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 · Region Watch · Thunder down...
. . . .

Thunder down under/Something to carp about/Choo-choo

- May 16th, 2011
Please be seated..
At last year’s Traverse City Film
Festival, organizer Michael Moore made a spur-of-the-moment promise based
on an idea from a member of the audience: if the TC Area Public Schools
would officially honor the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday for the first
time since its inception 26 years ago, Moore said he would lead a campaign
to provide new seats for the Lars Hockstad
Auditorium, located at Central Grade School on 7th Street.
True to his word, last week Moore announced a campaign to “rip out all of
the old battered, uncomfortable seats at our film festival venue” and
install new seats by the time this year’s festival rolls around.
In a letter to supporters, Moore said he has personally contributed
$10,000 toward a $100,000 campaign to turn the auditorium into “a
world-class movie theater that will benefit not only our yearly festival
but the community at large and its young students all year round.”
Moore hopes to raise the balance of funds within the next 30 days in order
to have the upgrade finished by July.
“I have hired the same Michigan company that custom-built our beautiful
All-Made-in-Michigan seats at the State Theatre to replace all of the
40-year-old seats at Lars,” he said. “And to give everyone more room,
we’re taking out a thousand of the old seats and replacing them with 805
new ones.”
Donations can be made at http://www.traversecityfilmfest.org/496/lars/ or
by emailing info@traversecityfilmfest.org or calling 231-392-1134.

The boundaries of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron
will be dramatically expanded under a bill approved by the U.S. Senate.
The bill will extend the Sanctuary’s boundaries to include the waters off
Alcona, Alpena and Presque Isle counties. The current sanctuary includes
448 square miles of water and 115 miles of shoreline; the expansion would
include 4,085 square miles and 226 miles of shoreline.
“The expansion could be accomplished at no additional cost and would help
preserve the rich history of ‘Shipwreck Alley’for historians and divers,
where dozens of ships perished in the waters of Lake Huron,” said Sen.
Carl Levin, D-MI, who wrote the bill.
The current sanctuary holds 116 shipwrecks; the expansion will protect an
estimated 178 additional wrecks. The sanctuary also protects the remains
of commercial fishing sites, historic docks, and other underwater
archaeological sites.
Of note, the expansion will cover the site of the Cornelia B. Windiate,
which is a three-mast wooden schooner and one of the Great Lakes’ most
intact shipwrecks. The ship sank in December 1875 when bound from
Milwaukee to Buffalo with a cargo of wheat, and was featured in an episode
of Deep Sea Detectives on the History Channel.

There’s something fishy about a town hall meeting being held this Friday
by State Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City.
Schmidt will seek public comment at a meeting about aquatic invasive
species threatening the Great Lakes at the TC Area Chamber of Commerce,
202 E. Grandview Parkway from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20.
“The jobs and commerce that rely on the Great Lakes are threatened by
Asian carp getting through the barriers in Chicago so it’s essential that
Michigan take steps to prevent the fish from becoming established in Lake
Michigan,” Schmidt said. “I’m looking forward to listening to the public’s
views and ideas on carp, and helping to provide information on how the
issue is being addressed right now.”
Also on hand will be State Rep. Frank Foster of Pellston, who serves as
committee chair of House Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor
For more info on the meeting, call Schmidt’s office at 1-800-REP-1046 or
send email to WayneSchmidt@house.mi.gov.

Michigan will receive more than $199 million in Recovery Act funds for
high-speed rail projects, according to a news release from U.S. Senators
Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.
Funds will go to the development of a 135-mile high-speed rail corridor
between Dearborn and Kalamazoo, part of a project to speed service between
Detroit and
Chicago. Other funds will go to upgrade the Ann Arbor station.
Funds come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The
money was previously granted to Florida, but
reallocated after the Florida governor rejected it. The State of Michigan
bid for part of that funding. Michigan previously received more than $161
million in funding for high-speed rail and $40 million for Amtrak stations
in Troy, Battle Creek and Dearborn.
The $196.5 million for the Kalamazoo-Dearborn rail project will
rehabilitate track and signal systems to allow trains to travel at 110 mph
for the 235-mile stretch. Michigan will also receive $268.2 million in
funding for the purchase of 48 high-speed passenger rail cars and seven
high-speed locomotives.

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