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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- September 3rd, 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 & cars, compared

Thanks to Michael Dettmer for contributing the article about the pertinent laws pertaining to cyclists in your Aug. 18 edition.

My wife and I live on a very curvy and scenic 2-lane road. The speed limit is 35 mph. This road is very popular with cyclists. I see large and small pelotons of cyclists almost daily.

Last Monday, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, as I approached a large group of approximately 30 cyclists from the rear, they actually began moving over so that they were single file instead of 3 abreast! I almost wanted to stop and thank them.

When I got home I mentioned it to my wife. Today, Aug. 22, I read the article by Mr. Dettmer and I have to believe it was his contribution that may have influenced the behavior of these courteous cyclists.

After reading the article, I was driving east on W. Front street. I signaled to turn left on the street adjacent to Ace hardware. As I was turning left a cyclist going at a high rate of speed, traveling in the same direction but against the flow of traffic and in my blind spot, slammed on his brakes, as did I, after making a partial left hand turn -- with oncoming traffic coming right at me.

If it weren’t for the oncoming traffic I probably would have thrown my copy of your paper at the cyclist with the advice to read page 5!

One last thing. If you are in a group of 2 or more and do not move to the right side of the road, please do not wave me on to pass, particularly if we are approaching a blind curve.

Don Eichberger • via email

Bikes & cars, compared

Okay, really? A car and a bike. A car weighs several THOUSAND pounds. Most bikes, under 40.

I just read the Aug. 19 issue. In the everpopular “Public Safety” section, there are two articles about accidents involving cars running stop signs. One resulted in death, the other in injuries.

Didn’t see any articles about a bicyclist running a stop sign, striking another moving vehicle (car or bike) and causing death or serious injury. And I thought to myself as I sipped my Higher Grounds coffee... hmmmm, really? A bike and a car are the same huh?

I live by the law, and abide by the law. But I do wonder... what happened to common sense? A bike and a car are NOT the same in any way shape or form. And to lump them together for the sake of (pick your format) just seems to lack common sense. A bike, and a car! Really?

Tim Muszynski • TC

One-ton death machines

Driving my F-250 diesel to work a few months ago, I started to pull away from a stop sign and, BAM - a reckless bicyclist ran the stop, sheared off the front end of my truck, and put me in the hospital for a week... SAID NO DRIVER EVER!!!

To all the whiny drivers writing letters to the editor lately, chastising cyclists about how they need to follow the rules of the road, give me a break! YOU, my dear motorist, are the one piloting a one ton death-machine! Thus, the onus of responsibility is on YOU, not the cyclist!

Look, there are bad motorists out there, and there are bad cyclists. Unfortunately for cyclists, there’s thousands more motorists out there on the road, therefore there’s thousands more bad drivers out there than there are bad cyclists (and YES, I HAVE seen cyclists get tickets for running lights, AND for riding on the sidewalk).

Let me assure you, whiny motorists of the world, it’s really freakin' scary to ride a bike down a public street these days, even though the law says cyclists HAVE that right.

In my time cycling in Northern Michigan, I’ve had a beer bottle (and a glass of orange juice) come hurtling past my head – thrown by courteous motorists. I’ve had a car pull up beside me and run me off the road into a ditch.

One time I had a lady in East Jordan slow as she passed me, and then turn 5 yards in front of me – running me off the road. When I asked her (politely) why she didn’t just wait 2 seconds until I’d cleared the driveway, she insisted (not so politely) that cyclists need to yield to cars. Nope, I was way over on the paved shoulder, and she seriously cut me off... and then lectured ME on etiquette (much like the geniuses who’ve written in to the editor lately – like an idiot with the best intentions).

I’m just scratching the surface here.

There have been hundreds of times I’ve been cut off (occasionally bouncing off the car that pulled out in front of me with no warning). Thousands of time I’ve been honked at, or someone’s screamed, “GET UP ON THE SIDEWALK!!” (FYI – cycling on the sidewalk is illegal in most municipalities).

Cyclists are just out there trying to get from point A to point B. They don’t create any stress on the roads, and the vast majority of cyclists also pay gas taxes for the vehicles they own. So, you can quit bitching about how cyclists should be taxed to pay for roads.

The guy on the bike isn’t spewing toxic fumes like you are dear motorist. A cyclist isn’t going to kill you if he runs a red light, unlike the idiot drivers I see every day who think – hey, I’m not the one who has a problem texting and driving! I’ve even seen a couple drivers lately with dogs on their lap – yes, A DOG between the driver and the steering wheel!

So, dear whiny driver, please quit your bitching, keep your advice to yourself, keep your hands on the steering wheel, and keep the damned dog out of your lap. When you OCCASIONALLY have to slow down for two seconds in your armored, climatecontrolled behemoth, so that you can pass the guy on the bicycle who’s trying to get to work in the rain, remember that it’s YOUR responsibility to not kill him or her.

Scott Jones • Kalkaska

Doggone whiners...

The whiners have won. Everything is regulated because of whiners. I wish people would stop whining, figure out problems on their own, forgive other people, and quit ruining America with all the whining.

Christy Heuser • via email

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