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 · Other Opinions · Two loves
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Two loves

Stephen Tuttle - August 9th, 2010
Two Loves
I love elections.
I love the hope and possibility inherent in every election at every
level. Those of us who truly believe in our system can’t wait for the
chance to cast a ballot and then sit nervously as those ballots are
counted. Maybe that man or woman we just nominated or elected will be
the one who makes a difference, who has that spark of insight or
strength of leadership that gets us out of whatever mess we happen to
be in at the time.
Open elections are the quintessential symbol of American democracy.
For one day, despite the current failures of the two party system and
the truly onerous barrage of campaign commercials, we still have the
ability to go to the polls and freely vote for candidates of our
Those who wanted us to believe every candidate is the same and it
didn’t matter for whom we voted, or there were no worthy candidates;
shame on you. Given a ballot that included races for precinct
committee positions, district court judges, county commissioners,
state representatives, state senators, members of Congress, our new
governor and a barrage of millage issues surely there must have been
some candidate or some issue in there you could support.
For those who did find a reason to vote, were you shocked, stunned,
disillusioned? Did you expect Virg Bernero to thump Andy Dillon? Do
you think Mike Cox, Mike Bouchard and Pete Hoekstra would split the
hardcore conservative vote and allow Rick Snyder to dominate the
Republican race?
The real fun now begins. A former legislator turned mayor versus a
business guy with no previous political experience. A man who has been
referred to as America’s angriest mayor against the man who helped
sell Gateway to Acer. Political fire and brimstone against methodical
nerdism. Organized labor versus the business community.
Commence firing. This oughta be good.
I love the Traverse City Film Festival.
It brings new perspective, new ideas and new energy to Northern
Michigan. Not to mention millions of dollars. Traverse City was
downright electric for the six days of the Festival. Restaurants and
sidewalks were jammed. Parking places were almost non-existent.
Everywhere one traveled there was talk of movies. How many have you
seen? What did you like? How’d you rate it? What are you seeing
tomorrow? As a bonus, almost every movie is an adventure. Could a
South Korean romantic comedy be any good? Absolutely. Were the
documentaries interesting and informative? You bet. Were the young
filmmakers innovative and bold? Yes, they were.
The entire thing this year was almost perfect. Almost.
On Tuesday night there was an Opening Party. It was held on Front
Street for the first time. The party was fine, the venue a mistake.
There are a handful of events that are fairly expensive. The opening
party was one of those events. At $50 per person ($25 for Friends of
the Festival), it’s a pretty stout financial commitment in an area
suffering with unemployment hovering around 15%. Those who could
afford it were able to eat some nice food, drink some nice wine, beer
and vodka and socialize with some of the directors, producers and
movie sponsors.
Most of us understand these events are not just important but
essential to the success of the Festival. They raise money and create
an atmosphere integral to the ongoing involvement of both filmmakers
and some Festival goers.
But holding it on Front Street, behind a double fence, was ironic at
best and bizarrely insensitive at worst. While the gliterati wore
their orange wristbands and ate their fine food and drank their fine
wines inside the fences, the hoi polloi stood outside gazing
plaintively at what they did not and could not have. The haves on the
inside, the have-nots on the outside. All that was missing was
someone whispering, “Alms for the poor, please?”
Michael Moore has deservedly earned a reputation as the champion of
the little guys and gals, the underdogs, the downtrodden, the poor,
the disadvantaged and the have-nots. That he was part of an event that
so dramatically put the folks he so often and so righteously supports
on the outside looking in was disconcerting in the extreme. At another
time it might have been exactly the kind of event Mr. Moore would have
recorded for inclusion in one of his excellent documentaries. And not
By all means, the high dollar events should and must continue. But not
in a location that so nakedly fences in those who can pay and fences
out those who cannot. Organizers should hold them someplace else.
Well-dressed folks eating and drinking should not be a spectator sport
for people on a budget. Front Street would be better served by a party
that costs five bucks a head and involves nearby businesses, gives
everyone a chance to participate and puts a little money into Festival
Having said that, I can hardly wait for next year’s Film Festival.

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