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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Great Gadgets for 2003: Some must-have items for Techno-buffs

Jane Louise Boursaw - January 30th, 2003
What‘s new on the technology front? Everything from watches with GPS tracking to MP3 players that can store over 4,000 songs. Experts predict that personal computers will get faster, wireless devices will become more common, and handheld devices will start doing our dishes... well, maybe not, but they‘ll continue to boast even more features. Here‘s a look at what‘s in store for us this year.

DVD, CD and HDTV News
Recordable DVD drives are appearing in the $350 to $500 price range; unfortunately, there are at least three competing standards for DVD writing, none of which are compatible and all of which
require different types of still-expensive media. Unless you‘re determined to be the first on the
block with DVD recording, consider waiting until the standards war shakes out sometime next
year. In CD news, the new Sony Mavica cameras use 3.5“ recordable or rewriteable CDs which
can be used directly on your PC, forgoing the need for cables or media converters to move
images around. And as for HDTV, it will continue to be overpriced technology with little
available programming during 2003.

Computing at Warp Speed
The fastest Intel Pentium 4 processors today run at 2.8 GHz, but by summer, look for Pentium 5 processors to run at 3.2 GHz. Hard drives will continue to get bigger and faster -- 120GB drives are now available for $279 or less. And while rotational speeds today range from 4,200 rpm to 10,000 rpm, drives running at 15,000 rpm should be widely available sometime this year. Flat panel LCD monitors will continue to increase in size and pixel density, while their prices will
continue to drop. And hunt-and-peck typists take note! One of the hottest gadgets right now is
Microsoft‘s tablet-style PC that relies on handwriting and touch screen displays.

It‘s a Wireless World
Wireless devices will become more common in 2003. While computer keyboards and mice have
already become untethered, more personal digital assistants (PDA‘s) and laptop computers will
emerge from the factory with built-in wireless Ethernet. Look for more access points in airports,
businesses, and coffee shops. More devices will also have BlueTooth, a short-range wireless
standard that allows not only your cell phone to talk to your handheld computer, but also your
handheld to talk to your desktop computer. Also, more handheld computers will be able to
communicate on cellular networks, allowing them to work as cell phones and wireless Internet
devices. Early hybrid devices all have some shortcomings, but competition will be fierce and the
products and service offerings should get rapidly better.

Satellite Services
Satellite services will continue to mature during 2003. There are now two competitors for
satellite-based car radios, and most car manufacturers will begin offering satellite radio as an
option. Satellite Internet has also been available for a couple of years, but service providers have
not yet been able to deliver the advertised performance yet.

Handhelds Everything and the Kitchen Sink
Handheld devices like PDA‘s and music players will pack more features into the same space.
Small, low-powered microprocessors like the XScale from Intel will empower more multimedia
while maintaining long battery life, and memory prices will continue to fall as the volumes ramp
up for even more digital devices like cameras and video recorders. These devices will require
better battery technology; some companies are even working on miniature fuel cells powered by
methanol or other hydrogen-rich liquids. Commercial products should be ready by the end of

Better Living Through Fuel Cells
All of the major car manufacturers have been working on cars with fuel cells (devices that
combine hydrogen and oxygen to form electricity) for more than ten years. The first consumer-
ready cars will be tested by Toyota in the U.S. during 2003; Ford, GM, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes
Benz, and others have advanced prototypes that will likely undergo field testing this year.

Here‘s a peek at the latest and greatest gadgets for 2003.

Pen-Based Computing:
Fujitsu‘s Stylistic ST4000 Tablet PC, one of the first of Microsoft‘s new Windows XP Tablet PC-
powered machines, is a Pentium III PC that uses a digital pen and touch screen to jot notes, send
email and surf the Web. You can also plug it into a dock and keyboard. (From $2199,

Store Your Music And Your Files
With a nod to the Apple iPod, e.Digital‘s sleek Odyssey 1000 MP3 player boasts a whopping
20GB drive (4,000-plus songs) and FM tuner. It also doubles as a portable storage unit for your
PC files. Coolest feature: voice recognition for easy navigation through your music ($400,

Stay on Track
Timex‘s Ironman Speed + Distance System features a water-resistant watch and a GPS receiver to keep track of your travel distance, speed and pace data ($200, www.timex.com).

Get Organized & Stay Connected
Samsung‘s SPH-1330 features a Palm PDA with 16MB of memory, access to the Web, a 256-
color touch screen that supports full HTML pages, a speakerphone, polyphonic ring tones and
voice-activated dialing ($500, www.samsungusa.com).

More Than a Mobile Phone
When is a mobile phone not a mobile phone? When it can browse the Web in color, take pictures
and email them to your friends, store your favorite songs and even use them as a phone ringer. A few models to check out: the Microsoft Windows Powered Pocket PC Phone Edition from T-
Mobile ($500, www.t-mobile.com); Motorola‘s clam-shaped T720 ($250, www.motorola.com),
T-Mobile‘s Sidekick ($200); and Samsung‘s SPH-a500 ($70, www.samsungusa.com).

Tiny Tunes
Yes, the hard-disk-equipped iPods are the most technolust-inducing MP3 players on the market,
but there‘s still a place for memory-based devices. A few to check out:
- psa[128max ($200) boasts quality sound and includes a Velcro armband rig.
- CenDyne Gruvstick ($179) is about the size of a pocketknife and includes a backlit LCD screen
to display song info, plus voice recording using a built-in mike.
- Timex TMX2 MP3 System ($150) is Timex‘s attempt at a combo watch/MP3 player. The 64
MB module can be snapped into a wristband, worn around the neck or clipped to a belt loop;
however, it requires external power from a AAA battery housed in a separate corded remote.
- the MadPlayer MP-5-US ($299) includes MP3 playback and FM radio. Each track can be
tweaked by adjusting filters, frequencies, beats and more. You can even add your own voice with
the included headphone/mike.
- PoGo! RipFlash PLUS 128 MB ($198). In addition to playing MP3 and WMA files, you can
record music directly to MP3 via the line-in jack or use the built-in mike to record more than 30
hours of speech.

High-Tech Health
- The Lifestream Cholesterol Monitor ($130, www.lifestreamtech.com) gives you a total
cholesterol reading in 3 minutes.
- InterCure‘s RESPeRATE ($300, www.resperate.com) uses “device-guided breathing“
technology to lower blood pressure. Users listen to a melody and synchronize their breathing to
the tones until they reach the “therapeutic zone“ of less than 10 breaths per minute.
- TheraSense‘s FreeStyle Tracker System combines a glucose meter, diabetes data manager, and
PDA. Reportedly uses the world‘s smallest blood sample, making testing less painful. About
$225 with PDA; $110 without PDA (www.therasense.com).
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