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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. . . .


- December 27th, 2010
From: colleenzan@gmail.com
Subject: letters_12_27
Date: January 3, 2011 8:29:30 AM EST
To: lynn@northernexpress.com

Inhumane treatment
I am responding to George Barnette’s comment on Don Strzynski’s letter
to the editor about the deportation of Liz Larios (Letters 12/20).
Mr. Barnette misses the point entirely; it is in regard to the
egregious treatment that the involved individuals received. Whether or
not they were citizens, they deserved humane treatment. Yes the Jews
in Germany were citizens, and yes they were stripped of their
citizenship and possessions but they were also “deported” to camps
like Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland.
The subjects of the illegal immigrant article were also deported to
border towns that may as well have been Auschwitz. I believe that Mr.
Strzynski being a Polish American probably has a little better
understanding of Nazi Germany than the “average” American. We live in
a country that promotes freedom and democracy, yet we tolerate these
practices and many more atrocities like water boarding.
We are a land of immigrants, a country that is a melting pot. Mr.
Barnette could have also have been the product of illegals or even
have a trace of Latino blood.
America has developed an elitist attitude that we are the land of the
chosen people and that people from other countries are not worthy to
live in the U.S. The problem is not illegals, the problem is our
country’s restrictive immigration policy. Why do people from all over
the world want to live here? It’s because America is supposed to be
the land of opportunity and freedom, but is it really?
Perhaps Mr. Barnette would be surprised if he knew the number of
illegals from Eastern Europe who left to escape the violation of their
human rights. Are they okay, just because they are not Latino?
Whether or not we want to admit it, we are a country of bigots. We
hated black America and it took years upon years for them to gain the
human rights that we stole from them. Now we have a black American for
a president and we have to find another group to hate, and presto,
it’s Latinos. It’s kind of like the Jews of Nazi Germany. We disguise
our bigotry in dollars and cents and how it could affect our standard
of living.
By the way, I do know Mr. Strzynski and he has lived in the west,
California to be exact.

Claire Ahearne • TC

Outrageous action
After reading your article on Liz Larios’ deportation, I was outraged.
I think this article should be forwarded to 60 Minutes or some
national media outlet; then maybe something would be done about these
Gestapo tactics being used by the immigration and customs enforcement

Dean Johnson • via email

A Northern Michigan girl
I have to respond to George Barnette who clearly doesn’t understand
the ongoing responses we of Northern Michigan are having to the
“abduction” of one of our own.
Liz Larios was brought to the U.S. by her parents when she was young.
She went to school in Northern Michigan, English-speaking schools. She
graduated and is engaged to be married to a local man. She knows no
Spanish and was literally abducted from her front yard and transported
to somewhere in Mexico. Barely with clothes on her back.
The point is we DO NOT live in a border state or near one or anywhere
close to the western part of the United States. This young lady was
brought here not by her own will but by parents that wanted to give
her a better life. She was raised American and felt American. She is
not someone sneaking over our border and bringing drugs in, stealing
cars, developing American hate gangs. She was a Northern Michigan girl
that happened to have her name pop up in a database that said she did
not have the right papers.
Mr. Barnette, please get the info to what you are writing before you
go spewing off about Nevada that is 2,000 miles away from Northern
Michigan. No, most of us haven’t spent 40 years out West seeing what
is happening with the illegal problem, but we live here and it scares
us to think the government is doing this to innocent people instead of
going after the drug lords, gangbangers and true illegals that are
trying to bring down America.

Joe Deater • via email

Be sure to drive 3 mph...
On November 6 at 10:30 a.m. we were on a leisurely drive to Traverse
City to attend our grandson’s soccer game. We had left our home in the
Indian River area, making stops at our favorite shops along the way on
this beautiful, sunny morning. The roads were mainly dry with very
occasional wet spots with the temperature above freezing and the other
vehicles on the roads traveling, as were we, at the posted speeds.
My husband was driving south on US 31 and came to a full stop at the
light in Elk Rapids. When it turned green my husband began to
accelerate the car at an easy pace. He had reached about 20 mph, when,
as we were crossing the bridge just south of the light, our rear
wheels spun out to the right on what appeared to be just another wet
patch due to melted snow. The tires then apparently caught on dry
pavement and our vehicle was propelled across the oncoming lane into
the guard rail on the opposite side of the road and we were
simultaneously hit by another vehicle traveling north.
Our vehicle had rear wheel drive and it is our understanding that this
may have contributed to the accident.
We were told by the officer who came to the scene and the magistrate
in Antrim County where we later protested the ticket, that my husband
was at fault for “traveling too fast for conditions” and that he was
responsible for keeping his vehicle under control.
The fact that the area appeared wet but was actually icy was not
disputed. The fact that the road conditions all along the drive from
Petoskey to Traverse City were dry in general with very occasional wet
areas was not disputed. The fact that our vehicle spun out on ice,
moving at 20 miles per hour was not disputed. The probability that the
rear tires grabbed dry pavement after sliding and propelled the car
across the opposite lane was not disputed.
My husband was told that he should have anticipated that the area was
icy and maintained his speed at 10 miles per hour or even 3 miles per
hour until he crossed it. He was also told that he should have known
his vehicle well enough to anticipate the spin-out although this was a
first time experience.
So, beware: Drivers in Antrim County are apparently responsible for
all accidents due to weather conditions and should maintain a speed of
10 mph or less in anticipation of possible spin-outs on roads that are
not completely dry.
I have considered this many times on my long work commutes on snow and
ice covered roads since the accident, contemplating what it would be
like for the drivers of other vehicles if I maintained a speed of 3
mph. Assuredly, that will be our speed any time we leave that light in
Elk Rapids, no matter the weather conditions, until we are safely
across the bridge. You might want to do the same.

Veronica Jung • Afton

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