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 · Letters · Letters 10/2/03
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Letters 10/2/03

Various - October 2nd, 2003
Chairman Mao‘s tactics

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld naively thought that our invasion of Iraq would be welcomed by the oppressed people yearning to be free of Saddam Hussein. Don‘t the instructors at West Point know the obvious tactic for a country facing invasion by an overwhelming force? Surrender immediately to save the lives of the defenders, wait for the occupation, and then kill the invaders one by one. Anyone who has read the military tactics of Chairman Mao or fought in Vietnam against a citizen army knows how it works. It‘s the same tactic the Michigan Militia will use if American martial law threatens to take away our guns. Rumsfeld seems to have believed the spin doctors‘ fantasies.
So now we‘re going broke, sacrificing our military folks every day for a failed policy. Rumsfeld might have done better to read Swedish history. When Gustav Wasa sought to unite Sweden under his rule, he invited all the quarreling warlords to a feast, got them drunk, barred the doors, and burned down the banquet hall with them inside. He then declared himself ruler of Sweden and slaughtered any protesters.
“Ah, but assassination is against U.S. law, so instead of inviting Saddam and his cronies to a Camp David meeting and having their plane conveniently crash on the way home, we invaded the country, killed uncounted thousands of innocents, and missed Saddam, who is still on the loose using Chairman Mao‘s tactics.
George Bush has made a colossal error which we will be paying for for years to come. Was your tax cut worth it? Why not donate it to the widows and orphans who are victims of this stupid war? Send it to UNESCO to salve your conscience.

Harley Sachs • Houghton

Too many people

While Gov. Jennifer Granholm and conservationists scramble to curb the sprawl that is gobbling Michigan landscapes, there is little focus on the long-term threat that can doom their efforts: population growth.
Though Michigan‘s population growth has been relatively minor (about 11 % between 1990-2000) compared to fast-growing southern and western states, without checks population expansion ultimately dooms all conservation efforts.
U.S. population now grows not so much from the excess of births over deaths as from immigrants and their descendants. U.S. families tend to be small, even below the number required to maintain a steady population. Immigrant families by contrast tend to be large, as in their home country, where dense population is one of the main factors pushing people to move.
Absent immigration, our numbers would stabilize and then recede slowly. But with immigration at current levels, the U.S. Census Bureau mid-level projection is for growth from our current 285 million to 420 million by 2050, within the lifetime of our children.
That is 135 million additional people -- equal to about 15 new Michigans. All these additional people will be competing for energy, a home site, water, a place to recreate, and on and on.
That adds up to dirtier air and water, less land, more traffic and noise, social and economic pressures, ultimately degrading lifestyles and the quality of life to conditions that drove these people to abandon their homelands.
Congress has been challenged for decades to face this reality. Only public awareness and pressure can bring it to deal with our immigration policy while the problem is still on our doorstep -- not inside the door.
Our federal legislators need to hear from you, now.

John H. Tanton, M.D. • Petoskey

Dangerously incompetent

President Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction and the purported
“grave and imminent“ threat Iraq posed to the U.S. Or, if he believed his
claims, Bush is dangerously incompetent.
George W. Bush, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have conducted criminal
preemptive war of aggression, attacking people who did not threaten the
United States and killing and maiming thousands. Their actions violate the
U.S. Constitution and the U.N. Charter which prevents countries from
waging attack on other countries except as an act of self-defense in
response to an imminent threat.
In July 1974 the House Judiciary Committee voted for articles of
impeachment for President Nixon for lying to the people and to Congress.
Within a month Nixon resigned from office. Nixon‘s political demise came
less than two years after he won one of the largest landslide electoral
victories in U.S. history. The United States of America was spared great
harm because the media informed citizens of that threat.
The Bush Administration and Attorney General John Ashcroft have treated
the Bill of Rights with contempt and have sought to roll back decades of
hard won civil rights and rights for working people. This President has
claimed for himself the authority to jail citizens and residents of the
United States indefinitely, without any charge against them, without trial
and without access to a lawyer.
The unilateral actions of the Bush Administration in waging and
threatening wars of aggression do not serve the interests of the people of
the U.S. The billions of dollars being spent on war,
taken from the working people of the U.S., are being funneled to the Big
Oil and corporate elite who are Bush‘s true constituents.

