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
. . . .


- November 29th, 2010
From: colleenzan@gmail.com
Subject: letters
Date: November 29, 2010 8:31:19 AM EST
To: lynn@northernexpress.com

Save our film industry
Rick Snyder wants to eliminate film and TV incentives: Sound judgement
or pragmatic disillusionment?
His disregard of economic stimulation hangs a dark cloud over new and
growing entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to the movie and
television industry in our state. Calling the film industry
incentives “dumb and “a gimmick” is just plain ludicrous and
completely preposterous.
Hypocrisy is staring you in the face, Mr. Snyder. You talk about jobs,
jobs, jobs. Yet that is exactly what the movie and film industry is
currently doing in this state. Jobs not only in the film industry,
but jobs for art directors, animators, graphic designers, film
directors, photographers, editors, musicians, composers, writers,
actors, educators, developers, realtors, interior designers, builders,
carpenters, policemen, auto technicians, transport servers, caterers,
painters, and artisans of all kinds.
This doesn’t even include the increased business for restaurants,
entertainment, and the rental and sporting industry throughout our
More importantly, this industry is one of the better and faster ways
of diversifying our state‘s economy. The facts are striking. Since
offering a 40% tax incentive for film companies from out of state,
total income has increased from $2 million in film and TV activity to
more than $600 million in less than three years.
And that is just the beginning. New studios and production houses are
being planned along with existing businesses expanding to handle the
additional workload.
Many of these projects involve cutting-edge technology, while hiring
some of the best and most creative minds from the arts, science, and
education of our state. By keeping the film incentives intact, one
will not only see continual growth and economic expansion, but a sense
of triumph, self-worth, and pride of what Michigan can accomplish.
The film industry is a powerful force. It’s highly creative,
economically lucrative, and can have an emotional and visual impact
that profoundly effects people‘s lives for a lifetime. And Rick Snyder
wants to kill it! WHY?

Robert K. Schewe • via email

The coming water war
Thanks to Stephen Tuttle for another good article regarding everyone
in the world trying to steal Great Lakes water.
And I’m not mocking his commentary, since our western states aren’t
the only ones who want what we’ve got -- China has floated the idea of
taking out tanker-fulls to water their parched Gobi desert.
But we shouldn’t worry too much about knuckleheads who move to a
desert and then expect that we will kindly let them continue in their
insane water-wasteful life style. Those tapping the Ogallala aquifer,
and draining it lower daily, are all far away - 700 to 1800 miles -
and are all uphill. Waaaay uphill. At least 400 feet to over 1000 feet
in higher elevation than Lake Michigan.
So not only is it a long way to go, there will have to be pumping
stations, and lots of them. Hundreds of billions of dollars worth to
build and then maintain.
So don’t be too afraid for now. Money will be tight for quite awhile.
And for a historical review of what people have done to get hold of
our water, read “The Great Lakes Water Wars” by Peter Annin.

Mark Contrucci • Boyne City
The TSA uproar
The controversy about airport screening and the complaints about
invasion of privacy and offending our constitutional right against
unreasonable search we could simply dismiss as necessary for
everyone’s security.
But I believe it should be put in perspective. The terrorists
certainly achieved some of their aim to hurt this country. Not only
have we lost thousands of American lives but also spent billions of
dollars in the resulting wars. We also have to care for our security
at home. This not only costs millions in unproductive labor, but more
importantly has led to an increased polarization of our society and,
yes, to some curtailment of our freedoms.
It is the latter which needs to be put into perspective: The
Constitution guarantees us certain rights. These rights have received
increasing attention in the last years. Some even referred to them as
“natural rights” derived from a “natural law” and that these inspired
our Founding Fathers. We must realize, however, that even among
experts the concept of natural law is unsettled. Our Founding Fathers
took those concepts they thought important for a viable democracy and
enshrined them into a legal-political document. They remain the basis,
but they have to be applied and interpreted in the context of a
developing society.
One example is the right to vote. At the time of the Founding Fathers
it was limited to property-owning males. It took about 150 years to
extend it to women and another 50 to include African Americans. It is
in this sense that I look at the right to privacy in relation to the
invasive airport screening. Unfortunately, in view of the experiences
it is not “unreasonable” and it is a right we should allow to be
curtailed for the good of our fellows. That the screening should be
carried out in a dignified manner goes without question and offenders
should be disciplined. With rights come duties.

Klaus Hergt • Cheboygan

The bean option
Governmental suggestions for diet moderation were adopted in
Washington DC, San Francisco, and as part of Cincinnati‘s Green Plan.
The links between meat-eating and diabetes, obesity, heart disease and
certain cancers is indisputable. The regular string of animal product
recalls shows us how often fecal bacteria contaminate meat products,
sometimes leading to deadly infections. Think you’ve got the stomach
flu? Think again.
What about all the vegetarians and vegans out there? The director of
the Framingham Study, the largest and longest study of lifestyle and
its’ impact on health, states, “the best health is reserved for the
As our healthcare costs threaten our economy and our personal health
reaches an all-time low, it may be a good use of city government’s
time to suggest moderation. 42% of people get a bakery item in their
diet each day, while only 14% get the recommended servings of
There are plenty of yummy meat choices, but there are tasty veggie
choices too. It’s about a bean burrito instead of a burger. Cajun
beans and rice instead of meatloaf. A bean has the same amount of
protein, but it’s plant instead of animal, and no saturated fat or
cholesterol. It’s simple and cheap. Whether we are thinking of our
coronary arteries, our children, or the Earth, it is time to rethink
our food choices and act accordingly.

Dr. Mary Clifton • via email

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