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 · Letters · Letters 10/31/2011
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Letters 10/31/2011

- October 31st, 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.

Vote YES on Proposal 1

My son came home for Thanksgiving this year and asked to sit down with my wife and me. He had an important decision to share with us. Christopher is a 29-year-old practicing attorney in Milwaukee. “I’m going to join the Army if the congress rescinds the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law.”

Chris has always wanted to serve his country but could not enlist 10 years ago because he was honest with the Army recruiter. Chris is gay. The armed forces no longer discriminate against gay soldiers. Chris just finished his basic training and Officer Candidate School (OCS) after training for 20 weeks in the hot Georgia sun. He is one of the first openly gay officers in the US Army (2nd Lieutenant). Chris’ unit is slated to depart for Afghanistan in January 2013.

Chris is proud to be part of an Army that is color blind – it does not matter if you are black, white, Hispanic, man, woman and now gay. The army doesn’t care who you are, only what you do.

In November, the citizens of Traverse City will be asked whether we should be able to discriminate against someone because they are gay. The people who have initiated this vote are barraging voters with misinformation and fear about the potential impact such a policy will have in our community. None of these improbable impacts have been experienced to date.

Chris is willing to lay down his life to protect all our lives, no exceptions. Are you really willing to deny him the right of being an equal citizen? A true community is one that values all its members, regardless of who they are. Join me in keeping the fabric of our community strong and vibrant. Vote

YES on Proposal 1 to ensure continued equal rights in Traverse City.

Bob Eichenlaub • TC

Vote NO on Proposal 1

Isn’t it a contradiction that lady justice holding the scales of justice in her outstretched hand must now have her blindfold removed in order to see which group is being treated equally? If anyone is that concerned about equality in law they must first learn the distinction between group rights and individual rights. When we are all neatly fitted into our own group, who is to decide which group gets the federal nod of so-called protection when there is conflict between groups? The female student in southern Michigan found out that it was discriminatory to advertise as a “female Christian looking for another female Christian roommate”.

Businesses charged with discrimination under this ordinance must prove their innocence contrary to American jurisprudence of natural law. They also will be required to pay a $500 fine plus costs. Not $50, as noted by Steve Tuttle in his Voting Local column.

The case of Traverse City’s nondiscrimination ordinance goes a step further by including into the group rights status, sexual orientation and gender identity. By instituting such a far-reaching ordinance aren’t we really undermining the basis for all law in western civilization – the Judeo- Christian moral ethic? Including a private sexual behavior as a protected right is a folly beyond compare.

Group rights/Special Rights are a protection racket and that is why I’m voting No on Proposal 1.

Christine Schoech • TC

Behind the curtain

Evil is an act to intentionally do harm in a profoundly immoral way. Sadly, we are living through a real life drama of Good vs. Evil. The Republicans now in control of the House and the Senate (by way of the filibuster) demand that the poor and the middle class “pay” for the excesses of the powerful corporations while refusing to add taxes on the “long suffering”

wealthy who have benefited from the right wing agenda . That’s really evil.

So....maybe we should take some action for ourselves. Our Representative, Dave Camp, has been appointed to the Deficit Reduction Super Committee by the masters (as in the Wizard of Oz pulling levers behind the curtain) because he has shown a willingness to support their agenda. Like Dorothy did, let’s stand up for ourselves and tell him what WE demand. Demand that the deficit not be fixed solely by cutting badly needed services, but fixed at least in part by raising taxes on the rich and powerful. Demand that he support a real jobs program and not the evil fairy tale of creating jobs by cutting taxes on the rich. Beg him to read a little history once in a while and try to understand what happens when the rich get richer and the poor (now including many former middle class families) get put out onto the streets with nothing. Probably that history will not concern him, but it really, really should. Explain to him what “Good” is all about. Maybe he could even find a little goodness in his own heart and a little bravery, and represent our needs for a change. Maybe he could give us a little respect. Who knows, it could happen. But if not, why would we ever vote for him again? Tell him that, too.

Randy Harlan • via Email

Why mandate vaccines?

I have been following the coverage of the flu vaccine mandate with great interest. My purpose is not to convince anyone whether or not to get the shot, but, instead, to raise some questions about why this is being forced on health care workers.

I have many concerns about the logic behind this mandate. Despite the fact that only half of health care workers have chosen to receive the flu vaccine in recent years, there has been no “pandemic”.

Authorities have said that those who are unvaccinated are “dangerous” and administration must “protect the patients” from these employees. On what are they basing these statements?

I have searched for studies proving that unvaccinated people are more likely to spread the virus and have yet to find anything. And there has been no response to my requests that this information be presented to those being forced to get the shot or lose their jobs.

But, maybe more importantly, who exactly is profiting from this mandate? And what will be the next step in this movement to ensure the “herd immunity”?

