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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- March 22nd, 2010
Bank rip-off
This letter is to inform and to warn others about what is called
“overdraft protection.” Fortunately, thanks to recent legislation,
banks are now required to ask permission to allow this protection.
Recently I used my bank debit card to purchase small orders at fast
food restaurants. I did not notice that one purchase did not post
immediately, so my 94 cent taco left me with a 5 cent overdraft -
When I looked online at my account I had received a $35 insufficient
funds fee for the five cent overdraft.
Believing this could be corrected I contacted my local branch and was
told that because I had had some fees reversed within the last year
they could not reverse this fee. I decided to contact the main office
in town as well as the corporate office and was given the same
response. The people I talked to were polite, but unsympathetic.
While I have found the employees very nice, I consider the corporate
policy as “greed.” The letter it has sent out requires a decision
regarding future overdraft policy. I urge everyone to DECLINE this
protection unless they have it tied to another account. Otherwise, as
it’s clearly spelled out, it allows the bank to cover your overdraft
BUT charge $35 for each transaction (up to 3 in one day) that is
Don’t let this happen to you! Inquire about this policy and read the
letter carefully. You will be “shocked and awed” at this corporate
greed tactic.

Ken L. Raney • TC

To all sportswriters
Bobby Knight was not correct when he said: “All of you sportswriters
are one level above a prostitute!” He was being nice as far as I’m
concerned. George Foster PLEASE don’t write about sports! You know
nothing as most of your constituents. It’s so EASY to beat a guy when
he’s down! Another so-called sportswriter got on Rich Rod a few days
ago. Another loser! As Jim Tressel was quoted, “Any major college
football program does what U of M did.”
Did any of you realize this is a witch hunt by a few alumni, Board of
Regents, and two sportswriters named Mike Rosenburg and Mark Synder,
who GRADUATED from U of M. TWO PAWNS! Bo Schembechler gave Gary
Moeller 17 All Americans. Gary Moeller left Lloyd Carr (I’m glad he’s
gone) 12 All Americans. Llloyd Carr left Rich Rod “0” All Americans.
Enough by people who I could care LESS about. You people need to get a
life. You’re all losers!! By the way, George, you’ve never lied,
embellished, cheated or stealed! Mr. Perfect!!

Lynn W. Frank • Cedar

Clueless comments
Thanks to Lois Golightly for writing in about Mike Terrell’s clueless
comments about women.
I stopped reading anything written by Mr. Terrell quite some time ago
after he made a derogatory reference to Oprah Winfrey, something like,
“If (this is true), then Oprah Winfrey is a bathing beauty.” At the
time, she was a slimmed down, beautiful African-American woman, but it
really doesn’t matter what she looked like. It just shows that
someone like Oprah can be born into poverty as a little black girl in
Mississippi, grow up neglected and abused, rise above it to become one
of the most powerful and recognizable human beings on the planet, a
billionaire whose work and philanthropy has helped countless people
around the world... and some small-town male writer still feels
entitled to make stupid cracks about how she looks. In the 21st
century, it seems there are still dinosaurs among us.
Over the past 35 years of reading environmental and nature
publications of all kinds, I have never come across another male
writer who includes disrespectful jabs at women in articles about
nature and the outdoors. Perhaps Mr. Terrell could figure out another
way to spice up his rather lackluster writing. Perhaps someone could
remind him that half the readership of the Express, half the
advertisers, and half the human beings in the world around him are:

Andrea Stewart • TC

Health reform & history
The Republicans’ incremental steps approach to health care reform is
based on the concern that since health care involves
one-seventh of the economy, it is too big a change to do all at once.
This would be a prudent approach if such a change has never been tried
before, but all one has to do is look at history
In Switzerland, the big Swiss insurance companies were following the
American model, by buying non-profit Swiss health plans and converting
them into profit making businesses. Just as in America, the insurance
companies refused to cover anybody with a preexisting condition. By
1993, about five percent of their population had no health insurance
which to the Swiss was an unacceptable violation of their core
national values; solidarity, community, and equality.
A task force was set-up which looked at other systems in Europe and
they ultimately chose neighboring France and Germany health care
models - relying on private but nonprofit health insurance plans.
Insurance companies were required to offer basic health benefits to
all applicants, and the insurers could not make a profit on basic
coverage. In addition, all citizens were required to have health
insurance. That requirement insured that the insurance companies would
have a large enough pool of customers to keep them solvent. Under this
plan, everybody could afford medical care and nobody would go
bankrupt. The law went into effect in 1996.
The Swiss did not take an incremental approach and developed a health
reform plan that relies on private companies but guarantees that its
entire people will be treated equally when it comes to health care.
The Swiss who had our system of health care were able to go to
universal health care with no increase in per capital spending.

