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..

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‘Must-Haves‘ for the college-bound

Katie Huston - August 9th, 2007
You’ve finally picked a college, enrolled in classes, and chosen your dorm. You know you need a computer, an alarm clock, and a cell phone (so you can call your mom every day, right?). Before you head back to school, here are a few more things you don’t want to forget:

A laundry basket
When you’re lugging your smelly clothes down six flights of stairs, a laundry basket is far easier to carry than a bag. And if your laundry room looks anything like mine did, you definitely won’t want your stuff to fall on the floor when you’re moving it from washer to dryer. Don’t forget rolls of quarters.

3M plastic wall hooks
These stick to the wall with super-strong adhesive, and they’re usually available at stores like Target and Meijer. Get a variety of sizes, and use them to hang your towel, bathrobe and calendar. 3M is the only brand I’ve found that comes off the wall without leaving a trace and doesn’t detach under pressure--and they’re reusable, too.

A facebook account
If you don’t have a digital camera, don’t fear--your friends will be posting all of their photos on facebook. The self-described “social utility” now allows anyone to join, but it began on the college scene, where it’s trumped MySpace as the online networking tool of choice. It’s easy to keep track of new people you meet and know what your friends from home are up to (and to remember their birthdays). Besides, it’s the perfect way to stalk--er, find out if that cute guy in your anthropology course is single.

Long underwear
Go ahead, laugh now. But if you’re going to college anywhere winter strikes, you’ll want it, especially if you go to a big school where you’ll be walking a lot. And when you want to go sledding on stolen cafeteria trays, you’ll be happy to have the extra warmth.

Flip flops for showers
Have you ever peed in the shower? That’s okay, because even if you haven’t, someone else has. And in the dorms, you’ll probably be sharing a communal bathroom. Aside from the “yuck” factor, plantar’s warts and athlete’s foot are transmitted in communal showers.

A passport
You don’t need a passport to go to college, of course, but if you want to get the most out of your college experience, make studying abroad a part of it. You won’t need to make your plans right away--most students go abroad during their junior year--but start looking into your options. Find out where you’ll be able to take classes in your major, or better yet, try to get requirements out of the way so you can study what you like while you’re overseas.

Dishes and silverware
Even if you have a meal plan, you WILL be eating in your room. Invest in a few cups, mugs, plates, bowls, and sets of utensils. Don’t get in the habit of using plastic throwaways - it’s bad for the environment. You’ll be glad to have a sharp knife and a can opener. A set of Pyrex bowls also comes in handy.

A fridge
Most colleges allow students in the dorms to rent or bring small refrigerators. Not sure? Go for it. You’ll want cold drinks, and buying from vending machines adds up. When you order take-out, your leftovers won’t go bad. And it’ll be much easier to keep those “Freshman 15” off if you’re able to munch on fresh, healthy food, like fruit and yogurt, instead of Cheez-Its and Oreos.

Even if you like watching movies on your laptop or listening to music while you fall asleep, headphones are a must. A little quiet can go a long way toward preserving roommate peace. You’ll also want them if your roommate, say, talks in her sleep or invites friends into the room while you’re trying to study, in case she doesn’t quite have the same idea.

Ziploc bags
Resealable plastic bags are perfect for stealing food from your cafeteria. Don’t feel bad as you stash baggies of cereal in your backpack. You’re paying for a meal plan, and think of how much food gets thrown away. Ziploc bags are also great for packing a lunch if your schedule doesn’t give you a midday break.

An open mind
Many colleges require students to take “general education classes” in a wide variety of subjects. It might seem like a burden, but try something you know nothing about. If you’re undecided on your major--or even if you think you’re sure--you may discover a new passion. (Alternatively, you may realize that you never, ever want to hear the word “oceanography” again. That’s also good to know.)

Athletic shoes
The fabled “freshman 15” may be an exaggeration, but studies show that college students usually gain 3-10 pounds in their first two years, much of it during the first semester. One of the causes is a drop in physical activity. College is a time to form new habits, so start out on the right foot--go to the gym, go jogging, take an aerobics class, or join an intramural sports team. If you want to stick with it, it’s best to find a regular time to fit exercise into your schedule.

USB Flash drive
If you’ll be working on any computers that aren’t your own, a flash drive is essential. It’s also great for sharing music and photos with your friends or getting digital pics printed. A 256-megabyte flash is probably big enough, although if you work with graphics or plan to carry a lot of photos, you may want a larger size.

I’ve seen guys wearing socks around the dorms that are so grimy they look like they could sprout mushrooms from the bottom. Plus, in the winter, unless you’re heading to Florida or Arizona, your toes’ll get cold when you’re tapping away at your computer.

A sense of humor
College is a wonderful time, when hundreds of kids with clashing habits and pet peeves get thrown together in rooms not much larger than jail cells. That roommate who trims his beard over your desk may not turn out to be your best friend, but if you take it all in stride, living in the dorms can be a source of amusement and bonding, rather than the cause of your misery. And who knows--you just might end up actually LIKING your roommate’s favorite country band.

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