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 10/16/03
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Letters 10/16/03

Various - October 16th, 2003

Let women, not politicians, decide health matters

I am writing this letter to encourage everyone to call, write or email Governor Granholm to encourage her to veto Senate Bill 395, the so-called “legal birth definition act.” This week, anti-choice members of the legislature passed legislation that will prevent women, in consultation with their families and doctors, from deciding the best and safest medical treatment.
This bill is unconstitutional because it contains no exception for cases in which a woman’s health is at risk and should therefore be struck down. This bill puts the legislature in the position of making tough medical decisions and would outlaw medically necessary abortions needed by women who have serious, life-threatening medical conditions such as kidney failure, diabetes and a risk of stroke.
The Supreme Court has already ruled, in Stenberg v. Carhart, that women -- in consultation with their families and doctors -- not politicians, should make decisions about the best way to protect the health and life of a woman.
This politically driven, unconstitutional bill should be struck down. I urge Governor Granholm to veto this bill, and urge all of you to call our Governor and show your encouragement for a veto.

Martha Lancaster • Director of Community Services
Planned Parenthood Northern Michigan

It‘s a zoo out there
I am outraged after watching Monday‘s Traverse City Commission meeting. To approve a $200,000 to upgrade the bear cages at the zoo is ludicrous. The zoo keepers have already stated they have to sedate the animals during the noise of Cherry Festival... so what makes anyone think pounding and rebuilding their cages won‘t about kill the poor animals? Obviously also is one more strike from commissioner Phill Orth to mayor Margaret Dodd. His reason to keep the zoo and to put the money into it is that he and his children have gone there. Well, who didn‘t go there with their children, Mr. Orth? That is NOT the point here. The care and concern for animals IS.
The zoo needs to go. It doesn‘t bring in much money and costs $400,000 a year to run. It is unconscionable in this day and age to keep such a small zoo for such wonderful large and small animals.Visitors who come here are outraged about the conditions. Cheers for the wonderful zoo keepers who make an unbearable life for the animals at least a loving one.

Dorothy Peterson • via email

Thanks are due for tolerance

I would like to publicly thank WLJN, our local Christian radio station, and New Hope Church at Acme for not responding or supporting the proposed marriage protection resolution which was submitted to the City Commission at the beginning of September. It seems that political correctness has taken precedent over the Holy Sacrament of Marriage. With each passing day government and Christian organizations turn away from the teachings of the Bible, and choose to walk the road of political correctness.
Many Christian organizations of today seem to only look at the bottom line, much as any successful business would. Churches today seem to focus on entertaining their members with musicians on a stage, rather then focusing on the insight the Bible brings to everyone who listens. The Bible clearly states that marriage is only to be between one man and one woman, yet for some reason most Ministers seem to be able to discount, not only the Bible, but nature‘s law when it comes to any issue that may offend certain minority groups. I was told as a child, you need to stand up for what you know is right. How can a minister or anyone, fulfill the responsibilities of leadership, if it is so easy to turn away from the things we know are factual and eternal? This issue will soon be seen on ballots around this nation, where will you stand when it is time to be counted?

Paul Nepote • TC

Letter to Advice Goddess

Your colum carried in the September 25 issue of the Northern Express contained a letter from a woman complaining that while her boyfriend did plenty of nice things for her (really nice socks, which I would appreciate, btw), he didn‘t give her flowers or candy or other “romantic“ things.
This guy even scrubs the tub for her before she takes a bath! I don‘t know any guy anywhere who scrubs the tub at all. I love my wife and I don‘t scrub the tub. I don‘t clean the bathroom at all, except to take a swipe at a toothpaste drop-letted mirror (three kids). Guys literally don‘t see the dirt, and don‘t mind it as much when they do.
If this woman can‘t see the love in that act, she‘s either/both shallow and stupid. Guys know flowers and candy are pro forma, dull stuff, especially when done regularly. My wife gets a big romantic kick when I donate money to our public radio station. I pick a day (anniversary, birthday, etc.) and the station mentions throughout the day that support for that day was provided in honor of that occasion.
Basically, if a guy scrubs a tub for her, that should be romance heaven. She could also tell him that she‘d like flowers, candy, etc., sometimes. She‘d get it, too, but it wouldn‘t mean much to the guy. He‘d see it as a chore or duty. And she might not get the nice socks, or scrubbed tub, since he‘d now done his “romantic“ duty.

