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 · The greening of business
. . . .

The greening of business

Rick Coates - April 18th, 2011
The Greening of Business: Michigan Green Consortium blossoms with new ideas
By Rick Coates
“Going Green” may seem trendy or the hip thing to do right now, but soon
businesses may not have an option, it may be law.
While many businesses are incorporating self-imposed green initiatives,
laws are popping up all over the country mandating everything from reduced
energy use to required recycling laws, to the elimination of plastic
shopping bags.
One of the last bills Governor Granholm signed before leaving office was
the PACE law (a loan program for businesses) giving municipalities leeway
to create local green initiatives. Last month the Ann Arbor City
Commission approved several green initiatives for their community, further
suggesting that Michigan is transitioning from “optional” to “mandatory”
green practices. Businesses who start going green now may find it easier
in the future and a Traverse City based organization has been established
to help.

The Michigan Green Consortium (MGC) was founded in the fall of 2008 as a
trade association to promote and encourage environmentally-responsible
businesses in the region. The MGC evolved out of discussion of a few
business owners in Northern Michigan who were familiar with similar
organizations in other states. 
“We are a consortium of member companies that all have one common goal and
that  is businesses need to be committed to protecting the environment,”
said Ella Cooper-Froehlich, board chair and one of the co-founders. “Our
members either produce a green product, provide a service that has
sustainability at its core or they just conduct their day to day business
with stewardship of the environment in mind.”
The organization’s focus is encouragement versus discouragement or
“We want businesses to get involved and join regardless of their level of
current environmental commitment,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “What we see as
these types of businesses rub shoulders with others, they start becoming
more eager and inclined to increase their level of commitment to being
green and add environmental initiatives into their business model.”

Board vice-chair and founding member Mike Hasman of Hasman Restoration has
been in business for over 20 years and believes that businesses are smart
to start adopting green practices now.
“It is better to do this voluntarily because at some point it will be
forced on us all legislatively,” said Mike Hasman. “I was a tree hugger
way back in the ‘70s when it wasn’t so cool. The MGC is about improvement,
not perfection. No one is completely green, so start out small -- every
little bit helps.”
The MGC mission is to create awareness for their members in the community,
while also promoting green initiatives throughout the region. Membership
is $25 annually and the MGC holds monthly mixers as well as larger events,
including their annual community Clean Up & Green Up each spring.
“These monthly events called Green Connections, take place at one of our
members’ businesses and it is essentially an open house with tours,
refreshments and often a speaker,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “These events
also play a key role in another aspect of our mission, and that is
educating our members and the public.”
What MGC members are excited about is the diversity of the membership.
“We are essentially a ‘green chamber of commerce.’ We have dry cleaners,
construction entities, banks, waste management companies, energy
providers, realtors and more,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “This diversity is
great and important because all businesses are able to do something to
become environmentally friendlier.”

While the MGC is currently operating in Northern Michigan, they plan to
expand statewide soon.
“Northern Michigan is our first chapter,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “We are
currently working on developing other chapters throughout the state but
Traverse City will remain the headquarters.”
Membership starts by filing out an application online and answering a survey.
“We want to assess where new members are at in a variety of areas from
current green practices to current energy uses. We want to find out if
their business has national or international green initiatives they are
following,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “At some point we hope to put together
some certification standards for companies who don’t have industry
standards in place.”
The MGC realizes that “going green” sometimes seems unachievable or
overwhelming for some businesses.
“Being 100% green in everything you do is virtually impossible for any
business, regardless of size,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “The MGC is really
focused on being inclusive. We want new members to understand that, even
if you start small with a simple company recycling program or replace
fluorescent lights with compact fluorescent light bulbs or manage water
usage. What new members find is this is a very supportive and helpful
group, not a judgmental one.”
Mike Hasman agrees.
“There is really no reason for a business not to be a member,” said
Hasman. “This is a great network where a lot of ideas are shared. More and
more consumers are making purchasing decisions based on businesses who are
committed to green practices.”

The next Green Connections event will take place May 18 at the Cambria
Suites in TC. For info on Michigan
Green Consortium, check out their website at www.mgconline.org or call
(231) 947-7368.

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