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 02-13-2012
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Letters 02-13-2012

- February 13th, 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.

Ideas into action

Many of us have received email and comments from our friends about excellent ideas to repair our broken Congress. For example:

• Term limits

• Abide by all laws they impose on the American people

• Participate in the same health care system as the American people

• Participate in Social Security

• Public-funded elections

• No tenure/no pension - purchase their own retirement plan, like the rest of the American people

The problem is nobody in Congress will support these ideas. The solution is to convert these ideas into action by supporting citizen representatives, chosen by the members from their congressional district, who will refuse to accept special-interest money, are independent of a political party, and will serve a limited term. Go to goooh. com to learn more.

Serving in Congress should be an honor, not a career.

Billy D. Clifford • Austin, TX 78727

Successful, Small Farming

When I picked up The Express today I was immediately struck by your cover and article regarding “organic” farming. My husband and I have a certified organic farm about 5 miles north of Cedar. We have been running our successful CSA for the past 12 years and are puzzled by your emphasis on what doesn’t work. (By the way, to legally use the word “organic” with regard to the crops one grows, the crops must be certified through the Department of Agriculture to insure the integrity of the claim for the consumer.)

Along with many other small, successful farms in our area, we have created an enterprise that supports many workers and feeds many people. We have found a very strong market for quality, organic produce in the Traverse City area.

Of course, there are many ups and downs in our business. Farming, whether organic or conventional, requires long term planning, education, financial thoughtfulness, long hours and great energy. However, we know that if we persevere and if we grow quality produce, there are few businesses with such boundless rewards.

Judy Reinhardt and Jim Schwantes • Cedar

Farms More than Just Donuts

Mr. Roggensee expressed numerous opinions about various aspects of small scale organic farming in Northern Michigan that were just that, opinions (Organic Farming, Northern Express Feb. 3). As a lifelong organic gardener and organic farmer for the past five years I have a very different view on this subject.

Mr. Roggensee complained that it would cost $25,000 to install a range hood, to make donuts to sell at his roadside stand. That’s an easy choice, forget the deep fried sugar bombs and stick to the healthy stuff.

There is a very vibrant small scale farming community in Northern MI. And there are a large number of individuals and families that are willing to pay more to know where and how their food is grown and who the farmers are that produce it. Yes you might have to pass up the donuts and pies to be able to fit the wonderful, plentiful and scrumptious local produce that is available in our communities into your food budget.

There are many CSA’s in the area that have been around for years and continue to grow their membership numbers. The people that participate in the traditional CSA put there money where there mouth is, literally. They make a commitment to support local agriculture by paying up front for a weekly supply of produce. I give anyone credit for trying to make a go of it in this very labor intensive endeavor.

We have scaled down our farming opperation because of many of the reasons that Mr. Roggensee stated, but make no mistake about it, folks that are concerned about their families health and the health of Mother Earth, will continue to support local small scale farmers. We need to rescue our food production systems from corporate Americas factory farms and bring this most basic need of humankind back to the local level.

Patrick Curley - Elmwood Township Leelanau Cultured Veggies LLC

Vet Parade – Hell No

As a nation we have been “smitten with the madness – blindness – and astonishment of heart” – passionately in love with war.

Rather than hold a ticker tape parade, let’s have President Bush apologize to Americans for starting a war based on lies – apologize to Iraqis for the death of 117,000 innocent civilians killed, for the destruction of its infrastructure, and for leaving a nation at civil war – apologize to veterans and families – apologize to America for squandering its resources.

Let’s have President Obama apologize for the needless escalation of the war in Afghanistan – apologize to Afghan citizens for the reckless death of 66,000 innocent civilians – for fueling corruption –return his Nobel Peace Prize as unearned – and end the war today.

Let’s have Senator Levin (Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee) and Senator McCain (Senior Ranking Member of the Committee) apologize for not requiring an honest accounting of the wars by senior Pentagon officials. Let’s have Secretaries of Defense Rumsfeld, Gates, & Panetta, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs and Service Chiefs apologize for misleading Congress and Americans as to the true state of the wars.

Then we will begin to heal. Not by more bravado. Sixty-seven years after WWII – let’s bring home our 115,000 forces in Europe and Japan. Fifty-nine years after the Korean War let’s bring home our 28,000 forces there.

If the nation wants to honor Veterans, rather than build another war memorial or conduct a parade, would it be more fitting to build a peace memorial and to pledge we will not wage wars for political gain? Until then, how many more Afghan mothers will to ask, “What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground?”

Dave Lannen • TC, MI Veteran of Iraq & Afghanistan & Member, Veterans For Peace

Tree farms beneficial

From the Northern Express January 16 2012 edition “News of the Weird”. In his oversight report “Wastebook 2011” Senator Tom Coburn M.D. (R-OK) highlights examples of the most egregious ways taxpayer dollars are wasted.

One of his examples is a $75,000 grant to promote the role Michigan plays in producing Christmas trees & poinsettias. For him to list this grant, meant to help the growers of Northern Michigan’s largest agricultural crops, as a waste of money is just plain Oklahoma ignorant. Northern Michigan takes the production of Christmas trees, an industry which is in decline as many Americans move away from live trees at Christmas, very seriously.

Senator, if you want to point out real waste in Washington, why don’t you go after the real promoters of the truly wasteful use of money in Congress like all of your Republican friends who are constantly enriching themselves or those who don’t need the money?

I hope that all of the folks in Northern Michigan will let you know how they feel about your belief that helping Michigan, especially Northern Michigan farmers, to promote the sale of Christmas trees is equal to the “Bridge to Nowhere.” What is next for you, the Michigan potato growers or the folks that operate the Northern Michigan vineyards?

Michael H. MacCready • Manton

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