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 06-03-2013
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Letters 06-03-2013

- June 3rd, 2013  

Conflict of interest?

The Little Traverse Conservancy (LTC) is a wonderful asset to our quality of life up north. With its stated mission to “protect the natural diversity and beauty of northern Michigan...” the LTC’s diverse coalition of environmentally friendly volunteers work diligently “to retain the quality of life which makes northern Michigan so attractive.”

How ironic it is then that the chairman of LTC’s board, Neil Marzella, is leading the charge to develop a world-class motorsports complex in Indian River that, if built, will permanently scar, pollute and degrade an otherwise quiet and scenic community.

Marzella, a highly-regarded attorney from Harbor Springs, is representing Mark Hall, developer/owner of Griswold Mountain Properties, to acquire the necessary local, county and state approvals for the proposed motocross, super-truck and snowmobile racing complex and campgrounds.

The completed development will sprawl across 200+ acres and is expected to attract 20-30,000 spectators to every scheduled event and bring with them deafening noise, acute traffic congestion, heightened fire and safety risks, pollution, desecration of the land, and lower residential property values.

The peace, serenity and environmental purity of what is now a pristine wooded and water-side area and home to families, retirees and vacationers will be violated forever.

How is it that an individual can lead a prominent environmental conservancy and promote environmentally destructive development at the same time? While Marzella’s dual roles may not be a technical conflict of interest, what about ethics... not to mention civic responsibility?

Charles Willmott • Petoskey/ Indian River

Busted at Sleeping Bear

Let me give you all a warning. If you go to our National Lakeshore to hike or whatever, be very careful. Watch out for your friendly park ranger.

I was alone, walking down a Lakeshore path in the rain, minding my own business when out of the blue, I’m mugged by this park ranger. I produce my drivers license and my Michigan Medical Marijuana card. I’m 65 years old and retired.

He called the Leelanau Sheriff for backup, He searched me, Took two hours of my time, confiscated my small pipe and vial, wrote me a $525 ticket, and would not let me leave for two hours, saying that I was probably too impaired to drive. I was not.

This officer is young; perhaps he’ll learn to be a little more human and use his godgiven common sense. And by the way, I smoke to ease my pain because I have cancer.

Gary Roy Baumdraher • via email

No meth epidemic here

Re: “The Shadowland Bust,” 5/27) The fact is that meth is just one of many epidemics and I do not believe Michigan has a epidemic in this field.

Also the pilots who accidently bombed Canadian troops in the Kosovo war were found to have been up on meth for many days and our military has been giving speed to the troops for quite some time, as do most of the militaries around the world.

Also the pharmaceutical called aderal is so similar that all of the same symptoms of a aderal user are the same as a meth addict. I think it’s less of the object of a drug as much as it's the need of our current society.

Richard Zindler • via email

Gunshots on the Platte

I am sure that no resident of the Platte River Watershed neighborhood is unaware of the nearly daily event of gunshots ringing through our beautiful forest community. This is alarming for a number of reasons:

Our neighborhood in recent years has become increasingly populated with new residents seeking the tranquility and peace of a rural setting. In addition to the increased proximity to one-another on smaller and smaller pieces of acreage, is the increase in tourist activity, especially now that we are entering the summer season.

Visitors are naturally drawn to this area because of its beautiful, rivers, lakes, streams, hiking trails, horse trails, beaches, and woodlands. We homeowners like to take walks in the woods, alone or with friends, pets, our children and grandchildren to observe the beautiful wild flowers and animals who call these forests their home.

Needless to say, many of us are becoming petrified of the idea that we, a friend, child, pet or grandchild might be hit by a stray bullet while enjoying a morning walk. Or while gardening in our backyards.

I fear that it is only a matter of time before someone is gravely injured or killed. It is disquieting and frightening to be treated to the sound of gunfire at the rise of the morning sun, the tranquility of midday, or the serenity of an evening sunset.

Finally, since local township and county ordinances have not kept pace with local growth, perhaps it is time for those of us who are concerned to demand that restrictions regarding the firing of guns in the Platte River Watershed neighborhood be enacted and enforced.

Sylvia McCullough • Interlochen

More trail tips

It is great that you rode the North Eastern State Trail (“One Wild Ride,” 5/20). As you noted, it is a very rural trail where you will see more wildlife than people. It is also great that you told readers to be prepared as there are limited services along the trail A few notes/corrections: After a long winter as ours was this year, the snow pack keeps the trail wet and soft. But once it dries, it is hard as cement most all summer. I am sorry it was “squishy” for you, but it is not true that you can’t ride a skinny-tired road bike on it most of the year.

Although I recommend a hybrid bike, I have personally ridden the entire trail on a skinny-tired road bike last July (and it rained when I was out there) and it was fine. I preferred riding the road bike to my comfort bike on the trail. So it is more about the time of year that you ride and your bike choice.

You also noted there is cell coverage everywhere along the trail, but the most remote section between Aloha and Tower has no coverage at all. There is a good 9-mile section without coverage, so people really need to be prepared to fix their own bike and have adequate supplies.

Currently, there are limited services along the trail, but in the years to come you will see changes. The village of Metz has received funding to build a Metz Fire Historic Trailside Park where there will be bathrooms, water, interpretive signs etc. and Tower has applied for funding for a small trailside park. Of course Millersburg has a beautiful new modern trailhead at the depot. I also believe we will see more business pop up and cater to trail users now that the surface has been improved for year-round use.

Emily Meyerson, • Northern Lower Peninsula Trailways Coordinator Top of Michigan Trails Council

Don’t forget da U.P.

I must say that your front page photo - “Spring Styles,” April 15, shows a nicely done flag misrepresentation of Michigan showing only the Lower Peninsula.

Having also lived in the Copper Country (Houghton - Hancock) for 25 years previous to moving to the Lower Peninsula, I am totally aware that Michigan has two peninsulas, both very nice in their own way.

Are we not proud of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (The other Northern Michigan) which many refer to as “God’s Country”?

Obviously, I am disappointed when I see the “Spring Styles” front page photo and wonder if the other peninsula of Michigan has been totally forgotten? Lets get with it.

When Michiganders put up their hand and point to where they live in Michigan, are they unaware that they have another hand attached to their body that can equally represent Michigan’s Upper Peninsula?

Jack Chamberlain • Lansing

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