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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Saving the Great Lakes/New Frontier/Senior Blowback

- April 18th, 2011
Saving the Great Lakes
Water activists and experts from throughout the Great Lake Basin will
be flowing in for a “Saving the Great Lakes Forever” conference which
kicks off on Friday, May 6, at the State Theater in downtown Traverse
“We take our incredible natural beauty and abundance for granted, but
there are very real threats facing the Great Lakes Basin.” said
environmental attorney James Olson, who serves as executive director of
the Flow for Water Coalition. “If we don’t protect these majestic
waters now, the Great Lakes could be lost for our future generations.
Our goal is to build deep citizen awareness and provide solutions to
make sure that doesn’t happen.”
The conference will focus on learning about the abuses and threats
facing the Great Lakes. Participants will seek solutions along with
ways to protect the citizens, communities, local agriculture, and
businesses who depend upon the waters of the Great Lakes Basin. The
event is hosted by the Flow for Water Coalition, the Great Lakes Water
Studies Institute at Northwestern Michigan College, and Michigan
Citizens for Water Conservation,
Friday’s 6:50 p.m. kick-off will feature Maude Barlow, the author of 16
books and an internationally recognized water advocate and former
advisor to the president of the United Nations General Assembly.
The evening will also include a screening of the documentary “Tapped,”
a look at the plastic bottled water industry, followed by an afterglow
party at the Park Place Dome.
The conference continues on Saturday, May 7. Wenonah Hauter, executive
director of Food and Water Watch and one of the world’s leading experts
on water, energy, food and the environment, will speak at 9 a.m. at
Milliken Auditorium on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College. Her
address will be followed by workshop sessions on water-related topics.
The event will conclude with an expert roundtable discussion: “Solutions
for Saving the Waters of the Great Lakes Basin.“
“We are incredibly excited to hold this conference here and to be able
to have presentations from both Maude Barlow and Wenonah Hauter,“ said
Olson. “They will provide a dynamic wake-up call to everyone interested
in protecting our Great Lakes.”
Tickets are $25 per person for the two-day event or $40 for two
persons. For info, contact Jilliebean Green at (231) 432-0103 or at
flow@jilliebeangreen.com. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at

Non-stop regional jet service to Milwaukee got a boost this week with
the addition of Frontier Airlines in Manistee. The airline has hubs in
Milwaukee, Denver and Kansas City, along with agreements with
connecting airlines, adding another flight alternative in the mix for
traveling to and from Northern Michigan. Flights leave Manistee at
7:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. for Milwaukee with return trips from Milwaukee
to Manistee at 2:30 p.m.

The Snyder administration‘s proposal to tax the pensions of seniors
didn‘t last long. Based on intense opposition from seniors (who vote en
masse), Gov. Snyder‘s office released a statement last week saying that
retirees who are 67 and older will “see no changes to pensions.“
But younger seniors will feel a tax bite.
“The original reform plan was a starting point for discussion and I am
pleased that the dialogue has been so productive,“ Gov. Snyder said in
a release. “In our discussions, we determined it is important to leave
retirement pensions as they are for our citizens age 67 and older. We
are able to move forward with a revised plan that still adheres to the
principles I laid out with my budget and tax initiatives.”
But under Snyder‘s plan, younger seniors will be faced with taxes on
retirement income:
• People who are ages 60-66 as of January 2012 will not be taxed on
retirement income up to $20,000 for single filers and $40,000 on joint
filers. But income above that amount will be taxed at 4.25% beginning in
• Persons 59 and under as of Jan. 2012 (born after 1952), will have
their retirement income taxed at 4.25%, including the proceeds from
pensions, 401ks and IRAs.

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