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 · Features · A look back at Summer 2007
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A look back at Summer 2007

Ross Boissoneau - September 6th, 2007
Ice cream, beaches, parades - it’s easy to pick the best of summer in those categories. The trick is to find the hits of the season in the more - well, shall we say less-thought-of places.

Rodent of the summer
Remy, the rat who’s the almost-title character of Disney/Pixar’s summer hit, Ratatouille, is smart, funny, and conniving. Unlike his real-life counterparts, however, he has amusing sidekicks, including France’s most famous chef, brought back to life by his oversized imagination, and the staff at the late chef’s restaurant. Ratatouille gets the vote here as movie of the year. (www.ratatouille.com.)

Horse of the summer
Maverick at Cedar Point. The giant amusement park’s 17th roller coaster is quite possibly its best. The newest ride at the mega-park offers thrills, chills, loops, speed, and best of all, comfort, unlike some of its brethren (the Blue Streak, the Cedar Creek Mine Ride). It’s all about taking riders toward the ground at full tilt, then abruptly pulling up into a loop, or a wicked curve. It’s not the fastest or the tallest, but it may just be the most fun. But be warned: the wait in line can be more than two hours. That’s quite a hefty time to wait for a two and a half minute trip around the tracks. But it’s worth it.

Bird of the summer
It’s almost a tie, but the winner is the hummingbird. Hummers are the harbinger of summer. Their thrumming, looping dances, and sheer speed and beauty are enthralling. They’re a sure sign summer is here, and their absence means autumn is at hand. Runnerup: The Raptor at Cedar Point, which, if it doesn’t go backwards, does fly in loops and goes upside down.

Wizard of the summer
All right, this one’s a bit obvious. But not only is the latest Harry Potter the most popular book (again) and one of the biggest movie hits (again), it’s also the best. With Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the final novel in the best-selling series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, being released within weeks of each other, Pottermania ran worldwide this summer. Deservedly so, as the books not only got non-readers to read, but those who read them were treated to one of the most emotionally compelling and unpredictable stories of all time. (www.harrypotter.com; www.scholastic.com)

Caffeine-fueled chef of the summer
Eric Villegas, owner of Restaurant Villegas in Okemos, creates spontaneous humor (e.g. “[The fondue] gets hot, kind of like napalm”) on his PBS show, Fork in the Road. The laughter alone makes the series required viewing. (www.forkintheroadtv.com) First runnerup: Rachael Ray, whose made-up words and easy recipes have made her a favorite nationwide via four shows on Food Network, a magazine, and a syndicated talk show. (www.rachaelray.com) Second runnerup: Zonya Foco, whose adaptations of popular dishes and emphasis on the importance of good eating habits have won her fans through her television show, Zonya’s Health Bites. (www.zonya.com)

Detective of the summer
Make that detectives. Tukufu, Gwen, Wes and Elyse take views on three trips each week to unearth the truth about some antique artifact on History Detectives, now in its fifth season. The professors and appraisers do the research and bring to light the truth, whatever it is. Well-produced and always interesting, History Detectives is destined to be around for quite awhile. Bonus points for adapting Elvis Costello’s “Watching the Detectives” as its theme song. (www.pbs.org/historydetectives) Runnerup The title character of USA Network’s hit drama/comedy Monk, played by Tony Shalhoub, who has an uncanny ability to make viewers roar with laughter or weep with sadness, often at the same time. (www.usanetwork.com/monk)

Political zealots of the summer
Each week, John McLaughlin and his cohorts on The McLaughlin Group – Eleanor Clift, Pat Buchanan, Lawrence O’Donnell, Tony Blankley, et al, amp up the decibels while debating the merits of everything from the war in Iraq to British UFO sightings. Ture, the yelling quotient (generally between the ultra-liberal Clift and the reactionary Blankley) seldom approaches that of other such shows (“Hardball” or “Hannity and Colmes”), but on occasion they nearly come out of their seats. McLaughlin keeps things moving along (“Issue Two!”) and the show is generally informational, not sensational. (www.mclaughlin.com)

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