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 · Features · Sara Brokaw
. . . .

Sara Brokaw

- February 28th, 2011
Feeling 40 & Beyond: Author Sarah Brokaw comes to TC
Following in the footsteps of her eloquent father, therapist Sarah Brokaw
will appear at the Traverse City Opera House this Thursday, March 3 to
talk about her new book, Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years
of Your Life—through the 40s, 50s, and Beyond.
 In her newly released book, Brokaw gives the reader a revealing glimpse
of feeling like the not  “good enough” daughter of Tom Brokaw, the
legendary news anchor who appeared in Traverse last summer. Her mother,
Meredith Brokaw, a lovely woman who sets the standard for aging
gracefully, is a success in her own right as a former author, teacher,
equestrian, and businesswoman.
Sarah Brokaw, a licensed therapist, writes honestly about her struggle
with panic attacks and not living up to her family’s accomplishments.
“Still, to this day, I can struggle with the feeling of not being good
enough, especially at moments when I’m feeling vulnerable from having
suffered a blow to my ego. I worry that I’m not living up to my extremely
accomplished family’s standards. None of them has ever seen a therapist,
so I can find myself devaluing my choice of career at times. I haven’t had
a family of my own yet, whereas both Andie and Jen have, so I can feel as
though I’m falling short in my personal life, as well. At my lowest
moments, I become self-critical and think, “What have I been doing with my

Brokaw draws heavily on the compelling stories of women to illustrate how
to authentically enjoy midlife by honing five core qualities:  grace,
connectedness, accomplishment, adventure and spirituality. But even Brokaw
admits that grace doesn’t come easy in a world where women are expected to
“effortlessly jam 48 to 72 hours of living into every 24-hour day.”
“Ironically, our values can, at the same time that they serve to ground
us, also provide a more freeing way to define ourselves. Instead of
saying, ‘This is what I do,’ we say, ‘This is what I am about.’ Nothing is
more attractive than a 40-plus woman who has focused on what matters most
to her, as opposed to blindly following a prescribed path, and who
therefore exudes confidence in herself and enthusiasm for her life,” she
writes in the closing challenge.
Brokaw,  a single woman now in her early 40s, talks about her own
challenge several years ago with the ticking baby clock. Well aware of the
pitfalls of settling for almost the right man or too desperately seeking
out a husband, she decided to see a fertility specialist who advised her
to freeze her eggs. She took his advice immediately, forgoing her
scheduled training for a triathlon.

Brokaw tackles many of the concerns that are on the minds of those hitting
their mid-life years—the option of plastic surgery, keeping your sex life
vital, dealing with feelings as a stay-at-home mom, coping with the death
of parents, and reigniting the love with your long-time spouse. Brokaw
draws on a multitude of women’s stories that not only offer some really
useful and down-to-earth  advice,  but leave you oddly thankful for making
it to your fifth decade.
Brokaw’s March 3 appearance is the second act in the National Writers
Series 2011 season that will include an announcement of two very high
profile authors just added to an already impressive line-up of writers,
including humorist David Sedaris, Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford, and
Paula McLain, author of the anticipated new novel The Paris Wife, which
book industry insiders predict will explode as the nation’s next
bestseller. Tom Brokaw appeared in the Writer’s Series at the Opera House
last summer to a sell-out crowd.
Megan Raphael, author of the Courage Code, a personal coach specializing
in women’s issues, and the director of the National Writers Series, will
interview Brokaw.

Excerpts from Fortytude: Making the Next Decades the Best Years of Your
Life—through the 40s, 50s, and Beyond.

• The first step in my spiritual journey with surfing was letting go of my
harsh judgments about myself. My surf instructor pointed out that
naturally I wouldn’t become an expert overnight. I would enjoy myself a
lot more if I consciously embraced being a beginner, and with it the
wonder, thrill, and anticipation of trying something new.

• The acclaimed analyst Carl Jung wrote that people don’t complete the
process of individuation—or psychologically separating from their family
of origin—until they hit 40. With this perspective in mind, there’s yet
another reason for us to look forward to our fifth decade. The fact that
we are establishing our unique identity as we age, and honing in on what
really makes us tick, is likely one reason why people tend to experience a
surge in self-confidence after 40.

• While Beth’s cancer initially was designated as stage zero, the
classification kept escalating. It ended up at stage two because the
breast cancer had invaded a lymph node. Beth asked her doctor, “Why do you
keep upgrading me? Is there a sale on?” Her husband told her to get
serious, but Beth said, “I have to laugh at this in order to get through
The doctor recommended a mastectomy with the option of reconstruction.
Beth chose to have her new breast made with tissue from her own body. “I
got a tummy tuck and a boob job out of it!” she cried with glee. “My body
may be over 40, but this here is the 2008 model.”

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