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..

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- July 19th, 2010
Finding sanctuary
This is in respectful response to recent letters from readers offended
by our ad headline using “Seek Asylum” to promote The Village at Grand
Traverse Commons. That headline was not intended to offend anyone, nor
was it intended to be funny. To those offended, we apologize.
Our objective for using the word “asylum” was simply to attract
visitors. It was meant to reference the undeniable history of the
Commons as the former Traverse City State Hospital (originally the
Northern Michigan Asylum), while at the same time invoking the
original meanings of the word, which include “sanctuary, shelter, or
refuge.” Every day, people “seek asylum” from unfavorable
circumstances. We simply repurposed the phrase to convey the positive
sense of asylum, and, contrary to its historical uses, portray The
Village as a place where people want to go to escape our everyday
We respect the history of the TCSH, and acknowledge that any large
state mental institution with decades of operation will bear some sad
stories. While we cannot ease painful memories of an old asylum, we
can choose to celebrate the original noble intent of a historically
enlightened era of care for our fellow human beings. We can recognize
the efforts of hospital employees that were dedicated to truly helping
the patients. We, and the many people who have invested in this
campus, can move forward to preserve historic buildings by giving them
new uses and making them good places to live, work and do business.
That does not change the hospital’s history, especially for those who
prefer to forget it. But we hope the blossoming Village neighborhood
will empower people to see an old asylum in a new way, and maybe one
day reclaim a good word.

Raymond Minervini II
Partner, The Minervini Group LLC
Judgement call
I have been practicing family and probate law over the last 20 years.
I have practiced in courts throughout Michigan. The most critical
qualifications for a judge are honesty, integrity, common sense, legal
knowledge and practical life experience. A judge also cannot be
afraid to make a decision that may not be popular if it is the just
I have known and practiced in front of Marian Kromkowski for over 15
years in her position as a family law referee. Marian is honest, has
incredible integrity, common sense, legal knowledge and practical life
experience. Marian treats all people who appear in front of her with
respect and keeps and open mind prior to making her final decision.
Marian cares about families and children and results for the people
with whom she comes in contact in the court system. She is not afraid
to make an unpopular decision, if it is the right decision. I highly
recommend and support Marian Kromkowski for Leelanau County Probate
Judge. Vote for Marian on August 3.

Stephen King • Leelanau County

Plugging his books
The article on Summer‘s Best Beach Reads was good, but I feel the
writer should have included the following three books that are also
available at Horizon Books: the award winning author Brian Gruley‘s
hard-hitting mystery, “Starvation Lake“ and my two action adventures,
“China Marine: Tsingtao Treasure“ and sequel, “Tainted Treasure,“ that
follows a China Marine‘s dangerous voyage on a Swedish grain carrier
from the port of Saginaw to China in search of hidden treasure, and
his almost life-ending encounter with pirates in the South China Sea.
My next book, “Web of Greed“ should be out in late fall.

Buzz Harcus • Mancelona

Brandi Nelson of BANned Ideation Photography deserves credit for
taking the photos of the Saliva show in last week‘s Northern Seen.

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