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 · Books · Top 20 Michigan notable books
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Top 20 Michigan notable books

- December 21st, 2009
Top 20: Michigan Notable Books
Each year, the Library of Michigan compiles its list of 20 Notable Books highlighting Michigan people, places, and events.
Short stories of people living on the rough side of life in Detroit; a biography of the state’s first geologist; and a children’s book that tells the story of a slave family’s flight to freedom are among this year’s most notable Michigan books.
“This year’s Michigan Notable Books bring to life the Michigan experience through vivid storytelling that creates portraits of the people and places that make Michigan great,” said State Librarian Nancy Robertson. “These books celebrate Michigan as a place and a people that even in the most trying of times find transformation.”
Michigan Notable Books is a statewide program that began as part of the 1991 Michigan Week celebration, geared to pay tribute and draw attention to the people, places and things that make Michigan life unique.
The 2009 Michigan Notable Books are:

American Salvage: Stories by Bonnie Jo Campbell. Wayne State University Press.
In these stories about cold, lonely, working-class Michigan life, Campbell creates a world where salvation counterbalances loss and despair.

Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family’s Secret by Steve Luxenberg. Hyperion.
The fear of mental illness infuses this book of research into family genealogy, personal history and long held secrets. It all started when Detroit native Steve Luxenberg began to discover discrepancies in his mother’s stories about her family as she neared the end of her life.

The Art Student’s War: A Novel by Brad Leithauser. Alfred A. Knopf.
The vividly depicted city of Detroit takes a lead role in this historical coming-of-age novel set in World War II when art student Bianca Paradiso volunteers to draw portraits of wounded soldiers at a local hospital.

Bath Massacre: America’s First School Bombing by Arnie Bernstein. University of Michigan Press.
On May 18, 1927, an explosion rocked the small town of Bath, in Clinton County, when dynamite planted by Andrew Kehoe detonated in the basement of the local school. Bernstein offers a dramatic history of the tragedy and its aftermath.

Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin. Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt.
The remarkable story of Henry Ford’s failed attempt to transform the rugged Brazilian Amazon rainforest into both a factory and a model American-style town.

Have a Little Faith: A True Story of a Last Request by Mitch Albom. Hyperion.
Mitch Albom offers a story about his eight-year journey between two worlds, two men and two faiths.

Isadore’s Secret: Sin, Murder and Confession in a Northern Michigan Town by Mardi Link. University of Michigan Press.
An astonishing story of a nun who was murdered in the Leelanau County village of Isadore nearly 100 years ago.

January’s Sparrow by Patricia Polacco. Philomel.
In January 1874 in Marshall, slave takers came to take the black Crosswhite family back to Kentucky. This is the story of how the Crosswhites came to Marshall and what happened on the day that the town rose up to save them.

The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit: Stories by Michael Zadoorian. Wayne State University Press.
An engaging collection of short stories set in and around Detroit, with tales of hardship, racial tension and hope.

Michigan’s Columbus: The Life of Douglass Houghton by Steve Lehto. Momentum Books.
The story of the state’s first geologist, from 1837 until his death at age 36 in 1845, including his discovery of rich copper deposits found in the Keweenaw Peninsula and the creation of Michigan’s mining industry.

Nothing But a Smile: A Novel by Steve Amick. Pantheon Books.
A portrait of postwar America. When Wink Dutton is discharged from the army in 1944, he has little to his name besides his Purple Heart. His prospects change unexpectedly, however, when he meets the beautiful Sal Chesterton.

Orlando M. Poe: Civil War General and Great Lakes Engineer by Paul Taylor. Kent State University Press.
A comprehensive biography of General Sherman’s right-hand man, Orlando M. Poe, who commanded the 2nd Michigan Infantry and led brigades at Second Bull Run and Fredericksburg. He went on to design numerous Great Lakes lighthouses and then designed and constructed the largest shipping lock in the world at Sault Ste. Marie.

Our People, Our Journey: The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians by James M. McClurken. Michigan State University Press.
A well-researched history of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians traces the tribe’s migration into Michigan’s Grand River Valley, its settlement on reservations in Mason, Muskegon and Oceana counties, the difficult relationship between the tribe and the U.S. government, and efforts to maintain the tribe’s cultural identity.

Pandora’s Locks: The Opening of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway by Jeff Alexander. Michigan State University Press.
A powerfully and thoughtfully written story of the impact the opening of the Great Lakes has had on the environment, water conditions and quality of life in the Great Lakes states.

Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall edited by Melba Joyce Boyd. Wayne State University Press.
Long-time Detroit resident Randall was the founder of Broadside Press, which published many well-known black poets. The poems and the short stories show the changes in civil rights and historical events during his 80 years of life, and depict a man who had a deep love for people.

Season of Water and Ice by Donald Lystra, Switch Grass Books/Northern Illinois University.
Donald Lystra creates a touching coming-of-age story set in rural Northern Michigan in 1957. Bookish loner Danny DeWitt befriends Amber Dwyer, a pregnant teenager who has been abandoned by her boyfriend and rejected by her family and community.

Stitches: A Memoir by David Small. W. W. Norton.
David Small’s heartbreaking story brings to light a troubled family and its impact on him as a child.

Travelin’ Man: On the Road and Behind the Scenes with Bob Seger by Tom Weschler. Wayne State University Press.
With an emphasis on period photos, this book follows Bob Seger’s career from the late 1960s through his 2004 induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Up the Rouge!: Paddling Detroit’s Hidden River by Joel Thurtell. Photographs by Patricia Beck. Wayne State University Press.
A beautifully photographed story of a journey up Detroit’s Rouge River to investigate whether cleanup efforts are paying off. Two Detroit Free Press journalists take a five-day trip up the river to find the detritus of civilization.

When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball by Seth Davis. Times Books.
Seth Davis’ well-written book explores college basketball of 30 years ago, including the careers of Earvin “Magic” Johnson and JLarry Bird, the 1979 NCAA tournament, and the impact the players had on the game.

For more information on Michigan’s Notable Books visit www.michigan.gov/libraryofmichigan.

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