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 07-15-2013
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Letters 07-15-2013

- July 15th, 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.

Monster track? Do it!

In response to the recent “Monster Motocross Track” article: The vision of Mark Hall and the concept of introducing a national motocross track into Northern Michigan is an outstanding idea. Honestly it’s a no-brainer, do it!

I almost feel some of the opposition still view motocross/motorcycles as the “bad” sport, destructing wildlife and making noise. In the ’80s and ’90s it might have been viewed as such, but look at it now. National races and the ability to make a career then were very limited, sponsorships were few. The sport has grown immensely with national branded companies putting forth the bill such as Toyota, Geico Insurance, Ford, Nike, Makita, and of course Monster along with some other drink companies to name a few.

My point is this is the same as when snowboarding first came out; it had a small following and now every kid can’t wait to get the newest Shaun White outfit or his endorsed HP laptop. These sports are now family oriented and attract lots and lots of fans, television spots, and company endorsements. What would be the problem of bringing these companies and fans to our Northern Michigan area?

I understand the issue of peace and tranquility of having retirement homes in Northern Michigan, but those people have achieved their retirement and income to live off of. Some of the rest are still trying to make it. You don’t see me complaining every time someone pops up a retirement home and invades my peace and quiet around my 80-acre property. It’s not necessarily all about what the people want, it needs to be focused on the good it can do for the community and local area.

Yes, motocross races will increase noise for the times that the facility is active, but you’re going to have that with anything. We already have loud boats screaming across the lake and through the river at night, and thousands of cars passing on I-75.

Years ago, Pellston was the site for a small track for the local circuit and was shot down because of noise (because motorcycles are louder than airplanes). Then an adult surplus store went in down the main street from the elementary, middle, and high school that was hardly contested. Seriously?

However, the amount of events needs to be clear and present on what and when they will happen at the facility and clearly distinguish hours of operation.

We need to help boost not only the economy but to also promote family activities. There are lots of people in our area who pack up and head to the Red Bud National every year in Buchanan, Michigan. We need more amenities, and the addition of casinos or zip lines is not the answer.

Call me crazy or a late 20-something, business/hospitality/tourism graduate, motorsports enthusiast, Northern Michigan local, $1 million+ business operator that can’t wait for this to move forward. I support this 150% and would love to have the opportunity to take my future family to watch the pros in Northern Michigan. I would love to help bring this to the community any way possible!

Jed Avery • via email

Planner off the mark

Your June 24 cover story about the proposed Indian River motocross track attributed to Cheboygan County’s community development director Steve Schnell is a mystifying description of the role of planning commissions in our society.

According to the article, “Schnell said the role of a planner for a county or township is to help any developer who comes to them to figure out how to get their plan through bureaucratic hoops.”

Weren’t planning commissions created to help ensure that proposed development fit the plan a community envisions for itself? Is it true that the role of planning commissions has changed?

Is Mr. Schnell’s description of that role as one of service to developers rather than service to a community accurate? In Mr. Schnell’s view does “service to a developer” equal “service to a community”?

Daniel Robbins • via email

New art in Northport

Thanks for your article about the revitalization of Northport. At the end you mentioned art galleries will open.

A number of new galleries have already opened this year. These include: Peninsula North Gallery owned by Carnie and Julian Bunker, carrying local art and jewelry; Charlottes Art, owned by Charlotte Seager, carrying visual and healing arts; and Red Mullein, owned by myself, which carries visual and fiber art, including work by reknowned local artist Judy Rantz, artisan jewelry, and silk jackets from Japan. We carry the only significant collection of Japanese silk in the Midwest.

Artists in Northport are also establishing a Northport Arts Association, which has started Art in the Park on Friday evenings accompanying Music in the Park. The association will help artists find venues for their work and organize an annual juried art show. Anyone interested in joining this group can send an email to redmullein@gmail.com.

So art is alive and well in Northport and another reason to visit this lovely lakeside village.

Clare Gengarelly • Northport

Supreme upheaval

In his recent column, Stephen Tuttle stated that the U.S. Supreme Court in the past week “issued two decisions that could unravel generations of accepted law and practice.” He is correct, and if anything, too generous.

The Supreme Court has not only done that, but unraveled nothing less than the U.S. Constitution that its justices instead swore to uphold. But, interestingly, Tuttle failed the mention the third decision that MOST accomplished that result.

Perhaps his article was written just prior to release of the “gay rights” rulings. Regardless of the subject matter, whether “gay marriage” or anything else, whether liberal, conservative, or otherwise, what the Supreme Court precedent did was prevent state voters who successfully pass ANY ballot initiative, from organizing to then defend that new law in court, even against the most frivolous lawsuit - like the one that led a judge to overturn California’s Proposition 8 based on his personal gay lifestyle, and diametrically opposite to the Equal Protection Clause.

Now, there is no sense in passing any ballot proposal in any state unless that state's governor agrees with it, and will do his/her sworn duty to defend it in court, contrary to what California’s executives did. This prevents citizens from passing laws that their governor disagrees with personally, and effectively spells the end of democracy in the U. S.

The silver lining is that it equally means that extremist groups like the ACLU no longer have any “standing” in court either.

Tom North • Burt Lake


Porter Creek Fish House is located in Boyne City and not in Charlevoix as stated in a recent article.

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