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 06-11-2012
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Letters 06-11-2012

- June 11th, 2012  

Wetlands debatable

Patrick Sullivan proves here that there’s always ONE side to every story (re: “Upland Forest or Forested Wetlands?” 5/28/12). Actually, if you read through the sensationalism you see that there isn’t even a story here at all.

While the subtitle reads: “Environmentalist alleges Antrim County official looked the other way as wetlands were destroyed,” buried near the end we find this quote from the DEQ: “It is true that soil erosion officers don’t have any authority over wetlands, he said. It is up to the DEQ to issue Part 303 permits that allow the destruction of wetlands.”

So Heidi Shaffer (Antrim County soil erosion officer) did her job and is being persecuted because an environmentalist feels threatened and a couple from downstate has to share their “little piece of Northern Michigan” lakefront with a neighboring land owner? Shameful.

As a property owner in Antrim County, I’m glad to see our local government placing an emphasis on responsible development while also respecting the rights of land owners.

The Holts had their property professionally evaluated and followed the permitting procedure, Shaffer did her job to its legal limit on behalf of the county, and the DEQ was made aware of everything. It sounds like the only people in violation are the ones sticking their noses in (and trespassing) where they don’t belong.

And, of course, anyone who thinks this is a story worth getting excited about in the first place...

The real story? The DEQ (and the Army Corps Of Engineers), after weeks of investigation and testing, just determined that the developed area of the property is NOT a wetland. Oops.

Erik J. Davidek • Outreach & Development Director • Antrim Conservation District

Stop the ferry wars Remember the Mackinac Island ferry “controversy” of a couple of years ago? Legislation has been introduced to prevent another “ferry war” from happening.

Senate Bill 1150 will “level the ferry regulatory playing field” for Michigan municipalities, taking away Mackinac Island’s “special regulatory powers.”

Senate Bill 1151 clearly makes the Michigan Public Service Commission the ultimate regulatory authority of ferry services in Michigan. No longer will any municipality be free to abuse its regulatory powers by:

1.) Conveying the impression it’s considering terminating the life of one of its ferry services without reason, forcing the ferry service to unnecessarily commit resources to fight for its life.

2.) Showing reckless disregard for its franchise fee’s consequences to its ferry licensees.

3.) Using a franchise fee as a “head tax” on visitors to that municipality. I don’t believe municipalities are allowed to “charge admission” to themselves.

4.) Risking Michigan citizens’ access to one of their state parks. Please ask your legislators to support this legislation.

Stopping the invaders Invasive species are the greatest threat to the Great Lakes. As a leading import market, the US receives hundreds of millions of live non-native animals each year.

Invasive species are a persistent and costly thorn in the side of the American taxpayer. To stop the spread of just one of these invasive species – Asian carp – into the Great Lakes, federal, state, and local governments have spent approximately $204 million from 1998-2011.

In Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 alone, the federal budget allocated approximately $120 million to control the Asian carp. These costs could have been avoided if authorities had considered their risks beforehand and restricted their importation.

Under the current 112-year-old law that regulates these imports, it takes an average of four years for the federal government to stop the import of harmful and invasive species.

To address this problem, the Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act of 2012 (HR 5864) was recently introduced. This legislation strengthens the ability of federal regulators to make rapid, science-based decisions on whether non-native fish or wildlife species pose a risk to ecosystems within the U.S. and cause economic damage or threaten public health. It will stop the influx of damaging invasive species, while still allowing trade in the vast majority of non-native animals that pose no risk of invasiveness or threat to the health of humans or wildlife.

We must take steps now to prevent the next Asian carp, Burmese python, northern snakehead, or red lionfish crisis. These destructive invaders will continue to come into our country via globalized trade until Congress steps in to make a difference.

Jennifer McKay, Policy Specialist Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council


• There was a spelling error in last week's article on iris farming. The term “zeroscaping” is not correct; the proper word for landscaping for dry climates is “xeriscaping.” The word was developed by the Denver Water Board in the early 1980s. The prefix “xer” is from the Greek meaning “dry.” 

• In a recent Spectator column, it should be noted that the Simpson- Bowles Commission did not make any recommendations to the President. The two heads of the commission made recommendations without the commission's approval.

Daniel M. Robbins • Mackinaw City

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