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 01-30-2012
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Letters 01-30-2012

- January 30th, 2012  

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. 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 letters are not accepted.

Move to Amend

Again we are constantly reminded of the ever-fluctuating polls. We are reminded of the candidate’s money, but we are not told the source of the money. Big money contributors don’t make contributions, they make investments for which they are wellrewarded. Wall Street made huge contributions to both Democrats and Republicans before the 2008 election.

Henry Paulsen, President George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury, announced that the banks had to have a huge sum of money now, or the sky would ball in. True, it was a major crisis. We had allowed the banks to become too big to fail. Both candidates, McCain and Obama, interrupted their campaigns and hurried back to the Senate to rescue Wall Street.

A few senators, including our senator, Debbie Stabenow, insisted that some of our money be used to help the people from their state before they could vote for the bailout. The bailout passed without them with no strings attached.

But, golly, they could have at least said “Thank you” before they demanded more money.

Orpha Shinn • Bellaire

To the Homestead

Your statements in the recent Northern Express article concerning your sewage system seem to indicate that you do not deny that your sewage spray drifts beyond the legal area and into the surrounding parkland; rather, you say that this is ok, because your sewage poses no risk to human or animal health.

The following points reflect my understanding of the matter. Could you please provide explanation to us, your neighbors, as to which of them you believe to be incorrect (and why), and how you reconcile your position with those which are not? (You can share information at HomesteadSewage.org.)

-- Your spray is only partially treated; it is supposed to go directly into the ground for cleansing. It is not rated as safe for ingestion, as occurs when people breathe the drifting spray.

--Scientific studies such as one posted at HomesteadSewage.org indicate that effluent of this type can contain significant pathogens. Warning signs such as the following are recommended: “This area has been irrigated with reclaimed domestic wastewater that has not necessarily been adequately treated to protect public health . . . Persons using this area could experience illness, and possibly death . . . ” -- After studying this situation, the NPS public health specialist recommended that a gasmask, goggles, and coveralls should be worn by personnel when exposure is possible.

--The DEQ environmental engineer responsible for this case has stated, “Sewage spray poses a hazard that justifies restricted access.”

-- The Park Service has had to post and close the parklands surrounding your facility with warning signs for the past 18 years; those areas have been unavailable for use & enjoyment by their owners, the public.

Sally MacFarlane-Neal • Northport

Fracking endangers water

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) passed a resolution in 2011 to ban horizontal hydraulic fracturing in Michigan. MCWC sees fracking as a direct and critical threat to our state’s most precious natural resource: our water. Michigan is surrounded by the largest supply of freshwater in the world, and half of Michigan residents get their drinking water from groundwater wells.

Using millions of gallons of fresh water to fracture each well is an unsustainable, irresponsible use of our water resources, and the impact on our fresh water supply from the fracking process has serious consequences. Because the horizontal sections of the wells are not cased in cement, chemical leakage from these sections represent a significant threat to ground water.

In addition, fluid spills before injection, and when recovered, can contaminate surface and underground water sources. Drilling into these formations creates pathways by which fluids or natural gas itself can find its way into water supplies as well.

Once the process is complete, 40-70% of the fracture water (flowback) returns to the surface, which means millions of gallons of contaminated wastewater need to be disposed of, directly threatening water supplies. MCWC will continue our fight to protect Michigan’s waters from fracking.

Monica Evans • Honor President, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation

Gov't not a business

Candidate Romney claims that his qualification for President is that he is a successful businessman. What he does not seem to understand is that government is not a business. A business produces products or services for a profit for its shareholders. A government provides services paid for with taxes collected from the citizens and businesses.

If the government were a business it could privatize the Defense Department. Following the Romney business tactic, the Pentagon Corporation could sell our surplus aircraft carriers to China, as Russia did. We do not need seven nuclear aircraft carrier task forces when no other country has more than one. We could level the playing field, sell off some of our ships and pass on the profits to the shareholders. That’s what businesses do.

If that meant laying off a lot of sailors, taking away their pensions and medical benefits and dumping them onto the distressed labor market, so be it. What matters to business is dividends for the shareholders.

Business thinks in terms of short term gains and quick profits. Governments think long term. It takes years to plan a bridge, for instance, and no private corporation is going to take that long range view.

If Michigan’s distressed highway department sold my company the Portage Lake lift bridge, which is already nearing the end of its useful life, we could charge a toll, make a profit for our investors, skip maintenance costs, and when the bridge no longer functioned, sell it for scrap to milk every last dollar out of a depleted asset. So what if the folks who had no bridge couldn’t cross the waterway? That’s their problem. We can go elsewhere, buy some other bridge, and do it again.

That’s why you do not want to elect a businessman to be president. It’s the wrong mind-set.

Harley L. Sachs • Portland, OR

Marina Expansion

I wanted to let you know, before it is too late, that On The Narrows Marina is quietly seeking DEQ permission to expand the Marina there. This would be a major expansion with a new 50-boat dock and tons of mooring.

Obviously this move has been timed specifically to get approvals before the vast majority of Lake owners even find out it was happening, and if they get this through the Glen Lake Narrows area will end up like Torch lake sandbar area. This is moving fast, with objections due in a week.

Greg Schmid • Glen Lake

NO Labels

I want to not let something go unnoticed.

At the State of Union last night, 208 Senators and Representatives sat next to a person from the other party! Did you notice? They did so by choice, by personally inviting a counterpart. They did so in an effort to show respect and the desire to work together, for bipartisanship, for the United States. How about that?!

What I want you to know is WE THE PEOPLE made this happen. Many phone calls, letters, congressional office visits, television appearances, etc. were made by NO Labels members. Getting bipartisan seating at all appropriate meetings, is just one of 12 congressional rule changes being put forward by NO Labels.

This not-left, not-right, but forward group is now 300,000 members strong and is aiming for over 1,000,000 by the end of year.

Check out nolabels.org to see what WE the citizens will be presenting and expecting next. How does NO Budget, NO Pay sound? Fellow NO Labels member, Senator Joe Manchin, will be presenting just this at a February congressional hearing!

Put your disgust with Congress in the right spot, get it off your chest, go to nolabels.org and sign your name in support.

Jill Rahrig Bourdon • TC

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