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  Letters 10/17/2011
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Letters 10/17/2011

- October 17th, 2011  

Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com

Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page).

Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. Letters may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification. Faxed are not accepted.

Good vibes

Two nights ago, three of us girlfriends, all in our 60s, decided to pick up sandwiches, head to a park on the bay, and sit and enjoy the incredible weather, view and our friendships.

Once seated at the picnic table, all on one side, so we didn’t miss any of some of what Northern Michigan has to offer, we got down to business with unwrapping our deli treats and talking. We watched a young couple laying on the beach, trying to decide if they might be newlyweds, or just young and uninhibited, and decided we didn’t need to be watching. We commented on the young lady toting a guitar and sitting down near the water to also enjoy what we were seeing. And then we noticed what appeared to be a young family, mom, dad and their two kids, just enjoying each other in this incredible opportunity.

We got busy talking about ourselves and laughing, not thinking that we were so exuberant that others might hear us. Suddenly, from behind, we heard a woman’s voice, “Excuse me, I don’t mean to be intruding, but I couldn’t help but hear your laughter, see your friendship and I wanted you to know how the three of you touched me. I just got out of the hospital, due to depression, and hearing your laughter and seeing how the three of you are so connected, touched my heart deeply, and gave me a clear sign of hope and I wanted to let you know and thank you.”

The three of us were moved to get up and give her a hug, and of course, we talked for a few minutes. All three of us have daughters with young families, so for a variety of reasons we were very moved by this beautiful young woman. I shared this moment with my girls and one remarked how brave this young woman was. I wanted her to know that and to also know that while we appeared to have touched her in a positive way, she too touched us, and now others. We hope you continue to speak out and notice the joys in life. Thank you and nothing but best wishes.

Fran Carey • via email

Vote yes on Prop 1

Growing up as a lesbian in Traverse City I have witnessed all kinds of discrimination, and that is why everyone needs to vote yes on Proposal One. We need to keep the NON-discrimination Ordinance.

I believe that everyone deserves the right to have equal job and housing opportunities. Being able to have a roof over your head and food in your stomach is a basic human right. Voting yes on Proposal One ensures that everyone is on an equal playing field, getting a job shouldn’t be any harder than it already is.

There is the belief that voting yes would lead to discrimination; this is simply not the case. This ordinance has been in effect for a year and there has been no unwanted consequence.

Currently, all citizens of Traverse City enjoy the equal rights they deserve in the housing and job markets. There are specific cases where the law does not apply, making sure it does not infringe on anyone’s religious or personal rights.

In conclusion everyone needs to vote yes on Proposal One to ensure equality in our hometown. Everyone deserves the right to a home and a job, no matter what age, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Ashleigh Curtis • TC

League supports Prop 1

The League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area is supporting a YES vote on the Traverse City referendum to keep the Nondiscrimination Ordinance which the Traverse City Commission unanimously passed in October 2010.

Protections for gay and transgender people already exist in nondiscrimination ordinances in nearly 20 other Michigan cities, including Ann Arbor, Detroit, East Lansing, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Huntington Woods, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Ypsilanti.

The Traverse City Ordinance has been in effect for almost a year. It has successfully proclaimed that Traverse City is an open and welcoming city. The Ordinance has had no unintended consequences. There is no reason to repeal it.

Nationally the League of Women Voters has a strong commitment to support equal rights for all persons regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation or disability. The Traverse City Nondiscrimination Ordinance which you are asked to vote YES for in November does this. It treats all people including heterosexuals, gays, lesbians, and transgender people equally.

The League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area supports the Nondiscrimination Ordinance. We urge everyone to vote YES in November to keep it.

Donna Hornberger, President, League of Women Voters • GT Area

Keep it equal

There’s an old saying, “All things being equal...” (to determine who’s the most qualified applicant).

Currently in Traverse City: “No person shall adopt, enforce or employ any policy or requirement which has the effect of creating unequal opportunities according to actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, family status, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, or gender identity, for a person to obtain housing, employment or public accommodation.” (Chapter 605 of the Codified Ordinances of Traverse City.

All things being “equal,” every person deserves the same opportunity to contribute the full extent of his or her capabilities to business, culture, and community. All careers and accommodations should be open to all people on the basis of their talent, education, and skills – independent of their actual or perceived characteristics.

Please don’t be mislead by those attempting to deny equal opportunity.

The preservation of equal opportunity under the law for our neighbors, friends, and family will be challenged at the ballot box in Traverse City on November 8. Kindly vote YES (Proposition 1) to keep the Traverse City Equal Opportunity Ordinance.

M’Lynn Hartwell • TC

Road to success

For a brief clip on taxation, and how a capitalistic society truly operates, please go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ plum-line/post/class-warfare-elizabethwarren-style/2011 Elizabeth Warren is an attorney and Harvard Law School professor and a U.S. Senate candidate. Here, she explains that no person ever became rich “on his own.”

The example she uses is of a factory or business that becomes productive and perhaps successful, but only by utilizing a long list of public, governmental services.

This factory reaches success by using employees that “all of us” have educated (based on public school graduate numbers), and by using our state and federal highways to ship/transport its manufactured goods. It is common to see many commercial vehicles on our public roads (usually with corporate branding or a logo). Warren adds that this factory and its goods are safe thanks to protection provided by the police force and fire department (another service we all collectively pay for). She suggests that this factory or business should give back to the same social contract that it used toward its success -- and help the “next kid who comes along.”

Rebecca Peterson, Elk Rapids

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