Letters 10-17-2016

Here’s The Truth The group Save our Downtown (SOD), which put Proposal 3 on the ballot, is ignoring the negative consequences that would result if the proposal passes. Despite the group’s name, the proposal impacts the entire city, not just downtown. Munson Medical Center, NMC, and the Grand Traverse Commons are also zoned for buildings over 60’ tall...

Keep TC As-Is In response to Lynda Prior’s letter, no one is asking the people to vote every time someone wants to build a building; Prop. 3 asks that people vote if a building is to be built over 60 feet. Traverse City will not die but will grow at a pace that keeps it the city people want to visit and/or reside; a place to raise a family. It seems people in high-density cities with tall buildings are the ones who flock to TC...

A Right To Vote I cannot understand how people living in a democracy would willingly give up the right to vote on an impactful and important issue. But that is exactly what the people who oppose Proposal 3 are advocating. They call the right to vote a “burden.” Really? Since when does voting on an important issue become a “burden?” The heart of any democracy is the right of the people to have their voice heard...

Reasons For NoI have great respect for the Prop. 3 proponents and consider them friends but in this case they’re wrong. A “yes” vote on Prop. 3 is really a “no” vote on..

Republican Observations When the Republican party sends its presidential candidates, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people with a lot of problems. They’re sending criminals, they’re sending deviate rapists. They’re sending drug addicts. They’re sending mentally ill. And some, I assume, are good people...

Stormy Vote Florida Governor Scott warns people on his coast to evacuate because “this storm will kill you! But in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Florida’s voter registration deadline be extended because a massive evacuation could compromise voter registration and turnout, Republican Governor Scott’s response was that this storm does not necessitate any such extension...

Third Party Benefits It has been proven over and over again that electing Democrat or Republican presidents and representatives only guarantees that dysfunction, corruption and greed will prevail throughout our government. It also I believe that a fair and democratic electoral process, a simple and fair tax structure, quality health care, good education, good paying jobs, adequate affordable housing, an abundance of healthy affordable food, a solid, well maintained infrastructure, a secure social, civil and public service system, an ecologically sustainable outlook for the future and much more is obtainable for all of us...

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- August 9th, 2010
Finding the Griffon
It has been said that no matter how much you know about a subject,
you’re never an expert unless someone else says you are. Since no one
has ever claimed that about me, and I don’t have a diploma, I can’t
claim to be an expert on any subject, and therefore don’t speak with
the Voice of Authority .
However, as a Traverse City native and a lifetime avocational
archaeologist, I have studied the history and archaeology of the area
for over fifty years, with some noteworthy area archaeological
discoveries to my credit. Since my tentative plans include moving
south in a couple of years, I am currently documenting as many
archaeological sites in the area as I can, so there will be at least
some documentation of the area’s historical sites -- just in case
anyone cares.
Having a particular interest in the nautical and maritime history of
the Grand Traverse region, a subject of particular interest to me has
always been the fate of the Griffon, about which I’ve studied and
researched extensively. If Steve Libert has found it, as claimed in
your article “Search for Le Griffon,” well and good -- another Great
Lakes mystery solved, and I love it when someone solves such
historical mysteries.
However, I don’t feel, on the basis of my research, that Libert has
indeed found the Griffon. I believe his conclusions are erroneous,
based as they are on misinterpretations of existing documentation and
faulty reasoning. My research indicates that the Griffon is nowhere
near where he’s looking, nor did it sink in a storm. It was destroyed
by a storm, to be sure, but only because it was driven aground -- and
you wouldn’t believe where it ran aground. Let’s just say it’s a lot
closer than people think.
Having read internet articles about Libert’s find, I can’t say what
he’s found, although I suspect it’s a beam from a barn someone was
moving across the ice when it fell through. I do know that the beam
in question is not a bowsprit, for the simple reason that it is
squared. No ship ever built carried a square bowsprit. There’s a
reason why a ship’s spars are round.
There are a lot of things I’d like to say to refute Libert’s claim,
but this isn’t the time or place to do so. Oh, and those cannons he’s
hoping to find to prove the identity of his discovery? That’s wishful
thinking, I’m afraid. Those cannons were salvaged by a helmet diver
from Petoskey in the 1940’s, and sold to the government as scrap metal
for the war effort.
Yes, I believe I do know where the Griffon is. Not only that -- I’ve
seen it with my own eyes.

