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 09-04-2012
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Letters 09-04-2012

- September 4th, 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.

Calling all women...

Women have struggled for the right to vote in 1920, for equal pay for equal work, equity in upper management jobs, the resources to care for their families, fairness in health insurance coverage, and the right to make our health care choices.

Today, with the problems confronting our nation: jobs, debt, education, wars, shrinking middle class, etc., the Republican Party has focused its priority on restricting, devaluing and disrespecting our health care choices and rights as women.

The GOP platform bans abortion in the case of incest or rape. VP candidate Paul Ryan sponsored the “personhood” amendment which would ban in-vitro fertilization and some birth control.

Romney/Ryan both support plans to prohibit all Planned Parenthood funding, such as cancer screenings or birth control.

The disrespect runs rampant, from Limbaugh’s calling a Georgetown law student a slut to the Michigan House of Representatives reprimanding a woman legislator for using the word vagina.

Ryan also voted against Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for women. This is lunacy in the 21st century and caveman politics.

In contrast, our president has been our strongest advocate. His first Act -- Ledbetter – ensured that women be paid equally for equal work, In 2010, President Obama championed the Affordable Care Act which gives women equal insurance coverage and an array of free preventive benefits such as wellness visits, cancer screenings and birth control. He placed women in high cabinet positions from Secretary of State to Health and Human Services.

He recently questioned whether male politicians should be making choices about women’s health. I am calling on all my women friends and family, particularly those of the GOP, who claim they have always supported women's rights. We need to stand together to ensure those rights remain protected as we have fought too long to elect candidates that would move us backwards.

Catherine Hunter • via email

Hazards of fracking

Think fracking for natural gas is safe?

Here’s what Cabot Energy had to say about fracking in their report to the Securities Exchange Commission:

“Our business involves a variety of operating risks, including well site blowouts; cratering and explosions; equipment failures; uncontrolled flows of natural gas, oil or well fluids; fires; formations with abnormal pressures; pollution and other environmental risks; and natural disasters. Any of these events could result in injury or loss of human life, loss of hydrocarbons, significant damage to or destruction of property, environmental pollution...”

This information, however, is not divulged to the public. Instead, we are fed the TV version of the lady in the pant suit extolling its virtues as clean and safe.

If it’s so safe and clean, why did gas industry lobbyists lobby for and win exemptions from seven environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act? If Michigan has such great regulations to protect our environment, why is the gas industry exempt from water withdrawal rules?

Industry claims ground water has never been contaminated in the fracking process. NOT TRUE! Water is contaminated every time a well is fracked! Five to eight million gallons of fresh water are mixed with toxic chemicals and sand to blow apart the shale and release the gas.

This water is now so toxic it can never be returned to the hydrologic cycle.

Gas industry subsidies and exemptions to environmental laws should be ended. Level the playing field and allow sustainable energy technologies a chance to compete.

Anne Zukowski • Charlevoix

Fracking irony

Speaking of irony, how many of the antifrack crowd are penning their condemnation of these “evil gas companies” while sitting beneath the electric lighting produced by the burning of this horrible substance?

Frank Rhine • Petoskey

Defend the law

Robert Downes’ article, “The Letter” (8/20), is a great example of why cannabis prohibition needs to end NOW.

I count as very dear friends Stephen and Venice Volas, as well as Patrick Milligan. I even married Patrick and his wife Stephanie at Stephen’s dad’s home just before he was incarcerated. I support Stephen’s dad’s business by buying all our flowers and vegetable plants from him and Steve’s brother, Tim. I pray for R.J. Hornsby because his betrayal will surely someday catch up to him.

The sad fact is that none of this would have ever happened if the cannabis was legal. No living with guilt, no destroyed lives, no wasting of taxpayer dollars. If cannabis was legal, maybe law enforcement would focus on real crime like prescription drug abuse and other addictive drugs.

Oddly, I turned the page to find Rick Coates’ article, “Reforming Medical Marijuana.” I went to this grand opening and met Republican State Rep. Mike Callton. As a Democrat myself, I did find him refreshing, and it gave me hope for the Republican Party.

Right now, there are four very bad bills (HB 4834, 4851, 4853 and 4856) before the State Senate, that if passed will basically destroy our medical Marijuana law that we fought so hard for. Please take a few moments to contact your state senator and tell them to vote no on these four bills.

We are having yet another rally at the state capitol on Sept. 19 at high noon to defend our medical marijuana law. Every patient, caregiver and sympathizer that is able to attend should do so to defend your law against these cannabis haters that have been put into power over us. Hope to see you all there.

Rev. Steven B.Thompson • Chapter Director, Benzie County NORML

Mitt’s missing taxes

Seems the Northern Express and some of its readers are concerned with Mitt Romney’s tax returns. Let’s remember his most recent two returns revealed he met all tax requirements on a large income and also showed a huge contribution to church and charities.

But wait, Harry Reid claims Romney has not paid any taxes during the past 10 years. If Harry and his “unnamed source” are right, it must mean: a.) our normally aggressive IRS is giving millionaires a free pass, or b.) Romney is adhering to the tax guidelines that are set by Congress, including Harry. I’ll bet “b” is the correct answer.

It’s very obvious this tax return rumble is just one of many distractions attempted by an administration that does not want voters to think about the real issues.

We have an economy that is in the dumper, an exploding national debt, unemployment out of control and rising prices on everything including food and gasoline. This is no kind of record to run on, so here we go with the smoke and mirrors.

Ken Rule • Eastport

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