Greg Keith • via email

(You‘re quite right. Amazing how some people just don‘t get what they have. She‘d better pick up on it fast, or he‘ll be scrubbing the tub for some other girl! I like your birthday radio idea. And thanks for writing, and for reading my column! -Amy Alkon)

The top 10

I have been thinking of an idea for your paper In order to make businesses
more accountable for their practices and make it hurt where it counts most: in
their pocketbook. As this area continues to grow in unsightly ways, I am
constantly making mental notes of businesses that I add to my list to boycott. I
only wish that others would boycott in whole so that the message is very clear.
My list includes businesses such as Kohl‘s (for its failure to provide setbacks
and green spaces), Great Wolf Lodge (for it‘s water wasting), The Cherry Tree
Inn (for its wanting to groom the wetland “beaches“), the Ford dealership
(for its light pollution) not to mention others that have been here a while that
simply were not held accountable by the spineless township zoning administrators. It seems that these businesses should, at the very least, be “outed“ in
full public display so that others might reconsider spending their money at
places that care so little for town.
I was hoping your paper could do a detailed
readers‘ poll such as your “best place to eat,“ etc. It would be a great asset
to our area and perhaps do some awareness raising. It might even make these
businesses consider making some changes, or prevent new ones from building who
clearly are only here to make a buck and couldn‘t care less about the impact
they have on this community for generations to come. I am only one person, and
your paper could certainly make a difference if others were to boycott the top
10 that makes the list.

Susan Heckendorn • via email

(I guess we‘d have to nominate ourselves for wasting the timber resources of the forest to print this rag if we went down that road, but thanks for the idea. -- ed.)

Harsh punishment for pot

I‘m writing today to clear up a gross misconception that has been repeated by the local press. This error is in regard to Judge Gilbert, and his “punishment“ for the crime of using marijuana.
It has been reported that Judge Gilbert has not been allowed to preside over drug and alcohol cases, because of his obvious prejudice. This is a lie. The only sanction that has been levied against him is that he can‘t sentence these cases, but he can still exercise his will in these cases.
What I‘m telling you is not hearsay, because it happened to me. Yes, I am a criminal of the same caliber as Judge Gilbert, I smoke marijuana. But since I am not a judge who takes delight in frequenting Rolling Stones concerts, I am not afforded the same freedoms as a stoner judge. This is not the problem, because I am willing to stand up and defend my belief that the federal law is unconstitutional, and is only in place to pacify the oil, pharmaceutical, and paper lobbyists. We are paying the price every day to keep these minorities in power over us. So, here we sit. Yes, I am willing to go to jail for something I believe in, unlike some people. The problem, though, is being punished by Judge Gilbert before my sentenc~.
At my pre-trial Judge Gilbert added conditions to my bond that robbed me of my time, my money, and my freedom. Along with a full urine screen (which I expected), he added daily breathalyzer tests, and two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week.
Let me remind you that mine was not an alcohol-related charge, and no alcohol was involved. All this he did simply to exercise his will and project his own shortcomings onto me and various other individuals in the courtroom. His problems with drinking and drugging are not my problems; they are his and his alone. In fact, he said as much, when he told a fellow criminal that he should “spend time [in jail] thinking about his relationship with alcohol,“ and then added, “take it from someone with the same problem.“
What Judge Gilbert fails to realize is that not everyone is an abuser of multiple substances, as he is. This is more than a miscarriage of justice. It is prejudice in its most blatant form. He was acting with unprecedented bias and an eagerness to seem tougher on individuals who are probably less guilty than he is. I won‘t get a dismissal, and I won‘t get a mistrial, I will get to go to jail at the time of my sentencing. My court-appointed attorney thinks I have no case against the courts, and since I can‘t afford an attorney who has my best interests in mind, I have no way to defend myself.
By the way, did you know that the maximum penalty for “use“ of marijuana is the same as the maximum penalty for assault, and the penalty for “possession“ of a miniscule amount of marijuana is one year in jail? Weigh your decisions carefully; it would be better, legally, for you to beat your wife, rather than buy a bag of dried flowers. It‘s better to be a judge or a cop and break the law, than to be a peace-loving citizen and smoke marijuana.
You may think that I jest, but I‘m too disappointed in the law to crack jokes right now. Do we still have questions about why the jails in this area are overcrowded? This is the way the legal system works in this country, it is a business and nothing more, so I hope you all find it as disgusting as I do.
I‘ll see you in 93 days, unless I‘m also robbed of my right to serve in jail. They may give me probation for an ungodly number of months, and soak me for every dollar I have in that time. They have the power to do whatever they wish. But, a man is worth more than the sum of his many mistakes, and that is the only thing worth knowing; the only thing that keeps the joy in my heart. Until they take that too, have a nice day.

Robert L. Pierce • Traverse City

Judging the judge

Mr. Gilbert, I too am sorry you violated the law. Your transgressions not only diminished the authority and majesty of the 86th District Court and the laws of the great state of Michigan. You also brought great shame to yourself, family, and community.
You were in good faith presented with the title “Your Honor“ by the voters of the Grand Traverse region and the power to bring judgments to the lives of all those who stand before your bench. This profound expression of public trust was not lightly given and once betrayed is very difficult to restore.
You‘re now a self-confessed alcoholic and drug user, a condition you were probably in when you first aspired to become a judge. Consequently, Mr. Gilbert, I believe you attained your judgeship fraudulently. Therefore, you should immediately surrender it. If at some point in the unforeseeable future you believe you are worthy to have the title “Your Honor“ bestowed upon you by the people -- then at that time you should come before them with a contrite heart.
If your redemption is sincerely sought your reward will be deliverance, renewal and hope. But the forgiveness and acceptance you seek from those whom you have betrayed may never come. I wish you well Thomas S Gilbert.

Steve Redder • Petoskey

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