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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October 24 is World Climate Action Day

Erin Crowell - October 19th, 2009
350 Reasons
Oct. 24 is world-wide Climate Action Day

By Erin Crowell 10/19/09

When it comes to global warming and rolling the lotto balls, it all comes down to three winning digits: 350.
This is the number scientists believe will stabilize the Earth’s climate – that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is considered the safe limit for humanity.
On Saturday, October 24, over 150 countries will participate in the International Day of Climate Action – a day of over 2,200 actions promoting an international policy limit of 350ppm CO2 emissions. Traverse City will be home to one of those actions.

“We’re going to pull off what we believe will be a well attended and highly successful public action to support 350,” says Hans Voss, director of the Michigan Land Use Institute. The MLUI, along with several partner organizations, is coordinating the event.
Northern Michigan residents are invited to the Traverse City Open Space for a group photo in which attendees will assemble into a giant 350 – the photo will be taken from above and then broadcast that day on video billboards in New York City’s Times Square and worldwide.
“Traverse City will be the only town in the Midwest being promoted at the national level,” says Voss. “It’s not a stretch to say that this will be the biggest day in worldwide environmental action, let alone in Northern Michigan.”

The International 350 event comes prior to the upcoming discussion on the U.S. Climate Bill, which has passed through the House of Representatives and is now in the U.S. Senate. On December 10, President Obama and other U.S. representatives will take that bill to the United Nations World Climate Change Conference, happening in Copenhagen, Denmark on Dec.7-18, where world leaders will finalize a global climate treaty.
“It’s important the U.S. is in strong agreement,” says Voss. “This is a moment when you have two really big decisions on climate change and a president campaigning on global warming, patterns that are suggesting if we don’t change, it could be out of our hands.”

WHY 350?
The optimal number for allowable carbon emissions comes from a study by Dr. James Hansen, who heads the NASA Institute for Space Studies in New York City. Through his years of collected data in understanding human impact on global climate, Dr. Hansen believes a maximum 350ppm of CO2 is required in order to sustain and preserve the Earth’s climate. So is this number attainable? Dr. Hansen addresses specific suggestions in his paper, Target Atmospheric CO2: Where should humanity aim?, and the consequences for not attaining that number:
“An initial 350 ppm CO2 target may be achievable by phasing out coal use except where CO2 is captured and adopting agricultural and forestry practices that sequester carbon. If the present overshoot of this target CO2 is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects.”
Currently, the Earth’s atmosphere is close to 390ppm CO2, according to Dr. Hansen and other scientific reports.
“The time for debating the science of global warming is over. We have a scientific census that it’s happening,” says Voss. “The debate is how to solve it, how quickly we have to move.”

The 350 International movement is the brainchild of Bill McKibben, a writer and activist and author of The End of Nature, the first book geared to the general public on climate change.
In September 2008, McKibben visited the Traverse City area to discuss his latest book In Deep Economy where over 700 residents packed the Lars Hockstad Auditorium to hear him speak. Prior to the event, in an interview with Northern Express reporter Anne Stanton (“Planet Prophet”, 8/18/09), McKibben first addressed his involvement in the 350 Project, which he shared with the Traverse City audience.
“(McKibben) was so impressed by the level of energy and involvement of our community. He thinks this is one of the most active centers of involvement in the global warming issue,” says Voss.
For this reason, McKibeen personally chose Traverse City to take a significant role in a global event – an event that project 350 supporters believe will be the biggest day of environmental action in world history.
“This is a moment in history like no other. In the next six months, the biggest decisions of our generation will be made,” says Voss. “The time is now or never to come up with real actions.”

The International Day of Climate Action is a global grassroots event happening October 24. Join hundreds of other Northern Michigan residents at the Traverse City Open Space at 1 p.m. for a group photo that will appear above Times Square in New York City. Other events include a reception at the City Opera House, discounts at local restaurants and the TC-350 Ball, also held at the City Opera House. Learn more about the global event at 350.org.

TC 350:

• Happening Saturday, October 24 in Traverse City. Events include:

• Group 350 Photo - Open Space, 1 p.m.

• Reception to follow at the City Opera House featuring Dave Barrons, former 9 & 10 News Chief Meteorologist; Dan Scripps, State Representative, 101st District; Bill McKibben (special recorded message to Traverse City) and Jen Sygit, singer-songwriter and Earthwork musician.

• Restaurant discounts and Scavenger Hunt, 4-7pm

• TC-350 Ball at the City Opera House, 7-11:30pm, featuring live music, DJs and dancing.

For a complete list of participating restaurants and more information on the event, visit tc350.org
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