals and 125 businesses that are opposed to this BATA location. That in turn has led the Downtown Development Authority to also oppose this location. I would ask that you seriously weigh the opinions of many people in making your decision on this matter.

Bernard Stover • TC

(The above was excerpted from a letter to the city commission. --ed.)

The real BATA issue

It has been quite amusing reading the output of the opponents of the downtown bus terminal, the latest being Howard Schelde’s note to the May 13th Express.
How gracefully they dance around their real gripe! How carefully they avoid mentioning the unmentionable! How creatively they launch empty and vague criticisms of the terminal when what they really object to is the people on the busses.
Since the folks in the Hall Street area are too shy, let me state the real case for them: People who ride public transit are poor. They are shiftless. They are liable to be our customers. And they stink.
Schelde is right about one thing: small business is what makes Michigan’s economy work. But that doesn’t mean small business owners are the only people who get a say. And it doesn’t mean that small business owners are the only constituency that gets served by our tax dollars.
But the prejudice against public transport and those who ride it is small-minded and short-sighted. A viable public transport system is an important part of a viable downtown district.
Of course, changing BATA’s image and making it a truly viable transport option has to be a big part of what happens now. There’s much that needs to be done, but Schelde’s nay-saying is just NIMBY, plain and simple, and reflects very little of the vision and courage he showed in building North Peak.

Oran Kelley • TC

Be sure to vote

My good friend and fellow colleague lost his son in the tragedy of 9/11. He was 26 years old, newlywed, a recent graduate of Amherst College, and from what I understand from his father and many others, one hell of a pitcher.
The pain of that day was compounded with myself and my family by such close association with one that had perished. Ironicly, my daughter‘s college friend from Michigan State, who had stayed with us for a ski weekend, lost her father on that day. What are the odds, being from a small community in Northwest Michigan?
I now have a friend and co-worker who has a son stationed on the Syrian border of Iraq.
I find myself talking with God more than I used to.
All of those that read this, make sure that you get out and vote this November.

Ray Bollman • TC
 
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