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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Letters 8/10/09

- August 10th, 2009
Letters 8/10/09

Parking fine no problem
Here’s my response to Marsha Minervini’s “TC’s parking fine turn-off” from the 8/3-8/9, edition.
Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.
Must you complain about such trivial inconveniences as $5 parking tickets? I mean, come on we’re talking about the difference between walking an extra few blocks or paying a $5 ticket. What does the parking structure charge anyway? I can’t imagine its much less than $5 for an all day pass.
I live in Los Angeles most of the year and parking tickets there are around $50. There, meter-maids patrol the streets around the clock nearly every five minutes compared to the single meter officer I see here in town periodically strolling our sacred streets. You should consider yourself lucky to only have to pay a $5 ticket. Look at it this way. If you decide to park at a meter, $5 is all you’d have to spend in order to park in a space of your desire for the entire day. Isn’t that swell?
What about my other suggestion, walking? Have you ever considered parking a few blocks away from your destination and attempted the simple exercise known as walking? It could be quite rewarding. There are some beautiful and historical buildings surrounding the downtown area that you may not have ever noticed before because you were too comfortable cruising around in your gas guzzler while conveniently parking in front of your desired location.
Now, I know that there are some newer, hideous, and quite frankly god-awful buildings that have been constructed by affluent, tasteless developers in the area most people with any kind of architectural class would cringe at the site of, but rest assured, luckily there’s only a few.
And as for your ridiculous comment about “wiping off the smiles and making folks hurry away from the shops after a movie instead of lingering and spending dollars.” Well, considering the state of our economy and the major inconvenience due to the lack of parking, the film festival actually had over 96,000 attendees up 20 percent from 2008 and I’m sure the shop owners and restaurateurs flourished with impressive profits as well. So with that said, I along with the other 96,000 people feel absolutely no empathy for you.
You should learn to make some sacrifices for the better good as should all Americans for that matter. Due to your situation you might not have seen one of the many wonderful environmental documentaries at this year’s festival. They all shared a common theme: Consume less or only what you need as a basic necessity. So, my suggestion is to walk into downtown next year instead of paying the minuscule $5 penalty. I hope that you’d enjoy the experience.

Mike McGee • TC

Clean Energy
The time is now to pass strong clean energy jobs legislation that will jumpstart our economy and lay the groundwork for America to be competitive in the 21st century.
As a recent New York Times editorial argued “The older, dirtiest (coal) plants... simply cannot be let off the hook.” The Senate must close damaging loopholes in the energy bill. We must fix the energy bill and save the clean Air Act. The House passed a bill that was weakened by industry lobbyists and repeals the part of the Clean Air Act that limits global warming pollution from power plants. This roll back will open the door for many more coal plants. Call your senators and demand they put it back in the bill.

Ellen Weber • TC

No abortion, please
As a guiding principle, the Hippocratic Oath - “first do no harm” is a reasonable one for the health-care reform bills Congress is considering. Financial concerns about an increased government role in health care are legitimate, but few argue that all Americans should have access to essential health care.
Abortion, however, isn’t essential health care - it is the choice to end one human life for the convenience of another. You may or may not agree that abortion should remain legal. What seems inarguable is that, in a nation so divided on the issue, that taxpayer dollars be used to pay for the procedure, or that federally approved health-benefit plans require coverage for abortion. Yet unless Congress specifically excludes abortion from the health-care reform bill, it will be covered.
If your readers are as concerned by that prospect as I am, they should contact their U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and insist that abortion be excluded from health-care reform. I belong to a non-partisan grassroots organization called the Center for Moral Clarity which has online resources to easily accomplish this (it’s easy to find on a search engine such as Google). I urge your readers to join me in raising our voices to make sure we do not become complicit in funding abortions under the guise of health-care reform.

Jill Congdon • Interlochen

Rubbish to ‘radical‘ tag
I have read with great disgust how I and others who protest the government spending and cramming health insurance reform down our throats are being called radicals and un-American. To those who spew such garbage I say rubbish!
We who work everyday and take care of our family and our future are getting a raw deal from a government and the Democratic Party that refuses to listen to the majority of U.S. citizens. When President Obama says, “I promise you we will pass health reform by the end of this year because the American people need it,” he has turned his back on all of us and refuses to listen. When a government goes against its people it is time for the government to go.

T. Galoi • via email

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