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 7/14/08
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Letters 7/14/08

- July 14th, 2008
No oil guarantee
Do the people who are jumping on the bandwagon and promoting drilling for oil off the coasts of Florida, California, ANWR in Alaska, and other unpopular areas, realize there is no guarantee that oil drilled here will end up heating our homes and fueling our cars in the United States?
It may just end up on the world oil market and we will end up seeing no relief in prices! It is quite feasible that Saudi Arabia will then respond by cutting their production creating a shortage followed by still higher prices. You know the story! Just ask your congressman if what I am saying is true.
What we need is to get away from fossil fuels and our dependence on foreign countries for our energy. We should be looking at all kinds of clean, renewable, safe alternatives.
But we need to be smart about our choices this time around. That means before we start thinking that nuclear power is the logical choice; we need to ask ourselves if we have solved the problem of safety. We have not solved the issue of what to do with the spent fuel rods and dangerous radioactive waste that we would be leaving for our children’s children to deal with.
We don’t want to leap out of the frying pan and into the fire with no thought of the future!

Barbara Bernier • Manistee

Good memories
Thank you for the article that appeared last week on my new deli cafe at the old railroad station in Traverse City.
I just wanted to follow up with this note. The article indicated that I spent “16 long years” at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, and while 16 years is a long time, they weren’t long in any other sense.
My job at the Record-Eagle actually dovetailed with my years as a parent of school-age children. Early on, working at the Record-Eagle afforded me the flexibility to work part-time and as a result, have more time with my kids while they were growing up. As they got older, I went full-time and was given the opportunity to become the paper’s features editor while continuing as a weekly lifestyle columnist.
It truly was a great job, focusing on what interests me most and continues to -- people and their stories. Oh, and food. That, too. But I have many great memories of the staff, of readers, of columns, and stories, all packed into 16 years that, looking back, went by in a flash.

Kathy Gibbons
• EuroStop, TC

Our toxic air show
Did everyone notice the clouds and clouds of jet exhaust and perhaps unburned jet fuel wafting down over our homes, farms, and bay every time a fighter jet passed overhead at Traverse City‘s air show? The sky turning white with pollution as they practiced? (According to) an article for service men and women about military jet fuel exhaust, “There is no safe level of exposure.”
Isn’t is foolish to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on entertainment that in the end is celebrating killing machines anyway? Entertainment that spreads toxins in our bays, then wonder why they are so messed up?
Hopefully our local media can inform our citizens on what is raining down from the sky in the name of bringing tourists in that might be ruining our children’s health and living on in our drinking water for years to come.

Jeff Gibbs • TC

No Child Left Inside
Lisa Franseen’s article in last week’s issue, (Express 6/30, Leave No Child Indoors) was not only right on target, but timely, as well. Just a week ago the “No Child Left Inside” act (HR 3036 and S.1981) was passed by the House Education Committee and will be moving through the U.S. House of Representatives this summer.
The bill, supported by more than 400 environmental, education and public health groups across the nation, would set up grant funding for teacher training, expand outdoor learning opportunities inside and outside of school, and encourage states to develop environmental literacy plans.
By igniting students’ interest in the outdoors and spurring them to take part in outside activities, The Act would address the issues put forth by Dr. Franseen in her article. Increasing the time students spend learning about nature, both in and outside the classroom, and learning to explore the natural world and their personal connection to it, inevitably triggers an interest in spending more time in it and becoming more active outside.
Environmental education has been shown to excite students. It engages them in their world. And it gets them in the outdoors and away from electronic toys.
A good education is about more than math and reading. We should also be teaching our young people about their natural environment and the enormous challenges it faces. Environmental education must not be considered merely an optional topic. Understanding the environment is a critical need for our young people because of the complex environmental challenges confronting the nation and world, including human-induced climate change, air and water pollution and the loss of sensitive habitats.
We will be passing these complicated problems on to future generations. We must give them a solid understanding of these problems and the basic tools to overcome them and make informed choices in their own lives. Our public schools should be doing a better job of providing this environmental education.
There has been inadequate funding for environmental education, both at the state and federal levels. The No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 will begin to address this.
Our nation’s future relies on a well-educated public to be wise stewards of the very environment that sustains us, our families and communities, and future generations. It is environmental education which can best help us as individuals make the complex, conceptual connections between economic prosperity, benefits to society, environmental health, and our own well being. Ultimately, the collective wisdom of our citizens, gained through education, will be the most compelling and most successful strategy for environmental management and the physical and mental well-being of our communities.
Please take action today by urging our members of Congress to support the inclusion of environmental education in the NCLB reauthorization bill as proposed in the No Child Left Inside Act of 2007 (H.R.3036; S.1981).

Lynette Grimes • Benzonia

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