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 04-08-2013
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Letters 04-08-2013

- April 8th, 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.

$20,000 hospital stay

My wife had a hard time urinating, so her doctor referred her to a surgeon at Munson Medical Center who specializes in large fibroid cysts. We had a consultation and were told of the success of its removal.

My wife is a student at NMC and I am a part time teacher.

She had student insurance which covered only $4,000-$5,000 max out of pocket (which we didn’t know at the time).

Nobody, including our consultation with the doctor, told us the cost of this procedure.

There was a 23-hour stay at the hospital.

Afterward, we received a bill for over $20,000.

There’s not much to say except we make just enough to not qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford the best insurance.

To make matters worse, we got multiple bills from different parts of the hospital. From radiology to anesthesia to the doctor herself.

We’ve been put on a payment plan, but haven’t the resources to pay this. We have $15,000 left on our bill and don’t know where to turn.

Tom Auch • TC

Marriage & procreation

One of the main concerns expressed during the recent Supreme Court deliberations concerning gay marriage was the view that the main purpose of traditional marriage was procreation, and therefore the marriage of same-sex couples was pointless and even invalid.

I immediately thought of my own marriage of 23 years between a postmenopausal female and a vasectomy recipient. Why should our marriage be legal and recognized? I firmly believe that in terms of procreational potential, all couples should be treated the same. So according to the rigid value system of some, my marriage, along with its tax benefits, should be invalidated.

Another commonly voiced concern is that acceptance of gay marriage would somehow tend to “normalize” homosexuality. Both heterosexual and homosexual behavior can be bad. It is the bad and illegal behavior of either sexual orientation that we should not “normalize” as in the case of U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s attempt to normalize conception by heterosexual rape in proclaiming it to be God’s will.

Bob Ross • Pellston

Irritating comment

As a foodie in a foodie area I was enjoying the “Best of” issue and making plans to visit some new and exciting restaurants when I came across “You know you’re from Northern Michigan when...”. I was looking forward to the usual chuckles about snow, Subaru’s and the usual whatnot when I came to the whenism “Everyone is white.”

I will be the first to agree that white people are the dominant race in Northern Michigan but Northern Michigan does have its share of diversity including Native Americans, Asians, African-Americans and many others. I was surprised and saddened that that whenism even made the list. I would have thought by now in the year 2013 that the growing cultural diversity in Northern Michigan would have been recognized.

Joe Kau-Be-Naw • member, GT Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians

Opposing biodiversity

“Natural diversity in ecosystems provides essential economic benefits and services to human society—such as food, clothing, shelter, fuel and medicines—as well as ecological, recreational, cultural and aesthetic values, and thus plays an important role in sustainable development.”

-- Chevron’s Biodiversity Statement, April 2012, http://www.chevron.com.

Sadly, our representatives in Lansing reject such science-based wisdom.

On January 24, Senator Darwin Booher co-sponsored Senate Bill 78. This bill would:

(1) prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from managing public lands for the purpose of achieving or maintaining biological diversity; (2) delete conservation of biological diversity from forest management objectives; and (3) eliminate the requirement to manage forests in a manner that promotes restoration.

No wonder the League of Conservation Voters ranks Senator Booher near the bottom of the pack.

Regrettably, this assault on Michigan’s forests and public lands passed the Senate on March 5 with only Republican votes.

SB78 is now pending in the House of Representatives. The League of Conservation Voters ranks Representative Ray Franz even lower than Senator Booher, so there is little reason to expect him to vote to preserve the biological diversity of Michigan‘s public lands.

Will Governor Snyder veto SB78? We don’t know.

Jay S. Johnson, Empire


Please note, it was Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak named the Best Athletic Gear Shop in Leelanau County in our recent “Best of Northern Michigan” issue. An editing error mangled the shop’s name.

Also, it was A. Papano’s Pizza chain that won “Best Restaurant Staff and Pizza” in Benzie County.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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