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 08-05-13
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Letters 08-05-13

- August 5th, 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.

The dictator of Detroit

Detroit may well join the great Mayan cities of Mexico & Guatemala, as cities no longer fulfilling their function. Countless military, commercial and cultural centers have come and gone in our planet’s history.

In his Random Thoughts of the July 22-28 edition of Northern Express, Robert Downes wrote “given the situation where 40% of the street lights don’t work and only a dozen or so of the city’s 36 broken-down ambulances have been in service this year, it seems odd that anyone objected to Governor Snyder’s push to appoint emergency financial managers for (Detroit), along with Pontiac, Benton Harbor and Flint.”

Why are objections “odd”? Governor Snyder is declaring the equivalent of martial law in Detroit and other cities. He suspends the authority and activities of elected governments, something we all should find objectionable.

Elected government is replaced by a financial manager with dictatorial powers to perform a community’s governmental functions. This dictator is free to sell assets owned by the community, obliterate contractual obligations of the municipality, and determine what (if any) services to provide to the community.

This dictator is appointed by the Governor, and is not answerable to the citizens of the community. The dictator is free to put the interests of creditors ahead of the interests of the community.

No matter how dysfunctional Congress gets, is our President allowed to appoint a legislative manager to ensure that our country’s legislative needs are met? Mr. Downes, should our President be able to replace Congress with a legislative manager to ensure that our government doesn’t grind to a halt because Congress refuses to pass legislation required to keep it functioning?

Daniel Robbins • Mackinaw City

Cyclists: beware of police

Last week while bicycling to work I was pulled over by a Traverse City police officer in his cruiser on Front Street! I was guilty of “running a red light.”

Actually running a red light on a bike would be reckless and stupid. I stopped at the light (at Front & Park), looked both ways for traffic, and continued on my way. I also do this at pedestrian cross walks; I’m guilty of jay walking as well.

The officer pulled me over at Front & Cass and asked me for my license (um, my bike license?). When he looked up my pristine record he must have felt an obligation to society to penalize me, for he presented me with a ticket for $130 and 3 points on my license. I didn’t argue, he clearly meant business.

I’m not trying to be a rebel cyclist (it’s a one-speed cruiser bike for Christ’s sake), I’m just trying to get to work the fastest way possible. I run a business, work full-time and I have a 5-year-old and a 6-month-old baby to get ready for school and daycare before I go to work. I did not appreciate the pull over or the ticket. A stern warning would have been sufficient.

Seriously? Traverse City Police don’t have anything better to do than fine a local business owner who commutes to work? Why don’t you go after the people making meth labs? How about the people who drive down Front Street the wrong way? Or, how about the people who almost run me over EVERY SINGLE DAY at Division & Grandview Parkway? I risk my life at those crosswalks!

When I presented my case in front of the magistrate, she was not sympathetic. Based on recent events... follow the rules of the road... yes, yes, I get it. A ticket on a bicycle is actually $75 and no points. I paid my fine and thought “$75... that’s a lot of donuts.”

Susan V. Ruoff, president of Venus beauty boutique • TC

Unions are everywhere

To those who continue to oppose any labor groups; attempt to organize a union, let us look at the description of the word, “union.” It can be a bloc, club, guild, alliance, marriage, fellowship, and any coalition of groups.

Now let us look at unions not objected to in a negative view: The AMA, ABA, chambers of commerce, religious groups, and of course, our own Congress.

Why is it that so much negative effort is continually being applied to dissuade any labor group trying to organize a union? Forming a union is a 1st Amendment right for workers.

Those individuals who exploit Third World countries with sweatshops use this leverage to bring down our middle class.

It’s time to change the direction our society is heading in. We've got to pull together to save our earned pensions and stop the government from looting our Social Security. “It’s our money.”

John Sanchez • TC

Health costs gone wild

Are we being doctored! Health care costs, Medicare, and Medicaid are out of control.

Drug companies bombard us with commercials for medications. They urge us to ask for these pills, as they ask our doctors to prescribe them.

The drug companies make up ailments, then formulate medications, not to cure us, but for us to take forever. Can we even trust their recommended immunizations? What about a flu shot that works 10% of the time? They urge us to get our children on drugs to control their behavior. And we as adults reach for a pill every time we have the slightest discomfort, setting an example for our children to do the same thing, but often with illegal drugs.

Don’t we need to take control and make sure that what the health care industry does is in our best interest? Not just another test or procedure that they feel necessary to protect themselves from another malpractice suite.

For those of us who are getting older, several of the tests and screenings often recommended are not worth the risk. Isn’t it up to each of us to make sure that we discuss the situation openly with our doctors and make your own decisions?

Walt Lund • via email

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