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..

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Letters 10-08-2012

- October 8th, 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.

Climate change & Prop 3

Climate change is real. This year’s catastrophes are a mere preview of things to come, and a warning to quit procrastinating and demand action.

Scientific consensus states that anything above 350 ppm will permanently change our climate. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon are now over 392 ppm and rising.

Feed-back loops from methane releases are self-reinforcing. More methane means more heat, leading to more releases. Growing evidence indicates we have already triggered this disastrous pattern.

The National Renewable Energy Lab says we need to provide 80% of our power from non-fossil sources by 2050. Voting “YES” on Proposition 3 will be a start. It is also one of the best opportunities for creating jobs in Michigan.

Can we do more? Of course. We can raise fuel standards to 50 mpg. We can plant more trees to provide carbon sinks. We can stop factory farming practices; this would actually improve the health of soils, water -- and us.

We need to recognize the growing problem of climate change. Vote “YES” on Proposition 3 so that our grandchildren will have a more sustainable future.

Ann Rogers • TC

All brothers & sisters

A letter to our brother and sister Muslims in response to recent events: We recognize that actions of a few do not represent the beliefs of the whole, both in the Muslim community and the Christian

community. Both of our communities have deep spiritual beliefs anchored in peace, forgiveness, and mercy. We are all descendants of Abraham. We are brothers and sisters in flesh and through God’s creation. As such we offer you our love, trust, and respect.

Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV) Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Michael Windover • Traverse Bay United Methodist Church adult Sunday school class

Low road on robo calls

As he did in 2010, State Rep. Ray Franz takes the low road again with intrusive and deceptive robo calls. One accuses Allen O’Shea of “lining his pockets” as a county commissioner when he and five others voted to raise compensation by $100/month – still far below compensation in comparable counties.

Another accuses Mr. O’Shea of trying to “steal our water,” which is as much a pants-onfire lie now as it was when Franz fabricated it to throw at Dan Scripps in 2010.

So the question is: if Ray Franz has any positive record in Lansing to brag about, why isn’t he?

Jan Bauer • Glen Arbor

Benishek’s bad science

Due to redistricting, Northern Michigan is facing one of the most extreme, antienvironmental candidates we have seen for Congress in years. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence, Rep. Dan Benishek said that climate change is “all baloney” and “just some scheme.” For a guy that calls himself a “scientist” with expertise in the field, it’s odd he believes climate change is “unproven science stuff.”

Is this the guy we want representing our pure Michigan environment in Washington?

Think long and hard before you cast your vote for someone who seems to care less about the pristine environment we call Northern Michigan. A vote for Dan Benishek is a vote against Pure Michigan.

Jim Carruthers • TC

Tea Party voting record

The following is a short list of Rep. Dan Benishek's voting record (votesmart.org) since he took office: HR 2 voted to repeal health care law; HR 1214 voted to repeal funding for school-based health center construction; HR 2112 voted yes against appropriations for agricultural, rural development; HR 4628 voted yes to extend student loan interest rates until July 2013; HR 1173 voted yes to repeal Class Act- a bill that repeals community living assistance services established by the Affordable Care Act. With his voting record would you really trust someone who voted against bills that would help you or your family in Michigan? Could Mr. Benishek be trading his Hippocratic Oath to his patients for his loyalty to the Tea Party? Which one is he, physician or politician? Watching and listening to one of his ads where his former patients say how good he is as a doctor sounds like a plea for Mr. Benishek to return to his Crystal Falls practice.

Protect the rights we do have while creating new ones by sending one who cares about and will properly represent his constituents. That person is Gary McDowell.

George Edmonds • TC

Pro-candidate letters...

(Due to the large number of letters from supporters of various candidates, the Express is running one representative letter for each candidate. -- ed.)

As husband to Melanie Stanton, candidate for probate court judge, I want to say that in addition to her diverse and extensive law experience (20 years of family court and 16 years of probate court experience), honesty, intelligence and passion for doing what is right, Melanie is a fabulous wife to me and a loving, caring mother to our twin teenage daughters.

Please vote for the most qualified candidate and someone who cares deeply about the people of our community. Vote for Melanie Stanton for Probate Courts Judge on November 6.

Bob Stanton • TC

At some time or another, many people’s lives will be touched by the Grand Traverse County Probate Court. Often, these occasions involve life’s most troubling situations. That’s when you want a judge with experience, someone who upholds and enforces the law in an understanding and compassionate manner.

Kirsten Keilitz has the ideal experience and the temperament for this job. She is currently serving as a Domestic Relations and Juvenile/Family Division Referee. She practiced family law for 15 years, and has extensive courtroom experience. There’s no drama. She’s professional, decisive and balanced. Gracious and committed to this community, she’s the right person to be elected as the next probate judge.

I’ve practiced law in the Traverse City area for 16 years. I know Kirsten Keilitz – candidate for Grand Traverse County Probate Judge – very well. I unequivocally recommend her for the job. Vote for Kirsten on November 6.

Mardi L. Black • Suttons Bay

There are two great candidates running in Northern Michigan districts this fall. Two YOUNG, dedicated, ethical, energetic and enthusiastic candidates... Betsie Coffia running for the Michigan House of Representatives in the 104th and Lon Johnson is running in the 103rd. These two have the experience to qualify them for major leadership positions. We need excellent young people in the political process. I recommend them to you.

Lou Ann McKimmy • Rapid City

Voters of the 107th district in the House of Representatives: If you are tired of divided partisan politics; if you would like to be represented by an accomplished professional woman of substance, highly respected in her field, who has made a career outside politics; if you respect the wisdom of a mother who has raised three children in a stable marriage and lives family values; if you want a representative who seeks office out of a sense of patriotism and commitment to public service; if old fashioned, down to earth character attributes like humility, honesty, integrity, and thrift matter to you; please consider voting for Suzanne Shumway.

Suzanne and her husband Michael began married life in military housing while Michael served as a Marine officer. Later they earned advanced degrees and pursued their careers while raising their family. They know what it takes to make it in today’s world.

We had such high hopes for Frank Foster.

He was such a plucky young fellow fresh out of college and we wanted him to make us proud. Then he started voting straight down the party line, shifting the tax burden toward the poor and middle class, cutting funding for schools, attacking teachers. He tells you what you want to hear. He’s smooth.

It’s rare to see a race with such contrast between candidates. To me it’s an obvious choice of substance over show: Suzanne over Frank.

Matt Koontz • Petoskey

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