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 1/7/08
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Letters 1/7/08

- January 7th, 2008
Holler? Hello?
Everyone in Antrim, Charlevoix, Grand Traverse, or Emmet County, or all of Michigan, who knew who Benazir Bhutto was, holler.
Everyone who couldn’t answer that question, then identify where Pakistan is, and holler. Everyone who didn’t answer either question, holler.
The probable overwhelming silence is deafening. One faltering-light possibility of democracy in Pakistan and perhaps one which could then have spread to the rest of the Mid East has been doused by an assassination that should never have happened to a peace loving woman.
Why should we respond? We are no longer an agricultural, tourist directed, who-cares-about-what-happens-in-those-places-in-the-world-where-nothing-affects-us people. What happens in Pakistan, in Somalia, in Darfur, in Dubai, happens to us. We must stop being ostriches with our heads in the sand and the resulting rest of our bodies abundantly exposing our true natures.
We are a necessary part of the whole world. Our involvement in our world is a must. How do we start? Do you know where?

Patricia W. Fox • Bellaire

Thank You Officers
During the late evening on Christmas Eve, I was faced with a very scary and potentially dangerous situation while taking care of the dogs of some friends at their home near Frankfort while they were away for the holiday. As soon as I realized what I was facing (a home
invasion with, it appeared, the intruder still in the home), I took the dogs and left in my car.
Afraid and quite shaken, I called 911. The dispatcher was professional, reassuring and helped me stay calm. She told me the police would be on their way immediately. She called me back a few moments later to confirm my safe location (a nearby church parking lot) and her voice on the other end of the phone reminded me that, although frightened, I was not alone.
The police officers arrived within 5 minutes, bringing with them their K9 dog. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them publicly for their fast response, professionalism and genuine concern.
The Benzie County police force has come under intense scrutiny and the reputation of the Department has been questioned several times over the past few years. I am not writing this letter to defend, repute, condone or condemn those allegations. In fact, I do not know any of the officers that work at the Department personally.
I am simply writing to say that on Christmas Eve 2007, the Benzie County Police Department acted swiftly and with great competence. They treated me with the utmost respect and made me feel protected and safe. They were honest, upfront and acted with integrity. As a woman, I did not, for one moment, feel like I was not being taken seriously. They did a thorough search, returned and explained their findings, assuring me that the home was again safe and secure.
And so, to the Benzie County Sheriff’s Department, I would like them to know that I was, and am, extremely grateful. Thank you for being there. Thank you for your service. And thank you for a job well done.

Monica Evans • Honor

Two For One
When your readers write to the EPA with Andy Knott’s suggestions and key points regarding the Grand Traverse Overall Supply Company ground water contamination plume, tell them we have another site they can check out.
Ask them to drive on up to the Northport Village office and read the document that states “compounds/contaminants: arsenic, lead, manganese, sodium and ammonia exist in the groundwater at concentrations ABOVE Part 201 drinking water protection criteria” at the Northport Waste Water Treatment site.
This plume of contaminants has migrated off site, and if the proposed groundwater discharge of partially-treated effluent is implemented, it will likely exacerbate this existing contamination impacting the quality of Northport Creek and posing a health threat.
Tell the EPA we can offer them twice the bang for their buck in the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed. It could make their trip worthwhile.

Barbara Gilmore Weber

National Turkey?
I am not sure if I understand the letter from Michael H. MacCready in the December 31 issue of Northern Express.
Perhaps it is because the second paragraph is just wrong: “Turkeys breed so they will look up in a rain storm and drown” (sic).
Turkeys do not, nor are they bred to, drown. Benjamin Franklin thought the wild turkey should represent the United States, not a domestic turkey, but then again Benjamin Franklin liked to write political satire and pull everyone’s leg now and again.

Don MacIntyre • Interlochen

Dual Standard of Justice
When reading the crime and punishment section of my local newspaper (the business pages), I‘m continually reminded of the gross inequities inherent in our criminal justice system.
Virtually every day there are reports of CEOs and directors of major corporations who are charged with misappropriation of funds and grand larceny -- on a grand scale.
More often than not, those charged with such offenses end up making a settlement or plea agreement. Usually, those agreements result in fines and/or monetary settlement of lawsuits that don‘t even begin to compensate victims of their crimes. Moreover, having agreed to huge multi-million-dollar settlements, there is usually a denial that there was any wrongdoing. To add further insult to injury, few are ever incarcerated.
If you hold up a convenience store, and you‘re caught, you‘ll have the cuffs snapped on your wrists, get thrown into the slammer, and almost surely will do time. If you are one of those ‘pillars of society‘ who steals hundreds of millions of dollars from their companies and stockholders, cause job losses in the thousands and financially ruins many lives, you‘re more apt to first die from natural causes than you are to spend any time in prison.
There seems to be a double standard of justice in this country when it comes to punishment for theft: one for the landed gentry; one for the ‘common criminal‘.

Paul G. Jaehnert
Vadnais Hts., MN

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