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 · Features · Jack Hanna
. . . .

Jack Hanna

Erin Crowell - April 26th, 2010
Wild Side of Petoskey:“Jungle” Jack Hanna featured at 2010 North Central Michigan College Lecture Series
By Erin Crowell
Jack Hanna has been making late night talk show hosts nervous with his
exotic animals since 1985. Hanna has even been in the wildlife industry
longer than Earth Day has existed, which is currently celebrating its 40th
Along with his current title as Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, the
naturalist and TV host of Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild has become an
ambassador to the animal kingdom, bringing the general populous closer to
understanding exotic wildlife from around the world.
Born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1947, Jack Bushnell Hanna started working
with animals at the age of 11, cleaning cages for the family veterinarian
– a job he says he didn’t mind because of his love for animals. After
marrying his wife Suzi, Hanna opened a pet shop in Knoxville before
receiving an invitation to direct a small zoo in Sanford, Florida in 1973.
From there, he became a zoo director in Columbus, Ohio, turning the
outdated animal habitats and aquarium of the Columbus Zoo into a place
where millions of people visit each year.
With the birth of baby twin gorillas at the zoo in 1983, Hanna was invited
to appear on Good Morning America – since then, he has served as a
wildlife correspondent for several TV news outlets and has appeared, along
with numerous species, on shows like Larry King Live, Hollywood Squares,
The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Entertainment Tonight and The Late Show with
David Letterman.
Between filming for his Emmy award wining TV show, Hanna appears regularly
at colleges and nonprofit events across the country. Hanna will speak at
the North Central Michigan College Lecture Series in Petoskey, on
Thursday, April 29. He will bring several animals with him, including a
cheetah, flamingo, penguin, sloth and lynx, among others.
The Northern Express talked with Hanna over the phone, who—in a very
excitable manner—discussed his passion for animals and the impact we all
have on their lives.

Northern Express: You just returned from filming for your TV series, “Into
the Wild.” Where did you go?
Jack Hanna: I was on safari in South Africa and Malaysia filming
orangutans, cobras, elephants, all sorts of creatures. We tracked down a
cheetah on foot and we were down near the Cape filming the black-footed
penguins. We even actually helped some baboons cross a road – that was
fun. And, we did a story on elephant poaching and I got to become a ranger
for two days. We got back 12 hours before the (Iceland) volcano grounded
all the flights over there.

NE: How much time do you spend on the road?
Hanna: We do about 22 shows a year, and I do about 80 to 100 events from
coast to coast. I travel about 260 days a year. That also includes book
tours. I do a lot of speaking events. I have like six jobs.

NE: The animals that you bring with you at speaking engagements and on
television shows, do they come from the Columbus Zoo?
Hanna: They come from nine zoos from around the country. I’m working with
zoos in Florida, California, New York, Texas…it all depends on where I’m

NE: Okay, here’s the fifth grade question: What animal is your favorite?
Hanna: Oh boy, it’s hard because I love all animals; but I would have to
say the mountain gorilla…or the elephant…and there’s certain kinds of
insects that fascinate me. The dung beetle in Africa rolls up into
elephant poop and hibernates there. I’m also fascinated by certain birds;
and I love whales and dolphins…

NE: You sound so excited when you talk about animals. Would you say
working with them has kept you young – both in body and spirit?
Hanna: Oh yes. I think working with animals does keep you spiritually
young. I have traveled to all corners of the world; and this is just an
amazing, incredible planet we have. I teach conservation and how we can
take care of the planet and wildlife. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist
to figure out that what happens to our resources, affects animals, and in
turn, affects us.

NE: What do you tell critics of your work?
Hanna: I’ve tried working with animal rights groups, and some of those
people are just plain nut cases. You can’t just put all the animals back
out into the wild. That’s why we have zoos – good zoos, not bad ones. We
have 220 of them in this country. Ninety nine percent of our animals come
from other zoos – animals that are born in captivity. Not everyone has the
means to travel like I do, and this allows people to see these animals up
close. People leave learning something.

NE: Would you say there’s an endangered species or issue that particularly
deserves our attention?
Hanna: Yes, there are animals on the verge of extinction, but I think you
have to look at every little creature as something important. I don’t want
to pick out the killer whale, the gorilla, or what-not. If we can’t save
our icon species then what are we doing wrong?

When I became zoo director at the Columbus Zoo in 1978, there were 1.41
million elephants. Today, there’s less than 375,000. The black rhino: back
in 1978, there were 60,000. Now, there are less than 30,000. But I’m
optimistic. A lot of these animals are holding steady. You have to be
optimistic with what I do. It’s like a football game. You go out there to

NE: Which takes us back to the objective of zoos, right?
Hanna: Right. Zoos are the one of the keys to saving wildlife. There are
182 million visits to zoos each year – compare that to professional sports
like NASCAR and professional baseball combined. How many people can do
what I do? Unfortunately, not everyone can; but they can go see these
animals at a zoological park. People living in Northern Michigan might
say, ‘Why do I care about the elephant and rhino?’ Once they go see them,
whether it’s at the Detroit Zoo or somewhere else, they say, ‘Hey, that’s
pretty cool.’ If we can’t teach our young people to love something, you
can’t teach them to save it. You have to love what you want to save. And
that’s what we teach.

See “Jungle” Jack Hanna, along with several animal species, at North
Central Michigan College, in Petoskey, on Thursday, April 29, at 7 p.m..
The lecture will be held in the college’s Student and Community Resource
Center Gymnasium. Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information on the 2010 Lecture Series,
call 231-439-6349.

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