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 8/16/07
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Letters 8/16/07

- August 16th, 2007
When the music‘s over...
Oh my god..... Enough about this so-called music scene and all the bullshit that goes along with it. There is no music scene here!
Just a dog and pony show for all the fudgies, with the same f-ing cast of characters. Hey guys, (you know who you are), let‘s all form duos and do the soft shoe for the tourists, shall we? This is vacation land, not L.A., N.Y., Nashville, or even Detroit.
There used to be music made here, but not since the ‘90s, and even then, it was dicey. Why make real music, when you can hide in Traverse City, sit down, get lazy, and play “Margaritaville“ & “Brown Eyed Girl“...
Please stop thinking it’s ever going to be more than it is. Anybody can play the same old song. Those who can play are the ones responsible for letting the music die, by settling for the easy dollar and the status quo.

John C. Hefti • TC

Proud to play
Kudos to John Ivan Greilick for laying it out for the masses (“Ramblings of a Full-Time Musician,“ 8/2).
It’s a common misconception that musicians work a few nights a week for a few hours a night, and screw around the rest of the time. We work hard, and we’ve put in years and years of practice, studying a myriad of different genres, styles and musicians. And to top it off, we’ve had to learn how to be entrepreneurs and conduct a business out of our homes (and cars) at the same time.
It’s a job. It’s a great job most of the time, but it’s still a job. And to be a success at it in Northern Michigan takes a lot, and I mean a LOT of work... chasing down live gigs, recording jobs, jingles, looking for anything to try and find the next paycheck.
Also, as Ivan said, I’m not familiar with any “backstabbing backwoods” musical politics around here either. I network with dozens of musicians constantly, referring people I know and trust musically and professionally all the time. It’s great to have a network of true professionals who are as interested in presenting themselves professionally as they are working at their craft. It makes us all look good to cooperate in such a manner, and most of us do.
I’m proud to be a full-time musician in Northern Michigan, and feel blessed to have become part of a wonderful musical community that includes Ivan, Ron Getz, Jason Kott, Mark Camp, Don Julin, and a host of other talented professionals in our area. Anyone who can’t see what a great community we have here either isn’t interested in finding it, or is simply bitter about what they can’t achieve or don’t understand. And that is nobody’s fault but their own.

Pete Kehoe • Petoskey

Health care a mess
I just received your article on “Overdosing the Elderly” (7/19) from my sister-in-law, Lija Ditmar. The experience of my mother-in-law, Mimi Celmins, is both horrifying and unbelievable!
Your article was very complete about treatment of the elderly. You may be interested to know that this occurence is not restricted to that particular Grand Rapids Hospital, or to the elderly.
A couple of months ago, I went to the Mayo Clinic Hospital, Scottsdale, AZ to pick up a friend of mine from the emergency room. When I arrived, she was in intolerable pain, vomiting, and could not walk or stand up. When she refused to leave, they called the police to carry her out. However, the police couldn’t figure out how to get her out without a gurney - plus call a cab for her, since I would not take the responsibility of driving her. Finally, the hospital allowed her to stay a few more hours. The story goes on, but no one would believe it.
Now, Mayo Clinic was not only the patient’s health insurance carrier, but also my friend is very intelligent, generally never a complainer, and she is only 55 years old.
This happened at one of the most prestigeous hospitals in our country, perhaps the world. All health care is a mess!

Penny W. Celmins
Paradise Valley, AZ

Poison dust & our troops
On August 1 the Straits Area Concerned Citizens for Peace & Justice film of the week was “POISON DUST: Depleted Uranium the next Agent Orange.“ Let me share some startling facts about depleted uranium (DU).
DU has a half-life of four billion years. It’s not going to disappear. Between the first Gulf War and the current one the U.S. has dropped 2,200 tons of DU.
Our troops walk, sleep, fight surrounded by DU particles. They may ingest it, they may breathe it into their bodies; they may receive wounds that cause DU to enter. DU is in the sand, the water and in the air.
Where does it come from? It comes from bombs and other forms of munitions. Upon impact the bombs go boom, and the DU is sprayed all over.
Remember the first Gulf War? Remember how few troops died in combat? The number was around 148.
Since 2002, an additional 10,324 First Gulf War vets have died, and 221,502 are on disability.
It’s not only the veterans who are paying a price for the DU exposure. Like many young people, they decided to have children. The number of these children with leukemia is staggering. Deformities are also a problem. Many of the same deformities seen in Iraqi infants are being seen in American babies born to vets exposed to DU. We’re talking serious deformities, such as little flippers sticking out from the shoulders, no ears, no eyes, fingers fused together and worse.
The levels of DU in many parts of Iraq (including where our troops are serving) is so high, it’s like having a chest X-ray every two minutes.
What of the Iraqis who have to live in Iraq with DU? Since the first Gulf War, Iraqis have had a 700%-1000% increase in cancers (from 1990-1999 our troops exposed to DU malignant cancers are up 300%). Deformities in the babies in Iraq... a 400%-600% increase since First Gulf War.
Our troops who survive Iraq in one piece are likely to return home carrying a package of DU within their cells. This little package can have a huge impact on their own health in the years ahead, as well as carrying severe risks to any children they may bring into the world.
Our troops shouldn’t be at risk for Bush’s, Cheney’s, Condi’s, Powell’s and Rumsfeld’s war of choice, a war for control of Mid-East oil, a war for the benefit of greedy war profiteers. Our troops should not be used this way. Bring these precious men and women home.

Karen Martin • Cheboygan

The real poop
A recent letter to the editor on disposing “manure” to farm fields asserts that the human is not much different from the animal. Here is the real poop.
Untreated septage as human fecal matter contains human disease causing organisms like viruses, parasites, bacteria including E.coli, hormones, menses and the medicines we take. Land disposed raw septage puts these pathogens into the ecosystem. Treated sewage sludge, on the other hand, is a soil conditioner from which pathogens have been removed. All septage should be treated.
Second, the letter’s summary of the rules for land disposal leaves out the most important rule of all. Land disposal of raw septage has been outlawed by State of Michigan legislation.
Land disposal of raw septage is illegal:
• 2005 – In GT County and within 15 miles of a Treatment Plant
• 2006 – On frozen ground; anywhere
• 2010 - Elk Rapids, Milton, Helena, Torch Lake Townships and within 25 miles of a Treatment Plant
• 2025 - Totally illegal statewide
Land-applied septage and animal manure must not violate water quality laws any time.

Keith Termaat, President
The Milton Neighbors

Cluster bomb atrocities
Thank you for your continuing coverage of U.S. military strategy in Iraq and the Middle East. However, one aspect of that coverage is lacking in the media, including in your reporting; the devastating and long lasting effects of cluster bombs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.
U.S.-made cluster bombs have been used in civilian populated areas in these and other countries over the past 15 years with devastating and long-lasting effect. These wide-area weapons maim and kill civilians during conflicts, and “dud” munitions continue to do so long after the war subsides.
The International Red Cross and United Nations have condemned the use of these weapons. The U.S. use of cluster bombs hurts our country’s ability to champion humanitarian rights and endangers our children and our children’s children by leaving a terrible reminder of the U.S. impact on
the far reaches of the world.
We need media like yours to shed light on this issue, and we need our community to ask our senators how they will work for passage of this important legislation to save innocent civilian lives for decades to come.

John Weathers • Kingsley

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