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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- July 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.

Fear of cycling

With the tragic death of Kelly Boyce Hurlbert in the early hours of July 5th, traffic has changed.

Bicyclists are scared! When a large vehicle pulls up behind you, as one suddenly did to us riding our bikes home from Cherry Festival fireworks -- you panic! We always ride with bright headlights and blinking taillights, so we can be seen for a very long distance.

Does that make us, or any other cyclist riding at night, another potential victim?

According to local police reports, the person who killed Kelly might be the same individual who has previously hit cyclists in the two years preceding this hit-and-run.

Motorists appear to be slightly more conscious of us on bicycles. For many, bikes, or BATA buses in winter, are the only modes of transportation.

Drivers: please be more aware of cyclists. Cyclists: please adhere to the rules of the road. When you ride on the roadways, you MUST abide by state and federal laws, the same as any vehicle.

May this city not witness another massive community bike procession downtown to honor another dead cyclist, as took place Thursday July 11 for Kelly.

I had the privilege and commitment to ride for a stranger with hundreds and hundreds of cyclists.

But, we are not strangers: we ride bikes in Traverse City!

Carol Tompkins Parker • TC

Reckless cyclists

I am probably opening a can of worms, but recent events and observations have prompted my first letter to the editor.

Driving through downtown Elk Rapids recently, a young boy bicycling at a high rate of speed with no helmet, blew the stop sign at Elm and River streets, and narrowly missed being hit by me.

This small act could have been deadly, and scared the daylights out of us both. He was headed to the beach, it appeared.

Thankfully, I was not even driving the speed limit and was alert enough to avoid hitting him.

A day later, driving north on Division Street in TC, a lone rider was in the curb lane, heading north. Traffic was backed up on this highway to 7th Street, trying to pass him safely. A sidewalk was four feet from him, unused. He was wearing a helmet.

Living on North Elmwood, where our streets are narrow, I have viewed only one bicyclist in the past 10 days obey the stop signs at Randolph and Elmwood. Traffic made that stop necessary. The majority are not wearing helmets, and many are riding without lights at night.

It's only a matter of time before someone is hurt, as four-way intersections carry a high incident rate of accidents.

I have been a bike rider for years, and have not been injured or in any accidents. I also took safety classes as a youngster, and wear a helmet. I support the rights of cyclists, but feel strongly that the rules should be observed and safety needs to be of the utmost priority for all.

In the wake of our terrible loss earlier this month, please, please be aware of surroundings, road signs, and traffic. Let's be safe out there.

John Russell • TC

A bright idea

I enjoyed your article on cameras at intersections to cut down on people running red lights (re: Random Thoughts, July 15). I too, agree that this could cause some motorists to hit the brakes and cause some rear-end accidents.

Adjusting the time for yellow lights is one option. But, what they do in many countries in Europe is perhaps much better and has been in use there for quite some time with much success.

There, the green light starts blinking for five seconds before it turns yellow. This warns drivers that a yellow light in imminent and cuts down on needless accidents. Perhaps you can pass this along to those who can influence the outcome better than I.

Steven Rogers • Manistee

Cyclists: obey the rules

Robert Downes made a point of the fact that he is a “bicycle commuter” in his column endorsing red light cameras for Traverse City.

I guess I can live with red light cameras with one stipulation: That the “Same Roads, Same Rules, Same Rights” crowd be required to license their vehicles and be penalized for not following the “Same Rules” that they claim to want for themselves.

John Michael Casteel • Mission Peninsula

Where's Hoffa? Cadillac

Once again, a false tip has resulted in not finding Jimmy Hoffa (in a field outside Detroit). One need only to look at the Northern Express articles of December 2009 and January 2010 by Anne Stanton, to determine where Jimmy can be located.

Through intensive interviews with my acquaintance, Pete Smith, and consultations with officials with the Michigan State Police and even representatives with the FBI, a level of anticipation had arisen (regarding Hoffa's body outside Cadillac).

