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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Breaking News & Popping the Question

TV news anchors found love off-the-air

Erin Crowell - March 18th, 2013  

When Brody O’Connell came to Northern Michigan three years ago, the Pittsburgh transplant found more than a job.

“I literally didn’t know one person here so I kind of used work as an avenue to meet people and learn about the area,” said O’Connell, weekday morning anchor for TV 7&4. “The one thing about journalism, you get to know a lot of people.”

That included Kate Fox, the station’s weekend evening anchor who moved to the area from Rochester, Michigan just a few months after O’Connell arrived.

“She had been to Harbor Springs before, but Kate didn’t know many people, so being the kind-hearted person I am, I offered to introduce her to the area as a co-worker… maybe with some hidden intentions,” laughed O’Connell.

“It was my first week at 7&4 News and I knew right away that Brody was a character. He was cracking jokes in the newsroom and making everyone laugh. It was also during my first week that he slyly asked me out on a first date using the line, ‘know what it’s like to be new in a new city,’” recalled Fox.


When they weren’t covering the region’s news, the two got to know the area together. Just a month or two later, the co-workers took their relationship to a new level.

“When we first started working, we actually anchored the weekend newscast together.

Then we started dating. We kind of kept it under wraps at work. Some people knew but many others didn’t,” said O’Connell about the tricky situation of inter-office relationships, particularly ones that are in the public eye.

Unofficially, there have been a handful of relationships that have blossomed at the local news station.

“I can’t speak for the whole industry but I do know a lot of news couples,” O’Connell volunteered. “For example, we had a producer who is now married to a former reporter and I definitely knew a lot of people in the Pittsburgh market who found relationships at work.

“I think with news you just have similar personalities which can either clash or click,” he added. “Plus, when you’re spending 40 to 50 hours with that person each week, it just happens.”


Since taking the weekday morning co-anchor position last year, O’Connell now works opposite schedules of Fox, who works weekend evenings.

“We have our weekday evenings together but I go to bed typically around 9 o’clock which is somewhat unusual for people our age,” O’Connell said (by the time he’s waking up to head to work, most people on the West Coast are just getting ready to head out for a night on the town).

Despite the schedule differences, it works, said O’Connell.

“It allows a little normalcy, that way we don’t always feel like co-workers,” he said, adding the two are mainly homebodies anyway and prefer to lay low and relax.

When it comes to music, their tastes are also similar – from classic rock and the Beatles to Dave Matthews Band (“I’ve converted her into a Dave fan,” O’Connell added).

But the line is drawn at sports. “I’m a diehard Steelers and Penguins fan and she’s a diehard Red Wings and Lions fan. That always makes for a fun dynamic,” he laughed.

The two also enjoy local wines, which provided the backdrop for O’Connell’s summer proposal.

“We were walking through the vineyard at 45 North, the winery up in Leelanau County when I asked,” said O’Connell.

“We took a walk through the vineyards--and this sounds corny but it’s true--I picked up a dandy-lion and blew it,” said Fox. “Brody asked what I wished for and I said that we would spend our lives together...When I turned around he was down on his knee, with a box in hand!” The two plan on honeymooning in Napa Valley after their 2013 July wedding.

So, what’s on the horizon for these two TV lovebirds?

“Right now, we’re just enjoying this phase of our lives,” said O’Connell.

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