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 7/19/07
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Letters 7/19/07

- July 19th, 2007
Safe Passage fundraiser
For many of us, issues of poverty and social injustice in the world seem overwhelming. It’s not often that we find an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of impoverished children in far away places - places like the slums of Guatemala City.
An ever growing number of people in the Traverse area have found just such an opportunity by becoming involved in Great Lakes Friends of Safe Passage.
Safe Passage is an extraordinary program in Guatemala started by one young woman who was courageous enough to act boldly when she saw suffering. Safe Passage is now an internationally recognized non-profit working to improve the lives of impoverished families living on the periphery of Guatemala City’s enormous garbage dump.
Safe Passage was founded by Hanley Denning, a young educator from Maine who traveled to Guatemala in 1999 to learn Spanish. In response to what she saw, she sold her belongings and used the modest proceeds to found a program to help children foraging in the dump to attend school.
Safe Passage has grown to now serve nearly 600 children per year, from preschool to high school, providing tutoring, school supplies, nutritional support, a health clinic, and other services which help children receive an education and break out of generational poverty. Within a safe environment, every child participates in an integrated program that fosters optimism, good health, educational achievement, self esteem, and confidence.
Tragically, last January, Denning was killed in an automobile accident in Guatemala – leaving everyone who knew her or her story in shock. Since her death, the outpouring of support from people around the world, as well as the determined effort of the board of directors, staff, and volunteers of Safe Passage have allowed service to children to continue uninterrupted.
Traverse area residents have been very involved in keeping Hanley’s vision alive. Over 40 area residents have traveled to Guatemala as volunteers. Students have held coin drives and fundraisers in their schools, local businesses have made donations, children have created artwork to sell, and a student and two professors from Northwestern Michigan College recently returned from a site visit to Guatemala to explore options for developing an educational partnership.
The Great Lakes Friends is hosting a “Summer Fiesta” to benefit the children of Safe Passage. The event, “Journey to Guatemala,” will be held on Tuesday, July 17 at the Hagerty Center on NMC’s Great Lakes Campus, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. It will feature a “virtual visit” to Safe Passage, live music, food and drink, silent and live auctions of Guatemalan arts and crafts, as well as a short film tribute to founder Hanley Denning. Tickets are $25 each, and can be purchased at the door. Come celebrate the power of what can be accomplished when people join together!
More information about Safe Passage is available at www.safepassage.org

Elizabeth Kushman • TC

Drugging kids for profit
Three cheers for activist Ben Hansen’s detective work to expose the shameless overdrugging of Michigan kids with dangerous psychiatric drugs under the approval and authority of the Michigan Department of Community Mental Health, which oversees the Medicaid and foster care programs.
There is a nationwide trend to raid state Medicaid coffers by putting as many people as possible on very expensive anti-psychotics such as Zyprexa. Eli Lilly, the maker of Zyprexa, is currently being sued by the attorney generals of eight states for fraudulently marketing Zyprexa for unapproved uses.
Montana’s suit claims Lilly “instructed its representative to minimize and misrepresent the dangers of Zyprexa, affirmatively and consciously placing company profits above the public safety.” It goes on to state, “This failure to warn was designed and intended to maximize company profits.” Zyprexa has been linked to excessive weight gain and increased diabetes risk.
On March 17, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Ohio doctors prescribed Zyprexa 165,000 times to Medicaid patients in 2006. More than 13,000 of those prescriptions went to kids under 19.
Recently, I spoke to Mark Matus in the Michigan Dept of the Attorney General’s Healthcare Fraud Division and urged him to investigate if Eli Lilly had fraudulently marketed Zyprexa in Michigan. He acknowledged that Michigan Medicaid spends millions of dollars on Zyprexa but seemed unconcerned that there might be any fraud going on. I sent him a package of news articles detailing the basis of these suits again urging him to take action. Info on the many suits involving Zyprexa can be found at www.psychsearch.net//lawsuits.html. I never heard back from Mark Matus, and wonder just what kind of Healthcare Fraud Division is being run under Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.
While Michigan is in a severe budget crunch, there seems to be no lack of our tax dollars available to drug kids with expensive, dangerous psychiatric drugs that are not even approved for use on children in the first place. It’s an outrage.

Ernest Ryan • Temperance

Flaws in the test
Joseph Pasulka’s method for confirming global warming is not as simple as he would lead us to believe (“Simple Test,” June 28).
Comparing temperatures at points around the globe with those recorded in 1907 would be a valid process only if the environments near the measuring devices had not changed.
In a great many locations, the thermometers are now influenced by the heat given off by high density living: homes, buildings, factories, pavement, airports, traffic. A temperature increase since 1907 at a given place is indicative only of local warming, not global warming.
Thermometers located away from population centers may show little change, and in fact there are many areas of the globe (Antarctica for example) that have been experiencing cooling in recent years.

Michael LeButt • Cheboygan

Some date errors occurred in a recent issue as a result of faulty information:
-Charlevoix Art Fair was on July 14-15; not July 7 as previously listed.
-The Frankfort Art Fair is on August 17-18; not July 17-18 as previously listed.

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