Ronald Marshall • Petoskey

Palin gets a closer look
Steve Tuttle’s rant on Sara Palin in the March 8 edition caused me to
think about her viability as a candidate and future as president of
USA. I have learned that the more libs fuss, talk about irrelevant
issues and make up stuff about a potential candidate; the better the
candidate. I remember what was said about Ronald Regan and he turned
out to be one of our best presidents. Thanks Steve, I need to give her
a closer look.

Neil Elmer, Traverse City

Drain the oil out of terrorism
As the debate over energy policy
intensifies in Washington, a prominent bipartisan group of Senators
and the Administration understand that a failure to address the
energy, economic and environmental challenges of our time is simply
not an option. On March 9, President Obama met with 13 Republican and
Democratic Senators to discuss ways forward on this important issue.
This signified a major advance in the popular effort to pass a
comprehensive climate and energy bill that reduces our dangerous
addiction to foreign oil, creates new jobs, and protects the
Though no formal plan has been laid on the table, all of these leaders
agree that Congress must take bold action now and enact policies
important to the future of Michigan and the United States.
Their recent meeting represents renewed momentum in our nation’s
capital to complete work on a policy that every public poll in the
last year shows has strong and enduring support among the American
We can’t afford the consequences if Congress squanders this chance to
pass meaningful legislation to address the problems we all face. We
need to end our dependence on foreign oil that costs us over $1
billion a day, and often finds its way into the hands of nations and
regimes hostiles to the United States and our allies. It’s time to
defend America and de-fund terror with a comprehensive energy and
climate policy that relies on American innovation to enhance our
energy security, protect our environment, and spur long-term economic
It’s a simple fact that investments in clean energy technology will
help create jobs for Michigan workers. On the heels of the event at
the White House, it’s clear that these leaders must get to work and
pass policies that will create jobs and put Michigan and American
people back to work.

Brenda Archambo • Cheboygan

HEMP: Green in so many ways!
HEMP = A great answer to relieving economic and energy concerns. You
take away a man’s means of production and you take away his freedom to
live. That is exactly what the government did when it outlawed the
growth, manufacturing, and sales of hemp (also marijuana, but that’s
a whole other ball game). I’m fairly sure there are people and farmers
out there who would love to not only make money improving their soil,
but also grow a fairly easy crop without pesticides. I’m pretty sure
there are plenty of currently shutdown factories that could provide a
lot of jobs to people in order to turn that hemp into a viable
product. I’m also entirely sure hemp could provide us with a clean
source of biofuel that preserves a larger portion of our forests and
reduces our dependence on coal and oil. A source of energy we could
further outsource.
Green has always been my favorite colour. It‘s the colour of trees,
grass, hemp.... and money. And who doesn’t love a cash crop? Call your
state representatives. We can turn our state economy around and give
Michigan the edge it needs to compete and survive while at the same
time setting an example in protecting what makes us love this state
so much – the land. Our land with its rivers, lakes, and forests.

Sara J. Padden • Manistee

Scripps defends our water
Not a single Republican currently “serving” in the State Senate should
ever again be elected to public office. Public officials who felt the
taxes that were proposed last fall, such as a tax on vending machine
sales, would have been more harmful to the state than the cuts to
education, mental health, and public safety that have occurred don‘t
have good enough judgment to lead this state. And those who are
unwilling to compromise have no business in politics. The primary
culprit, of course, is Mike Bishop. Michigan voters must make sure
that he cannot inflict anymore harm to our state after December.
The good news is that we have Dan Scripps working on our behalf.
Representative Scripps is working hard to create jobs and conserve
our natural resources, the two of which go hand-in-hand. Scripps’
proposal to protect groundwater would have no effect on taxes or fees,
but would safeguard our cherished water resources from

Fred Cepela • Traverse City

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