Ultimately, officials believed the information was somewhat questionable and the decision to move forward was thwarted. There were, however, too many circumstances that seemed to point that Hoffa was indeed disposed of in the Manistee National Forest near Cadillac.

With all the technology and modern crime solving tools, it seems that a mere probe by a “human remains evidence indicator” could be made at a minimal expense. The FBI and other investigative bodies are reluctant to explore the possibility of a disposal site near Cadillac because of recent attempts to locate Hoffa’s body in other locations and also because of a local landowner unwilling to cooperate.

For more information, refer to the aforementioned articles, or better yet, get in touch with Pete,

Burton J. (Bud) Harrison • Manton

More about Northport

I have to tell you I'm disappointed that your article on Northport failed to mention the fact that the Owens (Motovino owners) “building down the street” houses LeLu Restaurant & Bar in addition to the coffee shop. And Northport Brewing has been working tirelessly to ready their location to open yet this summer. They were barely mentioned. I’m wondering why?

Quite a bit was written about a bowling alley that hasn’t broke ground, a golf course that, yes, is cruising in construction (but won't open until 2014) The Depot, like the Brewery, is in a readying mode but with no public knowledge of what it will house!

The two businesses mentioned above are bringing locals and tourists to the village now! They should have had more ink.

Nance Schuman • Northport

Boardman River blues

This is in response to the article posted on July 15 in the Northern Express Weekly, "The Boardman Reborn" (about paddling down the river).

To ME, this article is dumbfounding and very disturbing.

I realize we must all try and find the best in things and to focus on the positive when there is a disaster, but this article is totally ridiculous.

For one thing, it’s back-stabbing and disturbing to all the property owners that are still in a living nightmare of the past destruction, along with the rest of the people that understand what’s going on and how we are being played as stupid, ignorant people.

In my opinion, the person that wrote this article is living up to the predictions of the people that are pulling this scam off. Let me tell you what I and many believe as the truth on this matter. First, it doesn’t take a freaking engineer or environmentalist to figure this out that the entire dam removal project has nothing to do with bringing the river back to its pristine state.

I’m not arguing that there are not people and organizations that are hoping and thinking this is true, but if you believe that, then I say, you are just a victim of ignorance in the matter and have fallen into these peoples' fictitious propaganda for the gain of their own agenda.

All you have to do is follow the money, the future road projects, the future sewage and water treatment projects, the city land grab gains from personal property destruction, the massive amount of donations through personal agendas, the back-door loopholes for federal monies, the $12+ million that appeared from the Brown Bridge fund after the removal of the first dam, the millions of dollars that disappeared during the ridiculous and lame studies.

Plus, people, please open your eyes to the absolute negligence and shamelessness, along with the refusal of ownership with the massive amount of devastation they have already done. I’m almost embarrassed for the person that wrote the article; that is, how he can turn beauty from 3 1⁄2 feet of muck, silt, sand and questionable levels of arsenic. Tens of thousands, if not millions of dead and displaced fish, beavers, snakes, frogs, turtles, swans, loons, ducks and deer.

I’ve seen pictures of deer buried alive in the muck screaming because they are being eaten by coyotes. Also, 50-plus land and homeowners' properties compromised, some forever, some totally destroyed, and many losing 50% or more of their property value and life-time investments.

I’ve seen bridges and private roads destroyed and then the owners being screwed by the City of Traverse City and the company AMEC that somehow weaseled their way out of any liability for any of the damages they should be 100% responsible for.

To me that is beyond negligent, that just plain evil and proves that the hidden agendas are meant to move forward regardless of how much destruction is done in the process. In my option it’s like flipping us the middle finger and telling us they do this because there no way we can stop them.

I posted this to many friends in Facebook and told the people, it would be a miracle if the other side (the truth) will ever be told. The question I have is will you post this?

David Hoyt • Boardman River

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