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 · Random Thoughts · Summer Scrapbook
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Summer Scrapbook

Robert Downes - August 16th, 2007
Summer Scrapbook
Whoops -- looks like Rick Coates‘ story on nude beaches in our Super Summer Guide had an all-too predictable result. When you visit Otter Creek Beach in Benzie County these days, you see park rangers roaming up and down the beach, presumably looking for outlaw weenie roasters.
I feel sorry for the rangers -- they‘re dressed in full uniforms that look terribly hot in a polyester sort of way, and it‘s got to be tough wading through the sand in your Florsheims in search of elusive nudies. Also, I‘ve seen some of the Otter Creek nudists, and it‘s not a very pretty sight. There ought to be extra compensation -- like combat pay -- for putting the rangers through a thankless task.
Is it concern over global warming or just the price of gas? Whatever the case, it seems like more commuters are riding bikes or mopeds to work this summer. One perk of riding is the pleasure of breezing down a bikepath past a half-mile of commuters stuck in their cars, waiting for three or four lights to turn.
On the other hand, when you pedal to work, you tend to notice that Northern Michigan’s air quality has declined to a miserable state over the years. It’s not the pristine air us old-timers recall from years back. Vast clouds of pollution drift over Lake Michigan from Milwaukee and Chicago, baking in the sun in a chemical metamorphosis to create one of the highest levels of ozone pollution in the state.
No worries if you‘re driving though -- just kick up the AC to help make the earth even hotter and more polluted next summer.
There’s talk going around of erecting a statue of Michael Moore in Traverse City for pumping millions into the local economy through the TC Film Festival. With 70,000 film admissions, those folks spent $450,000 on tickets and souvenirs, and lord knows how much on hotels, restaurants and shopping.
Locally, business is bullish on the Film Fest and its well-heeled attendees in stark contrast to the Cherry Festival, during which some downtown merchants actually closed their doors.
Speaking of downtowns, does anyone remember that long-ago summer day in 1994 when dynamiters blew up the smokestacks at the old concrete plant on Little Traverse Bay to make way for the construction of Bay Harbor? Back then, some art gallery owners in Petoskey were worried that downtown Bay Harbor would ruin their sales. But judging by the crowds we observed in Petoskey’s Gaslight Village and at this year‘s Art Walk, things have turned out pretty sweet for the P-Town art scene.
Whoa Crap Report: Someone in Empire sure misplaced their thinking cap this summer. On a 90 degree day at the end of July, the town beach was jam-packed with families and at least 1,000 small children. Problem was, the local authorities had removed the bath house and rest-room and there were only a couple of porta-potties on hand, filled to the rim with you-know-what. Congrats to those who braved those honey pots and managed not to throw up...
Local music festivals are attracting more attendees than ever from downstate. During Martin Sexton’s (fabulous) performance at the Dunegrass last week, his mention of Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids got a big cheer and the “we rock” sign from a bunch of kids in the crowd. Reason being, there are few music festivals in dreary old downstate, where the emphasis is on the consumer culture, but scads of folk and bluegrass festivals up this-a-way. Hey, we rock...
Speaking of the Film Fest, it was kind of strange being dressed for the jungles of tropical Borneo in the 90 degree heat last week and then finding yourself at the North Pole in the air-conditioned venues. Next year, I’m bringing a raccoon fur coat and earmuffs to the shows.
Summer‘s Best?
• Best concert: The Moody Blues
• Best monster flick: “The Host“
• Best beach weather: July
• Best 50th birthday present for the
Mighty Mac: the Labor Day Walk
• Best local baseball team: The Beach
Bums (who else?)
• Best minor controversy: the state of
Northern Michigan‘s music scene
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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