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 10/11/07
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Letters 10/11/07

- October 11th, 2007
Foie Gras Controversy
I read the article about the Andante Restaurant in Petoskey, Michigan the last week in September while vacationing in Traverse City. I was shocked with the article promoting Foie Gras at the Andante Restaurant.
Foie Gras is banned in the state of California, the city of Chicago, and more than a dozen countries in Europe based on the grounds of animal cruelty.
For a progressive publication like the Northern Express, I was also disappointed that your paper and Andante restaurant promote Foie Gras. It is a deeply disturbing animal cruelty practice to obtain this food delicacy.
I hope Traverse City is the next city along with surrounding northern Michigan cities to ban Foie Gras.
For more information, here is a weblink about other Foie Gras bans: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/04/27/national/main1550028.shtml

Beth Bechtel • Haslett

(Northern Express doesn‘t promote any restaurant items in particular; we are merely reporting on what those restaurants have to offer. Express of course does not support nor condone any means of animal cruelty. Keep an eye out for Rick Coates‘ extensive report on the Foie Gras controversy in an upcoming issue. --Ed.)

Farm-Fresh Wins
I agree with Mary Clifton that our city of Traverse should embrace industries that make our population healthier. Our farmers and their products are critical to our economy and access to their bounty should be easy.
If we eat better, we live better; and that’s why we are here, isn’t it? Maybe the farmer’s market could try staying open until 1 or 2 pm if customers are still coming. I encourage everyone to buy locally grown foods.

David North • TC

Be Kind To Your Dogs
My sympathy goes out to the families of the 91-year-old man, 56-year-old woman, and four-month-old baby girl who were killed in dog attacks in Michigan recently. Each of us can do something to prevent future tragic dog attacks. Please allow me to share these lifesaving dog bite prevention tips with readers:
Spay and neuter. As an animal shelter volunteer, I know that sterilizing dogs is vital, not only in reducing the number of dogs who are killed in shelters for lack of homes, but also in reducing dogs’ aggression and their desire to roam—two factors that may have contributed to the recent attacks.
Never chain dogs. Being tethered on the same patch of dirt day after day makes dogs frustrated, extremely territorial, and more likely to bite, since they are fight-or-flight animals and have no way of escaping if a perceived threat-such as a toddler-wanders onto their “territory.”
Watch out for possible cruelty to animals and report suspected abuse right away. Dogfighters and people training dogs to attack often beat, starve, and neglect their dogs, which can make them more likely to attack if they ever get out.
Taking care of our dogs properly protects everyone.

Lindsay Pollard-Post • Holland

How To Be A Leader
A leader must be a visionary. He needs a futuristic look at an educational system and move step by step toward that vision.
A leader must have curiosity. listening to advice inside and outside his inner circle.
A leader must have charisma, the ability to inspire others to follow him.
A leader must motivate, communicate effectively and display integrity.
I feel that (Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education President) Gerald Morris should be removed from his position. You just can’t “talk a good game” to be a leader; you need to act and to be seen as taking effective action for the good of our childrens’ future. Isn’t it obvious?
Without leadership, the ship that is OUR educational system will aimlessly circle and eventually run out of power or run aground.

Jeff VanCompernolle• Williamsburg

From Suttons Bay to Iowa
What does Golf Management have to do with politics? To this day I still have trouble finding an honest answer.
After spending my youth in Leelanau County playing for the Suttons Bay golf team, and setting off for Ferris State University to study golf management, it would have been impossible to imagine that I would now be in Iowa working for a political campaign. Yet, it seems that they are not all that different in my life.
When I played golf at Suttons Bay, I felt a part of a community—all of us sharing a beautiful, down to earth peninsula through the heart of Lake Michigan. The most memorable things from my life in golf had little to do with bogies and birdie putts.
It is those moments where we all felt like we were fighting together that I really miss when I think of home—the crowd at a football game, a look of pride in my parents eyes, and the long rides with friends in the golf van. It was that sense that I was not alone in the world that connected me to the game of golf and to my home in Northern Michigan.
So as I reflect, from the Barack Obama Campaign Headquarters in downtown Des Moines, Iowa about why I am here, I suppose it comes from that same sense of community.
Amidst having to choose between George W. Bush and John Kerry in 2004, you could say that politics to me was a scattered mess of emptiness—rhetoric from on high, specifically designed to confuse our better senses. Then, a voice boomed through the TV set, setting off flashing memories of a better world in the making.
“There is not a liberal America and a Conservative America; there is the United States of America,” he said—expressing an ideal that all of us experience in our lives, but forget when we listen to politicians. Instead of guilt, there was hope. Instead of fear, there was unity. Isn’t that what we were all craving in 2004? Isn’t that what has been missing from our politics—a sense that we are all in this together?
Now I am in Iowa. Now I am working to bring that sense of community into our politics. Barack Obama is calling on us to stand up for the simple dreams of people. He has asked us to believe in our ability to improve the world that we live in. Looking back, I feel good about where I am. There is no shortage of hope on the golf course.

Matt Robb • Des Moines, IA

More Pointe Story Praise
Kudos to Anne Stanton for an excellent article on the Petoskey Pointe project in downtown Petoskey. It was well written, concise and very informative. I especially appreciated the history and background information on the decision to proceed with this project.
What I find frustrating is the fact that much of this information was not made available to residents by our own local newspaper prior to the vote on the referendum. Instead, I clearly remember a ward meeting where my city council representative was pressured into approving the development plan, and criticized for not moving fast enough - the risk being the loss of this one-of-a-kind opportunity.
Maybe the outcome would have been the same but at least I would have felt it was based on full disclosure.

Sue VanDeventer • Petoskey
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