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 06-17-2013
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Letters 06-17-2013

- June 17th, 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.

Terrorism and the NSA

Logic and sense is called for when thinking about the recently publicized National Surveillance Program. Comparable programs are used everyday, every hour, in almost any science, manufacturing, financial industry, etc., to conduct measurement and risk. Why would we not want to protect ourselves from terrorists or those that wish us harm, in a similar way?

Personal medical information is viewed, trended, used by many people to have a “picture” of you. Banks and a slew of related individuals view, trend, use and take action on your personal banking and financial decisions. Meteorologists, seismologists, gas and oil researchers, farmers, do the same... to protect us from tornadoes, earthquakes, gas and oil leaks, food-borne illnesses.

We have to get on and over the hump in America, by wisely, safely, embracing the real value of our advancing technology. We need to make decisions, have actionable information, based on sizeable, measurable, statistically valid data.

We have been complaining about bad or non-existent intelligence. Thousands of us have been killed and our response to terrorism has raised havoc on our economy. I say, don’t bash this without knowing exactly what is going on. Let’s just make sure it does not create illegal search or seizure.

Jill Rahrig • TC

Not a fan of the Bijou

I don’t believe the Traverse City Commission has the authority to give away parkland and the buildings which stand on it (to create the new Bijou Theatre). This property belongs to the people of Traverse City, and for any project of this scope, the citizens should vote.

Many people are not happy with the Bay Front project, and don’t feel the city should enable Michael Moore’s Film Festival to compete with privately owned theaters in any way.

Anyone who would like to stop the city by means of a petition demanding a public vote can contact me. Theater owners should contact their attorneys and let the city know, the City of Traverse City cannot be part of this type of shady business practice, which in fact puts the City in direct competition with other local theaters.

Paul James Nepote • TC

Mixed messages

While I often wonder whether some attorneys have a conscience, or, if so, do they ever listen to it, it is true that in our society every person who can afford to is entitled to buy the services of an attorney.

It may seem hypocritical for an attorney to both chair an organization dedicated to preserving our natural environment, and represent a developer of a project doing the opposite. Obviously, many attorneys and countless others effectively separate their personal beliefs from their work. Whether or not society is better off because of this practice is debatable.

Harbor Springs attorney Neil Marzella also has represented developer Ira Green, who demolished one historic downtown Mackinac Island building and wants to demolish another, and is in the process of filling in the last vacant lot with a view of the harbor from the downtown Mackinac Island.

Daniel M Robbins • Mackinaw City

Time to ban fracking

Recent exposure of the on-site water shortages experienced by Encana Corporation as it attempted to frack a new well in Kalkaska County highlight the dangers of the new technology for extracting natural gas.

The new horizontal drilling technology requires massive amounts of ground water to complete the fracturing process. One well in Excelsior Township used 21 million gallons of fresh ground water, taken for free from the aquifer and contaminated with toxic chemicals. It must be reinjected into the ground when it flows back to the surface, gone forever from the hydrologic cycle and gone from our rivers and streams.

These industrial operations must stop immediately. A request for a withdrawal of 31 million gallons for another well has not been turned down. Those of us who value the water in Michigan must act now. A ballot initiative is circulating which would amend a state law to ban horizontal fracking and fracking waste.

The Committee to Ban Fracking, at letsbanfracking.org, has volunteers at many events in the area. Let's get this on the ballot in 2014 so citizens can decide if they want their water destroyed to extract natural gas for export.

Peggy Case, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation • Thompsonville


I a big fan of columnist Stephen Tuttle, however, his recent article regarding how we are unwilling to help pay for infrastructure repairs, and the electric grid, etc., misses the point.

The working person or middle class has been taxed to death. The teabag/Republican agenda in Michigan has been to take from the middle class (what’s left of it) and give it to “one tough nerd” and his cronies.

I don’t think most people are unwilling to pay more for better infrastructure, and an updated power grid, etc. However, when you go to work in the morning and when you leave at night to go home gas goes up 40 cents a gallon!

When the federal government spends billions on two wars, one of which has been going on for over 10 years, then what would you suspect? Wouldn’t this money be better used for better roads, and a better power grid?

I don’t think anyone is unwilling to pay their fair share, albeit, when they are taxed to death, receive no income or wage increases. They’ve basically had enough. Our state government is all about feeding its self interest and its business buddies. The federal government, well, that’s just become a joke.

Norb Bauer • via email


The Traverse City Record-Eagle never received a letter from two high school students regarding a controversy in the Black & Gold newspaper at Central High School, as claimed erroneously in last week’s Random Thoughts column. Another letter on the subject was received by the paper, but the author reportedly rescinded permission to run it when he was contacted by the editor of the Record-Eagle's letters page.

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