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 6/28/07
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Letters 6/28/07

- June 28th, 2007
Case for legalizing drugs
I’m writing about Howard J. Wooldridge’s outstanding letter: “Cops against prohibition” (6-14-07).
If we re-legalized all our illegal drugs so that they could be sold by licensed and regulated businesses for pennies per dose, would this eliminate our drug problems? No.
However, doing so would substantially reduce the crime rate and increase public safety.
Will we ever be able to eliminate our drug problems? No.
However, we can substantially reduce the harm caused by our illegal drugs.
Regulated and controlled drugs would be of known purity, known potency and known quality - which would make them very much safer than today’s black-market drugs.
But what message would we send to children if we legalized all illegal drugs so they could be sold in licensed, regulated and taxed business establishments?
The same message we send to children today when we allow products such as alcohol and tobacco to be sold in licensed, regulated and taxed business establishments.
A free country’s government cannot protect its adult citizens from themselves. A free country’s government has no right to attempt to do so.

Kirk Muse • Mesa, AZ

Money & wastewater
The recent controversy in Alba and Star Township regarding a proposed dumping site is a prime example of how money drives public policy.
CMS Energy corporation has applied for and is likely to receive an injection well permit allowing this firm to dump a large but unspecified amount of wastewater from the upscale and exclusive Bay Harbor resort just south of Petoskey.
Bay Harbor is the resort for the newly rich from all over the Midwest. It was built around 12 years ago and is an asset to the Northern Michigan area. However, I find it hard to believe that the wastewater and related chemicals that need to be disposed of from this resort (the result of a former cement plants operations there years ago) cannot be immediately disposed of onsite. Why does it have to be trucked many miles away to the backyards of the middle class and those living in very modest homes?
The very affluent nature of Bay Harbor cries out that it take care of its own garbage and not dispose of it in less upscale communities throughout Northern Michigan. One of the other disposal sites is in Otsego County near Johannesburg. I don‘t recall any public notice or hearings regarding that disposal site at all.
I love to visit Bay Harbor. I love to have chardonnay and yacht parties with the best of them. If I were a member of that community I would be ashamed to have my community‘s waste dumped on others simply because they had less financial resources than me.
This is not the first time that Northern Michigan has had to carry the burden for this upscale resort. A few years ago an entire nuclear power plant was carted away largely because of the influence of a major developer who wanted his clientele to enjoy a better view of Lake Michigan.
If a sense of obligation towards your fellow man isn‘t enough to stop this obscene project, then one can only hope that protracted civil litigation and perhaps some legislation from this state‘s congressional delegation can level the playing field a bit.

Brian R Morgan • Gaylord

High five
Every Sunday morning my family knows where I am about 7:30 a.m. I’m out getting my Sunday morning “fix,” aka... the Northern Express.
I met owners George Foster and Bob Downes not long after I “hit” TC in 1991 while walking along Front Street. Don’t know why we started talking, except that I admit... it was probably me who initiated the conversation. They were immediately receptive and told me about the new paper they were beginning to publish. They asked what I did here, and since at that time I was playing the piano bar at the Park Place Hotel, they asked if they could come in and do an article about me. Ask? Absolutely, I was new here and they made me feel like a star, and we’ve been friends ever since.
What amazes me is the total and unstopable growth of this Northern Michigan paper. They seem to “outdo” issue after issue. They are good to musicians, growth issues, you name it, it is in this paper. If you are new to Traverse City, your free Northern Express awaits you every week at newstands, restaurants etc, around Northern Michigan.

Ann Peterson • TC

Simple test
One need not be a scientist to confirm the fact of global warming over the past century. All one must do is simply ascertain accurate temperature readings from 1,000 points around the globe today and then compare these readings with precise temperature measurements reported from the very same locations, on the very same day, at the very same hour, in the year 1907. It’s that simple!

Joseph Pasulka • via email

A good trip
My wife and I enjoyed the June 14 article by Rick Coates entitled “Paddle the Chain -- A Kayak Voyage,“ offered by Don Weeks at the Camelot Inn.
Two years ago, we were the first couple to sign on the 36-mile kayak adventure from Six Mile Lake to Torch Lake. On the Clam River, two sandhill cranes startled us as they lifted off the water, flapping their large wings. The whole trip was a paradise for nature lovers.

Casper Grathwohl • Niles

In the Artists North article in the June 14 issue, the caption under Lynn Dinning’s photo is incorrect. She was not a founding member of the group; she was a former member.

Bus bummer
I would like to praise BATA (Bay Area Transit Authority) for their ongoing efforts to making my commutes easier, and also to rag on KPTA (Kalkaska’s sorry excuse for a transit system.)
It seems that the Kasky bus looks for excuses to NOT give you a ride. Example, I was camping at Wheeler Lake during highway construction. They told me that I would have to come into Save-A-Lot at 7 a.m. to catch the ONLY bus to Kalkaska. So that means I would have to walk 4.5 miles to get to a bus that should have come to the door. I wanted a bus to T.C., so I got up at 6 a.m., pedaled into Kalkaska and met the bus. Then the driver told me that I couldn’t take my bike on the bus because I didn’t call the night before. What would they do if a handicapped person didn’t tell them he/she is in a chair and that person wastes their time going to the bus and couldn’t get on?
The Kalkaska bus will take you to the Grand Traverse County line for a buck, but to cross that line into Fife Lake I have to call the previous day and pay two bucks for the additional two miles.
These non caring people at KPTA don’t do their jobs to fulfill the needs of the community, and they should be held accountable for it.Taxpayer dollars go to pay for this dismal excuse for public transit. I can call BATA anytime and get a zone ride anywhere in G.T., Leelanau, or Benzie counties within two-three hours. Kalkaska Public Transit should look at the example BATA sets and try to emulate it.

David P. Guillen • Kalkaska
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