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 7/26/07
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Letters 7/26/07

- July 26th, 2007
Lack of respect at C-Fest
I am writing to say that I am quite disappointed in the Cherry Festival directors or whomever was in charge of scheduling and planning events this year.
I took an early afternoon off to take my family to the Heritage Day Powwow (their first) at the Open Space only to have to sit through 25 minutes of sound check for the Emerson Drive band (at full volume through the fronts) while the Powwow‘s two drum circles and announcers were trying in vain to be heard over the “noise.”
As a professional musician of almost 30 years, I fully understand the need and desire to have a good soundcheck before an event. But as member of the Cherokee tribe, it really upsets me that the road crew and local stage hands couldn’t have been instructed not to start soundcheck until 4:01 p.m. for a show that doesn’t begin until dusk.
The Grand Traverse Band does this event here in town ONCE a year, for four hours. Is it too much to ask for a little respect and let them have that scheduled time to share in their culture? It is called “Heritage Days” after all...
Thanks for letting me vent.

Damien Allen • via email

Chill out
In response to the letter in the July 12 edition, “Machines of Death,” by Jason M. Glover of TC -- Dude, take a pill! We had a good time. Have a nice day.

Rick Burmeister • Northport

No cherry for the slice
of pie I‘m holding
How was your Cherry Festival? I’m hoping yours and most of your readers was enjoyable... Mine Started Out with Great excitement, and Joy With The Start Of this
Year‘s Festival Being July 7th... The Same Day As My Wedding, That also Being 07 07 07... The Luckiest Of All Lucky Dates, and To Think Some Of These People, My family from all over have never even been to Traverse City, Let Alone Be Able To Enjoy My Wedding And Participate In one Of This City’s Greatest Events, And enjoy Our Local Hospitality.
But Do Our Locals Enjoy Our Local Hospitality???? I Mean I’m not Quite Sure. But I really Think There‘s Something In The Water.
Know This, after years of sitting Back From My First Exhausting Brush With The back stabbing, Backwoods idea of musical politics up here... what Is Up.... I Hit It Hard With The Band Radio Flyer’s... We Came Out Entertaining Audiences,Having Fun... And Getting Noticed. OOPS I’m Sorry I Forgot ... I’m Not In The Music Click, I Better Tone It Down (Not). Then I Created A Kick Ass Open Mic For A New Club In Town... Record Bar Sales I was Booking Great Local Bands From All Over Northern Michigan, we Were All Having Fun. OOPS... Here I Go Again Showing way To Much Concern For The Local Music Scene. Some Local Musician With An Attitude Wants To Boycott The Open Mic... It Didn’t Work, We Rode Out That Storm (thank You To All The Local Musicians That Stood Up With Me)...
This Year I Opened Northstar Productions, one Awesome Place To Practice, Record, Net Work.. And Get Booked. Look Out You Local Hate Mongers Of anyone Trying To Do something For Everyone... I’m Back And I’m Doing Big Things For This Community And Those Who Care About What Goes On In Our Local Music Scene... It isn’t About The Dollar with Me”It‘s About The Music.”
I’m actually a little upset about the support I got in return when it came to my band playing in our local Cherry Festival,,, I turned down an early opportunity to open for a national act because I wanted to support our very own local talent....
And in return my band got nothing, Not To Mention some genius thought a jazz trio would be an appropriate opening act for a rock band. This Would Have Been a great Chance For Many Of My Distant Relatives to See My Band And I Perform, Not To Mention My Band Mates First time playing for their home town On the National Cherry Festival Stage.... we were all excited...oops ...wrong Again Always Some Type Of Backstabbing....
Oh Well, I always Say “What Goes Around Comes Around.” Hey Bob, Keep Up The Good Work I Know You‘re Supportive Of The Local Music Scene. Oh By The Way I Heard Your Traverse City Tune On The WKLT. That was cool! Great Song, Peace.

Don Swan, Northstar Productions
(Don Swan‘s letter has been run verbatim to maintain the rock & roll spirit in which it was written. -- ed.)

A promise broken
What happened to Don Swan and his band playing on the Bay Front stage during the Cherry Festival? He does a lot for local bands in town with his production company, and should have been able to play at least on the night he was promised.

