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..

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Letters 06-10-2013

- June 10th, 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.

Disaster & hypocrites

It’s too bad some people have no empathy until disaster strikes home. There are 6 Republicans and 1 Democrat in the Oklahoma congressional delegation. How many of these Congressmen voted against Hurricane Sandy relief but are now standing with their hands out? I believe it was 5.

This Bible belt doesn’t seem very “Christian” to me. I think it’s disgusting when you only care if it happens to you.

David Petty • Charlevoix

Saving our planet

I am thankful to live in Northern Michigan where the water is clear and the summers comfortable. Unfortunately, we are dependent on fossil fuels to maintain our current lifestyle. The waste products generated, including potent greenhouse gases, have the power to change the quality of our lives for generations to come.

In the U.S., the fossil fuel industry is unaccountable for damage done by carbon emissions in terms of human health and climate. Many other countries have instituted a tax on carbon which would force the fossil fuel industry to pay for these damages.

Even conservatives like economists Art Laffer (Reagan administration) and Greg Mankiw (Bush administration) and former Secretary of State George Schultz agree that a carbon tax would employ the free market to move away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy.

One proposal would be to have a phasedin tax on fossil fuels at the first point of sale ($15/ton of carbon increasing annually $10/ton). The Carbon Tax Center estimates that this would lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions to 30% below 2005 levels in about a decade.

The funds generated from a revenueneutral carbon tax would be equally distributed back to the people (via periodic dividends or income tax rebates), protecting low and middle income families from increased energy costs until the transition to renewable energy is complete. This would create incentive to move toward renewable energy which would stimulate the economy and create jobs without increasing the size of government. Instituting border tariffs on countries that do not already have such a tax in place would protect American jobs.

As Michiganders, we have the responsibility to preserve our beautiful home for generations to come. A revenueneutral carbon tax is an ideal bipartisan way to facilitate that process.

Elizabeth A. Del Buono • via email

Gas attack

How great would it be to give yourself a $5,000-$10,000 raise every Thursday afternoon by simply, typing in some new prices for gasoline on the digital sign in front of your station?

That is what goes on here in the TC area almost every weekend. Do the math. If a station raises it’s price 30 cents a gallon and then sells 50,000 gallons in that week, they make an extra $5,000 that week. Larger stations that sell more gas make more.

Jeff Greenwood • via email

Hung out to dry in Boyne

Mayor Ron Grunch of Boyne City, a lakeside community haven for both residents and vacationers – riparian, mariner, camper, summer-homeowner, sailor, hiker, cycler - won’t allow alcohol to be served at outdoor tables contiguous to the town’s restaurants.

He’s not alone. Four of five commissioners voted to nix the proposition. What is wanted is a popular vote, not five people. No public hearing; no inclusion of outdoor alcohol vote at the next meeting. That bill is dead, like the business it banned.

It must be realized of course that by not providing this service many potential customers will go somewhere else next time, after dining and drinking indoors or immediately opting to move along to the next town for friendlier ambience. Boaters and motor-homers can easily depart for Petoskey or Traverse City for their pleasures and take their money with them.

What is it with these people? These few who determine the decorous nature of dining and drinking as if reciting a church catechism want a tidy little environment wherein no sloppy degenerate drunks are wanted. Are they unaware of the tourist trade that reflects so much money spent on entertainment?

Outdoor drinkers and diners are no more raucous or boisterous than your ordinary backyard cookout revelers with beer coolers. What is this: The Inquisition? A Salem witch hunt? The Vatican? A convent? A monastery? Perhaps a tea party.

This is Boyne City, guys and gals, the historic place founded in part by the black family Zack and Mary Morgan seeking freedom, lumberjacks, onetime home of the Tannery, hotels, brickworks, a pioneer village that attracted folk who wanted a healthy environment and opportunity to engage in enterprise in the burgeoning post-Civil War state via land grants and entrepreneurial energy.

You mean on a hot day they couldn’t sit and drink a beer outside the hotel restaurant? This is just silly, petty and prudish to outlaw a beer with your burger if you choose the sidewalk patio. Preconceived notions of behavior or inference are insulting and a calumny. Good intentions overwrought are presumptuous tee-totaling arrogance.

This is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I’ll just mosey along to Petoskey for lunch. Maybe that newest brewery has a sidewalk table.

Mitchell Jon MacKay • Boyne City

Contamination conflict

Oil and gas companies have applied for about 20 leases of federal and state land to explore for crude oil and natural gas. They argue that the process of hydrofracking will make the U.S. energy-independent.

In this process they will use millions of gallons of fresh water and contaminate it with chemicals, some of which are carcinogens. This slurry is pumped underground to break up the rock layers and release oil and gas.

The contaminated water that emerges from the well head is pumped into trucks and sent to sites where it is pumped back into existing wells. Not addressed is the future impact on our ground water, lakes and streams. These companies may export the natural gas and oil to other countries. In short, their plan is to use our fresh water supply, contaminate it, pump it back into existing wells, and profit by selling it to other countries.

If Michigan or the federal government leases these lands, at a minimum huge escrow funds should be set up by the companies to pay for any claims, restoration of contaminated streams or lakes and pay for any litigation that occurs as a result of fracking. Companies should also purify the contaminated slurry that is emitted from fracking before it is injected into other wells.

Ron Dykstra • Beulah

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