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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- December 7th, 2009
Rooster Ruckus
I would like to thank Noah Fowle and the Express for the article on
our pet bird, Beaker. A clarification on a couple things, however
-- Jim Tamlyn stated Beaker is outside crowing and the neighbors are
complaining, not noting it is only a small number of neighbors
According to Emmet County’s own investigators, who have been on
site several times -- they never heard the rooster. Beaker lives
indoors, has his own kennel (cleaned daily) in our basement. In
limited increments, Beaker does go outside after 12 noon, and is
brought inside if he crows excessively, just as one would do with a
barking dog (like the ones owned by our complaining neighbors).
The same zoning ordinance also prohibits planting flowers,
vegetables or trees on less than two acres. Yet, while Emmet County
chooses not to enforce this obviously ridiculous part of the
ordinance, it is heavy-handedly executing orders in another part of
the same ordinance.
This is a case of discrimination and unfair application of the law.
We have tried to place Beaker on three separate farms and each time
were requested to come and get him as the people feared he would not
survive because he was so stressed. He is deathly afraid of other
chickens. He has bonded to his human and animal family and would
likely suffer from separation.
If Beaker were a special needs child, I am fairly certain our
neighbors would not object. But, he is a ‘special needs’ animal and
our neighbors simply cannot wrap their limited imaginations around the
concept that a bird is a bird.
Keeping Beaker is no different from keeping a parrot or a cockatoo
for a pet, yet these are allowed and he is NOT. Where is the so-called
‘compassion‘ in that reasoning?

Andy & Sharon Peters • Petoskey

Leachate lesson
Friends of the Jordan River Watershed Inc. (FOJ) welcome the new
efforts to reassess the cleanup of cement kiln dust (CKD) leachate
contamination at Bay Harbor and Little Traverse Bay. We hope the
Regional Stakeholders Group (RSG) can correctly identify and
facilitate proper local cleanup alternatives.
We are heartened that in CMS’ recent public outreach, CMS recognizes
that trucking 200,000 gallons of leachate per day to distant injection
wells is not economical and poses increased risks.
CMS’ David Mengebier states: “Trucking the water, because of its
increased public safety and transportation risks, environmental
concerns and costs, is not a realistic long-term remedy. We absolutely
need... to identify a local solution to a local concern.”
Despite these positive developments, FOJ is concerned about CMS’
concerted efforts to “spin” the story about the extent of CKD
contamination at Bay Harbor and in Little Traverse Bay. Recent
newspaper ads, while professionally produced, fall short of a true
characterization of the problems, denying the public real choices and
facts needed to properly mitigate this Superfund Site.
One example is CMS’ improper use of the word, “water.” CKD
leachate is not water. It is no more water than coffee, milk or
household bleach. CKD leachate is strongly caustic and toxic. CKD
leachate is a public health hazard. CKD leachate is a highly regulated
industrial waste. Its physical and chemical properties bear little
resemblance to water.
To repeatedly describe CKD leachate as something as benign as
water is disingenuous and belies the fact that this toxic pollutant is
a serious short and long term environmental contaminant with direct
threats to public and ecological health.
Furthermore, our calculations indicate that it will take hundreds,
and more likely, thousands of years to dispose of the leachate based
on current methodology. None of the “alternative choices” proffered by
CMS consider this timeline. Neither do they answer the following
questions. Disposed of where? For how long? At what cost? Paid by
whom? How long is perpetuity? Is this responsible and ethical? Failure
to address these and other issues destroys the credibility of this
process and makes a proper solution unlikely.
As the RSG grapples with these difficult issues and the public is
finally invited to participate in the process, accuracy, transparency
and candor are requisite for a successful outcome. Smoke and mirrors
and pseudo choices will not suffice to solve these problems. They are
too large with ramifications so great as to be taken lightly. At least
now, the public is informed and engaged. Let us put all the issues on
the table and in the public arena and solve them together.

John W. Richter; president, Friends of the Jordan River Watershed

Money for energy
I am a Michigan resident who is discouraged by Michigan and the
federal government’s apathetic response to doing anything about our
energy woes.
I believe that the future of our energy production will rely on us
creating and putting into practice small and large scale renewable
energy producing facilities. In doing so we will inevitably be
creating well paying, stable, and local jobs while decreasing the
amount of carbon and other pollutants we put into the air. I am asking
for my state and local government to support any bills that allocate
funding towards renewable energy production and decrease the amount of
pollutants in our country. I am also asking for the Michigan
government to make Michigan a viable place for this kind of business
to happen by supporting federal bills that are in agreement with
renewable energy legislation and supporting it at the state level. The
current energy system in the U.S. is heavily subsidized by the
government so it is naïve to think that the renewable energy sector
will start up on its own without the same government help the already
“profitable” businesses receive.

Matt Tomlinson • via email

Great show
No way!
Recently at the Hagerty Center I attended the Zonta Fashion Show.
A woman of (too) many words, I am compelled to use them all here. This
show was red-hot, high class, unusual, New York-suave and beyond all
expectations. And what better cause than women‘s issues and
From the first model to hit the runway to the very last, these TC
ladies charged out six at a time and were choreographed to position
themselves and proceed to strut, pose, tease, pout and give the
audience a great show.
Beside the best of Traverse merchants clothing, we saw creativity
at its highest. Along with five-inch heels, we witnessed hand made
clothing made with such things as ribbons, men‘s ties and even a
stunning short cocktail outfit made with paper pulled from
magazines. My pet was the beautiful “Gone with the Wind” style hoop
skirt gown made out of real hair.

Ann Peterson • TC

A recent article, “Hugs Not Shrugs,“ incorrectly characterized
Great Start Specialist Mary Sue Wilkinson as a social worker. This
was the input of the editor and not the author of the article.
Also in that article, supporter and educator Jennifer Gadberry of
Gaylord writes to note that the correct name for the state-funded
program for at-risk preschool children is the “Great Start Readiness
Program” (GSRP) not the “Great Start Program” as was stated.
In addition, last week‘s article, “Inside Swing Shift,“ failed to
mention Matt Madion and Jennifer Howard who are dancing for Michael’s
Place, a local charity that offers services and programs for area
children, teens and families who have experienced the death of a loved
one. For info on their cause, call 231-947-MIKE.

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