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 5/6/04
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Letters 5/6/04

Various - May 6th, 2004
Resort slaves of Northern Michigan

I am writing in response to a letter from the April 22 issue titled “Get a Job,” submitted by Theresa Cobb of Conway. Theresa is obviously a very naive little girl!! She attributed the importation of slave labor from indigent countries, such as Haiti and Colombia, by local resorts to the lack of locals who want to work. She implies that the local unemployed (and underemployed) people of the area complain about not being able to find a job when there are all these fine resort positions just waiting to be filled.
Are you serious??? Unbelievable!! First of all, try to support a family in this area on the wages from a resort position -- minimum wage, no benefits, and usually part time. Many businesses in the area offer the same “opportunities” as when I moved here from Houston, Texas. The common practice was to hire legal (or often illegal) immigrants because they would work for virtually nothing. People coming from such impoverished countries think that working for $5 an hour is a dream come true, as they may make $5 a day -- or substantially less -- in their home countries.
Frequently in Texas, these people would live ten adults to one household, as they are accustomed to such conditions. The imported resort workers are similarly housed here. They do not have to live according to the standard of living that residents of Traverse City have to be concerned about -- their food, housing, etc. are paid for, or are even subtracted from their wages. They have no benefits such as health insurance or company-augmented savings plans.
I choose to live alone and, despite a college education, cannot find a job for which I am educated in Traverse City. I work seven days a week, eight, 12, and occasionally 16 hours a day to barely get by. I am more than willing to do ANY work! I applied at several area resorts and was never even contacted, despite a spotless work record and an educated, intelligent, professional demeanor. Why would I be hired when they can bring in people who will basically work for food and shelter without any additional demands?
I take offense at the implication that those in the area who are unemployed are basically lazy and not willing to work and am disappointed that this practice of hiring what can be likened to slave labor is accepted without question in Northern Michigan! What would all the wealthy people in the area do if you all didn’t have service workers to serve your meals, clean your houses, take care of your children, etc.??? Get a clue!

Marne Parker • TC

Bear-ly credible

Regarding the special bear hunting permits which have been issued for Leelanau and other counties:
Farmers have the right to protect their livelihood. Seems that a person should have the right to protect one’s personal safety and the safety of home, livestock & pets from bruin OR feral canine attack. Seems that CONVENTIONAL hunting is a humane way to protect that very prey from death due to over-population and potential starvation... IF that scenario ever arises in our area. (Especially in Leelanau where bear sightings are very low.)
However, it’s extremely unseemly and troubling to call baiting and using radio-collared dogs “hunting.” I’ve honestly heard some natives say that their third and fourth generation ancestors would be squirming in their graves regarding these latest “hunting” practices. Is there no pride? Technology has tainted what once was survival and honest skill. If you’ve never witnessed the treeing/cornering of bears or coyotes by a pack of radio-collared domestic dogs and seen the ensuing carnage before the “hunter” finally makes an appearance, let your imagination and sense of humanity/decency dictate exactly what visions may spring to mind.
This practice, regarding coyotes, goes on more often than you think in our counties. To say this practice is barbaric, small minded and mean spirited is an incredible understatement.

Carol Wire • Northport

Defending WNMC

This is in response to Lance Gobla of Fife Lake who wrote in response to Robert Apap’s letter on the omission of WNMC from the Express‘s “best of” list. Lance, what planet are you on?
I’ve been a volunteer DJ at WNMC for more than two years and a contributer for longer than I can remember. I have never seen or heard any of the bile that you are spewing. The manager of the station gives much leeway to the DJs, all of whom are volunteers. The programing is current and cutting edge. The range in music covers a bigger spectrum than all the other stations in this area combined.
Your comment about commercials being excessive gives you away right off, as there are none. Obviously you have not been listening to WNMC, as your description of our station describes many of the others in town. I’m thinking you have been listening to too much of another station, perhaps one that features a “big fat idiot.”

Tom Graham • TC

WNMC numbers talk

I am writing in response to Lance Golba’s letter on WNMC recently published in Northern Express. Mr. Golba’s comments represent a view, and he has a right to it, but if the question is how is WNMC doing, by any objective measure the answer is “better than ever.”
According to the latest Arbitron figures (Arbitron is the Nielsen of radio), 8,600 people listen to the station every week as opposed to 3,000 in Golba’s fabled days of yore (1999).
I don’t think there’s anything arrogant or unresponsive or elitist about trying to create a public radio service that has more listeners and serves more people. Personally, I’d argue the opposite is true.
I’d also argue there’s nothing “conservative” (or “liberal” for that matter) about the music we play: Some of it is traditional music, some of it is experimental; some of it is from Traverse City, some of it is from Bamako; some of it is challenging, some of it will have you dancing before you realize what hit you.
Simply put, WNMC’s mission in the world is not to be Lance Golba’s personal jukebox; we’ve got to bring together a reasonably large group of listeners who are willing to support the station, and over the last four years or so, we’ve made some big strides in doing that.
Speaking of which, Northern Express readers may find that their tastes differ from Mr. Golba’s if they give us a listen: we’re at 90.7 on the FM dial or wnmc.org on the web. We think you’ll like it!

