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 · Features · Thinking outside the (Digital...
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Thinking outside the (Digital Converter) box

Tom Carr - February 23rd, 2009
Thinking outside the (Digital Converter) box
Tom Carr 2/23/09

We have four extra months now to buy those converter boxes being touted by the horizontally scrolling reminders on our TV screens. The deadline was supposed to be this week. Congress delayed it to June 12, as one in 20 homes has yet to buy the electronic box that will transform an analog set into a digital television.
Locally, viewers will be able to procrastinate no matter which programs they like. The station in the designated Traverse City/Cadillac market have all opted to wait until the new deadline to go completely digital, though about 500 stations throughout the country stopped analog transmission on or around Feb. 17, the first deadline.
The word analog itself almost conjures images of dust-covered vacuum tubes. It’s the way our parents and grandparents watched “The Honeymooners.” Still, it’s always been there, free and through the airwaves, even though the majority of people have cable or satellite these days.
Yet 17.3 percent of homes in the Traverse City/Cadillac TV market still get their viewing without a paid subscription. That’s above the national average of 11 percent, says Nielsen Media research.

So will it leave a bunch of viewers, particularly rural ones, disconnected if they don’t get that box? Or is it just a reminder that we need to keep getting the gadgets if we want to stay connected?
People have so far redeemed 22.6 million of the $40 coupons sent out by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to help with the cost of the devices that start at around $50.
Nielsen says 5.1 percent of the country is still unprepared this month.
Gail Roberts of Kingsley is one of them. She has what her father jokingly calls “Amish TV,” an analog set that receives two stations reliably. That’s plenty to bring in the school closings she wants to hear in the morning. The family has dial-up Internet, because they can still get it for $10 a month, so they don’t spend a lot of time surfing.
She doesn’t know what the future holds for her preferred sources of news – the daily newspaper and National Public Radio – particularly with the fact that the state’s two largest newspapers plan to cease seven-day delivery.
Roberts has the coupon for the converter box, but hasn’t felt compelled to buy it yet and doesn’t know if she will any time soon.
“The first time I take the kids out to get on the bus and it doesn’t arrive, then I’ll probably get a faster Internet connection,” she said.

People I’ve chatted with have said they’re concerned that the changes will leave older people in the lurch.
Yet Nielsen reports that the homes headed by someone under 35 are less prepared (8.6 percent unready) than those in the 55-and-over group (3.2 percent).
The younger group may have less disposable income than the older group, said Anne Elliot, a Nielsen spokeswoman. They can only speculate, since asking people’s reasons for their viewing habits might influence their behavior, she said.
“They may also be relying on the Internet more,” she added. “They might even be watching their favorite shows on network Web sites or services like Hulu.”
Those are educated guesses. Nielsen doesn’t ask people’s reasons, since that might influence their behavior, Elliot said.
Retirees who frequent the Traverse City Senior Center haven’t been talking much about it at all, director Lori Wells said.
“Most of them have satellite or cable,” she said.

Tom Carr is a freelance writer who uses a converter box.

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