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 2/11/08
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Letters 2/11/08

- February 11th, 2008
A growing trend?
In the world I grew up in policemen didn’t shoot a man in the head to save him from himself.
There are many different ways to deal with a man in Craig Carlson’s state of mind on the night he died, but I absolutely believe the tactics used by the 60 law enforcement officials on the scene that night, to resolve a crisis initiated by this man’s call for help, are criminal and should be investigated as that.
Even more disturbing is the fact this tactic seems to be a growing trend, as exhibited in the deaths of the “Wolf Man” in the Manistee area a couple of years ago, and again in a another stand-off in the Cheboygan area last year.
I’m sure there is a lot I don’t know about each of these situations, and maybe my distance from these incidents allows me a more rational perspective, but I just can’t believe that the resolution in each case had to lead to the death of the PEOPLE involved. I hope the sympathy I have for the people who had to pull the trigger and end these lives isn’t the naive compassion of someone who still wants to believe in the principle of ‘Protect and Serve’.
What I’m witnessing of police behavior leads me to believe law enforcement sees itself as more separate; a brotherhood apart from the general public, not a part of the general public. I realize this is not a recently developed social phenomenon.
I’m pushing 60 years old and I’ve witnessed some degree of separation throughout my life -- it seems to come with the nature of the position of authority. There appears to be more of an ‘us and them’ mentality lately, combined with an increase in available armaments and an air of being above the law somehow themselves. Taken to the extreme it becomes a case of shooting to kill and walking away without consequence.
These actions cause me great concern, not only for what they represent as an acceptable action within the realm of our rural Northern Michigan society, but also because it can only lead to more separation between law enforcement officials and the people they are sworn to serve.
I am very apprehensive of even questioning the actions of these officers and trying to make this issue part of a more open and public debate. I would regret this letter leading to a misunderstanding between myself and law enforcement officers I am acquainted with, but, I very strongly believe the death of Craig Carlson could have been avoided and would hate to see another incident of a similar nature occur.

Robert A. Wallick, Cross Village

Questions for police
I try to read your paper each week and find you most always have something worth reading. I especially liked the columns by Robert Downes about his world travels. I also appreciate your articles on the environment, human rights, politics and the human interest stories.
I am writing concerning your Jan. 21 piece on Craig Carlson and his standoff with the police and the deadly outcome.
I hope you will continue to report on this and other stories of this nature -- there seems to be a resemblence of this and the saga of the Wolfman of Brethren.
I have read and reread the piece and two questions arise: one, why Craig wasn‘t encouraged to give his guns to his brother, or some other party he could trust early on. Two, why the police didn‘t have a video/audio record to the proceedings. I also question if less-than-lethal means could have been used to neutralize the situation, such as tranquilizer darts, tazers, or goop guns.
I would apprciate it if you would consider writing a follow-up on the nurses‘ strike in Petoskey. Many lives were affeced by this event; I for one, lost a good neighbor, and I am sure there are many others out there who were affected. I find it hard to believe that a major community health care institution was allowed to run on temporary help for three years. Why didn‘t the government step in and bring a settlement early on?

William Boldyreff •Pellston

Time crunch
Should “Time Myth,” a large steel sculpture, be placed at the Open Space in downtown Traverse City?
To even consider putting an art sculpture of this size at the Open Space and the ramifications that it will initiate are not in conjunction with many of the community. First and foremost, the Open Space as I understand it was to be open and not hindered by any permanent structure. Is that not what the long discussion and court sessions included when Jeff Nixon wanted to keep the Light and Power building?
Was not the argument then that the Open Space should be open so as not to obstruct the views of the Bay? And I truly question what insurance will need to be in place to protect children from climbing on “Time Myth” and perhaps breaking their bones or sustaining other injuries.
Or is the plan to have a sculpture keeper on guard at all times?
The Traverse City Film Festival shows movies free to the community for one week during the year. These movies are attended by approximately 6,000 people per night. Families congregate and enjoy movies, and in addition people come from surrounding areas and also many other states, to the festival and also to see the free movies on the big screen. They not only come to enjoy what is being given to us by the festival, but they come to spend their money. What a great asset to Traverse City and to the downtown district.
The Traverse City Film Festival has brought in more money to this community than any other entity. Having lived here over 35 years, I witnessed where downtown restaurants ran out of food because of the numbers of people who attended the festival, including those who were attending the free movies at the Open Space.
I don’t think the sculpture “Time Myth” will generate that kind of money in the downtown district, and I do believe that Michael Moore has said at a Traverse City Commission meeting that if the structure goes up, the Big Screen will not be put up and the free movies will not be shown at the Open Space.
Can anyone imagine 6,000 people coming to see “Time Myth” if it‘s placed at the Open Space and in addition having so many people viewing this piece of art that the restaurants run out of food? I think not!
There must be some other place where this structure could possibly find life and while this art is journeying to find a home let it be somewhere else rather than the Open Space where the festival chooses to give this community yet another great gift of free movies on the big screen.
If the Downtown Development Authority truly wants the downtown to flourish then don’t cut off the arm of one of its biggest attractions!
Please encourage and ask Traverse City commissioners to represent you and speak up concerning this matter. Officials want input. Now is your chance to speak out.

Joan Julin • TC

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