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 20th, 2010
Illegal immigrant problem
In response to Don Strzynski’s letter to the editor regarding “Gestapo
tactics“ (12/6), I would like to respond with actual facts.
First, in reference to Nazi Germany, the Jews weren’t in Germany
illegally. They were citizens that were stripped of their rights,
property and lives by a totalitarian regime. Comparing this country to
that time is a personal affront to me.
Second, until Mr. Strzynski actually lives with the over 12 million
illegal aliens in this country, he will not be able to clearly
recognize the problem for what it is.
I have recently retired to the great state of Michigan from southern
Nevada. I spent most of my life out West, with the southwestern culture
and the problems associated with illegal aliens inundating this country
affecting my daily life at every turn.
The act of being here illegally is in itself a crime. How could one
reasonably expect me to welcome a criminal to my country? It IS a crime
to enter just about any country illegally.
They overwhelm social services, including hospital ERs (In Nevada,
American citizens were waiting behind illegals for life saving
treatments, such as dialysis.), the school systems, which the illegals
insist accommodate them by requiring everyone speak Spanish, the
welfare and housing systems, and other government services. They drive
without drivers’ licenses, insurance, registration, or knowledge of
U.S. traffic laws, and when involved in an accident, run from the
scene. They don’t pay taxes or file taxes, but are quick to suck up
taxpayer dollars while they’re making money. And most of their money is
sent back South.
Perhaps I might agree the solution is not profiling, but in reality
this country must take this issue in hand, and soon. The last thing
this issue needs to become is a political one, but that is exactly
what is happening because of the potential of over 12 million votes.
Incentive should be given to illegals (and those that employ them) to
return to their own country and use the system to emigrate legally.
Perhaps the process can be streamlined or refined to speed things up.
In conclusion, why would this country even let anyone in to work when
we are in such a deep recession with rampant unemployment? We need to
get Americans back to work, and if that means harsh laws regarding
illegal criminals, then so be it.
Mr. Strzynski, after you’ve lived 40+ years out there with them, and
all of the aforementioned problems, get back to me.

George Barnette • Sault Ste. Marie

Illegals and school costs
With states straining under gaping budget shortfalls, public schools
are facing some of the most significant decreases in state education
funding in decades..
While these massive budget deficits cannot be attributed to any single
source, the enormous impact of large-scale illegal immigration cannot
be ignored. The total K-12 school expenditure for illegal immigrants
costs the states nearly $12 billion annually.
Efforts are underway in several states and in Congress to allow illegal
aliens to pay steeply discounted in-state tuition at public colleges
and universities —rates not available to American citizens from other
Do the math again and you will most likely find the costs much higher
then the other area due to their heavy use of programs like ESL, free
breakfast, free lunch, etc.
Michigan alone spends $135.4 million on illegal immigrants enrolled in
public schools. This does NOT include U.S. born children of illegal
I personally do not feel that I have the obligation or the desire to pay
for someone’s education that should not be here in the first place. Liz
Larios (featured in the 11/29 issue of the Express) should be allowed to
come back after paying her equivalent public school K-12 education
What is one of the biggest problems you hear teachers, parents, city
councils, etc. talk about constantly here in Traverse City? it is
overcrowded classrooms. Can we as citizens find out the numbers that we
have here in TCAPS due to illegal immigration? So how do you cut
classroom size? Build more schools. Where do you get the money?

Julie Howe • TC

A path to citizenship
This letter is in response to the Liz Larios cover story of the illegal
immigrant tragedy/love story.
My comment to the public schools and government: if there are children
who become illegal when they turn 18 and graduate, then why couldn‘t
there be a citizenship path that is completed with their high school
If a child completes high school in the U.S., given them U.S. citizenship.
Why do the enforcements have to be so mean and inhumanitarian to our
fellow citizens of the world?
How much did we spend on this one incident and how much destruction was
caused within a family that had been doing their best? Why is U.S.
citizenship so difficult to attain for certain groups?
The government should make it possible for children of these situations
to become citizens instead of making them criminals.

Lois Bedtelyon • Suttons Bay

Damaging Social Security
Let me say “no thanks!” to the recently proposed “payroll tax holiday.”
This proposal would cut employee contributions to Social Security for
the next year.
Despite reports to the contrary, Social Security will be able to pay
100% of all benefits until 2037. That is unless we start decreasing our
The working class has been hit by stagnant wages, loss of home equity,
and miniscule interest earnings on savings. The only retirement that
many have left is their Social Security. This retirement has been
earned through a lifetime of contributions.
If Congress wants to help the working class, don’t take steps to make
Social Security less viable! If Congress wants to help the working
class and our country, let the Bush era tax cuts for the rich expire.
Extending tax breaks for the rich while striking a blow at Social
Security is a lose/lose proposition for the working class. One
definition of holiday is “of or pertaining to a festival; festive;
joyous.” I can tell you I am not feeling joyous about this proposal!

Barb Smith • Beulah

Frontiers in farming
CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) do not represent a viable
future, evolution or solution for “feeding the world.” Anne Stanton
was on the right track comparing commodity farmers to farmers who
direct market value-added products; however, a fair price comparison,
would have factored in the medical, environmental and subsidy costs of
CAFOs. (Re: “The Future of Farming,“ 12/13.)
Missing from the article was the growing trend and health advantages of
purely grass-fed beef or dairy cows with Omega 3 and CLA that make
heart-healthy by-products. Anyone who thinks this can’t be done in
Michigan should ask Santa for a subscription to Acres USA or find out
about the work that MSU is doing at their test site.
A little more research might have uncovered the exciting achievements
of Holistic Management International, Horizon Milk, and independent
farmers like Joel Salatin and Cody Holmes. These closed loop systems
are beyond sustainable - they’re regenerative. The future, evolution
and feeding the world lies in regenerative vs extractive farming
Raising corn for ethanol or for feeding cows is bad math. Let’s do the
math and comparisons of all the systems out there based on how much
beef is produced per barrel of oil.

Sharron May • The May Farm

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