Howard J. Blodgett • TC

The Wine Rack
Re: your “GearBox,” 8/2: Bras inflated with wine?
How about a “dick-definer” instead?
Either you have under-estimated your
readers, or I have over-estimated your audience. I believe the former.
You regularly include well written articles, investigative journalism
and provocative opinions. So where does breast enlargement, with sacks
of wine, figure in? I am hopeful in the future I can read more about
important issues and less of how to enlarge breast tissues with white

Anna Norris • via email
Condition Black
On any given day, NATO hospitals in southern Afghanistan enter
“CONDITION BLACK” – a status that alerts military tactical commanders
that hospital beds are full and patients should be diverted elsewhere.
Commanders’ options are limited however – in the south NATO has only
two Role-3 hospitals – those that are capable of dealing with complex
polytrauma that is a common result of IED blasts.
It’s typical for a soldier to arrive from the battlefield with
injuries requiring vascular, orthopedic, burn, and general surgery.
The most seriously wounded will stop at the British hospital in
Helmand province or the U.S. hospital in Kandahar province for
stabilization surgery prior to the long flight to Europe for further
These hospitals are modern-day “trauma factories” dealing with scores
of brutally battered patients daily, not all of whom are soldiers.
Many of the wounded are innocent Afghan civilians whose neighborhoods
have become battlefields. In fact, Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM)
(an independent and impartial Afghan rights group) reports that 1,074
civilians were killed and over 1,500 were injured in the first six
months of 2010.
And that’s where this gets complicated.
Even though the NATO hospitals will report CONDITION BLACK, they will
always make room for NATO troops requiring care; there just is not
another option. Not so for the civilian casualties; in CONDITION
BLACK, NATO will either refuse to collect them from the battlefield,
or deliver them to the poorly-staffed Afghan Army hospital near
Kandahar, which is not capable of complex polytrauma surgery. The
result is that NATO is triaging patients based on
Although the Geneva Conventions require the warring parties to protect
civilians and provide medical care to the wounded, the U.S. chose to
escalate the war knowing that civilians would increasingly be killed
and wounded – without a proper level of trauma care in place. While
ARM attributes 60 percent of civilian casualties to the Taliban, they
are not a signatory to the Geneva Conventions and have no medical
facilities. Such is the condition of conducting a counterinsurgency –
the burden lies with the nation states – U.S. and United Kingdom.
In July 2009, General McChrystal issued a directive that required
commanders to more carefully consider civilian casualties while
engaging the enemy. A June 29, 2010 article by Amnesty International
credits this policy with a 28% reduction in civilian deaths in the
second half of 2009 from the same period in 2008.
A small group of veterans – part of Veterans For Peace – in Traverse
City – appealed to the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services
Committee to investigate the lack of medical care to civilians.
Senator Levin has yet to respond.
Meanwhile, in this poor isolated nation with few true allies, the most
innocent bear the brunt of the suffering; six civilians are killed and
eight wounded daily. It’s time to end the war. Short of that the
Commander-In- Chief must do the morally right thing – provide medical
care to civilians at the same level offered to NATO forces.

Dave Lannen • TC

Dave Lannen is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, a veteran of Iraq
and Afghanistan, and a volunteer with Veterans For Peace in TC.

Last week‘s article on Cafe Sante in Boyne City listed incorrect
hours. The restaurant is open 7 days a week, 8-3 breakfast and lunch,
Mon-Sat 3-11 dinner and Sun 3-10 dinner.
Also, a Northern Seen photo failed to mention that Teresa Crouse was
co-chair of the D’Art for Art fundraiser.

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