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..

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Great Lakes Bioneers Conference

Anne Stanton - October 12th, 2009
A Weekend of Inspiration
The Great Lakes Bioneers Conference kicks off on Friday

By Anne Stanton 10/12/09

If you’ve always thought Traverse City has a huge contingent of people who want to do right by the planet, you’d be right.
Traverse City is one of only two cities in the state to host the upcoming national Bioneers Conference. Now in its eighth year, no city in the country has served as a satellite host for as long as Traverse City. Last year, the Great Lakes Bioneers Conference ushered in a record 1,000 people through its doors.
So what is Bioneers and what goes on at the Traverse City conference?
Bioneers is a national nonprofit group that began operating out of New Mexico 20 years ago. The group believes humankind needs to take its cues from nature to make the world a better place to live. Its key philosophy is to work together, not competitively. The group holds a national conference each year in San Rafael, California.
The Bioneers Conference features the country’s top thinkers on just about anything that pertains to being alive—health, environment, social issues, and spirituality. This year’s most well known names include Dr. Andrew Weil, a guru of holistic health, and Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Sharon Flesher of Traverse City plans on attending most of the weekend with her daughter, Leah, who has just started home schooling.
“The thing about Bioneers is you may go there for one thing, but invariably you’ll find something else. The first time I went there, I listened to this mushroom guy, Paul Stamets. He did this talk on mushrooms and how they can be used to absorb toxins from the dirt, cure diseases; he went on and on. His passion just blew me away.”
Although the multitude of workshops, speeches, and activities seem daunting, there is a rhythm to the three-day event, which starts October 16 at Northwestern Michigan College’s Milliken Auditorium.
Each day starts with a local keynote speaker followed by area talent giving workshops on a wide range of interests, from weatherizing your home to making an animated movie to calming allergies with herbs and natural remedies.
At noon, you break for an organic lunch, which, of course, uses largely local ingredients.
In the afternoon, you can sit in Milliken Auditorium to watch the speakers on a large screen, or, if you’re the antsy type, go to a workshop or two in Scholar’s Hall. There are several workshops geared for families, and children are welcome at all the lectures (there’s also an activity room with crafts, napping spots, and a nursing area).
“The word conference doesn’t do its justice,” said Tara Ward, a part-time staffer who spends the year coordinating the annual event. “There’s a coffee and tea café, a community art project, student films, documentaries and music. The word conference seems so serious, but the national speakers come with a positive message. They bring a good energy that we can do positive things for the world.”

The fun continues at night, with a reception for participants at Scholar’s Hall on Friday night. Open to the public—not just the participants—are the following events:
• On Friday night, enjoy a performance put together by the Earthwork Music Collective, a group of independent singers and bands at Milliken Auditorium. Starts at 8 p.m.
• On Saturday night, the movie, Fiercelight, will be shown at the State Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Activists around the country are interviewed about their work and what inspired them.
• If you like funk and R&B, check out Jamie Register and her six-piece posse, the Glendales, at the Waterfront Conference Center, beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
The Great Lakes Bioneers Conference was “birthed” by Seeds, a nonprofit group, and Neahtawanta Center eight years ago. Major donors include Denis and Martha Pierce and Oryana Natural Foods Market. It’s also supported by dozens of sponsors and underwriters.

Go to glbconference.org for info. Register, at Scholar’s Hall, drop in for one or all three days. Reduced rates are available (70% of all attendees qualify). NMC staff, students, and faculty attend for free, as well as children ages 12 and under. If you have questions, call 947-0312.

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