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 07-16-2012
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Letters 07-16-2012

- July 16th, 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.

Fireworks pollution

The new Michigan fireworks law does untold damage to the environment, wildlife, pets and our personal right to quiet and safety in our own homes.

On July 7th and numerous times, between late June through September, I have been jolted out of bed by neighbors setting off extremely loud fireworks – the kind used in public displays.

I have had to rearrange my life to accommodate my neighbors “fun.” This includes getting my dog up to the house and into a closet at night before the fireworks start, which is always a guess. Then waking him up after midnight to pee because he was too scared to pee on the way to the house.

I have had to remain up till after midnight on evenings when I was not feeling well or just needed to sleep because I work long hours. I have heard others say that their children are scared awake in the middle of the night from neighbors fireworks.

Veterans with PTSD call the 4th of July “a day from hell.” Deer are reported to have miscarriages from fear after explosions and I can’t imagine the pain of birds or bats with sensitive hearing, not to mention the toxic heavy metal smoke from the fireworks that they are forced to breathe which can cause digestive disorders, cancer and asthma attacks.

The noise range is around 140 decibels - 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. My ears are still ringing. In Leelanau County, we have no noise ordinance, so it is now legal to shoot of fireworks of any noise level at any time. I hear, see and smell them going off on three sides of my property.

My question to you and your readers is, do I have any right to not experience toxic heavy metal smoke and noise violation in my own home and on my property? Should I have to move in order to be safe and get a good night’s rest?

The sheriff’s office can do nothing. Only tell me that it’s all legal and I have the right to set them off at 4 a.m. in front of the violator’s house out of revenge, should I so choose. That would simply escalate the violence as these neighbors obviously feel that it is their right to have fun more so than our right not to be noise-raped and lungpolluted in the middle of the night.

I am hoping that your readers can suggest a legal or political route to end this nightmare. Please know that this is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It affects many people in this area, no matter what their political affiliation. I look forward to the thoughtful response of you and your readers.

Rev. Julie Strong-Chai • TC

Too many losing homes (More feedback on Patrick Sullivan's foreclosure series: June 25 & July 2.)

On July 6 there was an eviction hearing to try to evict Evie Sawaquat from her property.

Evie is the widow of Lewis Sawaquat. When Lewis passed away in 2009, Bank of America refused to speak to her regarding her mortgage. She then tried to go through the Home Loan Modification Program with Tashia Winstanley and TLW. During this process, she was advised to not make her mortgage payments.

She did not take that advice and continued to make her payments to Bank of America. They placed her payments in an escrow account and never applied her payments to her mortgage. She had $20,000 in that escrow account, they refused to apply it to the loan.

During this time, her home had been foreclosed and went up for sheriff's sale.

Too many of our citizens are losing their homes to this process. Home Loan Modification Programs do not work and end up being foreclosure programs instead.

Banks receive $1,000 per month from the federal government for every Home Loan Modification they put their clients through for as long as their client is in the process of modifying their loan.

At the hearing, we (Joe Belton & myself) were shut right down by Fannie Mae's attorney, because we are not attorneys ourselves and the judge refused to hear anything we had to say.

We do have Power of Attorney to represent Evelyn Sawaquat regarding her house, but to no avail. This whole ordeal has been a nightmare for Evie and these stories need to get out, so others don't fall victim to the Home Loan Modification Programs or to Fannie Mae's strongarm tactics.

Audrey Ann Chambers • via email

‘The bird’ was a bummer

In your July 2 issue of Northern Express was a photo on page 54 with Mark Wahlberg giving the finger that I deem inappropriate. As I’m sure it was the highlight of the film, this was a bad decision to publish this picture. I moved to TC for civility, not to observe the media pushing the envelope. Let’s choose content wisely.

Jeff Campbell • TC

Poisoning Boardman Lake

I was riding my bike toward the library with my son when I was passing by the sailing school along the TART trail. I noticed a man spraying Round Up on weeds not 10 feet from the edge of the lake.

When I confronted the man about why he was spraying poisons near our beautiful lake, he told me to “Get out of here you hippy.” This man had a sailing school shirt on.

We got into a heated argument, and I left, furious that people can honestly have no care in the world what they are doing to our beautiful landscape.

It is no joke to say that the poison he was putting on those weeds will seep into the water where I see kids swimming all the time. The worst part is that the weeds could have been pulled with ease. When are we going to learn as a society to not taint our beautiful waters?

Clay Bowers • TC

Correction The photo of Nathan Schmall in a recent story was taken by Allen-Kent Photography.

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