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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- August 26th, 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.

Bikes & self preservation

The recent vitriol against bike riders is short-sighted at best and pathetic at worst.

Talk of getting the police to ticket cyclists more and of licensing and insuring bicycles are solutions looking for a problem.

Bikes are NOT the problem. In fact we should be thanking all those who make our community safer, quieter, cleaner, healthier and just plain more livable when they choose to leave their cars at home.

Sure, I’ve broken a few traffic laws on my bike: rolling stops when there are no cars or pedestrians in sight or riding on sidewalks. Pedestrians often “break the law” in their own ways as well: crossing against a light or jaywalking. BUT when was the last time you read about a cyclist or pedestrian running over and killing a motorist?

Let’s have a little common sense in this discussion. Cyclists and pedestrians are DEFENSELESS, while automobiles and trucks are several thousand pounds of lethal machinery, often operated by careless and distracted drivers, rushing to get to their destinations.

Motor vehicles with their cellphone jabbering, smartphone texting, GPS puttering, makeup applying, stereo fiddling, meal consuming, animal corralling, and endlessly distracted drivers ARE THE REAL PROBLEM. And to top it all off, VIRTUALLY NONE of these drivers obey the local speed limits -- 10 to 15 mph over the limit is the norm.

If there is any cracking down to be done, here is where it will bear the most fruit.

We expect cyclists to obey the same laws as motor vehicles, but in reality they are completely at the mercy of speeding and distracted motorists. Cyclists are, for all practical purposes, just glorified pedestrians, but without the modicum of safety of a sidewalk.

I also have a car and my taxes contribute to the building and maintenance of the roads and sidewalks in this community. Perhaps it’s time we consider giving these forms of transportation more respect and cut the individuals who utilize them a little slack. My minor traffic infractions on my bicycle or on foot are unlikely to harm any precious motorists. In fact I often deviate from the law for a far more compelling reason: SELF PRESERVATION. Sorry, but that trumps the law.

Jan Ealy • TC

Endless crowds

I found Sam Porter’s marketing comments about his new “Spectacular Structures” mobile venue being touted for our area perplexing.

On the one hand he comments about how we should celebrate all that is great and good about life in Northern Michigan and laments those events that can “close down our parks and streets.” Just how does bringing in crowds of thousands on a regular basis avoid that -- creating huge human traffic patterns that can hardly have a low impact on community infrastructure despite claims to the contrary.

Despite all the talk about revenue to the region, the real goal for such structures is revenue to the promoters with scant regard to the style of our area free of a moveable feast of endless crowds.

It’s time for we taxpayers to seriously consider whether we are remaining a great place to live or moving towards a vast and continual amusement park that dictates overwhelming intrusion into what makes our area great.

M. Coffman • TC

Where’s the love?

So many disagreeable comments appeared in your article about Fridrich Furs: Trapping... fur farms...

Fridrich seems to be comfortable rationalizing the most despicable and inhumane treatment of animals to further his profession. What I can’t get past is the huge disconnect when he says he “loves” animals then in the next breath says it’s okay to trap, kill, and skin them.

For most of us, loving animals includes qualities like caring, empathy and compassion. I doubt the 20 raccoons he slaughtered were feeling the “love.”

Bari Dilworth • via email

Our poisoned roads

Once again Team Services has been caught using toxic waste chemicals from oil and gas drilling as dust control on roads.

Team Services reportedly sprayed 300,000 gallons of toxic fluid on 121 miles of roads in Benzie County. Testing showed levels of carcinogenic benzene and toluene 1,000 times higher than the legal limit.

This is a recurring story. One year ago, DEQ documents obtained through FOIA request confirmed that Team Services sprayed thousands of gallons of toxic, carcinogenic fracking fluid waste from gas wells on roads in Cheboygan and Kalkaska counties. Public outrage forced the DEQ to suspend permits for this type of “dust control” disposal for one year.

Now, a year later, they are at it again.

And the penalty for getting caught – a verbal reprimand from the DEQ! How many other roads have been similarly sprayed? How much toluene, benzene and other deadly chemicals have seeped into groundwater from these sprayings? How many animals (including pets) have gotten sick from drinking puddles of toxic fluid after a rain storm? How much vegetation has been destroyed? How will these chemicals affect area farms and homeowner water wells? It’s time for the DEQ to do its job. Stop allowing the poisoning of our environment with oil and gas drilling chemicals.

Anne Zukowski Co-chair, Don’t Frack Michigan

Christians & science

The incessant and unnecessary conflict between science and religion continues, but we can and should learn from history. Beginning in 1534 when Copernicus published “On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies,” until at least 1633 with church decrees against Galileo, a battle raged which bore striking similarities to the evolution versus creationism war of today.

Many good and wise men of science were exiled, tortured, and murdered because the best biblical scholars of their time agreed that a new theory, which brazenly suggested that the earth moved in the heavens (around the sun, no less), represented a grave contradiction to divine scripture which clearly stated then (as it still does today) that “The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.” (Psalm 93:1), and “He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” (Psalm 104:5).

Current Bible experts have come to grips with the well-established law of heliocentrism through a more flexible biblical interpretation necessitated by the overwhelming scientific evidence that the earth, no longer seen as the center of the universe, does indeed move. This belated accommodation unfortunately provides small comfort to those early and courageous scientists who remain murdered and tortured martyrs due to their strongly held and accurate convictions.

May I suggest a more theistic view of evolution in which God, after creating matter and all of the natural laws which govern its physical and biological deployment, used organic evolution as a final step in His ongoing and miraculous creation. A divine creation whose beauty can be more completely appreciated and whose authenticity can be more clearly validated through the detailed and accurate observations of contemporary science.

If Christian faith could survive a moving earth, it will certainly survive a more detailed understanding of a creation made no less divine, but all the more miraculous by increased scientific knowledge.

Bob Ross • Pellston

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