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 12/29/08
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Letters 12/29/08

- December 29th, 2008
Buzz Wilson, hero
At the end of each year, Time Magazine n ominates a man or woman of the year.
As a housecleaner and an office assistant, I don’t have that kind of influence, but if I did, I would nominate Buzz Wilson, who passed away this last summer.
You might know of Buzz because of his generous contribution to the State Theater in Traverse City. He was the “angel” who gave a huge gift to renovate the theatre. He just didn’t write a check. He used his many contacts in the construction business to get the job done in record time, and then he (or I) showed up every day to make sure the job was done right.
I know Buzz because he hired me to clean his house in the summer of 2003. I felt immediately that my life had changed for the better. He brought out the best in me. Three years later, he offered me a job as his personal assistant. I told him I had no experience and turned down his job offer. He hired me anyway and told me I could learn the job. It took me a lot longer to believe in myself, but I finally did.
Buzz was my mentor, my inspiration, and my friend. He treated me like family rather than an employee. He helped my husband and myself through the process of buying our first home. Then he stood by my family’s side when we had what seemed—at the time—my husband’s insurmountable legal problems. He had hope and saw the right side of things. My husband never had a good father figure in his life, and Buzz was that person.
The memory of Buzz Wilson will live on in our family and the Traverse City downtown. For Buzz, everything was possible. No project was too small or too big to accomplish. Maybe he’s not “man of the year,” but I would say he’s the angel of my lifetime.

Audrey Roman • Suttons Bay

Bad business
Madam Governor, why have you tied your political future to the worst-run businesses in America? Do you know what happened to the first electric car that was crushed so the technology would remain secret?
The people at the Big Three have ignored the American public for so long that it has become a habit with them. They believed that they could dictate what the public wanted. Can you say Edsel?
I hope that you have other options open for yourself, because these guys deserve to fail. It is the American way in the open market. Someone is always right there, ready to pick up the pieces, and start over. All that they are doing is trying to remain in place so the big men in the Big Three can continue to make big money off us.

Michael H. MacCready • Manton

Say no to cow fart tax
In the 1970s, it was global cooling. Then came global warming. Now it’s just “climate change” for the Al Gore followers. If you haven’t gone outside lately, it’s been renamed clearly for political reasons.
“Man made” climate change is a hoax of the proportions well beyond the recent $50 billion Wall Street Ponzi scheme reported. One only need to look at Mr. Gore’s new mansion, yacht, jet, and millions of eco-friendly company-specific business options to know his motivations.
For what it’s worth, in Great Britain this crowd is now proposing to place a carbon tax on 12 million cows in the fields so as to reduce the herd and the country’s carbon inprint. Seems cows have a high propensity to pass gas. More so than chickens and pigs. This is laughable, if it were not so serious. Should the same thinking hit our own shores, I suggest a individual carbon tax on Mr. Al Gore himself and what he spews. In doing, we might save a good portion of our own herd from what Great Britain’s may be facing shortly. Your wallet is counting on you.

Brian Spencer • TC

John Lennon‘s message
How many readers know John Lennon’s song, “Happy Christmas”? If you do, then you’ll know the message that John’s family sings is the song‘s undercurrent: “War is over if you want it.”
This, in my opinion, is a relevant message for today, whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year. There are probably a lot of people out there who feel this current war has gone on too long and want it over, myself
included, but have not yet spoken up. This letter, which I wanted to write for a long time, goes out to all these
people. I ask, even urge you all to speak, write, or otherwise express this wish, so that the people in charge will hear, read, or otherwise know it: We want the war over!
Now all I have left to say is: happy holidays to all of you, near and dear, old and young, and a good happy new year without any fear!

Emily Baker • TC

Yes, we can
The time has come to direct our attention to the welfare of our home: Mother Earth. The time is now, to tell your representatives, including Congressman Bart Stupak, Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, that attention must be given to the health of Mother Earth, our only home.
Demand that they tighten regulations on industry to decrease the harmful runoff from agriculture and city streets that are spilling into our waters and contaminating our ground. Say no more building in fragile areas. No more drilling in protected areas. This is not the answer to our problems and will only create other worse problems. Whatever influence the U.S. can exert, we must stop the dangerous practice of burning the world’s rainforests and overfishing the world’s ocenas, as these systems play a major role in keeping our planet healthy.
Let me list some easy steps to start with: reduce your meat intake.
The billion cattle on this planet expel vast amounts of harmful methane gas into the atmosphere. Our country should be raising healthy vegetables for human consumption instead of millions of acres of corn to feed cows. It takes much fossil fuel to produce, and to transport both the corn and the finished animal products all around the country.
Replace your incandescent bulbs with those squiggly fluorescents; recycle, reuse and restore everything you can; drive less; replace gas hog SUVs with compact cars; buy locally grown produce as much as possible; use cloth bags for grocery shopping, keep your tires inflated, turn down your thermostat in the winter and turn lights off when not needed. We can all do these things right now, for our planet, our Mother Earth.
In addition we need to demand clean, save and renewable alternative energy NOW! Many areas in Northern Michigan are appropriate for wind energy due to the frequency and strength of the winds we receive. It’s clean and it’s renewable.
We must take action, all of us, right now. We truly do not have the luxury of ignoring the plight of our Mother Earth.
By working together, by facing up to this crisis YES WE CAN do this.

Karen & David Martin

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