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 6/16/08
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Letters 6/16/08

- June 16th, 2008
Letter to Meijer:
I am writing about my credit card account with your company. Please close it immediately. You will find the cut pieces of the card enclosed.
Two reasons I am closing the account. The first is rather minor - 20.45% INTEREST!? Who do you people think you are?
Here’s another problem with Meijer:
Acme Township! I do not live near enough to where you attempted to put that store to have ever shopped there, however if I did, just on principle I would have boycotted it.
I remember going to Meijer as a small child. I was born in Grand Rapids, as were my parents. They moved to Kalamazoo shortly after my birth, however we were in Grand Rapids almost every weekend with family and friends. The store on the corner of Kalamazoo and 28th Street was where Grandma, Aunt Debbie and I would go on Saturday mornings. I remember getting ice cream and treats from the bakery. I remember riding the Sandy ponies for a penny.
That Meijer is gone. In its place is a corporate giant that might as well be Walmart for all its warmth. I’m sure Hendrik is rolling in his grave.
My family and I have chosen to boycott any and all Meijer facilities. We will not buy two-day-old donuts from your bakery when we can buy baked-this-morning ones from our local Oleson’s Food Store. We will not buy gas from your station. We will not wash our cars at your car wash. Nor will I ever again buy plants for my yard and garden from your garden center.
At one time, I did almost all my shopping at your store. When we travelled around the state we would seek out a Meijer because we knew we could find everything we needed. No more.
I’m sure my little letter will not change anything. In fact, I doubt a human being will even process this envelope, but I know the copies of this letter will be read, and with any luck, published.

Kimberly Dittmar
• Kingsley

Hands off vet benefits
I read your most recent article; “Vet must share disability with ex-wife“ in the June 9 issue.
I find it most unconscionable that a judge would do such a thing and garnish a veteran’s benefit that is solely his. What the judge fails to see is that if veteran Calvin Murphy is not retired, under federal law described by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), his disability “benefit” is his and not for alimony.
In a ruling on the law cited by the DFAS, one sees that disabled veterans are not mentioned at any time. I understand the judge is trying to be equitable, but to violate a disabled veteran’s disability benefit is just wrong, unless she was with him in Vietnam.
Alimony is not mentioned once in the U.S. Code which applies to such benefits. Why? Because Congress understood the disabled veterans are a vulnerable group and need help acquiring services due to not being able to stay gainfully employed.
When I read this article it reminds me of a bully picking on someone who cannot fight back. Reading this is certainly a sad day for justice and veterans across America.

Capt. Steven Schaffhouser,
USAF Aux • via email
A veteran‘s pain
In your story about the veteran who must share his benefits with his ex-wife, you forgot to mention that Judge Batzer also ordered Calvin Murphy to pay his ex-wife’s attorney $3,000. I will bet you a dollar to a donut that some of that money will wind up in Judge Batzer’s reelection fund. And don’t forget the state gets funds out of him for taking his money and posting a check to his ex-wife.
I have over half of my Social Security disability taken and given to my ex-wife, yet she is getting 100% of her Social Security benefits.

Gordon Sutton • Schoolcraft

Sewer gripes common
I have the blues after reading so much of the Northport Forum‘s continued argument for stopping a project that is within months of completion (re: “Sewer blues,“ Letters, June 2).
As a civil engineer for 30 years, I have been involved in many lake area sewer projects. They all had their local detractors. Nothing can ever convince me that installing sewers along lake areas is not in the best interest of the area.
Unlike the writer, I live on the system, just built my house, and just sank a lot of money into my septic. But I know which solution will last and protect the environment despite what a bunch of “environmentalists” contend.
The most disturbing thing is how these people are wasting our money. If the legal costs are being ultimately added to my bill, I will lead the campaign to collect from each one of them. Whether the judge appeased these folks and told them the case had merit, it is of little consequence at this stage. Please get off this issue and find another one to complain about.

Philip N. Loud, PE • Northport

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