Megan Rizzo • via email

Where was Don?
I am writing you because of a concern I have over the politics involved in the National Cherry Festival. Many people feel it is a shame that Don Swan did not perform this year, after being informed that he would be. He had turned down opening for a national act in order to support a local musician by opening for them at the National Cherry Festival. That never took place, due to decisions made by certain individuals. Why? Well, we don’t really know.
As his wife, I have seen how hard he has worked to unite musicians in this community from the building of Northstar Productions to all the time and effort he has put into creating a program for the probationary children in our community. He has been out there supporting and promoting other musicians, almost to the point of total exhaustion. On top of all that he and his band, Don Swan & The Company have been rehearsing for the last five months to produce an exceptional show which they have successfully accomplished.
If I seem a little passionate, I am. I know the man that he is and the passion he puts into everything he endeavors to do.The talent he possesses should have been out there for the public to enjoy.

Sherri Swan • TC

A good alternative
Just want to send out much love and appreciation in honor of such a fantastic paper! Every time I am in the area I pick one up and so enjoy it.
Having said that, it causes me to pine away, wishing Detroit had a paper of similar caliber. Sure, we have Metro Times (Slimes), with it’s freak flag flying high and some articles about music; but would I dare leave it lying around the house for my kids to see? Nope.
Thank you for keeping it about the music and arts and culture, not booty calls left and right via classifieds and ads.

Robin Moore • via email

Save Bertha Vos School
We are residents of Acme Township with two children who attend Bertha Vos Elementary School. Both of them have spent their entire educational experience at this amazing school.
Unfortunately, we are now faced with the potential closing of our neighborhood school. But lets face it, the issue of school closings is NOT a one school issue, it is an issue for the entire Traverse City community. Remember, healthy schools indicate a healthy community.
We truly understand that there are much bigger issues at play in Michigan that are influencing the dire financial situations faced by many school districts. We understand that TCAPS is poorly funded by the state and that there are significant issues related to funding inequity. However, we also expect that our local school officials will use an objective and critical eye when making decisions at this level. We expect that our local school officials will use sound judgments and vote based on data that is complete and accurate.
We believe that closing Bertha Vos is a decision that TCAPS cannot afford to make. At the recent BOE meeting, our board was presented with much data and research to support this claim. While we do not dispute the criteria established in the long range planning process, we feel that the subjective weighting of the criteria and how Bertha Vos was rated in relation to the criteria is wrong.
School Superintendent Jim Feil indicated at the recent BOE meeting that if our children leave the district, it will have a positive result on the bottom line. This is an arrogant attitude in today’s world of competitive educational choices. Perhaps it is an indication as to why our surrounding school districts are growing, our charter schools are growing, our parochial schools are growing and our Christian schools are growing... and TCAPS claims that their enrollment is falling.
Mr. Feil also mentioned how the downstate schools have solved their issues. Maybe they have. But, most of us are in Northern Michigan because it is DIFFERENT from downstate. We appreciate different things, and choose to have neighborhood schools, versus the mega-school with large classes and many administrators.
Have we been given an option to indicate if we’d perhaps pay more to be able to continue with our chosen methods? No, at this point we are being asked to accept three closures and to pass a millage for more money this fall!
We are truly confused at how such a recommendation could have been made. The board of education has been presented with data and asked important questions that make it clear that the information presented by the superintendent about our community related to the criteria is false. They now have the opportunity to ask for more information. It would be unconscionable to close Bertha Vos without more analysis.
Please feel free to contact us, or any Bertha Vos parents if you have questions. We also urge you to get involved, not just locally but at the state level to encourage more equitable funding for our schools.

Stephen D. and Terri L. Waugh
• Williamsburg

Do-nothing Democrats
What the American people need to be told about the “debate” currently taking place in Washington regarding the Iraq war is simple: The Democrats lack the moral courage required to end it, but they will continue to sponsor meaningless bills for the President to veto in order to better use the war as an election issue in 2008.
This is what has happened, what is happening, and what will continue to happen until after the 2008 elections, and it is wrong!
If the Democrats want to end the war, they should do so. All they are doing now is undercutting the President’s authority and leadership role as Commander-in Chief. It is unfair to the troops as well, as they are now being told, “We will continue to sacrifice your lives, abuse your valor, and push aside your goals, so long as we can make political hay from your presence in Iraq.“
In the history of this world, there are no countries, forced together or kept apart by military power, that remain static once that military power is removed. When we removed Saddam, we removed that military power. Like Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, Iraq will become what the Iraqis want it to become, not what we want it to be.
The Shia want Iran II, the Sunnis want Sunnistan, and the Kurds want Kurdistan. We cannot stop them from seeking the balance they want to achieve, or the separation they desire.
I oppose this war. I have opposed it from the beginning. I think we need to leave now. The region is already de-stabilized, thanks to Mr. Bush. We cannot stabilize it, only the Arabs can do that,

David J. Newland • Bellaire
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