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 8/21/03
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Letters 8/21/03

Various - August 21st, 2003
State held hostage by new DUI law

I think that we should all think long and hard about the decision of our legislature and Gov. Granholm to change Michigan‘s drunk driving laws. The press releases and spokespeople tout it as a win-win idea. We will save lives and $11.5 million with the stroke of Granholm‘s pen, they say. Maybe I‘m just stupid or something but I don‘t get it.
I culled the following text directly from www.michigan.gov.
“Under Michigan law, it is illegal to drive:
When under the influence of, or impaired by, alcohol, illegal drugs, and certain prescribed medications.
With a bodily alcohol content of 0.10 or more (driving while under the influence).
With a bodily alcohol content of more than 0.07, but less than 0.10 (driving while impaired).“

So lowering the DUI (Driving while Under the Influence) threshold from a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.10 to 0.08 does not change the fact that a BAC of 0.07 (DWI, Driving While Impaired) is already illegal in Michigan. And how will we be saving $11.5 million? That money isn‘t a gift. Those are Michigan tax dollars that are owed to us. The federal government threatened to deny the return of that money unless we complied with their wishes. So what was the point of all this?
Maybe it‘s frustration with Article X of the Amendments to the US Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.“
Does anyone out there remember the federal government‘s “55 Saves Lives“ campaign? The feds threatened to withhold the same tax dollars if the states didn‘t lower their speed limits. Does everyone understand that the federal government will not return Michigan tax dollars designated for school lunch programs if our schools don‘t comply with federal curriculum standards?
Personally, I would like to see Michigan adopt a single BAC limit of 0.05. or maybe even less. Driving after consuming anything more than a single drink is unwise, unsafe, and absolutely unnecessary. But that does not diminish the fact the federal government has no right to hold hostage the tax dollars that are due to be returned to our state in order to circumvent the constitutional limitations of their authority. If they want to make drinking and driving a federal crime, they can amend the Constitution and pay to enforce it. Or better yet, offer Michigan some of the dollars wasted on “pork barrel“ projects so we can spend it on better enforcement of the laws that we already have.

Charles Russell • Williamsburg & Ann Arbor

McManus & Clous

As a member of the Traverse Group of the Sierra Club, and a college student who cares deeply about the future of our planet, I am outraged over the wetland fill in East Bay township by Bill Clous.
State Sen. Michelle McManus is clearly overstepping her boundaries, for whatever reason, by going to bat for Mr. Clous. The citizen she is acting on behalf of has illegally filled in nearly 90 acres of a wetland, listed as “Critical Wetland 2“ in the Mitchell Creek Watershed Protection Strategy. Two classified trout streams, along with a third stream, have been destroyed.
If Mr. Clous truly plans on farming the land, why does he need permits to build bridges and create a pond (ironic, isn‘t it -- -fill a wetland -- create a pond)?
My grandparents were farmers. My great-grandparents were farmers. Trying to convince people that he plans to farm the property is an insult to farmers and also to responsible developers who follow the law and obtain necessary permits. It‘s not the exemptions for farmers that is the issue here. It‘s that an entire wetland has been filled without the proper permits. Anyone who breaks the law should be punished. Anyone who breaks the law so blatantly, should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. No matter who their friends are.

Gabe Evans • Honor,

Bike safely

Recently my husband and I visited the beautiful Charlevoix and Petoskey area. We greatly enjoyed bike riding on the paved bike path between these two cities.
During our rides we experienced other riders overtaking us and passing. We would like to remind all riders that it is not only good manners, but also an important safety measure to alert riders in front of you that you are going to pass. If riders are not aware of your presence, they could move in your path and cause an accident or be startled and lose control of their bikes. Merely shouting out that you are passing and on which side is sufficient or as we have done, equip your bike with a bell to alert persons ahead of you that you are overtaking them. These simple measures can also apply to passing walkers on the trail. Remembering to do this could save others and yourself from injuries.

Jane Conley • via email

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