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 12/5/02
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Letters 12/5/02

Various - December 5th, 2002
On the strike line

I have worked at Northern Michigan Hosptial for 20 years... my entire professional life. It seems unbelievable to find myself walking a strike line.
It is important to respond to the hospital board of directors and CEO concerning their ongoing “puzzlement“ about why we are on that line. It seems to me that they might just want to enlighten themselves and come taIk to us. In fact, to confess this ignorance about why roughly 250 nurses find themselves in this position, is to show that they are derelict in their duties as employers.
Also, in response to a recent letter to the editor, I want to say that the nurses have voted for representation. The hospital refuses to recognize this. It is not Teamsters creating this chaos... that dubious honor belongs to the Board and Mr. Mroczkowski. The letter writer mentioned the Postal Union as being necessary, but failed to explain how postal workers might need a bargaining unit while RN‘s do not. Many people seem to have forgotten the way that unions helped force the end of child labor and made the 40 hour work week the norm. Corporate power does not police itself, nor does it go away. Unions give workers a voice to speak up when this power gets out of hand.
Finally I want to thank all the people who have been honking in support, as well as dropping off enough food for an army.

Maureen Scott, RN • Petoskey

Tale of two boards

On the 13th of November, our family received a solicitation from the Northern
Michigan Hospital Foundation and the Northern Michigan Regional Health System asking us to pledge money toward the remaining $700,000 of a $37.5 million campaign.
On the 14th of November, the registered nurses began their strike action, asking for a pledge from Northern Michigan Hospitals to bargain in good faith.
Our community has always responded with the dollars and pledges needed to see these important capital projects through.
It is only appropriate thet NMH reciprocate with a signed contract with the RN‘s bargaining unit.
Now !!
The argument will be made that the foundation is raising money for capital improvements and is therefore disconnected from the management/staff relationship that exists within the hospital. This is far from true.
If one looks on the margin of this solicitation, a listing of the board members of both NMH and the NMH Foundation will be found. There are several common members to the boards and therefore one board knows the activities of the other. The Foundation Board that is asking for dollars and pledges knows that the NMH Board stands behind the techniques used by hospital management to slow down and stall the attempts made by the team of nurses that was elected by their peers to bring this bargaining unit to life.
I have served on enough boards of directors to know that management needs the support of its board in order to function effectively. Unfortunately, this board is supporting its managers at the expense of the greater Petoskey community in general and specifically at the expense of hundreds of nurses and their families.
Many, if not all, of the members of these two boards are involved in local business and presently benefit from the dollars spent in the community by the striking nurses and their families. Every $1,000 dollar paycheck is an integral part of our local commerce. It is hard to accept or understand how this reality can be brushed aside by community members who have been placed in these board pos?tions at least in part because of their concern for the well being of the community.
Our children go to school together and play together and have grown up together. Let‘s get it together.
In a discussion last week with one of the above-mentioned board members, I mentioned that it was quite expensive for NMH to pay strike nurses and possibly travelling nurses if the strike lingers. This board member stated that, yes, it was expensive, but that it would not last forever, because before long more nurses would move to town and take their places.
If this attitude prevails within the two boards, then it is not so hard to understand how the management/staff relationship has reached this low point. People do not like to be treated as if they are more easily replaced than respected. Being the eternal optimist, I cannot believe that all 34 board members feel this way. There has got to be a crack in the armor somewhere among them.
NMH has an opportunity to be a true community leader and healer in this situation. The boards of directors are in charge here and they need to steer the ship back into calm waters.

Dale S. Scott • Harbor Springs

Petoskey Club fallout

As the Employment Specialist for Northern Michigan Community Mental Health, I often talk to area employers and community members about the Petoskey Club, and I am always surprised to find that most people have no idea what the clubhouse is. That is why I was pleased to see that such a positive and informative article was included in the November 14 issue of the Northern Express. Writer Bob Downes took a real interest in the people and programs of our clubhouse, and put together an expository piece that highlighted some of the basic functions of the clubhouse, and served its purpose of educating the public about the Petoskey Club.
I was, however, unhappy to see that several details were inaccurately reported, and I was misquoted on more than one response. To the general public, these details are insignificant, but to those directly involved, these details are extremely important. As soon as the article came out, I began receiving phone calls and questions regarding things that were written in the article. I have made countless apologies and explanations, but I am certain that there are many people who are still questioning some of the things that were written.
That is why I think it is important to inform the readers of the Northern Express about some of these discrepancies. First, and most importantly, it was implied in the article that agency case managers give “orders“ to the individuals they serve. This is certainly not the case. Our agency strongly believes in person-centered practices through which all decisions about a consumer‘s life are made with his/her input. Secondly, readers should note that the program is open to anyone with a chronic mental illness. We do not discriminate against those with developmental disabilities if the individual also has a current diagnosis of mental illness. Also of note, We do not call our program a clubhouse simply because it sounds “fun.“ Clubhouse is the name given to a specific form of psychosocial rehabilitation, and the Petoskey Club is proud to be one of only two certified clubhouses in the state of Michigan. Finally, I wanted to make it clear that the club‘s Transitional House only houses up to five people, not eight as was stated in the article. Our agency has assured city zoning officials that no more than five people would be residing at the house, and we have always complied with those restrictions.
There were a few other discrepancies in the facts that were reported in the article, but again, most readers would not be impacted by these details. I did, however, want to set the record straight on those specific misrepresentations. In addition to the negative feedback I received, I also heard many positive comments from colleagues and community members who felt that the article did a wonderful job of portraying the clubhouse an its members, and who gained a more complete understanding of the services that we provide. Thank you for taking an interest in our program.

Amanda Bricker • Employment Specialist - Northern Michigan Community Mental Health

No need for war

Mr. Burger: I am sorry that you felt abandoned (re: “Remember the Soldiers“ 11/21). I know that you were doing what you thought was the right thing. I disagree with you though. I don‘t believe that war is coming. I don‘t believe that war is inevitable because it is “our nature.“
War is a choice that we make. It happens because we allow it. We can make it
stop. All we have to do is believe that we can, and work toward that goal.
Or as a great singer-songwriter once said, “War is over if you want it. War
is over now.“

Shanna Robinson • Horton Bay

Getting the word out

The article (“Taking on Domestic Violence,“ 11/7) was great. I‘ve talked to several people who read it and concurred that it was factual and well written. Domestic violence is a long uphill battle, but we are committed to the fight. Thanks for helping to get the word out.

Nancy Stewart • Womens Resource Center, Petoskey

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