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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Everyone knows it windy/help for Haiti/Food Rescue delivers

- January 25th, 2010
Everyone Knows It’s Windy
But some lakeshore residents are fearful of proposed wind farm project
A fight over wind turbines is shaping up in Oceana and Mason counties,
where 400 area residents have organized to oppose a proposed wind farm
project on Lake Michigan.
Norweigian-based Scandia Wind has proposed erecting up to 200 wind turbine
generators in a 100-square mile area of Lake Michigan between Silver Lake
and Ludington. The wind farm would provide power for 350,000 homes,
helping Michigan to meet its goal of generating at least 10% of its power
needs from renewable resources by 2015. The company, which is also
currently building a wind farm in the Texas panhandle, claims that its
wind towers would appear as tiny needles seen from the shore, a minimum of
two miles away.
But POWER. (Protect Our Water, Economy and Resources), a Pentwater-based
group of locals, summer residents and businesses, are opposing the Scandia
Wind Aegir Project in its present form, claiming it will ruin the
The group’s website, www.protectwithpower.org, claims that the Scandia
project would be the largest offshore windfarm in the world, covering an
area twice the size of Grand Rapids. “It would be under four miles from
shore at Pentwater and under two miles from shore at Silver Lake. It would
consist of up to 200 wind turbines, each towering 300 feet above the Lake,
and it would extend for 12 miles, altering our shoreline forever.”
“We are united in our love for this area, and our firm belief that this
proposed wind development will be disastrous for tourism, the economy
and the environment,” said Jeff Hoenle, president of the POWER Coalition
and landowner in Oceana County. “We support smart exploration of
alternative energy sources, like wind energy, but this proposal from
Scandia is not a smart approach.”
Hoenle said in a news release that his group is concerned that Scandia
Wind is “trying to push through a project by taking advantage of a gray
area in current state law, at the same time ignoring recommendations by
the Great Lakes Wind and Energy Council regarding desirable offshore wind
energy development.”
The group also feels that the deep-water site may not work.
“During the first public meeting, even representatives from Scandia
admitted that no one has tried to build turbines at the depth they are
exploring in Lake Michigan,” Hoenle said. “We are not interested in
risking our water and natural environment to be a test site for something
that might or might not work.”
The project will need local, state and federal approval to go ahead.
Thereafter, it would take five years to construct before going

Help for Haiti
Shoppers packed Oryana Food Co-op in TC last week to support Haiti
Fundraising Day, in which 10% of all sales was donated to help victims of
the earthquake disaster.
“It was really pretty good - we have $3,400 going to donate,” said general
manager Steve Nance. “Plus, we’re going through the end of this month with
collections for Haiti being taken at the registers.”
Nance added that most shoppers came out “in droves” later in the evening.
The funds will be donated to Oxfam, an international aid group which is
already on the ground in Haiti. “Their focus is similar to our approach on
social justice and poverty eradification,” Nance said. “There are so many
worthy charities out there but we felt this was a pretty good fit.”
Other efforts include:
• Traverse City’s Rotary Club is collecting funds for Shelter Boxes, each
of which can help up to 10 people with shelter, blankets, cooking gear and
water purification. The club recently raised more than $14,000 for
earthquake victims. To help: send donations to Rotary Camps and Services
at 202 E. Grandview Parkway, Suite 201, Traverse City, MI 49684.
• The State Theatre in TC also reports raising $3,361 for the Haitian
relief effort from ticket sales the weekend after the disaster.
• Shimmer’s at the Holiday Inn, TC, is donating a portion of its cover
charges to the Red Cross on two consecutive Fridays.

Food Rescue delivers
The team at Food Rescue have a lot to be proud of during the current
economic crisis: as of Jan. 15, volunteers with the group had collected
288,283 lbs. of soon-to-expire fresh food and beverages that would have
otherwise gone into local landfills.
“Food Rescue is Northwest Michigan’s solution to the problems of hunger
and waste,” states its website. “Our method is quite simple: Rescue
perishable and prepared foods as well as beverages and deliver them to
organizations that serve the hungry.”
Launched in October, 2008, the Traverse City-based group collects food
from sources such as grocery stores, restaurants, caterers and bakeries
for distribution to people in need through 57 food pantries, shelters and
community meals programs in a five-county area.
According to USDA guidelines, a pound of food is the equivalent of one
adult meal. For more info on Food Rescue and how to lend a hand, see

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