You may not have any difficulty with receiving the flu vaccine. But, next year your life may be directly affected by a similar mandate. It is my belief that a “one size fits all” approach to health care is not the best option. Each individual should be allowed to decide how best to maintain a healthy body. Why aren’t we forcing people with lung disease to quit smoking, or obese people to lose weight, or those with heart disease to change their life styles? Wouldn’t that be better for the “herd”?

Just a little something to think about the next time you hear someone say they are opposed to mandated vaccines.

Keli MacIntosh • TC

Benefit change unjust

Here’s an example of local corporate greed. This past July Munson Medical Center changed its employees’ benefit package, specifically long term sick payout. These earned hours have been reduced to a 75% payout rather than the 100% we previously enjoyed. The Administration is robbing their employees' benefit package and rewarding themselves with huge bonuses. Munson employees should be part of the nations 99% who are protesting corporate greed. It’s time to stop the abuse. When an employee becomes ill or injured is when they really need 100% of their earned sick hours.

Cynthia Rydahl RN • TC

Consider sustainability

I agree with Robert Downes that we need to stop and smell the roses. It can be a fine line we walk between being aware of the troubles in the world and maintaining a positive attitude. Here in northwestern Michigan we are blessed with abundant natural beauty, low crime and population density, and the quality of life is very good. I think in this regard, we are the 1%.

However, when you tie our good fortune and bright future to the profits of auto giants and jobs building power boats, you lose me. These things are not sustainable...and sustainability is the essence of the problems faced by ALL of humanity, regardless of where you live.

People everywhere need to develop strong local economies, starting with food and energy production. Farmers markets are a start, but a very small drop in the bucket, and how is it we still (20 years later) have just one wind tower?

Solutions begin and end with the choices we as individuals make and support. So smell the roses sure, but smell the coffee too! Choose local not corporate, bikes not cars, paddle & sail not power boats, small farms not agribiz, renewable not fossil. Choose to live simply.

Richard Allen • Leland

Raise your voice

Both political parties bear responsibility for the economic mess in which we find ourselves. We can no longer continue to elect representatives on the basis of who has the most money, or the system will continue to fail. It is not possible for an ordinary citizen to run for office unless he/she is wealthy or has wealthy supporting groups who have an agenda. A great majority of our government belongs to the top 1% economically. How do we expect them to vote against their own interests? The inequality in the US has become “world class” and Occupy Wall Street has taken notice. Campaign Finance Reform is needed and more non-violent action in the streets may cure some “deafness”.

As our lack of priority for education grows, we will become less and less able to compete in the world markets and unable to provide jobs. Growing inequality is another side of “shrinking opportunities” which is demonstrated when we are not using our most valuable assets, our people. As income disparity grows, the wealthy become more removed from the needs of common people and less empathetic. In truth, they are happy with divided government, too gridlocked to re-distribute and too divided to do anything but lower taxes.

It’s not too late to let your voice be heard.

Lou Ann McKimmy • Rapid City

Vote NO on Proposal 1

If you look at the Michigan State Constitution, you will see in Article 1, Section 1, that the government of the state is instituted for the equal benefit, security and protection of the people living in Michigan. There is no reason for the Traverse City ordinance on discrimination. The state constitution holds a higher power than a local ordinance and  already secures equality for all.

So why do some people think we need this ordinance? They believe that homosexuals do not receive equal rights from this society (or culture), and they feel that this group needs special recognition in order to ensure equal treatment.

In looking over the wording in this ordinance, there are exceptions given, to some people who don’t have to adhere to this ordinance; most notably, religious organizations. The problem is that there is no exemption made for individuals who hold sincere religious beliefs that homosexuality is an inappropriate lifestyle. This makes the ordinance unconstitutional with the Michigan Constitution, under Article one, Sections 2 & 4, which states, in part, ". . . The civil and political rights of no person shall be diminished or enlarged on account of his religious belief.”

So vote NO on Proposal 1 on Nov. 8th. It is unnecessary and unconstitutional.

Cathy Collins • TC

Support Prop 1

I’m voting YES on City Proposal 1, because all people should have the same equal protections under the law. Stephen Tuttle is correct by pointing out “It provides exactly the same rights to every one of us, regardless of sexual orientation.” That’s pretty much the point. Special rights have nothing to do with it and are only a scare tactic by hate groups.

I’m also voting for Barb Budros because jointly we have worked on City Commission to manage development that is fiscally responsible and on publicly funded projects that make sense. Together we have worked hard to keep the unique small town character we all love and desire in Traverse City. Protecting our unique neighborhoods while managing essential services and keeping government open and honest is most important to us.

Vote YES on City Proposal 1 and re-elect Barb Budros and Jim Carruthers.

Jim Carruthers • TC


The first name of one of two sailors who died in the Chicago to Mackinac sailboat race was incorrect in the Oct. 17 Public Safety page. The man should have been identified as Mark Morely.

The photo credit for the Zombie Run was not included in the article in last week’s Express. Photos by Michael Kent.

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