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 4/1/04
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Letters 4/1/04

Various - April 1st, 2004
More on “Rude Northerners“

I am writing in response to the rude northerners letter in the March 18 issue of the Northern Express. Mrs. Schaldenbrand, I feel for you. The first time someone from the U.P. called me a troll I wept openly for days. Perhaps if the economy, gun control, and the current war aren‘t enough Michael Moore will champion this cause next!
Seriously though, rudeness is not a trait exclusive to Northern Michigan. There is plenty of it south of Clare; ask anybody who works with the public. As for being called fudgies, localism is a reality everywhere you go. Buying a house and a pontoon does not buy you in. Spend a few winters here and you‘ll soon be joining the choir down at the local restaurant complaining about the fudgie tourist.
In your letter you also said, “we do not act superior or flaunt any imagined riches,“ yet in the same letter you mentioned this is your second home (on a lake), you own a pontoon, and you spend lots of hard-earned (in lower Michigan) dollars. Well, to the people who work at the restaurants, casinos, shops, and services you mention, who are just trying to carve out a living up here in paradise, I imagine you seem pretty wealthy.
As for the man in the Cadillac restaurant who said, “Good, get back in your car and get the h*ll out of here,“ after overhearing your husband on the phone say you were driving back from up north. Is it not also rude to talk on a phone in a restaurant loud enough that your fellow patrons can hear you? Maybe he didn‘t know about the pontoon?

Frank James • via email

Love us or leave us

In response to Loreen Schaldenbrand‘s letter to the editor in the March 18 edition...
As a northerner, let me start out by saying that knowing of no derogatory names for us up-staters by down-staters is complete naivete on your part. Barely a summer season goes by when I or someone I know isn‘t referred to as “hick,“ “ridge runner,“ “hayseed,“ “redneck,“ or “shit kicker.“ The caller usually doesn‘t intend for the callee to hear it though.
As far as your dollars helping our local economy goes, you have a point... please feel free to e-mail me upon your next visit up north so I can be the first to shine your shoes. Please don‘t bore us with stories of hard work. We‘re all diligent and working hard, I assure you, and couldn‘t care less how dirty your hands are willing to get or how down to Earth you are.
This love/hate relationship with tourists has been gong on a long time and will continue. If the working stiffs up here had a snowball‘s chance in hell of buying a lakefront home, I‘m sure the feelings wouldn‘t be so bruised, but those precious tourist dollars generally line the pockets of business owners, not employees.
It‘s the old Cadillac plant scenario... You spend your life building cars that you yourself could never afford... Here, though, we look at more and more huge houses obscuring our view of the water (that beauty you mentioned in your letter), with little or no chance of purchase regardless of diligence or hard work.
So yeah we‘re rude. Put up with it or leave.

Roy Truax • Petoskey

Judge not rude northerners

I had a chilling experience sending goosebumps up and down my spine, causing the hairs on the back of my neck to stand straight up when I read the letter about “Rude Northerners“ (3/18). I think the author of that letter should speak for herself and not judge all northerners by a mere comment.
I‘m sorry to say, but the most rude people are not the ones born and raised here.
Northern Michigan is comprised of multiple people who moved here from various downstate and out-of-state areas, bringing with them the same rude and ignorant manners they possessed before driving here. Settling in and then trying to change everything to fit their needs instead of trying to fit in, and the results are they have managed to change it to the exact area they moved from.
Ask us northerners how we like that. We don‘t!

Charlene Rentz • Indian River

Rick‘s Dr. K series

Rick Coates is a splendid and insightful writer who has done the research most writers have not taken the time to do (re: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, March 11 & 18). He discovered the real Dr. Kevorkian instead of the man so often maliciously misrepresented in the media and who in the end will be proven correct on the fundamental human right of end of life choices.
Northern Express is fortunate to have Rick Coates as a contributor. His double piece on Dr. Kevorkian deserves a national audience.

Ruth Holmes • Bloomfield Hills

Trade imbalance

I agree that ‘Free Trade‘ is not free and that the Orwellian doublespeak is at an all time high (re: Random Thoughts 3/18). But neither are new. You should have
included “framing“ along with doublespeak.
The loss of jobs began in 1952 with the first of the Japanese car imports and has steadily increased. Most people ignored what was happening. Doublespeak has increased with the cost of political campaigns and the increased use of TV.
The public thinks that TV entertains, educates and informs; if that happens it‘s incidental. The sole purpose of commercial TV is to occupy the viewer‘s attention until the next commercial.
More idiocy is done in the name of and justified by religion, politics, and economics than anything else. The ideologues will pervert anything to misinform, to distract, or to redirect.
Trade is most unfair when there is a large differential in incomes between the trading partners. Trade tends to lower the differential which is a definite benefit to the poorer partner, but not to the richer partner; because if the only gain from the trade is a lower cost, eventually the richer partner will be forced to accept a lower income.
The pain will increase because more job losses are on the way and even the rich will feel the impact; they just will be the last to feel it.
I would like to see trade reduced because we are not taking energy consumption into account.
I would like to see trade increased, in spite of the pain, because the largest single factor affecting our birth rate is the status of women and the trickle-down effect of a rising standard of living in the third world could very well be the agent that brings our population under control. That would increase the possibility that we could bring our polution under control and reduce global warming. To the people out of work this might not seem important, but to our long term survival it
is paramount.

