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 · Region Watch · It‘s time to party
. . . .

It‘s time to party

Rick Coates - September 28th, 2006
On Saturday, October 7, Goodwill
Industries will host their third annual “THE PARTY” a “fun-raiser,” as they bill it, to benefit their Goodwill Inn Homeless Shelter program.
While Northern Michigan is perceived as an affluent part of the state and the region lacks many people
living on the streets, THE PARTY organizers point to the growing homeless community as an “invisible” reality of the area.
“I am constantly educating my friends and clients,” said organizer and hair salon owner Heidi Hallett-Treece. “There are several misconceptions and myths in our community about who is homeless and why people are homeless. So often, first-time volunteers to the shelter are shocked that families with small children and even babies, in our community with so much wealth, find themselves homeless.”
Proceeds from the event will benefit incidental items and expenses that are needed for the new multi-million dollar Goodwill Homeless Shelter scheduled to open November 19.
“We are not raising money for the building cost. They have a capital campaign for that,” said Hallett-Treece. “As one member on our committee said, this is about ‘toothpaste and toilet paper.’ It is about food or doctor bills. Those everyday expenses that most of us take for granted.”
Last year‘s event raised $28,000 and had about 250 attendees. This year’s party will take place at the hanger at Harbor Air and event organizers hope that more people will attend as space is plentiful and the event is priced right.
“One thing we wanted to do was keep this affordable. So many fundraisers are out of reach for so many that live here. You pay $150 a ticket and then you are expected to buy at the auction. Add in a cash bar and a babysitter and the fact that there are fundraisers going on all the time it makes it difficult,” said Hallet-Treece. “Last year we received so many comments from participants that it was so nice to have a cross-section of the community represented in both age and socio-economic backgrounds.”
Despite the $30 ticket price organizers say that participants have been pleased with the “high-scale” atmosphere of the event.
“First, this is a casual affair. People come dressed comfortable even in jeans,” said Hallet-Treece. “The food is exquisite. It is from Grandview Catering and it is served butler-style so that adds some class to the event. It is a cocktail environment, not a sit-down, so people are able to socialize and move around. Plus we have a great dance band in Due North.”
Hallett-Treece became involved with Goodwill several years ago after answering a newspaper ad asking for volunteers.
“I felt blessed and I think lot of people in our community I wanted to give back,” said Hallett-Treece. “As I looked around I saw organizations like the Women’s Resource Center and Father Fred with large voices in the community and a lot of support. So when I saw the ad for Goodwill I said to myself, I don’t hear much about them, and I was certainly unaware at the time that we had an issue with people being homeless.”
A common question Hallett-Treece gets from friends and others is, “aren’t these people taking advantage of the system, just looking for a handout?”
“Sure, you always have people looking to take advantage of the system. In fact, there are those that are well off taking advantage of the system. But my faith tells me that I am not to be the judge of that. God calls on me and I believe all of us to help those in need and we have a lot of people in this community that are in need,” said Hallett-Treece. “So I give, others give, and we don’t ask questions or place judgments on those that we are helping. If they are using the system then there is a higher power they will answer too. I encourage anyone to volunteer at the shelter and hear the stories of those that have fallen victim to being homeless. It is not a picnic.”
She points to several myths and misconceptions of the homeless such as they are there by their own doing.
“Every story is different but in so many cases it has to do with the high cost of housing here. People can’t make their rent and pay all of their bills,” said Hallett-Treece. “In so many cases these are families with young children where a job has been lost and they don’t have family and friends to turn to. I have yet to meet anyone who wants to be homeless.”
When questioned as to why “the homeless” need a modern, state-of-the-art facility, the answer for Hallett-Treece is simple.
“Dignity,” said Hallett-Treece. “Everyone deserves dignity and the current facility does not promote a sense of self-worth. Those that come to us for help are down on their luck and need a boost and a lift. The new facility will be a start for those in need.”

THE PARTY is Saturday, October 7 from 7 pm to 11 pm at the Harbor Air Hangar, 1150 Airport Access, TC. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased at Floor Covering Brokers, Instant Framer, Pure Essence Salon and Goodwill or by calling 231-995-7701. To learn more about the new Goodwill Homeless Shelter visit www.goodwillnmi.org.
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