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 8/30/07
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Letters 8/30/07

- August 30th, 2007
E-Coli ruined my summer
Okay “ruined” may be overstating the issue.
But as somebody who lives downtown and goes swimming often at Clinch Park I’m pretty upset about the beach closings.
Particularly when we aren’t given a reason for the problem. Is it related to the rain? Are the sewage plants to blame? Are the boats that anchor down there dumping their waste into the water as reported by Northern Express? Why doesn’t somebody stop them?
My biggest question is: Why is this story being reported but not investigated? Here we have a man-made problem which is closing the most beautiful and popular stretch of beach in the area. What’s really going on? These closings MUST be preventable. It almost has a conspiracy feel to it. As if we are supposed to simply accept this and assume the E-coli is somehow a natural occurrence.
Bottom line: somebody is doing something they shouldn’t be and I hope we hear more about this soon from our local news sources.

Eric Kurt • TC

Booze gravy train
I’m sure that we have all heard it a thousand times... The welfare system needs an overhaul!
I am a single working mother who has a full time job. My income qualifies for poverty level status, for sure! I have applied for some assistance myself and was told my $22,000 income was too much money. So I carried on working every day and so on.
Well... this past summer has been a real eye opener to say the least! I met some people that really shined the spotlight on welfare fraud and the many ways it can be achieved. Traverse City has an extremely high number of people, young and old, that receive welfare assistance and have very creative ways of using it to purchase alcohol! Did you know that these people actually receive cash benefits as well as food assistance?
Did I mention that they are homeless people due to severe alcoholism? Giving an alcoholic cash is like giving a heroin addict heroin! I have seen these people purchase six cases of rootbeer on their food card, then walk down the street, pour all the pop out of the cans and return the pop cans to purchase vodka!
Did you also know that when an addict enters Dakoske Hall rehabilitation center, the first thing they do for the new addition is sign them up for a bridge card? They immediately qualify for cash and food. I have seen it with my own eyes!
I think that to qualify for these benefits, you should have to take drug and alcohol tests. I also think that there must be some way to track purchases made with the bridge card or some way to flag unusual purchases like six cases of pop. This is our taxpayers‘ money here! Pop is not a source of nutrients to begin with! Why are these people given cash? Does this bother anyone else?

Susan Cummins • TC

Same old, same old...
It is time to set aside the petty discourse about the Northern Michigan “music scene,” or lack thereof, and remember that we are so fortunate to have the Holy Trinity of bands right here: The Horn Dogs, Luther Gravy and the Soul Biscuits and Jellyroll Blues Band for our listening pleasure. They will never go away -- they are Eternal -- they are the Northern Michigan “music scene.”

Claire Ahearne • TC

Sewer blues
The article by Anne Stanton titled “Northport’s Sewer Blues” was the best I have read -- well balanced and informative.
The initial push for a Northport sewer was predicated on false environmental information that stated the septic tanks in Northport were 85% failed or failing. The “factual” environmental issues remain on the court table after the Honorable Judge Power stated the case has merit. All concerned environmentalists need to study the issues as presented by members of the Northport FORUM through our legal counsel. The environmental issues are not over until they’re over.
The original group of responsible citizens, who extensively and exhaustively researched the Northport issues, remains as one with the assistance of the FORUM members. The original group comprised of one engineer, one economic expert, and several environmental experts, have consistently approached the Northport Council since the sewer’s inception in an attempt to communicate concerns. Those concerns were never addressed by the council.
Criticism of the original group and currently the FORUM by proponents of the sewer is absolutely absurd. To say that they have raised the cost of the sewer is, once again, predicated on false, misleading, and slanderous lies. The Northport Council, along with the township board and the Leelanau Board of Public Works, raised the monetary stakes when the democratic process was set aside in favor of a land based petition process and political expediency.
Our Constitution was written with the intent of protecting the rights of every human being. One is the right to have issues heard, discussed, understood, and to arrive at balanced solutions.
Since the Council set aside our constitutional process, it now becomes the responsibility of the FORUM members to uphold that process. The Honorable Judge Power realized that the people’s case has merit and will be heard -- costly as it will be for both sides.
The time has come for every Northport citizen to be heard now and in the next election. Join the FORUM and protect the environment and your constitutional right to be heard!

Ronald J. Schobel • Suttons Bay

Electric car math
Hey folks -- Puleeeeeeese do some math, re: the piece on Garth Ward’s Corbin Sparrow (8/23).
Trying to do the miles-per-gallon (mpg): Stated data in your piece: his 20-mile commute used to cost him $18.75. Okay, assume gas is $3, he would use 6.25 gallons, for a mileage of 3.2 mpg (if gas was cheaper, the mileage would be even worse).
Is that realistic?
Let’s assume you really mean 40 miles, 20 each way. Then he’s getting 6.4 mpg. Lots of time in traffic I guess.
Likely driving a commercial truck of some sort. A 1970 Caddy would be hard pressed to get that low a number.
And... whoops, the Sparrow has a 40 mile range, so maybe that 3.2 mpg number is right.
Other : 0 to 60 in 10 seconds. Whoopie.
Then we consider that this isn’t a “all season” mode of transportation. Note that I agree with the author that “technically, it’s not a car.“
What does Mr. Ward do in the winter (late October to late March?)
The Sparrow may be cute, but that’s about it.
As for “Who Killed the Electric Car?” They ain’t gone, just getting ready for reincarnation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt
Otherwise, keep up the good work folks

J.T. Hoagland • via email

(Our understanding is that Garth Ward was referring to a round-trip in a utility truck, a fact which the Express neglected to state in the article. -- ed.)

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