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 · Features · Green guy Bill Queen
. . . .

Green guy Bill Queen

Rick Coates - April 19th, 2010
Green Guy Bill Queen: He’s busy creating our renewable energy future
By Rick Coates
Bill Queen has been on the forefront of the “going green” and renewable
energy movement in Northern Michigan for the past 15 years. The Cedar
resident is the program coordinator with Extended Educational Services at
Northwestern Michigan College, where he oversees offerings including
energy efficiency and renewable energy.
He also is the coordinator of the Michigan Energy Demonstration Center.
 Celebrating its fifth year, the center offers information on
state-of-the-art energy efficiency equipment, materials, and methods on
saving money for energy bills.
Northwestern Michigan College is one of eight energy demonstration centers
in Michigan that provide the public with information about energy
efficiency, renewable energy, and green building solutions.
The Michigan Energy Demonstration Center is located at the M-TEC building
on the Aero Park Campus. Highlights include a grid-tied solar array,
geo-thermal installation, solar thermal system, portable solar lab, small
wind turbine, and a building sciences lab. They have a larger wind turbine
located at the University Center on Cass Road.
“I grew up during the first energy crises,” said Queen. “I remember the
long lines at gas stations. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do for a
living but I always had an appreciation for the environment, it is
something my parents passed on to me. So it is pretty cool that this is
where I have landed and I feel fortunate to be able to meet up with so
many like-minded people here in Northern Michigan.”

Growing up in Detroit during the energy crisis, Queen became interested in
solar energy and water quality, but as he reflects, “those were not in the
cards” for career pursuits at the time.
 “I wanted to go to a small college up north. I wanted to be by water, I
was a competitive swimmer in high school,” said Queen, “NMC was the
perfect fit as I loved the outdoors. I took my basics and transferred to
Central Michigan majoring in business administration. Since I loved to
kayak, I ended up starting a small kayaking touring company.”
He eventually met his wife Kate Fairman and moved to Ann Arbor where she
was going to school at U of M.  Queen enrolled in U of M’s school of
Natural Resources and Environment.
“As a result of my time on the lakes and rivers I really began to
appreciate them and wanted to do something to help keep those eco-systems
viable and livable,” said Queen, “So in Ann Arbor I went to work for the
Global Rivers Environmental Educational Network (GREEN). This was a K-12
program that engaged and empowered young people to not only learn about
their watersheds but to find solutions to protect them.”
When his wife graduated they had an opportunity to move north.
“In 1995 we brought GREEN to Traverse City,” said Queen. “In 2000 I was
hired by NMC and able to offer renewable energy classes through extended
educational services. I had four students in that first class but we have
seen the program grow with interest.”

What Queen likes is the number of business people in the community who
have participated and have put what they have learned to use in their
business model.
“Tim Young of Food For Thought and Bobby Sutherland of Cherry Republic
have taken classes and both have incorporated renewable energy initiatives
into their businesses,” said Queen. “Certainly the concept of renewable
energy is overwhelming and challenging. This downturn in the economy is a
double-edge sword, with some who believe the costs are prohibitive to
others looking at being more self-sufficient.”
Queen is considered a leader in the field, serving on numerous committees
and organizations.
“I have been active with the energy committee of the Grand Vision group
for the region. I am on the Green Build Committee for the Home Builders
as well.”
He also has worked closely with Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P).
“Certainly I have been in conversations with TCL&P on various initiatives
over the years and right now I am meeting with them on solar energy,” said
Queen. “The great thing about renewable locally generated energy is the
money stays local.”
So does Queen have an opinion on the proposed biomass program being
advocated by Light & Power?
“Sure, I have personal opinions on everything that involves renewable
energy, but as an educator I keep those opinions to myself,” said Queen.
“We have a lot of questions to ask and to answer as a community. Such as,
should we put a wind farm out in Lake Michigan or on the Leelanau
Peninsula? What about building a micro-nuclear plant or coal fired
power plants? How about more dams and hydro-electric plants? These are all
tough issues.”
Queen hopes to help the community answer these and other questions on
energy through the various classes he teaches or facilitates.
“This is an exciting time right now, especially in Northern Michigan,
there are so many people interested in these concepts. There are also
several financial incentives for businesses and homeowners to consider
energy alternatives,” said Queen. “The future of energy use is certainly a
conversation we all need to have around the dinner table.”
For additional information about the renewable energy initiatives visit
www.nmc.edu/ees or call Bill Queen at 231-995-1701.

Here is a list of current offerings; Queen hopes to have the summer
schedule posted online in a couple of weeks:

Energy Saturday—Hot and Cool Topics
The day is designed as a series of three expert-led workshops designed to
cool your summer energy bills—evaporative cooling, ventilation, shading
and lighting techniques, and hot water heating. Sat., April 24, 9:30
a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Financing Solar: A Business Look
A look at the financial tools and incentives that are now available to
help finance the installation of a solar electric system. April 22 & 29,
7-9 p.m.

Wind Power for Homeowners
This course will take you through the step-by-step process required to
install a wind generator at your home or small business. April 20 & 27

Solar Power for Homeowners
Learn about solar electric and solar thermal, and explore how much solar
energy is available in our region. May 13, 6-8:30 p.m.

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