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 · Letters · Letters 1/30/03
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Letters 1/30/03

Various - January 30th, 2003
Who’s fooling who?

I must admit that my curiosity got the better of me on Saturday, January 18. I made a solemn vow to myself not to venture anywhere near downtown at noon because of the scheduled “peace march” and had every intention of sticking to that vow. Unfortunately, demonstrations by the hopelessly naïve tend to draw me like a moth to a flame and I was unable to stop myself from stumbling, zombie-like, to the center of town.
What I noticed as I passed the staging area at Central School was the preponderance of late-model vans and SUVs parked there, obviously used to transport the sensitive types in from the suburbs or, in some cases, from only a few blocks away. There appears to be no need to suffer any discomfort while expressing opposition to an impending “war for oil.”
Upon arrival at Mitchell Street, I found a middling crowd of well-fed and comfortably clad people marching solemnly, some carrying signs (“Trans End War”?). Unlike their brethren in Washington and San Francisco, they were remarkably well behaved and well groomed even as they disrupted traffic near Bentley’s and headed off in various directions to spread their heartfelt message of peace and love.
As I watched this sad but comic display of 1960’s pacifism, I couldn’t help reflecting on the poor victims of 9/11 and what they must think as they look down upon these misguided individuals. At the end of the day, the marchers returned to their starting point, listened to a few smugly superior harangues, climbed into their luxury vehicles and returned to their warm and comfortable homes (in all probability heated by gas).
I am quite sure that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would find much satisfaction in the activities of these good folks.

Bill Mayer, USN (Ret) • Petoskey

War is not inevitable

I was at the anti-war protest in Washington DC, on January 18th. I was so happy to be a part of it; so lucky to be a part of it. There were so many people there who all felt the same way that I did, and that was the best part.
It‘s so sad, to be here in Traverse City, where people only watch the media and take our president‘s word about the war instead of educating themselves about something that will affect our country very much. And thinking, “Well there is nothing I can do about it. It‘s inevitable.“ War is not inevitable.
In Traverse City, we think that a war in far-away Iraq won‘t really affect us. But it will, and already does. Our brothers, sons, fathers, friends will die for the greed of our government. We are so lucky to have what we do, fresh-water lakes, beautiful trees, a hospital. We get to choose how our lives are led. We don‘t have to spend days in hospitals where our children are starving, or dying of things that can easily treated here. If you know anything about Iraq, it‘s that they have nothing.
I am so disgusted by our government, and by the uninformed people around me. Before you dismiss me as a teenager who hasn‘t lived in the real world, or who hasn‘t opened her eyes, educate yourself on what our country is doing. Then maybe you will understand why terrorism happens -- WAR BREEDS TERRORISM.
I have opened my eyes, my heart, and my mind. I hope you will do the same. So next time you hear something on the news, or read a headline in our newspaper, you‘ll already know what the truth is. It‘s time to start paying attention to the problems of the world, instead of a judge who smoked a joint, and an electric power pole. And start making a difference.

Ruthy Posluszny • Traverse City

Ruminating on the rubble

The coverage of the Waters Township Big Rock “Clean Rubble” meeting was interesting and intriguing. The expert from U of M, advocating for the safety of the “Clean Rubble” said two things that warrant inquiry.
1. She said the radioactivity in the “Clean Rubble” was only 1%. It was not clear what that meant. Did she mean 1% of the 85 million pounds of debris was somewhat radioactive? On the ridiculous end, if 1% of 85 million pounds of “clean rubble” was plutonium, that would be a very big problem if it was not isolated from the water table.
2. She said she was totally comfortable and would let her dogs play on the debris. Does she have children?
And... What is the current definition of what “Clean rubble” is? Is this similar to the old “Below regulatory concern”? This landfill is not intended to isolate waste from the environment.
I will try to find the answers.

Jo Anne Beemon • via email

Video gamester responds

When I first picked up your Shape Up For 2003 issue, and read your resolutions cover, I was surprised to see”no more video games” listed among known avenues to physical fitness. As with most leisure activities, video games require very little physical activity but this hardly gives reason to avoid them altogether if you wish to get fit. In fact, I find that compared to other non-physical recreation, like watching television, I am less likely to do unhealthy snacking because my hands are constantly occupied. Combine this with the fact that playing games is a great stress reducer, I see no health reason for not playing a little Playstation.

Robert Ordiway • TC
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