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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- October 11th, 2010
Bad PR move
I’m a TC resident and can barely afford my utility bills. I resent
seeing a flood of TV ads where TCL&P sings their own praises. How much
is this costing ratepayers?
How much did TCL&P spend on the “survey“ and “public forums“? How much
was spent on the marketing campaign and consultants to promote biomass?
TCL&P has added almost a half million dollars annually in newly-
created management positions since Ed Rice started. How can a public
utility have millions in profits?
It’s not shocking to see headline news where TCL&P is involved in
another sneaky maneuver by sending a mailer endorsing board member
Ralph Soffredine (who is running for county commissioner) and
manipulating customers to vote against the proposals. Rice cried
innocence, but innocence doesn’t require legal counsel.
A couple of other shady activities: TCL&P exclusively advertised in
one out-of-area paper for job recruitment and has a cozy relationship
with Keith Schneider (founder of the Michigan Land Use Institute,
MLUI), hiring him as their biomass consultant. MLUI is fostering ways
to profit from their relationship with TCL&P, i.e., the feed-in tariff.
Recently, another TCL&P mailer was sent to rate-payers which still
includes biomass as a potential energy source after they supposedly
“took it off the table.“
It’s madness that the TCL&P TV spots claim they listen to customers.
As they did over biomass by blatantly disrespecting citizens who
opposed them? As when the city had to fight TCL&P to get them to
take down the coal plant; or how the champions of wind power lost
thousands in grant dollars due to delaying development?
Thanks Jeff Gibbs, Margaret Dodd and all others who are a part of MCE3
for blowing the whistle on TCL&P.
The only thing transparent is TCL&P‘s contempt for the public!

Valorie Gibbs • TC

Parents & education
Finally - someone who has the courage to speak about that which no one
else, it seems, in all the recent media coverage about education
reform, has had the will to do. I write about Stephen Tuttle’s
comments about the role of parents in the need for education reform.
(re: “Reforming the Education Reformers,“ 10/4.)
Parents, indeed, need to support teachers and administrators, and not
just complain when their kids are having to knuckle down and do some
honest work. When I entered school the first day, my single-parent
mother told me if I got into any trouble at school, the discipline I
would receive at home would be twice as strong - and I believed her!
Lack of discipline in the classroom is far more often the product of
parents who “do not have the guts to be parents” and who do not
require all that is necessary for a kid to behave properly and develop
good study habits. They seem, in today’s world, to want it to be
“easy” for their kids all the time. There are exceptions of course,
and it is those families whose kids do well in school and strive for
the best.
My wife, whose last teaching job was in a private school in Texas,
feared for her job because of parents who didn’t want their kids to
have to knuckle down and work hard, and who therefore complained to
the administration. Often, her administration would not support the
teachers as they feared losing a tuition check, or some other
retribution from a parent. She saw a number of really good teachers
lose their jobs as the result. We can no longer afford to lose good
teachers for these reasons.
Bravo to Stephen Tuttle for speaking with courage on this important

Don Th. Jaeger • Lake Ann

Proud of party
Democrats brought us Social Security, Medicare, health care, civil
rights, veteran benefits, unemployment compensation, workman’s
compensation, middle class growth, women’s rights, environmental
safety regulations, workplace safety regulations, consumer
protections, the minimum wage, collective bargaining, ending the Iraq
War, improved international relations, renewable energy technology,
steady job growth, job retraining, financial regulations, college and
small business loans, and rebuilding infrastructure.
Republicans plan cuts to the above. Republicans brought you the
unfunded Iraq War, Afghanistan War, and Abu Ghraib torture. They gave
tax cuts to multimillionaires who promised to create jobs but brought
us humongous job losses and outsourcing. Lack of regulations brought
us the financial market collapse, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and
protected insurance companies dropping customers. There was the
Katrina debacle, Koch brothers funding the Tea Party, campaign attack
lies, domestic surveillance, Chinese credit card borrowing causing
trillions in national debt, the party of No, and religious and racial
intolerance. Want more?
I’m proud to be a Democrat!

Beverly Christensen • Cedar

Well qualified
As a former magistrate in the 86th District Court, I read with
interest the report that Kevin Elsenheimer had 44 cases in the
district court. That figure didn’t ring true to me. I was provided
with the following statistics that came from the 86th District Court
administration and the Antrim County Prosecutor’s office.
Kevin Elsenheimer’s Antrim District Court casework is as follows:
• Cases: 826
• Jury trials/non-jury trials: 35
• Motion hearings: 141
Kevin Elsenheimer does have district court experience. I worked with
Kevin and know he has the judicial temperament needed to be district

Cameron (Cam) M. Lacy • Bellaire

Highly endorsed
I’m voting for Kevin Elsenheimer for 86th District Court Judge and by
the endorsements he’s received, others support him too. He’s been
endorsed by former Gov. William Milliken, Lt. Gov. Connie Binsfield,
and State Sen. George McManus. The current District Court Judge John
Foresman has endorsed Kevin to replace him on the bench.
Kevin is the only candidate who has served as a prosecutor and,
including Antrim County, he has had 911 cases, including 35 trials in
the district court.
Kevin is a smart, clear-thinking person, and he has my vote.

Pete Strom • TC

Experience counts
The most important qualities of our next District Court Judge should
be experience and community commitment. Mike Stepka has practiced in
the district court for the last 20 years, handling thousands of cases.
He has worked in all three specialty treatment courts, which are now
in place throughout this country. Mike is committed to the community
as a county commissioner and board member of the Women’s Resource
Center. He has provided free legal service to those who could not
afford it. He is a lawyer for the people and he cares for his community.

Troy Orman • TC

Elect Kromkowski
I’ve been a practicing attorney in this area for 30 years. I have had
many opportunities to see Marian Kromkowski at work. I have always
been impressed with her thoughtfulness and hard work. She is
respectful and not afraid to make the difficult decisions. I have
found her to be very knowledgeable in the law. Her broad
understanding of the law and experience in the courts make her an
excellent and the best candidate. A judge needs good judicial
temperament. She will be a judge Leelanau County will be proud of.

Mark Risk • TC

(Regrets, the Express is unable to accommodate the large number of
letters supporting candidates Elsenheimer, Stepka and Kromkowski. The
paper will run representative letters over the next few weeks leading
up to the election. - ed.)

Garbage cartoon
I made a recent and rare visit to Traverse City last week and had the
opportunity to read through a copy of the Northern Express Weekly,
Sept. 27. Most of it I enjoyed, but I was very disappointed that you
would publish garbage such as that produced by “Derf.” It degrades
the paper considerably in my estimation, and I think that you should
be able to do much better than that.

F. Howard Hague, MD • via email
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