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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- September 27th, 2010
Discrimination will never last in America
I support the proposed Traverse City ordinance to add sexual identity
to the long list of reasons why a person cannot be discriminated
against.  This list already includes religion, sex, weight, marital
status, height, disability, etc. We are talking about the equal, not
special rights, of TAX PAYING AMERICANS.  This is about liberty. I am
sorry if your religion does not condone homosexuality.  However, this
country does not make laws based on religious beliefs.  The church and
state are separate, as promised by our founders.
Those who say that this modification “stirs up hate” are suggesting
that as long as gays and lesbians remain unequal, they can be
tolerated. Who is threatened or angered by another person’s equality?
Do not indulge this fear. The proposed ordinance does not apply to
religious organizations, or a room rented in your residence. Gay
workers or tenants can still be fired or evicted, just not because of
their sexual identity. Businesses and property owners should not need
“special training” to recognize a qualified person who wants a job or
an apartment. We should be willing to risk unnecessary lawsuits, just
as we have been to protect the equality of women, racial minorities
and disabilities.
Civil rights are being extinguished by intolerance.  If we don’t
include sexual orientation to this “non-discrimination” ordinance, we
are condoning continued discrimination.

 Laurie Mackowiak • Traverse City

Gay rights issue
stresses city
Commissioner Carruthers and the HRC are responsible for the way our
tax monies are spent. How much of the cost of Carruthers Gay ordinance
will city taxpayers have to pay? The answer is, $20,000 dollars Plus
staff time, Carruthers and the HRC tried to slide this past taxpayers.
Carruthers used Marshall Persky, and the HRC to front for his Gay
protection ordinance. The HRC and City Commission were hoping to keep
it quiet, pass it, and have it lost in time. They even had it placed
on the consent calendar for the September 7th meeting. Items placed on
the consent calendar are meant to pass without public or commission
The ordinance would allow Carruthers, our gay activist commissioner,
to tell everyone he made good on his promise.  He didn’t seem to care
what kind of stress it would put on our city. Citizens will request
their Right to Vote by petitioning the city for a special election in
February.  The sad part is the only loser will be the City of Traverse
City.  When did politicians lose the ability to use common sense in
decision making?  People that define their lives by their sexual
preference seem to be oblivious to the feelings of others, too bad
isn’t it?
Carruthers talks about gay dollars, have you ever considered the cost
of a fiscal backlash to the ordinance?  The city won’t be paying the
$20,000 cost of the ordinance with “Gay Dollars”; it will be every
taxpayer who picks up the tab. Do you believe gay businesses would
trade this non
enforceable ordnance for the losses they would incur if local
organizations were to boycott gay businesses, the way gay activists
boycott the Salvation Army, Boy Scouts of America, and many other
religious and family values groups.

Paul Nepote • Traverse City

(Editor’s Note: To clarify the cost of this ordinance, opposition
groups have vowed a petition drive to enable a referendum vote in
February. That vote, if it occurs, will cost city taxpayers $20,000.
Passing the ordinance itself does not cost money.)

Fishing is not harmless
In its weekly fishing report for September 16, Michigan’s Department
of Natural Resources and Environment reminds anglers to “carry out
everything you carry in.” From carelessly discarding bait containers
and other trash to leaving behind a trail of tackle victims, anglers
are anything but eco-friendly. Milton Love, a UC Santa Barbara
research biologist, told the Los Angeles Times that he has seen “more
Bud Light cans” than fish in some recreational fishing areas that he’s
Wildlife rehabilitators have also consistently told PETA that
discarded fishing tackle is the number one danger to aquatic animals
today. Birds who swallow fish hooks often suffer lacerated beaks and
throats; most will slowly starve to death. Animals who get entangled
in line that is on the ground can become trapped underwater and drown
if it catches on rocks or debris. The more animals struggle, the
tighter monofilament line becomes—animals who don’t die can suffer
severed wings or feet.
Fishing is not a harmless pastime. Find out more at www.PETA.org.

Paula Moore • Norfolk, VA

Stepka—the only choice for judge
I have worked for Mike Stepka for more than seven years, so I know he
would be a great judge! He has always treated his clients, other
attorneys and the courts, with respect and dignity, and his knowledge
of the law is impeccable.  There have been many times when a person
who needed legal help, but could not afford it, did receive legal
assistance from Mike. That’s why Mike was the recipient of the Pro
Bono Award in 2007. I have nothing but respect for Mike.  In my
opinion, Mike is the only choice for Judge!

Vicki Parzych • Rapid City, MI

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