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 11-19-2012
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Letters 11-19-2012

- November 19th, 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.

A horrible waste

This has been a bruising campaign. Now both the winners and losers can lick their wounds, look at their depleted campaign funds, and wonder what comes next. Incredible amounts of money were spent on both sides, and the really sad part is that, like a gambling loss, it has just disappeared.

Nothing got built, no potholed road was repaved, no crumbling bridge was repaired, no hungry child was fed, no jobs were created. Another sad thing is that all that money probably didn’t have any effect on the outcome of the campaign. Mr. Obama is still president; Congress is still in the hands of the same parties as before. Our elected representatives will immediately begin seeking donations to be ready for the NEXT election cycle. What a horrible waste and shameful squandering of precious resources.

How did you feel about all the negative advertising? Your candidate (mine, too) was lied about, accused of all sorts of terrible behavior and every statement twisted and misrepresented.

There is a strong and growing nonpartisan movement under way to reverse this ugly and destructive process, and we all need to be a part of it. We need to free our politicians from the desperate struggle to raise campaign money.

We need to put limits back on the amounts that can be donated, and to make clear who that donation is coming from. We need to turn away from the idea that money is somehow a form of “free speech,” and put limits on it again.

Face it; if money is speech, those with the most money get the most speech, and those of us with the least money don’t have a voice. Why else was Wall Street able to get the government to bail them out of trouble at the taxpayer’s expense? Because of all the “voice” they had in influencing those lawmakers with huge, undisclosed campaign contributions.

One approach to correcting this could be through an amendment to the Constitution which would overturn the Supreme Court ruling that “money is a form of free speech” and clarify that only human beings are entitled to the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. For more information about this effort, visit movetoamend.org or look up “Move To Amend” in your search engine.

Mike Moran • Rapid River Twp

A dam shame

Dams are used worldwide for carbonfree power, flood control, transportation, recreation, and public safety. A few years ago we had a very spirited debate with lots of diverse input on the Boardman River dams.

In October, as a result of dam removal and seasonal flooding, wildlife and property was destroyed and public safety was threatened.

I think it's time for environmental leaders who won the debate to speak out on this issue as we return to a “natural river.” Will there be continued destruction with seasonal rains? Is the current removal plan still correct? Will global warming play a role?

Adrian DenHaan • Beulah

Big money & elections

Big Bird and the Affordable Care Act are safe. And for all the millions spent by Sheldon Adelson, the Brothers Koch, Karl Rove, et al, to unseat Barack Obama, all they’ve ended up with is a pile of cancelled checks. And they’re not even legally tax deductible. As Jackie Gleason would have said: “How sweet it is!” On the serious side, now we citizens of this great country have to keep the pressure on the President (to use his bully pulpit) and on our reps in Congress to talk to each other and to compromise. Hopefully, they all got the message that we’re tired of political gridlock in Washington and the paralysis it produces.

Chuch Thiel • Elk Rapids

Violence & the homeless

National Homelessness Awareness Week, November 10-18, was a time to increase awareness about this ongoing crisis affecting more than 636,000 people in the U.S. every day. One way we can reduce our nation’s homelessness is to help end domestic violence.

Significant percentages of homeless women report domestic violence was the immediate cause of their homelessness. Many survivors are in highly controlled relationships and lack resources to leave the home they share with an abuser.

Without access to money, transportation or a support system, they must choose between staying in an abusive relationship and living on the streets.

Homeless shelters are not a safe option for many domestic abuse survivors who are escaping a dangerous relationship. Daily, in the U.S., 37,000 domestic abuse survivors and their children reside in a shelter or transitional housing program.

Locally, the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) provides support, counseling and safe shelter to survivors at the Safe Home. Last year, 664 survivors and their children utilized WRCNM domestic abuse services; 135 of whom sought safety at the agency’s Safe Home and 68 made use of transitional supportive housing.

If homelessness is considered an ignored epidemic, domestic violence is an invisible one. It occurs in intimate relationships behind closed doors, leading us to think of it as a private matter. Domestic violence is not a private matter, it is a crime. It is a serious national problem that affects us all – in every community, work place and school.

You can help end domestic abuse!

Support, listen to and believe survivors, and speak out against domestic abuse. Volunteer at the WRCNM’s Safe Home. Help others become informed by inviting the WRCNM to speak to your organization, group, school or workplace. Be a role model by practicing respectful, healthy, non-violent relationships.

Chris Krajewski • Domestic Abuse Program Director • WRCNM

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