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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They?re Honored: Raising a village ? one sidewalk at a time

Danielle Horvath - June 13th, 2011
They’re Honored: Raising a village – one sidewalk at a time
By Danielle Horvath
They say it takes a village to raise a child. So what does it take to
raise a village? That’s the question being asked in Honor, a hamlet of
less than 300 people just a stone’s throw from Platte River in Benzie
County. Long-known as a sportsmen’s paradise – in 1999, it was voted
Michigan’s top outdoor sports town by Sports Afield Magazine – Honor has
fallen a victim of the economy and is suffering from rural blight, with
empty storefronts, closed businesses, and abandoned buildings.
Doing something about it is Shantel Sellers, who grew up in Honor and
returned “home” last year to the house once owned by her family after
serving in the military, getting married and having three children.
“I have the best memories of growing up in Honor and we decided we wanted
to raise our family here,” she says. “We have travelled through many small
towns that are doing well and they all face challenges like we have here.
If we can bring people together and provide a place for them to voice
their concerns, their ideas, where we can work together on common goals,
real change can and does happen.”

Last year, a grass roots effort started when Sellers and a small group of
residents went to the village council with concerns and ideas for
improvements. Within a few months, they formed the non-profit group HARP
(Honor Area Restoration Project.) They were able to secure a grant from
Rotary Charities to begin the process of bringing the community together
to consider some long and short term goals to help restore Honor to the
bustling, vibrant village it once was, while protecting the natural area
that surrounds it.
In April, the HARP group and the Village of Honor held the first of a
series of “Envision Honor” Community Vision Workshops which brought
together over 160 people who spent time brainstorming ideas, sharing
concerns and thoughts that could help to revitalize the town. From
preserving the history of the area, to encouraging informed growth and
development to improving streetscapes and organizing paint blitzes, there
was no lack of ideas.
Sellers says the support for their first community workshop “surpassed all
our expectations, and it was overwhelmingly positive.”

Sellers admits to the many challenges involved in any revitalization
effort and many feel a sense of being overwhelmed and many people are
concerned that their taxes will be raised to pay for the efforts.
“That is an absolute detriment to any revitalization effort,” she says.
“We are in a very fragile economy that is service-based and seasonal; the
last thing anyone wants is higher taxes.
“We are working to coordinate benefits, fund-raisers, volunteers, grants,
etc., and increase the tax base through attracting new residents and more
businesses,” she adds. “We have a USDA grant to extend the sidewalk from
downtown to the shopping plaza, which is a great starting point to make
Honor a walking community, MDOT will be working on US 31 this summer with
highway improvements. Last summer, the township donated space for a skate
park that was built with all donated materials and a small army of
volunteers. It’s all about small steps that add up to big improvements.”

The HARP group meetings are the first Thursday of every month and open to
anyone interested. For more information, check them out online:

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