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 6/9/08
. . . .

Letters 6/9/08

- June 9th, 2008
Problems flying via TC
Last November as I settled into my ($94 one way) seat on the plane from Flint to Sarasota, FL, just before the door closed, in rushed the occupant of the seat next to me. He flopped down exclaiming: “Wow, didn’t think I’d make it. I’ve just driven four hours from a little town in the tip of the Leelanau peninsula, Northport.“
Not recognizing him, I asked who he was visiting there as I too had just driven from Northport (in a $37, plus gas, rental car). Each time I make this frequent flight the plane has many people on it going to or from the Grand Traverse area. Why is Flint’s Bishop International Airport, a four-hour drive from here, getting our business?
Sarasota, where my wife and I travel several times a year for business, is very similar to Traverse City. Like TC, a few years ago they built a beautiful new airport. However, compared to Tampa International, an hour drive away, prices were high and flight availability poor. For several years the new airport sat embarrassingly idle.
Finally, after community complaints, a grass roots campaign, and a new director, the authority finally negotiated to bring in AirTran, followed by ATA. The airport and its carriers (except for ATA) today are flourishing to everyone’s delight.
For a city and outlying communities that practically depend on tourism, what’s wrong with Traverse City? Why are there no budget air carriers available for this region at Cherry County Airport? Isn’t it a necessity whose time has come? Why isn’t the business community in Traverse City involved with this issue? Isn’t it time to shut down the FNT connection, do some negotiation, and finally get TVC at Cherry Capitol Airport, onto AirTran’s landing charts?

Craig Brigham • Northport

Legal predator
There was a movie about 20 years ago called Predator. It was about an alien that came to Earth to hunt human beings for sport. The nearly invisible predator would tirelessly stalk it’s human prey, skin them alive, and make prized trophies out of their skulls.
This movie comes to mind whenever I think about the fear and terror experienced by my family and our friends who have endured a barrage of SLAPP suits (strategic lawsuits against public participation) filed by Timothy Stoepker, an attorney from the downstate law firm Dickinson Wright PLLC.
The sinister purpose of these SLAPP suits was to intimidate Acme Township officials into abrogating their local zoning laws. I am pleased to report that the Acme officials were firm in protecting the democratic process in the face of these egregious attacks that threatened their family’s hearth, home, and their modest assets. We stood to lose everything, but instead of cowering, we resoundingly said: “NO!”
And now, to my horror, I read that Mr. Stoepker has turned his predatory gaze on the officials of rural Bear Creek Township (Northern Express, “Lawsuits Bleed Townships,“ 5-26-08). Deeply sympathetic with their plight, I am sure that they too will serve their community well, but they will need the support of their neighbors. It will not be easy.
Thankfully, we do have an Arnold Schwarzenegger type hero to save the day. Rep. Kevin Elsenheimer of the 105th House District is in the process of drafting some very important legislation that will prevent this kind of abuse of our democratic process in the future. Mr. Elsenheimer, along with all the besieged township officials and their families, and the community members who bravely spoke up... they are all my heroes.
In that movie, I believe the predator, wounded and realizing his failure, self-destructs. Hopefully, Mr. Stoepker will simply discover a new sport with which to amuse himself that is not so cruel and inhumane. May I suggest badminton?

Amy Kerr Hardin • Acme Township

Different view of Lyme
Mr Ruble’s insightful and eloquent letter in the May 26 Northern Express Weekly deserves commendation as one of the best brief accounts of the Lyme disease topic that I have read.
As a medical director for a downstate local health department (Saginaw County), I have seen firsthand the consequences of an overzealous affinity to the diagnosis of “chronic” lyme disease. I have also predicted that a grass-roots attempt by well-intentioned individuals to alter the current case definition of Lyme disease will be forthcoming by those so convinced of its under diagnosis and reporting.
Letters like his help portray a balanced view of a controversial topic, as do the articles he has suggested.

Neill D, Varner, DO, MPH

Leachate dilemma
CMS made arrangements to have the City of Petoskey take the leachate from Bay Harbor and run it through the waste treatment plant. CMS failed to live up to their agreements.
When Petoskey refused to take the hazardous waste, CMS allowed the leachate to run into the Bay for eight months. Leachate not collected by CMS lines runs into the Bay regardless.
Another waste treatment plant was approached and declined to take the leachate because of toxicity and the severe conditions placed on equipment. The Traverse City waste treatment plant takes some of the leachate. What they will not take is trucked to Johannesburg.
Now, CMS has plans to truck the leachate to an injection well near Alba to save money.
The leachate presents a problem much larger than CMS or the DEQ or EPA solutions. Friends of the Jordan is working to keep the injection well out of Alba to protect the Jordan River Watershed. This is what the Friends of the Jordan is responsible for. They do not have an answer to what should be done with leachate. As long as piles of CKD (cement kiln dust) remain, surface and groundwater will travel through them in perpetuity, and into the Great Lakes. The CKD is a legacy of cement manufacturing that profited a few and provided jobs for others.
All of us in this area are responsible for taking care of the place where we live. CMS is looking out for the interests of itself and Bay Harbor. These interests do not represent the interests of Northern Michigan. All people of this area must come together to find a solution that does not just move the problem somewhere else.

Rick Beemon • Charlevoix

Unsustainable economy
The success of the consumer economy in the U.S., which the developing world is attempting to emulate, depends on more and more people buying more and more things.
This economy depends on three elements which doom it to failure: a growing population, a growing debt, and diminishing resources. The economic theory which guides our economy seems to offer no other way to share the wealth of the planet than by this process in which we just use it up.
Yet the health of the environment cannot stand more huge, populous nations with consumer economies similar to the U.S.
Overpopulation, the end of cheap energy, and the poisoning of our atmosphere are either upon us or in sight. Al Gore has done more than almost anyone else to call our attention to the fact that our way of life is not sustainable.
On the other hand, many leaders dare not speak anything less than hopefully about the future. That the world is already overpopulated is one of the most forbidden of all topics.
People have faith that things will go on pretty much as they have; putting their faith in the goverment, the free market, private enterprise, human ingenuity, science and technology, and finally, in God.
There have been economists and ecologists who have warned about the unsustainability of our lifestyle. We have rarely known who our prophets are, believing them usually to be without honor in their own time and place.

R.E. Reinert • Northport

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5