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 · Deer Season
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Deer Season

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli - June 29th, 2009
By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli 6/29/09

Deer Season
By Aaron Stander
Writers & Editors, LLC

It is deer season in Northern Michigan and the area is caught (as if in amber) under an unusual blanket of snow. The roads are dangerous. Things are hidden in the snow — clues to attempted murder, then murder. Also hidden beneath the snow -- beneath the years in Cedar County, Michigan, beneath family facades -- are the old secrets and simmering hatreds about to explode during this hunting season.
In this new mystery from Traverse City writer, Aaron Stander, Sheriff Ray Elkins is recuperating from past injuries while confronting a group of suspects ranging from super-wealthy, international businessmen to your everyday saloon habitués; from barmaid and drunks to condescending lawyers.
Elkins has his work cut out for him: while returning from her morning yoga class, local anchorwoman Lynne Boyd is shot and wounded in front of her twin daughters and their French au pair.

There seem to be no suspects in the shooting other than Lynn’s husband, Dirk Lowther, an officer with the sheriff’s department. Lowther is a disagreeable, uncaring, womanizing man, who had recently been served with divorce papers. But Dirk was deer hunting in the Upper Peninsula at the time of the shooting and has an alibi. For Elkins, this is no easy shooting by a drunken hunter, nor the culmination of a feud in a bar. This crime isn’t going to go away. No one will come forth and rat on a friend.
Elkins has his work cut out for him when he is at his weakest. The loose way the sheriff’s office was run in the past is gone. High school kids in trouble (who once were released to their parents with a slap on their wrists) have escalated to more serious crimes. There are no simple mailbox cherry-bombings now; the teens have involved themselves in shootings. In the bars of Cedar County, fights become more sinister — any voice raised might be a call to murder. Gates at a wealthy enclave are locked and closely guarded by private police. A lock-down mentality has come to Cedar County.
From the beginning of the book, a lone deer hunter out on the first day of snow sets the scene for violence to come:
“He shifted cautiously in his precarious perch, a tree stand strapped to the side of a large oak 15 feet off the ground. With his left hand he tossed the bottle at the trunk of a tree directly across from him. It bounced off the trunk without breaking and landed in the snow. Mendicott moved his bow to his left hand and reached into his jacket, a worn and grease-stained camouflage coat, and pulled a Glock from his shoulder holster. He tried to hold a bead on the neck of the bottle... A cold chill ran through him, and he started to shiver. The report of the pistol echoed through the woods, its recoil almost causing him to lose balance...”

After the shooting of local TV personality Lynne Boyd, none of her friends can think of anyone who’d want to hurt her. She’d been getting threatening letters at the station, but they didn’t seem to tie to her life — they were more like the random mailings of a madman. There is Dirk, but his alibi is solid.
As Elkins digs further, it seems that no one at the TV station even knew who Lynn really was. Rumors surface that the marriage had soured. Her husband was a vindictive man with a checkered past as a police officer, but Lynne wasn’t one to spread her unhappiness to her friends, so not a single detail surfaces — at first.
Little by little, things begin to unravel as murders, which seem disconnected, begin to occur and Elkins puts the pieces together.
Elkins, a man at home in the woods or in the city, has moments in the book when he is at ease with interesting friends. He quotes Shakespeare, reads the New Yorker and the New York Times. He is man of many sides, with tastes leaning toward Zingermann’s care packages filled with a Pain de Montagne, a bottle of artisanal olive oil from Provence, Vermont cheddar, Stilton cheeses and fine wines. The characterization of Elkins extends wider than the backwoods bars and deer blinds he watches. He is an intelligent man who has no trouble breaking down reluctant witnesses, nor putting the overbearing rich in their place.
At the mansion belonging to Lynn Boyd’s parents, Elkins finally gets beyond the guarded gates only to be faced with the Boyd’s guarded attorney, who begins to describe the Boyd’s international business, which seems to have evolved into getting the rich any service they require.
What, he wonders, do the Boyds do that requires this level of protection? The answer becomes part of the mystery’s solution.

The book launch for Aaron Stander’s Deer Season will be held at Brilliant Books, 305 St. Joseph’s Street, Suttons Bay on July 3, from 7-9 p.m. Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli’s new mystery, Dead Floating Lovers, is in bookstores now.
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