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 03-18-2013
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Letters 03-18-2013

- March 18th, 2013  

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.

Sugar buzz in our schools

Too much sugar is bad. Too much of the alternative is worse.

Because my kid’s public school (Glen Lake) doesn’t allow sodas, I naively thought most schools followed that trend.

Unfortunately, while attending a district finals basketball game at Traverse City Central I was a bit surprised to find a bank of soda machines in the school cafeteria. Surprise turned to concern when I noticed they contained only diet sodas, water and sports drinks. Pepsi Next, which boasts 60% less sugar, quickly caught my attention. Guess what’s in it?: “WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, NATURAL FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR, PHOSPHORIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE, CAFFEINE, POTASSIUM SORBATE, ASPARTAME, CITRIC ACID, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, SUCRALOSE.”

So we’ve traded some sugar for artificial sweeteners and known carcinogens? And if that’s not enough, we replace some sugar, a natural preservative, with toxic preservatives “TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS,” as the label states.

Who are we kidding here? I’m not arguing for more naturally sweetened sodas, though that would be an improvement in student health.

There’s no scientific evidence linking diet sodas with weight loss. In fact it’s quite the opposite. Among many other negative health effects, they increase your chances of contracting metabolic syndrome which leads to weight gain by tricking your body to feel hungry when it not in need of calories.

Besides water, there wasn’t a healthy drink in the building. I am fully supportive of an adult making a decision, informed or otherwise, to consume these products. However, these simply don’t belong in schools.

Am I naive the think that if, like my kid’s school, they offered vending machines with fruit juice, the Soda Cartels would pull their vending machines and all the financial perks that come with them?

Timothy Fitzgerald Young, Food For Thought • Empire

Wolves & free-thinkers

Your article (“Confessions of a Save the Wolves Petitioner”) hit home about the lack of citizenship in America where apathy, selfishness, frustration and lack of care is rampant in a government that serves the people.

Mass brainwashing on issues of concern by forces using fear, hatred and money always win out over critical thinkers using logic, facts, history and motives. Free thinkers are called names like conspiracy nuts, unpatriotic, or worse -- deviates -- when trying to express vital concerns in today’s corporately-controlled news via radio and TV pundits.

Then if you try to demonstrate like the Occupy Movement with no leaders, all are outlaws arrested by police for questioning a nonsustainable money system which favors only the few in control. Hmmm where is the outrage leading to solutions or First amendment?

When reading about wolves and asking Sleeping Bear park to put some on the Manitou islands to control deer populations, they instead spent millions to kill off the deer, saying they were DNA-inferior. Never has a wolf attacked a human or done harm; only in fairy tales that vilify this animal which can teach us many things about how to live in wild as a group!

Their howls don’t scare me in the least.

Instead, I welcome my animal brother which only takes what it needs, not like humans. Hunters always kill the best deer, while a wolf kills the least, so where is the problem with wolves?

For shame American citizens for being such sheep to your corporate news and bankers. People that give up their power of freedom don’t deserve to have it.

Bradford Krull • Glen Arbor

New war on marijuana

We pride ourselves on how we take care of the sick in this country. We have the best hospitals in the world, as well as the finest doctors. You would think that America totally supports people getting better with whatever resources are available.

But wait just one minute. If you choose to medicate with cannabis, (aka: marijuana), not only are you NOT supported by most of the medical industry (which won’t treat you if you have THC in your system), but you may find yourself in a jail cell for growing and using it. Not only that, but you’re technically driving under the influence every time you get behind the wheel of a car as the active ingredients in cannabis stay in your system for months.

Medical marijuana laws enacted throughout the United States for sick people have been mercilessly attacked by lawmakers (unlike the pharmaceutical industry which has the full support of the justice system), and judges and prosecutors are locking up caregivers for having too much cannabis in their possession.

It’s a senseless waste of tax dollars, law enforcement resources, and ultimately hurts us all. Yet the war wages on.

In Michigan, a recent State Supreme Court decision makes criminals out of caring providers of cannabis, who are now declared "public nuisances." And instead of helping the sick get better, our government is condemning our choice of medicine, kicking in our doors, taking away our children, breaking up our families, and even murdering some of us. So much for helping the sick get better.

Please contact your State House of Representative member and tell them to support and demand a vote for HB 4271 (The Provisioning Center Act) to give us back safe access to our choice of medicine and stop this insanity.

Rev. Steven B. Thompson, Benzie County NORML

Scott Weiland rocked

I have been a big fan of Northern Express for many years. I have never felt compelled to write a letter to the Express or any other publication in the past. However, the recent article by Rick Coates where he trashes Scott Weiland’s performance at Ground Zero leaves me so compelled.

I was at the show and have seen Scott perform with Stone Temple Pilots as well as with Velvet Revolver in the past. I feel Scott’s performance was just fine. There were some minor problems with the vocal mix, but overall I really enjoyed the show.

I have enjoyed Mr. Coates’ articles over the years, but this review leaves me a little confused. I too have been at many concerts over the past 30 years, and I believe this was one of the best shows I have attended at Ground Zero.

The thing that bothers me the most is Coates insinuation that because the sound quality was lacking somehow means that Scott has not “cleaned up his act and put his demons behind him.” I just don’t see the connection. The article came across as sour grapes to me.

Personally, I have lost more respect for Coates as a music critic than I have for Scott Weiland as a performer/entertainer. I am aware of Scott’s struggles and was prepared to be disappointed with this show, however I was very pleased and thankful that Weiland brought his band to our small town. The criticism was overly negative and uncalled for.

On another note... kudos to Kristi Kates for her article on Tim Hosper. I am an acquaintance of Tim’s and it is nice to see a local musician receive some positive feedback.

Bill Kruse • Eastport

Ordinance clears way for demolishing junk building

On February 19, the Benzie County Board of Commissioners approved Ordinance number 2013-001, adopting the International Property Maintenance Code, provided by the International Code Council.

Approved, adopted and provided by who? The people of Benzie County didn’t know anything about this until it became enforceable law on February 27, when it was published in the Record-Patriot.

Why did they sneak this through the back door and behind the public’s back? It’s because they knew no one in their right mind would approve of this code once they read it. Apparently, the commissioners did not read it either, because if they did, they would have realized that it will affect them and theirs as well.

They adopted this code for the sole purpose of demolishing a certain building in downtown Honor. Guess? Which? One? Do you think it will stop there? This unconstitutional, United Nations-approved code’s purpose is to establish rules and regulations for the maintenance of all existing buildings as well as those to be built in the future.

Violations of this code will cost you up to $500 per day and if the tyrants really don’t like you, they can simply demolish your home or any other building they see fit, without even compensating you for it.

So much for the Fifth Amendment! Please go to the Benzie County Clerk’s office or look this up and you will clearly see that your own home is in violation. Time to pay up, or get your home demolished!

Make your choice by coming to the next Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday, March 26, at 9 a.m. at the Benzie County Government Center to get this treasonous act repealed. Don’t let this happen in your county.

Gordon Lee Dean • Benzonia

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