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 · Region Watch · Cool cities
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Cool cities

Express Staff - August 26th, 2004
Ain’t it cool news:
Traverse City found out that it pays to be cool last week when the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) presented a $100,000 grant to the city as part of the state’s Cool Cities program.
The program, designed to “foster the development of vibrant, attractive cities and urban centers,” is part of Governor Granholm’s economic development strategy for Michigan.
The Cool Cities program hopes to transform Michigan’s lackluster towns into hip, desirable destinations in order to attract new businesses in fields such as technology. The ultimate goal is to replace manufacturing jobs that have been lost in the state. Some typically “cool” cities are those with vibrant downtowns and waterfronts, bike paths, lively dining and coffeehouse scenes, and cultural and recreational opportunities.
“The arts enrich our souls, and yet can also bring new economic development and jobs that enrich Michigan communities,” Granholm said in a news release. “With the support of Cool Cities funding, this project will significantly enhance Traverse City’s cultural appeal and attract further development downtown.”
Traverse City will use the Cool Cities funding to launch the Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship at the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce building downtown.
In definitely uncool jargonese, a press release from the MEDC notes that the new Institute “is committed to building the strongest of regional economies by strategically combining the innovative mixture of creative and business resources in the Traverse City area.”
Traverse City was one of 20 finalists for the MEDC grants. A team reviewed 151 project applications from 112 Michigan communities. The winners “demonstrated close partnerships with community organizations and the private sector, and offered the best plans for creating large scale neighborhood or community improvements.”
Other communities which won Cool Cities funding included Alpena, Bay City, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Marquette, Port Huron, Portland, Saginaw, Saugatuck, Sault Ste. Marie, Warren and Ypsilanti.

Bikers for Father Fred
More than 500 motorcyclists turned out in downtown Traverse City last month for the 12th Annual Father Fred Weekend. The event, named for the beloved Catholic priest who started the Father Fred Foundation to help the region’s needy, raised over $11,000.
Sponsored by the Northern Michigan HOG (Harley Owners Group) Chapter, the event included a 50-mile memorial ride out Old Mission Peninsula, honoring the days when Father Fred blessed both bikes and blossoms before his death from cancer in 2000.

The sound of
campaign music
“Hell yeah, we support Bush,” declared a press release from the country trio Trick Pony, who were pleased to warm up the crowd at President Bush’s visit to Traverse City last week. Long-time Bush supporters, Trick Pony currently has a song on the country charts called “The Bride” which offers a video featuring Gene Simmons of KISS, who has also thrown his support behind the President along with the likes of Kid Rock and many Nashville artists.
Locally, Traverse City blues singer Dawn Campbell was thrilled to perform at a John Kerry rally in Grand Rapids several weeks ago, rounding up a number of Northern Michigan musicians on a day’s notice to play for a crowd of 20,000 in the Calder Plaza downtown.
“It was an incredible experience singing in front of that many people,” Campbell says, adding that many were stunned at the high turnout for Kerry in what is considered to be one of Michigan’s most conservative cities.
On the horizon is a massive series of Vote for Change concerts being sponsored by MoveOn.org at cities across Michigan on Oct. 3. The pro-Kerry concerts will feature Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., the Dixie Chicks, John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Babyface, Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Harper, Jurassic 5, My Morning Jacket, Keb’ Mo’ and Bright Eyes. Venues include Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and Detroit.
To obtain tickets for the historic Vote for Change concerts, see www.MoveOn.org.

Election horserace
A new poll by Strategic Vision, LLC gives the nod to Sen. John Kerry in the upcoming election, based on a survey of 801 likely voters in Michigan.
The poll was conducted on August 13-August 16 and shows Kerry-Edwards leading Bush-Cheney 48% to 42% in a two way race with 10% undecided. In a three way race, the poll shows Kerry-Edwards 46% to 42% for Bush-Cheney with 2% for Nader-Camejo and 10% undecided. The President’s approval rating as of last week was at 45% with those polled.
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