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 10-15-2012
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Letters 10-15-2012

- October 15th, 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.

The Dirty Dozen

The League of Conservation Voters have named Governor Mitt Romney (R), Dan Benishek (R), Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, and Representative Ray Franz (R), Michigan’s 101st District as consistently voting against clean energy, conservation, and oppose environmental standards. Each of these politicians have been identified as among the “Dirty Dozen.”

Representative Franz lives and represents one of the most beautiful stretches of shoreline along Lake Michigan. He has voted consistently to weaken laws that protect beaches, sand dunes and forests. His district is in the heart of our tourism industry. His votes have opened up sensitive dunes to expanded development. In addition, Franz’s votes remove permitting requirements that prevent the spread of invasive species along the Great Lakes.

Representative Benishek has not only been included in the nation's “Dirty Dozen,” but has also been included with the “Flat Earth Five.” The “Flat Earth Five” have the distinction of still rejecting the scientific consensus of climate change. As record temperatures ruined cherry crops, and produced parched crops, it is imperative that our elected officials at lease acknowledge the problem if we are ever going to solve or slow it.

It is time that we send Ray Franz back to his grocery store in Onekama and Dan Benishek back to hospitals in the Upper Peninsula.

We have two very qualified challengers to better represent Michigan: Allen O’Shea in Michigan’s 101st District and Gary McDowell in the 1st Congressional District. Both men will better “voice” the needs of Michigan in Lansing and Washington D.C.

Ron Dykstra • Beulah

Birthday bust

What constitutes probable cause? This is one of many questions that has been going around in my head since my house was raided last Wednesday!

Last Wednesday should have been a celebratory day in my life. My boyfriend had just bagged a trophy buck and it was the eve of my birthday. My festive spirit was quickly halted when I received a call from TNT informing me that they were at my house. When I returned home from work, I found many police cars and officers at my house. My boyfriend was being detained in a police car, and officers were going through my personal belongings. I found out later that the officers busted into my house, and had held my boyfriend and house guest at gun-point.

I was told that based on two tips from informers and my boyfriend’s history, they felt just cause in raiding my house, instead of knocking on the door and politely asking, which they said was the usual protocol!

One of the informers told police that my boyfriend, Zach, had an illegal marijuana grow room and was manufacturing marijuana. The second informer, which was a recorded citizen tip, stated that Zach was selling crack-laced joints. Both of which were lies!

Zach told the officers as soon as they entered that there was a grow room. The room belonged to me, and I had my medical marijuana card. They proceeded anyway. If there had been an investigation, why didn’t the officers know this bit of crucial information before they came into my house? They found no evidence of illegal substances! They also found no evidence of any type of sales. They found nothing out of the ordinary, except a few immature plants over my limit and a few pills with no prescription attached.

The medical marijuana laws are “milky.”

Although there is a limited number of plants allowed, what really constitutes as a plant? The few that were removed from my house were small immature plants that contain no THC.

The point to my letter is why did the police feel justified in raiding my house? They raided based on hearsay and prejudice of my boyfriend’s history. I will admit that he had been in trouble in the past, but did his time. The past year and a half, he has stayed out of trouble, worked hard, and lived a quiet happy life. Nothing in his past was drug-related.

Now we can only speculate on who these two informants were. I have heard that people who get charged with drug crimes can have their charges reduced if they rat out other people. So am I to believe that all this went down, because of two liars who were hoping to get out of their legal troubles?

The officers interviewed Zach, my two house guests and me. Each of our stories completely dispelled the lies that the informants relayed to the police! And reconfirmed exactly the scene and evidence (or lack) of what that the officers found in my house.

I have suffered public humiliation, personal violation, emotional distress, and not to mention a pretty shitty birthday, all because a of couple unreliable informants didn’t tell the truth.

What the officers did was legal. They are protected by governmental immunity, or some such term, a lawyer told Zach. That still does not make it right.

In conclusion, I’m a very positive person who spreads peace and love everywhere I go. A little naive? Perhaps! My faith is being tested, as my life has now taken an unexpected turn, all at the hands of rumors and prejudice. Rumors and prejudice! Pretty much what is wrong with the world these days!

How are we supposed to defend ourselves in a society where cops believe the words of known drug users, as opposed to hard-working citizens, who are trying to make the best life possible, while abiding by the government laws, no matter how “milky” they may be. Was justice really served?

Laura Havens Irvine • Leelanau

Prop 3 & biomass

It pains me as a friend of the environment to vote no on Michigan ballot Proposal 3 to establish a renewable energy standard. The inclusion of biomass power generation is the reason for my opposition to this measure.

The adverse health effects of biomass power generation are well documented. Leading medical associations and public health advocates oppose biomass incineration and are demanding an end to taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for these facilities. Biomass power production is heavily subsidized at the federal level. The American Lung Association urges that the legislation not promote the combustion of biomass.

Burning biomass could lead to significant increases in emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide and have severe impacts on the health of children, older adults, and people with lung diseases. Please vote no on Proposal 3 on behalf of your lungs and mine.

Keith Breuker • via email

Dirty little secret

Speakers extoll the virtues of solar and wind energy and TV ads show us idyllic pictures. Where are the speakers and ads advocating biomass? It’s included in Proposal 3 too!

When wind and solar haven’t developed the technology to reach 25 percent of renewable energy by 2025, the rush to biomass will begin and nothing will stop it because it will be in the Constitution.

Remember when Traverse City Light and Power proposed burning biomass? They planned four or five plants around the City to supply three percent more “renewable” energy! How many more will be needed by 2025?

The 25x25 goal can't be met without biomass, but so far that’s a dirty little secret. Work towards a cleaner environment, but it’s dangerous to enshrine Proposal 3 in the state's constitution.

Margaret B. Dodd


For Robyn Sadowski’s MyStyle last week, the name of her store is 27 Stitches, not 27 Threads.

Next Week: A focus on candidate letters and the ballot

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