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 11/28/2011
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Letters 11/28/2011

- November 28th, 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.

Exposing duplicity

Northern Express’s fracking article portraying Don’t Frack Michigan’s JoAnne Beemon, both protesting and part of the press conference supporting the bills, exposes the duplicity of this group.

One may have the impression that Ms. Beemon of Don’t Frack Michigan (DFM) was there to protest the bills. That would be mistaken. Ms. Beemon was there to show support for the bills with DFM’s sign as a part of the press conference. After Rep. Mark Meadows’ team asked her to take it down as to not confuse the message, she did so.

She then joined the press conference with Meadows’ campaign signs. Another board member, Bill Henne, did too. That’s because Ms. Beemon worked behind the scenes writing the bills and was invited to participate in the conference and bring a sign, without some of Don’t Frack Michigan’s board’s knowledge. She explained later “dissent etiquette” was “tricky.” She now lobbies the board heavily to support the bills and celebrates groups that do.

The bills would initiate a DEQ and DNR study funded by the gas industry, a fracking panel to recommend conditions on permits and regulations, and make frackers use the Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool. That already is being done but ignored when frack well permits fail the test and get approved anyway.

I helped found Don’t Frack Michigan.

I resigned this week in protest of this deceptive, co-opted group. It claims to want to ban fracking, while wanting to compromise on trickster, pro-gas bills like this, or at best, continue remaining ambiguous and duplicitous.

I challenge Don’t Frack Michigan to stand on a frack berm and hold the frack-study-funded-by-gas industry’s campaign signs, and only those signs, if it thinks they will lead to a ban.

Hopefully people wanting to protect the environment and human health from fracking can see through the facade.

LuAnne Kozma • Novi

School czar unneeded

Gov. Snyder has appointed John Covington chairman of a corporation to serve as the Chancellor of Michigan Education Achievement Authority to manage troubled schools in the Detroit Public School system and throughout Michigan.

Covington will be paid $1.5 million, including a $175,000 signing bonus, to be the CEO of this private corporation called Michigan Education Achievement Authority.

Covington has announced that they now have the capacity to take control of schools that educate more than 100,000 students statewide, making it the state’s largest school district.

The legislature has restricted school funds for 2011 and 2012, diverting funds intended by the voters for K-12 education to higher education, while passing funds previously paid to higher education to business tax cuts.

Desperate for funding due to these cuts, our schools will be required to file plans to balance their budgets below the cost of doing business, e.g. Bellaire. The local schools will then be vulnerable to the takeover by being assigned to this Authority. Have we lost our common sense?

Why have we allowed the Michigan Legislature, led by Gov. Snyder, to subject our schools to this type of forced take over by a statewide czar? Non-public management will occur in schools in your neighborhood, under this authority. There will be no election for local school boards required, the state will do it for you with this sham organization.

We will face the collapse of our entire public school system in Michigan. Free Public Education has been one of the mainstay strengths of our country. Please study this planned attack on our schools, our teachers and our children led by Senator Walker, Rep. MacMaster and other legislators who have not stood up to Gov. Snyder and the Mackinaw Center.

James A. McKimmy • Rapid City

Non-elected power

Who the hell is Grover Norquist and why is he running our country? I might be beginning to show some signs of senility but I’m pretty damn sure I didn’t vote for him for any office. Not for President, Senator, Representative or even dog catcher.

So how on earth has he managed to strike a new tax deal, with nearly every Republican ELECTED politician from Congress to our GOP Presidential hopefuls signing his manifesto? This is the USA, right? Don’t we ELECT our representatives?

You know, they campaign, make a bunch of promises, point a lot of fingers, enrich the media, cast dispersions on their opponents. Oh, and get themselves tied up in special interests who, after giving aid and comfort (OK, mostly money) then have special access to them after getting into office such that they get the first and best access to their offices and therefore to their votes and, thus, ultimately, the direction of our country.

And in the meantime one man, coming from (what a surprise) money, and his associates seem to have complete control over this rudderless nation. A man we never elected. A man who has never had to swear to uphold the very Constitution which now he and his brethren trample.

It is time for politicians to place their assets in blind trusts. It is time to stop the sham of corporations as individuals. In all, it is time to hand the business of the American government back to the People before we are forced to take it back by whatever means necessary. And, rest assured, we will.

Know, just as Rome fell, so too will the USA if we don’t turn it now. And that starts with getting the non-elected folks out of the offices of OUR representatives and putting the people back in charge.

Bill Brown • TC

Pollution concerns

As a two-time cancer survivor I worry about toxins in our air and water which I believe have a direct link to unexplainable cancers, asthma, birth defects, miscarriages, and Alzheimers.

Over 77% of our electricity comes from coal-fired power plants which create coal ash containing mercury, lead, arsenic, chromium, selenium, carbon monoxide, etc. The Wisconsin Energy mudslide of coal ash at Oak Creek dumped the equivalent of 200 dump trucks of coal ash into Lake Michigan where your water comes from.

Every year the SS Badger dumps 509,000,000 tons of coal ash per year into Lake Michigan.

The Great Lakes contain 20% of the world’s fresh water. Every well that is fracked uses 6-10 million gallons of water plus toxic chemicals and can never be used again. Antrim County has 9,900 natural gas wells.

In the Jordan River area there are numerous wells as shallow as 148 feet, yet TV ads say wells go thousands of feet below the aquifer. Thanks to Dick Cheney, the oil/ gas industry is exempt from Clean Air and Clean Water regulations.

When will we stop poisoning our air and water and how many more people have to die? What are you doing to conserve energy?

Beverly “BJ” Christensen • Cedar

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