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 9/20/07
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Letters 9/20/07

- September 20th, 2007
I Want My Farmers Market
I arrived at the Traverse City Farmer’s Market shortly after noon on Saturday, and I was turned away from some of the booths because the city is enforcing the market’s scheduled hours, which end at noon.
How unfortunate. Our local farmers maintain open space around our city, decrease our carbon footprint, and provide us with healthy, locally grown produce that is the backbone of a healthy diet.
The city should support our esteemed farmers by expanding the hours of the markets, not by adopting a monochronic philosophy.
I hope the city can strive for flexibility as they consider the health of their citizens and the value of their farmers. Meanwhile, I will strive to get my chores done in time to make the noon deadline.

Mary R. Clifton, MD • TC

Thank You, Soldiers
St. Francis said so many years ago, “it is in giving that we receive.” We are a blessed nation, and too frequently fail to realize the noble things others have done which make us the recipients of the good life.
It is not popular to speak of the military, most especially the draft, today. Having served in the USAF for over 26 years, including two tours in Vietnam, I am especially grateful to all the men and women of the armed forces. It is not easy for them - they, too, would rather be home in the great USA with their family and friends - but they have chosen to serve even under the most difficult of all situations in a time of war.
I believe every male and female in the USA should be mandated to serve our nation in some capacity for a minimum of two years after graduation, with only very rare exceptions.
One of the great choices includes the military. Repeatedly, we hear students out of high school say they can’t find a job, they don’t know what they want to do, they don’t have any money, they are not ready for college, thy want to travel, they want to get a life before settling into any career field. I say: join the military.
The pay is great, you grow up quickly, you get free housing, food, and clothing, and you are able to travel the world as I did serving in Japan, Korea, Germany, Sweden, France, Thailand, South Africa, the Ascension Islands, and Bermuda, just to name a few places. You feel the joy of serving your country and giving something back.

Richard J. Gronowski • TC

Vote Vegetarian
The 11th Hour, Leonardo DiCaprio’s newly released documentary about the environmental crisis, has given me some serious food for thought. Considering that an in-depth scientific report by the United Nations last November shows that eating animals is the number one individual cause of global warming and that it’s in the top three causes of every significant environmental problem, I am left to wonder: When will Leo, Al Gore, and the rest of the environmental community start actively promoting a vegetarian diet?
Environmentalists urge people to drive less, switch to hybrid cars, use energy-efficient light bulbs, and make other similar changes, yet they ignore the global warming, waste, and pollution that is produced by funneling crops through chickens, pigs, and other farmed animals.
Almost 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are the product of our national addiction to chicken nuggets and other animal products. That’s almost 50 percent more than all the cars, trucks, and planes in the world combined, according to the U.N. report. The U.N. report also concluded that the meat industry is “one of the ... most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” The 408-page indictment of the meat industry specifically decries the contribution of eating meat to “problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.”
It’s past time for the environmental movement to get to the meat of the matter and tell people the truth—that adopting a vegetarian diet is the most important action any of us can take to help the environment.

Bruce Friedrich • Norfolk, VA

More Praise For Sheas
There are very few people who really exemplify their beliefs in everyday life. Tom and Darylene Shea are two of those rare individuals. He is a man of peace and love, and these feelings emanate from him always.
He lives and acts in love and peace, he gives support in his thoughtful kind words, to help others realize their inner peace. He is one of the few really gifted men of peace, walking on this earth, in Traverse City, in our time.
We have been blessed to have him amongst us. He will surely be missed. May they both go in peace to their new location and be loved and appreciated there, as they have been here.

Emmy Lou Cholak • TC

A Farmer Speaks Out
As a third generation farmer in Antrim County’s Milton Township, I thought I would write about all the poop on poop that has been floating around. Recently there was a small group formed calling themselves “Milton Neighbors.” These “neighbors” have caused some controversy over a local farmer and a local businessman working together and utilizing a soil enrichment practice safely used for many years. The “neighbors” are up in arms over the two men using septage injection as a commercial fertilizer replacement.
We are farmers who make our living off the land we farm, so the last thing we would want to do is harm our land or the environment. The DEQ and the soil erosion people do not have a problem with this practice when properly applied on inspected sites, whether it’s animal manure or human septage. It is a low cost natural fertilizer rather than an expensive commercially made fertilizer.
The president of the Milton Neighbors group claims that while water testing, his group found dangerous levels of e-coli along a two-mile stretch of Mitchell Creek. They are blaming it on the fertilizer injection practices of the local farmer. What he doesn’t tell you is that the e-coli levels found by the DEQ were concluded to be naturally occurring due to low creek levels and the wildlife.
What he also doesn’t tell you is that a sample taken directly in a tile line from the field where recent septage injections were done had lower levels of e-coli present than any other sample taken along said creek. What that means is that we, as humans, cannot manufacture a filter or treatment plant that works as efficiently and effectively as the same ground on which we farm. (I believe that) septage injection is a safe, natural, environmentally friendly, and beneficial use of human waste for replacing soil nutrients in farm fields.

Thomas M. Paradis • Elk Rapids

Corrections: Last week’s letter titled “Sidewalks Not Segwalks” was mistakenly attributed to Thomas M. Paradis. The correct author of the “Sidewalks...” letter is Ken Petersen. Mr. Paradis’ own letter runs above.

Also, in Carina Hume’s article on Bill Sommerfeldt, his grandmother’s name was Mary Rennie Buchanan, not Jennie Rennies; Jennie Rennies was the name of the family’s Inn and Toll House in Scotland.

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