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 · Eco-Building Products
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Eco-Building Products

Erin Crowell - May 31st, 2010
Catching the ‘Green’ Wave:: Eco-Building Products
By Erin Crowell
Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—an extension of
consumer tax incentives originally introduced in the Energy Policy Act
of 2005—homeowners are investing in eco-friendly building products now
more than ever.
Businesses all over the country have jumped on board, selling a range
of building products from insulation and interior caulks to solar
energy systems.
Eco-Building Products of Traverse City is just one of those businesses
– the only one in the region, for that matter, that has exclusive
rights to certain products.
“Our highest demand are products that promote energy efficiency and
energy systems – particularly solar energy systems,” says general
manager Jim Barnes.
Eco-Building Products sells and installs both solar thermal and
photovoltaic systems. The U.S. Energy Information Administration
reported 90% growth in 2008 for PV cells and modules, partly due to
the 30% Federal investment tax credit.
“It’s just a matter of getting people eligible for tax credits and
grants,” Barnes adds.

The company not only sells building products, but also ensures the
consumer is qualified to receive credits, rebates and incentives from
the government.
“The great thing about our products is that they are eligible for the
incentive tax credits or grants,” says Barnes. “We help out with grant
writing and Level One energy audits.”
So, let’s say you’re a business owner who wants to “go green” with
your new building. One way to earn an eco-friendly title is by
achieving LEED certification, a standard set by the U.S. Green
Building Council that designates a building as energy-saving with
little impact on the environment.
Eco-Building Products will guide you along the way, selling products
that meet those standards, as well as providing assistance through the
incentives application process.
“We’re providing a lot of services, audits and assessments, which
helps you identify the effectiveness of an energy system,” says
One example is the company’s use of a solar pathfinder, which
determines the amount of sun exposure in a particular area, 10 months
out of the year. Eco-Building Products then assists the customer in
understanding total energy consumption and calculates what kind of
return the customer can expect to see on their investment.
“We’re really just here to help,” Barnes explains.

The company believes in an environmentally friendly home. Using
information from the EPA (studies showing that indoor air quality in a
newly constructed home is two to five times worse than outdoor air),
the company has developed a product base that improves a building’s
environmental quality – products such as natural compound paints,
floor finishes, caulks and adhesives.
Company literature states that conventional building products contain
volatile organic compounds (VOCs), causing illness and symptoms such
as eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, chronic illness and
even central nervous system damage.
“Our products are about improving quality of life,” says Barnes.
He also adds that although the cost of upgrading to high performance,
environmentally friendly products are more expensive, the cost
difference isn’t much (anywhere from one percent to 20% more), the
real difference is about one’s health.
Barnes started thinking green several years back when he worked in the
restaurant industry.
In 1990, Barnes started Northern Delights, a natural foods café
specializing in local and organic food. The Northern Michigan
Environmental Action Council recognized Barnes’ efforts in creating an
eco-friendly menu, and he was awarded Environmentalist of the Year.
“Even though my background is food, it was still ‘green’ food,” says Barnes.
The idea to start a business specializing in eco-building products
came from brother-in-law Larry Kinney, a licensed builder who
specializes in natural building products, such as clay.
“He uses the same stuff that a bird’s nest would be built from,” says
Barnes. “He’s the one who said, ‘listen man.’ He’s the one who nudged
me into the business.”
Barnes and Kinney launched Eco-Building Products March 2006. Located
in the Warehouse District in Traverse City, the company has seen
steady growth.
“We used to operate out of a pole barn,” says Barnes. “There is a
great future in this business. I do believe we will continue to grow.
We’re doing it because we believe in it.”

Eco-Building Products is located a stone’s throw from West Grand
Traverse Bay at 130 Hall Street, TC. More information is available on
their website:

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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