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 1/5/09
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Letters 1/5/09

- January 5th, 2009
A 3,000-mile search
Local Elk Rapids builder Jay Merchant has seen his share of the pressures of the construction industry. But only since the housing markets have burst like a water balloon dropped from the roof has he been forced to travel such great distances to keep working.
Recently, necessity has prompted this local businessman to reach out a bit farther to try and keep the lights on. He has been obliged to travel all the way to the Rocky Mountain ski resort town of Snowmass, Colorado this December.
His 20-plus years of experience brought an opportunity from someone who worked for Jay as an intern, back in the day. By the grace of God, this has provided work at a time of trial and uncertainty. So, on a whim and a prayer he “loaded up the trucks,” said “Colorado is the place we need to be,” and set out across the country.
The task was daunting for Jay and crew. Driving for days, they were mesmerized by cornfields, cows, and tumbleweeds before a harrowing attempt at crossing the mountain passes. Then they set up a rental house on a shoestring budget with a few basic necessities. They worked in fluctuating conditions and temperatures six days a week, while trying to make a good impression on the locals. They also carried lunch items out each day to prevent the bears from showing up at the site and survived a rear-end fender-bender en route to work one morning.
All of these events threatened to dampen the crew’s spirit, but they pressed on and managed to complete most of what they set out to do. Not even the theft of some tools in a hotel parking lot on the return journey managed to rain on their parade. All was taken in stride and everyone was home for Christmas.
An interim jaunt may be necessary to deal with loose ends and minor changes. In a month or two, a return trip is on the agenda to complete the detailed finish work in the three mountainside condos the crew worked on.
These truly are tough times that we face. Yet difficult times can seem to bring out the best in us. These unsung hometown heroes are living proof and exemplify that; when asked to go the extra mile, go 3,000 miles instead.

John Larkins • Elk Rapids

Less is more
Thanks to Anne Stanton for a very uplifting article on Rick and Heather Shumaker for living small instead of large. They are to be greatly commended for leaving a small “footprint.” And I thought I was the only one to live like that! More should do the same.

Charlene Jackson • via email

Good times at Art‘s
Your article about Art’s Tavern was very personal to me as a long time resident who drank, smoked, played pool, danced to the juke-box and partied at Art’s in times prior to Tim Barr making it more food-friendly.
I remember Sunday afternoons where I was the only one in the bar for the whole day playing pool. And now to see it occupied on winter nights is wonderful. If the food, scenery, friendships, toasts, skiing, or whatever attracts you, Tim is always welcoming.
Nothing stays the same and the times I spent at Art‘s are gone, so I give a big Christmas wish to all to find themselves at Tim Barr’s friendly bar. I will only tell the edgy stories to those I know: just don’t peel out in front of the bar, or date one of the bartenders‘ girlfriends!

Brad Krull • Glen Arbor

Rein in Israel
Barack Obama, while in Israel this summer, opined: “If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”
Why is it the U.S. never removes its Zionist-tinted glasses when talking about Israel and Palestine? How many newscasts this past week had only an Israeli interviewed to repeat their assertion that Gaza is a terrorist base? What are 1.5 million Palestinians’ in Gaza expected to do without sufficient food, water, fuel or medicine? Do our government spokespersons or newscasters even know that over 850 Palestinians have been killed by Israel since the Annapolis summit in late 2007? Who has real grounds to lose patience?
U.S. taxpayers send Israel $3 billion annually in military aid grants for weaponry. In short, Israel’s lethal attack on Gaza is made possible by the U.S.
So, what do we do? Everything. Letters to our representatives and demonstrations are fine, but a sustained movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to end the occupation is necessary. Start by not buying anything made in Israel. Educate yourself, see www.endtheoccupation.org

Marian Kromkowski
• Suttons Bay

Outrage in Gaza
While the history of the war in Israel and Palestine is long and complex, the horrible injustice and desperate conditions inflicted on the people of Palestine, in Gaza, and the West Bank are cruel and inhumane.
The great separation wall touted as a “security” barrier by the Israeli government and costing billions of dollars, encroaches deep into recognized Palestinian land, surrounding towns and cutting deep into Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The wall separates the people of Palestine from their loved ones, their water and fields, from hospitals and access to food. The Palestinian people are being pushed into densely populated centers, separated from each other by checkpoints and walls.
For two years, Gaza, the most populated region in the world, has been under siege, blockaded by water, land and air, cut off from food and water supplies, hospitals and work. In occupied Palestine, homes are bulldozed, rockets explode and armed Israeli troops threaten families. Electricity and fuel are shut off and sewage overflows. The children are hungry and afraid. The Palestinian people are being collectively punished for the actions of Hamas -- actions over which they have no control.
The United States has long supported Israel. It is time to call for and facilitate a meaningful peace for all people who live in the ancient lands of Palestine and Israel. The violence must stop. It is time to end funding the human rights violations against the Palestinian people in Gaza, east Jerusalem, the West Bank and in Israel.

Jo Anne Beemon • Charlevoix

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