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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Two wheeling

Staff Reports - August 12th, 2004
Two Wheelin‘
NoMich cyclists leaving tracks all over...
Maybe it‘s the Lance Armstrong effect, but the wheels are in spin on a number of bicycle-powered endeavors this week, going far beyond the borders of Northern Michigan:

TART SUPPORT: The Cherry Capital Cycling Club is rounding up riders for its Leelanau Harvest Tour on Sept. 19 to benefit bike trails in Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties through TART Trails, Inc.
Last year over 500 riders participated and $7,000 was donated to TART Trails. With beautiful pastoral views of Leelanau‘s rolling countryside, the ride also boasts food and treats from stores, restaurants and farms in the county. For info and an application, check out www.cherry-capital.com/cccc/tours.htm.

ALZHEIMER‘S: By the time you read this, Tom Auch should be at least halfway through his 1,250-mile bike ride from Northern Michigan to Boulder, Colorado to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s and the Munson Hospice Program.
An instructor at Northwestern Michigan College, Auch says the death of Ronald Reagan inspired him to pedal on behalf of Alzheimer‘s disease. Averaging 70-80 miles a day, his goal is to reach Boulder by August 19th.
Auch plans to average 12 miles per hour carrying 30 pounds of gear, including a tent and sleeping bag. His trip will take him
across Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and into Colorado. He‘s wearing a single purple glove on his right hand as a symbol of hope and renewal, two aspects associated with the care patients receive in Munson‘s Hospice Program.
Check out www.purpleglove.com for more on the ride and how to make a donation.

PEACE CYCLE: Patricia and Bernhard Odernheimer, retired residents of rural Manistee County, are on their third trip to Israel/Palestine, this time by bicycle. Joining a group called The Peace Cycle, they will ride from London to Jerusalem, over 2,000 miles across Europe.
On August 14 in Hyde Park, the Odernheimers will join dozens of people from all faiths and backgrounds on a journey to raise awareness for the plight of the Palestinian people and for peace in the region. Peace Cycle riders will wear t-shirts which say: “End the cycle of violence.“
Patricia and Bernhard have scrambled to obtain their pledge of $8,000 for the six-week trip. They hope to bike up to 80 miles a day. Recalling their memories of extended mountain hiking in Europe and their bike trip from New York City to Michigan in l996, the Odernheimers feel the Peace Cycle will be the biggest physical challenge of their lives.

G.R.-BOUND: If you‘ve ever longed to ride from Northern Michigan to Grand Rapids, but don‘t care to risk becoming road kill, then check out the new White Pine Trail.
This summer, Bob Otwell, the director of TART Trails, and his wife Laura made the 100-mile ride south from Cadillac to downtown Grand Rapids.
Otwell reports that the bike path runs down an abandoned railway track and that there is camping along the way at the village of Paris. Plans are to extend the White Pine Trail from Cadillac to Traverse City, with eventual links to trails in Charlevoix and Gaylord. Eventually, cyclists will be able to ride the 250-or-so miles from Grand Rapids to the Mackinac Straits.

Stop the Wall
coming to NoMich
A model of Wall of Separation between Israel and Palestine will roll into Traverse City Sunday, August 15 for a two-day visit. The national tour provides citizens an opportunity to view pictures and hear observers of the Wall’s development.
Running more than 200 miles through Israel and the occupied territories, the wall of concrete and barbed wire has been the subject of international condemnation as a barely disguised land grab scheme, depriving Palestinian farmers of their orchards and water rights.
The tour aims to illustrate the Wall’s impact on the environment, Israelis and Palestinians and the peace process. The Wall tour team will detail the International Court of Justice ruling on the illegality of the Wall and the Israeli Supreme Court order to reroute the Wall.
The public is invited to the Wall forum on Monday August 16 at 7 p.m. at St. Michael’s Social Hall, Elm and Broadway on the south end of Suttons Bay. Preceding the forum there will be a potluck at 6 p.m. also open to the public. Bring service and dish-to-pass.
The trailer-model of the wall will be at the Farmers Market in TC on Sunday afternoon and around the area both days.
The Stop the Wall Campaign is traveling across the United States, covering 15,000 miles. John Reese, coordinator of the Tour and a hydrogeologist, spent seven months in 2002 in the West Bank and Gaza and saw the first stages of the Wall’s construction.
“The first time I gazed up at that three-story high concrete mass in Qalqilya,” Reese says, “I knew I had to tell others in the United States how our tax dollars were being used to destroy lives, livelihoods and hope. I saw my tax dollars destroying the chance for peace. I struggled to understand how this could make Israelis more secure and learned from Israelis I spoke to that many agree it does exactly the opposite.”
For info, see www.StopTheWall.org.

Concert/picnic aims for regime change at ‘Dems, Dogs & Beans‘
Supporters of John Kerry for President plan to kick up their heels with a concert and some political fun this Saturday, Aug. 14 at “Dems, Dogs & Beans,“ a fundraising picnic for the Democratic Party to be held just west of Traverse City.
The picnic will be held from 2-8 p.m. at Cherry Bend Community Park, located at East Lincoln and Cherry Bend roads in Elmwood Township.
Hot dogs & beans are on the menu, washed down with music by Claudia Schmidt, Robin Lee Berry, Jim Crockett & the New Third Coast, Emily Lively, Susan Marie & the Cedar Valley Boys, and Bob Downes, Jim Moore & the Really Cool Band. A silent auction of local art and “political carnival games” also are planned.
Even members of the Bush administration might crack a grin at some of the games in store. One suggestion is, “Where in the World is Dick Cheney?“ Contestants will try to answer a series of “Waldo“-style geographic questions to determine the Vice President‘s current undisclosed location.
The suggested donation is $10. Food, pop and entertainment are on the house.


• FOLKSINGER Sara Anderson passed on last week after a long struggle with breast cancer, joining her partner Tom Hall, M.D., who died earlier this year of liver cancer. Sara and Tom‘s struggle was profiled in a story, “Song for Sara,“ by Nancy Sundstrom which ran in the Express last February.

• ANTI-DEVELOPMENT candidates rocked the region in the Aug. 3 election as voters swept township boards and county commissions. Voter wrath was especially apparent in Acme Township, where a new supervisor, clerk, treasurer and four trustees were elected as part of a campaign to scuttle a town center project that includes 800,000 square feet in real estate.
In response to the election, developers of The Village of Grand Traverse have offered to drop one of two big-box stores planned for the site, add more housing units, limit building heights to 35 feet (instead of 75) and downsize a mixed-use plan.

• DASHED: John Ramsey was defeated in the Aug. 3 primaries for the State Rep position in the 105th House post, despite abundant national exposure on news shows such as “Good Morning America“ and newspapers across the country. Unofficial results posted Aug. 4 by the State Bureau of Elections showed Kevin Elsenheimer winning with 5,194 over Ramsey‘s showing of 4,684 votes.

MUSICIANS ON THE WARPATH: While numerous rock and folk concerts are being held in Northern Michigan promoting the removal of President Bush from office, even bigger things are happening a short drive south on Sunday, Oct. 3 at several “Vote For Change“ concerts which will feature some of the world‘s top rock and pop acts.
• In Grand Rapids the show includes Pearl Jam, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Death Cab for Cutie and Keb ‘Mo.
• Kalamazoo will feature John Mellencamp and Kenneth “Babyface“ Edmonds.
• Ann Arbor hosts Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, R.E.M., John Fogardty and Bright Eyes.
• Detroit will showcase the Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, Dave Matthews Band, Jurassic 5, and My Morning Jacket.
Tickets for the fundraising shows will go on sale Aug. 21.

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