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 04-01-2013
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Letters 04-01-2013

- April 1st, 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.

Obamacare’s benefits

Three years into Obamacare, politicians are still fighting over it and the public is still divided about it. Yet millions of Americans have benefitted from it.

President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law on March 23, 2010. As a community health representative I have seen the many benefits firsthand. People under age 26 now have access to health coverage under their parents’ plans, and many preventive services are now covered by insurance without co-pays such as birth control, annual exams, Pap and STD tests.

Some of the biggest changes are still on the horizon, set to begin in 2014, including insurance exchanges, tax credits for coverage, and the expansion of the Medicaid program.

Here in Michigan, some House lawmakers appear determined to keep the Medicaid expansion benefit from our state’s citizens despite knowing the public and Governor Snyder support it.

Medicaid expansion would give nearly half-a-million low-income workers access to health care while also saving state tax dollars and bringing in billions in new money. The figures are staggering: an estimated 10-year state savings totaling $1.1 billion and new federal revenue to the state totaling $20.5 billion.

So once again lawmakers are shamelessly putting their own petty agendas ahead of Michigan’s families and economy. It is our job to let politicians know we are not going to stand for their stalling tactics once again.

Ann Fraley • Health Care Specialist • Planned Parenthood of West & Northern Michigan

Whither Interlochen?

While reading your Best of Northern Michigan edition, I wondered when the Village of Interlochen moved to Benzie County? I have lived in Interlochen for 37 years and it’s always been in Grand Traverse County. Bud’s and the Hofbrau are indeed two of Interlochen’s best restaurants, but they are not in Benzie County.

Kathy Johnson • Interlochen

(Good point Kathy -- the reason we place Interlochen in Benzie County for the ‘Best Of’ issue is because there are so many restaurants and businesses in Grand Traverse County that the village would likely get overlooked in that region’s listings. Interlochen is an ‘in between’ community, so we place it in the Benzie listings to raise its profile in the issue. - ed.)

Pretentious MyStyle

When did pretentious become stylish in Traverse City? I am a local born and raised gal who has been a fan of Northern Express until the recent MyStyle article featured a “banana bread princess” New Yorker (who recently moved here) fashioning a $2,742 outfit.

What happened to featuring a local who wears items from the area with a reasonable yet fashionable sense of style? I hope the new contributor can get a realistic sense of the local economy and can inspire your readership for fashion sense and not nonsense.

Sarah Roberts • TC

Clueless representative

Some of our citizens find Rep. Ray Franz and his staff unresponsive to requests for information about dates for town meetings and about global warming.

Regarding global warming, Franz has unburdened himself during his campaign. He very clearly stated in a debate with Alan O’Shea in Glen Arbor that the whole batch of work on warming was and is “a hoax.” It’s a hoax, he claimed, in the opinion of “30,000 scientists” who were polled in 1998 by a poorly based group of petitioners.

As a matter of fact, he noted that an increased sale of SUVs pleases him since this helps warm his winters. Inconsistent? Well, you might think so...

The US National Academy of Sciences issued a news release about this poll stating: “The petition project was a deliberate attempt to mislead scientists and to rally them in an attempt to undermine support for the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science.”

However, that humans are causing global warming is indeed the position of the Academies of Science from 19 countries, plus 27 scientific organizations that study climate science. More specifically, around 95% of active climate researchers actively publishing climate papers endorse this consensus position.

Franz doesn’t belong in this latter league.

But, maybe on another planet.

Robert E. Marshall • Lake Leelanau

Rigged arbitration

Corporate kangaroo courts have quietly usurped our constitutional right to trial by judge and jury... welcome to arbitration where corporations win 99% of cases.

Most arbitrators are chosen by the corporation who generally handpick arbitrators from firms with proven records of favoring the corporation.

The “standard forms” you either sign or click “I Agree” probably has an arbitration clause. Even some employment agreements have an arbitration clause. The clause to look for goes by the name of BMA – “Binding Mandatory Arbitration.”

You would be surprised to find this clause in your agreements with AT&T, Amazon, Citibank, eBay, Verizon, PayPal, Netflix, Sony... and the list goes on and on. From Hooter’s to Macy’s to Manpower, the employment agreement has a BMA clause. This clause also states you cannot join a class action suit against the corporation.

For more eye-opening information, go to hightowerlowdown.org. You’ll be disgusted by what has been done to negate the rights of your 7th Amendment to the Constitution. Make no mistake, Republicans have one thing on their agenda – GOLD! Not People!

David Petty • Charlevoix

Peak government

Remember when America was running out of oil in the early ’70s, along with concerns over acid rain and ozone layer depletion? Remember when “climate change” was politicized into global warming and now back again to climate change, thanks to Al Gore?

Remember the predicted concept of Peak Oil, and peak almost everything else? And yet America is on the edge of energy independence despite President Obama’s policies, and the mainstream press's attempt to scare us away from Canadian oil, pipelines and fracking, or almost anything that provides independence from unfriendly oil. Except of course the 3% we get from green energy. Remember three years ago when we were told we could insure 30 million folks and the cost of medical insurance would go down?

These scare tactics work through a clever combination of science and politics and unquestioning support from the mainstream media. The results are never as predicted because these folks always underestimate America’s response of supply/demand, market capitalism and tech innovation, like horizontal fracking.

Now a new concept is emerging. Peak government, has the possibility of bringing Americans together around the concept of limited, right-sized local, state and federal governments, to achieve post-recession levels of economic growth, creating jobs and growing the middle class.

Peak government is easy to understand, and discuss, and not difficult to achieve with the political tools at hand.

Adrian DenHaan • Beulah


Due to an editing error, Andrew Dost was mistakenly named as the bass player for the band fun. in last week’s Express. Dost, a Frankfort native is actually a multiinstrumentalist who plays keyboards and piano for Grammy Award winning and multiplatinum selling band.

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