Richard Riker • via email

Keep customers satisfied

As a proponent of local businesses and a local teacher I value downtown
Traverse City. The thought of our local money going to Wal-Mart‘s corporate
headquarters sickens me. We‘ve grown up here, gone to school here and spent our money here. It would only be right for local business to profit from money invested here. Over time though, our dollars seem to end up with the best product, services and selections for the consumer‘s dollar, period. Value, overall, will prevail.
I write this with a heavy heart, begging local businesses to understand the travails of us consumers. After purchasing a clothing item (name withheld to protect the guilty) gift for a colleague, who unexpected quit shortly thereafter, I attempted to return the item. Never out the bag and still with tags on and receipt in hand, the sales clerk restated: all sale items final. Not knowing the true meaning of those words, I expected to at least be able to exchange it dollar for
dollar, as the business still had my money and should be able to resell the
Not so fast. Unlike the big boxes, which would refund my money instantly, this store was standing firm that it wanted nothing to do with the item and was telling me to live with it, with no exchanges, period. I actually respected that and was in awe of that stance until I realized I was stuck with a $150 item, more than likely going to Goodwill.
Pleading my case with an insensitive saleswomen, I insisted that I at least speak with the owner. Good news. The next day I finally reached her by phone. After a lecture on how I got such a good price and how all the stores downtown would
never ever take back a sale item as well as how she missed a hot two-week sales period (in early March) to sell the item, she reluctantly offered me an equal coupon for store purchase.
Consumers (like a good movie) tell friends and family of a great place or a dump. This kind of business policy can only hurt local business. Granted, it was two weeks between purchase and return and it was a sale item, but the point was a very unhappy customer. Whether right or wrong, we are being conditioned by big business of these conveniences. We need local business. The product is quality, the
selection is better and we keep our investments in town. I guess we both need to give a little.

Thomas Auch • Traverse City

Foster scores two points

You have written two very good articles in a row, re: Single People & Corrupt College Sports (George Foster Random Thoughts). These are right on the money and if you had asked me for my input, prior to writing these, I would have said just about the same things.
Single People: I agree with you 100% on this subject. For example, over 15 years ago I protested loudly to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors when the board awarded improved health insurance coverage benefits (a $100/month benefit) to married people and didn‘t do dick for us single folks. This kind of unfair stuff has gone throughout the country for many years.
I also strongly believe that a happy single life (that fortunately I‘ve lived) sure beats the life experiences that most of my married friends have endured. Very few people that I‘ve known live a happy married life with kids, pets, etc. that I would trade my life for.
College sports: After living three years at MSU‘s Wilson and Wonders halls I saw more of the crap that you wrote about than just about anybody. (I also took the same football class that you mentioned). Today, I also see the same stuff (only worse) up close, through my nephew, who is a junior at Arizona State University. The idiot athletes here are given even more than what we saw at MSU. ASU‘s favoritism to its athletes started with Frank Kush -- this guy is legendary out here -- who, as we both know, is a former MSU student and coach. He had many profs fired, intimidated into leaving, and scared into handing out passing grades.
Please keep up the the good work. However, I‘ll probably totally disagree with everything that you write for the next six months.

George Miller • via email

Whose hospital is it?

Why now is Northern Michigan Hospital‘s CEO Tom Mroczkowski telling the community that the hospital dosn‘t belong to the community, therefore the books are not open for public review?
Why in a NMH ad dated 9/5/02 in the Petoskey News-Review did Miles W. Trumble, M.D. (who was chairman of the board of trustees) say the hospital belongs to the community at large?
The ad invited everyone to contribute to the NMH capital campaign. In the ad, Dr. Trumble said NMH, “belongs to the community at large, residents, resorters and visitors.“
If what Tom Mroczkowski is saying is true, the ad was misleading and could be considered a fraud. Why in past years was the community misled in thing the hospital belongs to the community? has the NMH Board of Trustees been misleading the community for all these years and now they are telling the community it‘s a misnomer?

Quinton Keubler • Petoskey

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