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 4/28/08
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Letters 4/28/08

- April 28th, 2008
History of a disaster
Anyone who has ever canoed, fished or hiked in the Jordan River Valley knows it is one of the last pristine wild areas in Northern Michigan.  The proposed deep-injection wells in Alba could threaten to change that.
Cement kiln dust (CKD), when mixed with water, becomes a toxic,  bleach-like soup, releasing large amounts of mercury, arsenic and other contaminants.  The State, DEQ, and developers have known for over 20 years that ground water was mixing with CKD from the former Penn-Dixie cement plant and leaching its poisons into Little Traverse Bay.  Their solution?  Build luxury homes and a golf course over the piles and hope no one would notice.  CMS Energy was one of the developing partners.
The toxic leachates entered Little Traverse Bay.  East Park was closed.  The EPA, in 2005, ordered CMS to isolate, contain or remove the CKD piles to eliminate groundwater contamination.  Such containment would necessitate digging up the golf course.  CMS says it‘s too expensive.  Their solution?  Allow the groundwater to become contaminated, then collect a small percentage of it (the rest is still flowing into the bay), transport it to Alba, a community with far fewer economic resources, and once again bury the problem.  That‘s 135,000 gallons shipped by tanker trucks on hilly country roads every day for the next 10-20 years -- the potential for transport problems are reason enough to oppose the well.
And what if the leachate doesn‘t stay buried?  These wells have an 8% malfunction rate.  When a deep-injection well in Romulus, MI failed, the company responsible for its maintenance vanished, leaving the community to clean up the mess.
Do we want to risk poisoning the Jordan River or the drinking water of area residents?  Do we want to continue to allow leachate to flow into Little Traverse Bay?  The CKD piles should be removed, not dumped in another community, possibly contaminating another watershed.  Join with Friends of the Jordan and Star Township in opposing the deep-injection wells and protect our water.

          Anne Zukowski • Charlevoix

Rising food costs
How crazy our policy makers have become.  Food costs as well as other commodities across the spectrum have gone through the roof.  Starting in large part with our government‘s effort to appease the global warming crowd and burn corn ethanol in fuel tanks.  
The existence of global warming and certainly that which is man-made is highly debatable, but that’s another topic.  This ludicrous policy, by the law of supply and demand, has raised the cost of  basic food staples this country and others need to survive.  Without such, malnutrition, starvation, and the political unrest that follows shakes the foundation of governments and the world at large. The recent food riots in Egypt and elsewhere have only begun to surface.  We need to reverse this absurd policy immediately.   
Energy is readily available if those who want our country to be back in the Stone Age would allow many of the world’s great companies to go get it and put people back to work.  Those radical elements of our society that have prevented us from doing so dislike nearly all of our realistic options.  They don‘t like oil.  The don‘t like coal.  They don‘t like the incredibly clean nuclear.  They don‘t even like wind farms off the coast of one of their favorite spokesmen, the great senator from Massacheusetts, Mr. Ted Kennedy.  
To those who believe in such grave policy, please stop blaming big oil for rising fuel costs.  Don‘t blame your local grocer for rising food costs.  When the food riots become common and potentially spread throughout much of the world, look into a mirror and reflect as to who is truly to blame.  Seven dollar per pound burger is just around the corner. 

                        Brian Spencer • TC 

The great water rip-off
In just a few weeks, anglers, fans of the outdoors and Michigan families will head to our rivers and streams to enjoy fishing, canoeing and many other fun activities that celebrate Michigan’s greatest natural heritage... our water. 
Our Great Lakes, rivers and streams define who we are as Michiganders. Sadly, thirsty states and countries facing drought and water shortages want to take our fresh water. Bottling corporations and other water takers want to undermine public control of our water. Our elected leaders should join citizens in protecting our water and our cherished way of life.
Unfortunately, some Michigan politicians are currently supporting proposals to allow up to 25 percent of some of our inland rivers and streams to be available for withdrawal, with no oversight! Maybe they don’t realize that our lakes, rivers and aquifers are all connected in the Great Lakes system. Or maybe they care more about corporate lobbyists who want to profit from selling our water.  
This scheme could devastate some of our most sensitive fisheries and watersheds and must be stopped NOW!
The State Legislature is debating whether to protect Michigan’s inland waters from withdrawal. Don’t allow our inland lakes, rivers and aquifers to be available to the highest bidder. The Great Lakes, Great Michigan coalition has an online petition at www.michiganwaternotforsale.com and if you sign it, the petition will go directly to your legislator.  I urge all Michigan citizens to send a message to the Legislature that our water is not for sale. 

           Gary Buffington • Petoskey

On the cover of the 4/21 issue, artist Kim Krumrey’s  name was spelled incorrectly.  Apologies to Kim.

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