Harry Miller • Chicago

A very tough decision

As of Saturday morning, we have withdrawn our application to rezone and we are closing the book on our plans to build a sports park in Elmwood Township. Tuesday night‘s meeting has been cancelled. I‘m sure the nay-sayers will jump and down in victory but the truth of the matter, the reason for our decision, is something completely different.
It is very apparent there is a problem with John‘s health. The doctors are running a series of tests looking for an answer to the multitude of symptoms he has been exhibiting. The doctors say there is a possibility his symptoms are the result of stress. But even if that‘s so and it is ‘just‘ stress, it‘s still very detrimental to his health. We simply couldn‘t delay making the decision as we closed in on the last days before the public meeting. We have a wonderful group of supporters that were working hard to inform people and drum up support. The commissioner of the Frontier League had rearranged his schedule to be here on Tuesday night to speak on our behalf.
We made the decision as a family that John‘s health is our paramount goal, everything else comes in second. SO: While it is tremendously disappointing -- it really is a no-brainer.
That said we would like to express to the Record Eagle our tremendous disappointment in the lack of honesty and thoroughness in their reporting since our project was moved to the ‘news section‘. We purposely did not contact the young lady who has been covering this story because we are so concerned about being misquoted once again. She has, (or the Record Eagle powers that be have,) refused to publish our site plan, despite repeated requests to do so. She attended a lengthy meeting held for the sole purpose of informing the media and through them the public, and wrote an article that left out 90% of what was covered in the meeting.
It seems to us negativity and controversy is where the Record Eagle believes the story to be. How can anyone expect the public to make an informed decision when you continue to promote incomplete and misinformation? Did anyone from the Record Eagle contact the Elmwood Township supervisor or planner and ask them what kind of response they were receiving in regard to our proposed park? No you didn‘t, despite our requests to do so. I told Marla we were told public support was 94% in favor of the park being located in Elmwood Township compared to 6% negative. I have over 500 more signatures on petitions on my desk that were never turned in, to add to that number. Nor does the total include those signatures on petition that were to be turned into us by Monday morning.
Marla and I spoke at length about what could be developed under the Resort Commercial zoning. It seems it was important to both Marla and the Record Eagle powers that be, to continue to pound those uses and yet continue to ignore the alternative uses for the property that are allowed under AO-1. Why? Is it because some of the AO-1 uses might actually have been more invasive to the neighborhood than our proposed sports park? A large portion of the populace believes agriculture zoning means farms only. It isn‘t true but the Record Eagle was certainly unwilling to help tell the whole story. Why? Marla also refused to address concerns of the neighborhood in regard to the proposed sports park and the possibility of declining property values. I asked her to contact the Elmwood tax assessor and find out the real answer. In areas where new stadiums in the Frontier League were built, property values increased 233%. Apparently that wasn‘t news.
Marla and I spoke at length about our attempts to acquire the 10 acres directly on the corner of Bugai and M-72. The fact the land was still owned by Art Schmuckal was a huge concern to the nay-sayers who along with the Record Eagle powers that be, touted the slippery slope principal of rezoning to commercial. The project is done, but allow us to express our very sincere thanks to Art Schmuckal and Dave Prevo who reduced their price by a third and agreed to sell us those 10 acres last Thursday. Sadly, we had the signed contracts in hand Friday morning and had to make the incredibly difficult decision to withdraw from the project on Friday evening.
Shame on the Record Eagle for promoting ill-will and misinformation. The fact is the Record Eagle‘s willing to promote misinformation added fuel to the righteous fire of the negative rabble-rousers, who in turn took it out on the Wuerfels via nasty e-mails and phone calls. It is totally untrue that “local governments have come forward with offers of alternative sites..“ Record Eagle, Sunday, September 21, 2003.
Shame on Brian Crough for being a johnny-come-lately and taking credit for promoting the stadium downtown, when he ignored the idea presented by Ranier Reichert for a month before he was contacted by a RE reporter for comment. Shame on the DDA for asking for a meeting with the Wuerfels and then being woefully unprepared. The DDA had no reasonable suggestions, and very few legitimate ideas as to locations within the city limits. Shame on Brian Crough for totally discounting the real purpose of our development, the baseball academy and the Little League fields. He flat out said he didn‘t care about either.
Shame on the negative fraction who in support of their no-growth went out and tried to spread the idea we would bring loud concerts, drugs and death to their neighborhood. Shame on them for spreading untruths about the Wuerfels being a front for a group of developers who were planning on putting in a grocery store, gas station and mini-mart instead of the beautiful sports complex we had honestly hoped to put in the area. Shame on the member of their group who let the air out of Doug Mansfield‘s tire at the August meeting where we first presented our request for rezoning.
Shame on Jim Lively of the Michigan Land Use Institute, who went on the Ron Jolly radio show last Thursday and stated, “Wuerfels are breaking the rules by applying for rezoning on this property.“ Requests for rezoning do not break any rules.
To everyone who thinks the land is the most precious resource we have; we believe you are mistaken, our children are. If you can‘t grow happy, well adjusted, healthy children what difference does a field of corn make?
To the baseball fans, we sincerely hope someone will pick up the cause (someone with thick skin) and bring a minor league team to the area. It would be a wonderful addition!
To our the wonderful team of supporters: thank you, thank you, thank you! Your support has been overwhelming and is treasured.
Finally, please note we are e-mailing this letter to everyone we can think of. We are hoping our story will get out.

Leslye A. Wuerfel

on behalf of the entire Wuerfel family
John & Leslye, Josh & Tonya, and Jason Wuerfel
Wuerfel Sports Development, LLC

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