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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- May 10th, 2010
Drill, baby, drill... not
Drill, baby, drill has already caused 11 human deaths, will cause
thousands of wildlife deaths, will destroy sea life and food from the sea
and jobs for an incomprehensible time, all because British Petroleum knew
how to drill three miles below the surface of the Gulf, but didn’t know
how to provide proper safety precautions for their hugely profitable dig.
Not our oil; they profited $5.5 billion in the first quarter this year,
and we bought from them just as if they were Saudi Arabia.
West Virginia’s coal company, Performance Coal, was cited over 100 times
so far this year for safety violations that they failed to correct. They
are responsible for the deaths of 29 miners. Coal companies pollute the
environment with their dirty coal that causes health problems that can
lead to additional deaths. Their profits are scarcely scratched by the
fines they paid to “forgive” their safety precaution failures. Without a
viable alternative, industry keeps buying coal companies’ coal.
These two tragedies demand a change in energy policy. Wouldn’t it be
fabulous for Northwest Michigan to lead the way by establishing the
already existing, profitable, clean energy of wind power? A new windmill
already exists near Bellaire, and the one above Traverse City has been
there for years, a tourist spot, not a blot on the landscape. A company
building windmills already exists in Michigan. Think about the jobs!
Local experts have already identified ideal land sites for wind power in
the northwest lower peninsula, and these high spots are often in ski
Beautiful white arms moving in the wind to match the beautiful white
trillium below in the spring and marshmallow snow banks in the winter.
What a pure picture.
Shanty, Boyne, Crystal, Nub’s Nob, and all of our wonderful ski resorts,
would you take the noble lead in this sensible and
attractive alternative ?

Patricia W. Fox • Bellaire

Biomass & burning rubber
I have been watching the news about the biomass plant that TCLP is
planning to build. I worked in a biomass plant for 11 years and there are
some real drawbacks to such a plant.
Burning strictly wood is fairly easy on the environment, due to modern
pollution controls mandated by the DEQ. The problem is, after a few years
the plant can apply for a variance to burn TDF, which is tire-derived
The plant owners like it because of the high BTU content of tires. It
helps to stabilize the burn in the boiler. The problem is, the DEQ does
not require the plant to install any additional pollution controls for the
tires being burned.
Every biomass plant in Northern Michigan is permitted to burn TDF at a
rate of at least 5% by volume. Ask the neighbors near these plants what
they think of biomass/TDF power plants. The response will not be a
positive one. Go to Grayling, Hillman, Cadillac and Lincoln. Ask the
I would not like to see one here, even though I could most likely land a
job which pays well. I know the business inside and out.

Rick Hoag • via email

Wildlife holocaust
The biomass plan of TCLP deserves a ‘no’ vote from every sensible citizen
in the universe. This is as ridiculous as humans get.
The forest is full of dead trees, branches, moss, leaves, roots from
fallen trees -- all providing habitat and livelihood for every animal that
lives in the woods.
How are animals supposed to survive a Michigan winter with no place to
hibernate, get out of the cold, store food, and hide from predators? The
simple answer is, “they won’t survive, they will be eliminated,” or be the
scrawniest animals imaginable.
Every animal you can think of needs this so-called biomass to survive.
Bears hibernate under fallen logs; they dig burrows under the trees to
sleep and protect themselves and their young from 30 degrees-below weather
and three feet of snow, slush and winter rain. Many other animals do the
same: wolves, fox, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, porcupines and squirrels all
use biomass in some way.
Do you realize the monstrous equipment that they will use to vacuum and
gut the forest? It won’t be pretty and it won’t be quiet.

Chuck Wattson • Indian River

Quiet, please...
Just read the “Shhh....” letter from Mike Dudek (4/26). I took my wife and
daughter to the City Opera House to the Ani DiFranco show. Three tickets,
the drive down from Boyne and dinner in TC resulted in a $200 night. The
crowd noise was very disturbing. We have not returned.
We run a small concert series, 125 seats, at our gallery in Boyne City. We
just completed our first season with all five shows selling out. You can
hear a pin drop during the shows. As a presenter, it is my responsibility
to keep it that way. Come on Opera House, get your act together.

Anthony Williams, Freshwater Studio/Gallery • Boyne City

Environmentalist plot
I read the story about “An Ocean Without Fish” (5/3) and it’s interesting
that there are no other newspapers or magazines that talk about this.
Since it is only one person’s opinion, I can’t help thinking this is just
another way of pushing people into environmental Marxism-socialism where
we will all be forced to buy certain items, such as electric cars, which
will run our electric bills up, be taxed even more out of existence, and
probably everything else that’s included in the Obama regime’s proposed
cap and tax.
From now on, publish articles that won’t scare people away.

Thomas Baird • via email

(Google lists roughly 6,520,000 pages of scientific studies and articles
on the subject of the acidification of the world‘s oceans and lakes and
the threat to aquatic life. -- ed.)

The threat to our seas
Thank you very much for your article “An Ocean Without Fish.” Despite all
the public attention (and denial) given to global warming, the toxic
effect of carbon dioxide on the oceans is very rarely reported.
I was dimly aware of it before, and became much more aware a few weeks ago
when reading parts of “Eaarth,” a new book by Bill McKibbon. But your
fine little local article should help spread the sobering word. So sad.

John Loken • via email

Taking a stand
I am moved to thank Nadine Dolan of Traverse City for her recent letter
(“Racist Handiwork,” 5/3 May 3, 2010). She found some men switching
letters on a business sign to a racist saying and went back to remove it.
People who step up like that and take action make me proud to live here.
Many thanks, Nadine, for preserving Traverse City’s welcoming vibe. We’re
all better for it.

M. Brown • Leland

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