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 04-22-2013
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Letters 04-22-2013

- April 22nd, 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.

Voters & wolves

In March, 253,000 Michigan citizens signed a petition for a 2014 ballot initiative to stop a state sponsored wolf hunt. This referendum opposes the designation of wolves as game animals.

Last week, Senator Tom Casperson introduced Senate Bill 288, which if signed into law, will prevent voters from having a say in what happens to wildlife in Michigan.

Clearly, Senator Casperson does not believe in the democratic process. In a 2006 referendum the voters said NO to the hunting of doves. If SB 288 is allowed, not only will the hunting of wolves be legal, the hunting of doves, Sandhill Cranes and Great Blue Herons to name a few will also be possible.

SB 288 would allow the Natural Resource Commission, appointed NOT elected, to designate any species a game animal. Michigan voters will not be able to challenge this, which is a direct assault on our rights.

Senate Bill 288 was approved in committee and now moves to the Senate. Whether you believe in wolf hunting or not, this gross move by Casperson takes away our constitutional right to vote.

We urge the citizens of Michigan NOT TO REMAIN SILENT. Contact your Michigan Senators and Representatives and tell them to oppose SB288. For more information contact: action.keepwolvesprotected

Micheal & Joanne Cromley • Afton

Lansing’s attack on voters

First it was doves, then it was wolves...

now they’ve targeted democracy and your right to vote!

The politicians and bureaucrats in Lansing have been working overtime to take double standards and hypocrisy to a whole new level -- and they’re on the fast track to avoid your “emotional” input to stop them.

Senator Casperson (R-Escanaba) introduced a bill that would allow the unnecessary sport shooting of mourning doves, wolves, or any other protected species in Michigan that radical individuals want to use for target practice or skin out as trophies.

S.B. 288 targets your right to vote and your elected representation on all issues relating to the killing of non-game species held in trust for all Michigan citizens.

Adding a slap in the face of families still struggling to make ends meet, the legislation attaches a $1 million appropriation, which is, by design, to silence registered voters by making it also “referendum proof.”

There is no question these out-of-touch special interest groups and undemocratic legislators fear your fair public vote -- they want to silence your voice in every way possible.

Please call your state representative and Governor Snyder today. Ask them to uphold your vote and the integrity of democracy by rejecting S.B. 288, or any other version of this ridiculous attempt to circumvent the will of the people and your voice!

Julie Baker, Songbird Protection Coalition • Lansing

Cure Michigan

Welcome to Pure Michigan, where, thanks to Republican influence, potholes may sink your car, but “not to worry” we’ll charge you more for your license.

Welcome to Pure Michigan, where schools lose more money every year to educate your children and where your school or community may be taken over by an “emergency manager” who can invalidate your votes.

Welcome to Pure Michigan, where legislators pass up federal assistance to set up insurance exchanges, costing citizens an additional $8 million, and where you have the right to “work for less.”

We have a dream for Pure Michigan, but first we must “Cure Michigan.”

Lou Ann McKimmy • via email

Fishy cover

Someone must not know too much about fishing at you newspaper, otherwise you wouldn’t have the title “Spring Sports” besides a man holding what clearly is a king salmon. You had to look no farther than the trees in the background (some of which are turning color) to realize that this is a fall fish, not a spring one.

Kelly M. Croff • via email

Get checked

April is National STD Awareness Month. If you’re a sexually active young person, you should know that sexually transmitted infections (STI) are on the rise in the United States, especially among young people: there are 20 million new infections in the U.S. each year, half in the under-25 age group.

As a college student, I know there’s a lot of misinformation out there among people my age about STIs and how it can feel uncomfortable talking about getting tested. Because many STIs cause no symptoms, getting tested (and using condoms) is the best way to take care of yourself and your partner.

Learn about STIs and testing by visiting “Get Yourself Tested” at www.GYTnow.org or contacting a Planned Parenthood health center at 1-800-230 PLAN to schedule a checkup. Planned Parenthood works every day to keep young people healthy, and their doors are open to everyone. Go! Get yourself tested!

Kim Wiggins • NMC Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood

The facts on right-to-work

A recent opinion stated that one result of the so-called “Right to Work” (RTW) legislation would be that new workers who are hired cannot be compelled to join a union.

The fact is, the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 outlawed “closed shops” where a worker had to join a union.

However, RTW significantly changes one issue: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that workers who chose not to participate in a union could still be required to pay some reasonable cost to the union since they benefitted from union negotiations.

The RTW law takes away this requirement. This is why the RTW has been identified by many as the “Right to Freeload.”

Workers who choose not to contribute will now benefit from the results of contract negotiations, but do not have to pay any portion of the cost.

In other words, the legislation takes away the union’s right to be paid for its services. This is not only unfair but detrimental to a union’s ability to compete against wellfunded corporate interests whose goals often conflict with the workers.

It costs time and money for a union to negotiate and secure higher wages, better hours, safe working conditions, retirement benefits and other items.

The real aim of the RTW legislation has little to do with freedom and choice, rather, it is to deny the unions their financial base and ultimately render them powerless. This not only adversely affects the union’s ability to negotiate for their members at the workplace but also to represent workers’ rights in the political arena.

Since workers’ rights have most often been represented by the Democratic Party, it is no coincidence that these efforts to defund unions have been engineered in red states. Advocates of the RTW legislation also claim that job growth will result. What research exists does not support that.

While it may be true that businesses are attracted to states that have anti-union policies, the evidence indicates that RTW policies are not good for the economy or for the worker in those states.

The only competition which exists among RTW states is a race to the bottom to pay the lowest wages and benefits while maximizing corporate profits. The rapidly diminishing middle class deserves better.

George Robson • via email

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