Eric Hines • WNMC station manager

Bush’s secret Saudi deal

Bob Woodward has raised a number of disturbing questions about the President’s relationship with the Saudi royal family.
We now know that Bush has a secret deal with the Saudis to influence the November elections by manipulating gas prices -- a deal that is costing Americans at the pump.
If President Bush can make deals with OPEC nations to lower gas prices, why isn’t he doing it now, while Americans face record prices at the pump, instead of using that influence to manipulate the election?
President Bush needs to answer other questions about his relationship with Saudi Arabia too, including why he revealed secret war plans to Saudi Prince Bandar before he showed Colin Powell.
It’s time for President Bush to stop the stonewall and come clean about his relationship with the Saudi royal family and their plan to manipulate the elections.
It’s also our obligations as citizens of the United States, to become aware and respond to such travesties.

Mary A. Shaffer • Boyne Falls

Conservative choices

I can understand why a conservative person would have chosen to vote for George W. Bush in 2000, but I can’t believe that all conservatives are now choosing to ignore the deceptions about Saddam having been more important than Osama.
I know there must be true conservatives who are angry about what this war is costing us, politically, economically and spiritually; about the stonewalling of the 9/11 Commission, whose very existence Bush fought; about “No Child Left Behind” and what it is doing to our schools; about Medicare “reform” and what it is really going to cost us; about who really wrote and is benefiting from our energy policy and environmental policies, and what they are doing to our country; about who really benefits from Bush’s “tax relief” and what it is doing to our future.
Being conservative means you hold traditional values, it doesn’t mean you’re not paying attention, and it surely does not mean these deceits don’t matter to you.

Mark McKinney • via email

Say yes to bus station

Bay Area Transportation Authority is a two-county transit system, therefore the main offices should be conveniently located to serve both counties. The Hall Street location in Traverse City is the most approximate to serve both counties.
As a transfer point it will eliminate many zone buses from coming in from Leelanau and driving passengers throughout the city, then taking Traverse City passengers back to Leelanau before returning again.
This system will save time, fuel, wear and tear on the buses, as well as cut down on traffic in Traverse City. To those who are concerned about the buses poluting the air, most of the BATA buses have emission controls on them, eliminating polution. When you consider the thousands of cars that travel through Traverse City each week, do many of them have emission controls?
The Hall Street location should not be considered waterfront or bay view property as the BATA building will not face the bay.
Some business people expressed concern about congestion during the Cherry Festival. There has been congestion since the festival began and will continue to be. When you consider the hundreds of thousands of people vacationing and touring Traverse City during that week, you must also remember the millions of dollars being brought in to the business people during the festival, the Fourth of July, and throughout the summer. I doubt the business owners would want it any other way.
As for the uncomplimentary comments about the class of people who ride the BATA buses, I, for one, do business at Traverse City State Bank, the United States Post Office, Pavlova’s Salon, Maxbauers Meats, Horizon Books, etc. I doubt any of them object to doing business with me because I ride the BATA bus. I’ve never been turned away yet.
As a retiree who has had many, many surgeries, I have been limited on many physical activities; therefore, find that one of the most pleasant ways to spend a day is to take a zone bus to Leelanau, follow the route around that beautiful bay, have lunch in Suttons Bay, Northport, etc. and enjoy and appreciate the beauty of this area. It is for all of us to enjoy.

Jean A. Wilson • TC

A passionate response

Having read “Passionless about ‘The Passion of the Christ‘” (Letters, March), I must disagree with the author on a number of points.
The author opines that perhaps our redemption can be found somewhere other than in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. He also poses a number of questions that seem to imply that perhaps God may have coerced Christ to the cross, or that perhaps Christ’s suffering for us was not necessary, or that perhaps his suffering has nothing to do with our redemption. The statement was also made that the Apostle Paul does not think of Christ’s death as primarily a sacrifice in our place, or that perhaps the Holy Spirit would just as likely move people’s hearts while watching “50 First Dates” as opposed to “The Passion of the Christ.” He speculates as to God’s cinematic taste, and whether or not God may need new P.R. agents. These questions and statements certainly deserve answers.
First, if we as Christians believe the Bible to be the “Word of God,” doesn’t it make logical sense that we would believe what is written in it? If we do believe it, and study it to see what it teaches, we will find the answers to the questions posed by the author of “Passionless about the Passion.” The Apostle Paul DOES in fact teach that Christ’s death was a sacrifice for our sins and that we are not our own, but are bought with a price. Further reading of Scripture reveals that Christ was not coerced to the cross, but went of His own free will. Christ willingly went to His death knowing it was necessary for our redemption.
Knowing what we do about God’s character from study of the scriptures, shall we speculate what His cinematic taste would be? Would He prefer a movie that depicted the suffering His son willingly underwent for our redemption, or a movie that uses promiscuity, profanity, and innuendo for our entertainment?
Yes, perhaps it is true that God needs new P.R. agents. Which agents would He choose? Those who believe His word and try to live up to it? Or perhaps he would rather have P.R. agents that cater more closely to the secular humanist point of view. It doesn’t seem to be too difficult to decide where His preference would lie.

Lee Oslund • Mackinaw City

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