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 09-16-13
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Letters 09-16-13

- September 16th, 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.

Protect the Manistee

In Manistee, a newly formed group of concerned citizens called the Manistee Water Guardians is working to advance the dialogue about horizontal hydraulic fracturing, known commonly as “fracking.”

Every day, there are more reports of the damages caused by this practice, even as the petroleum industry touts the advantages and safety of the process.

Poisoned wells, dry aquifers, increases in cases of asthma and leukemia, and earthquakes all seem to have appeared in regions where fracking is practiced and its waste disposed of.

One of our primary concerns is the destruction of large amounts of Michigan water. In some wells, such as those in Kalkaska, the process uses 30 million gallons of groundwater combined with a toxic chemical cocktail. This water never becomes usable again, but must be disposed of deep underground (perhaps in your neighborhood).

Since 2011, fracking has been executed at the headwaters of our Manistee River. Well contamination and drops in groundwater levels have already been reported there. The fracking flowback fluid spread on roads near the Platte River, tested at 1,000 times the safe level of benzene for humans makes it clear that this is serious business.

There is a petition intended to bring the people of Michigan the power to decide. It would put the question to us on the 2014 ballot: Will we choose to continue this loosely regulated fracking, or to ban it outright? I believe only a ban can protect us.

Come to the Garden Theater in Frankfort on Wednesday, September 25 (7pm) for a showing of “Gasland.” We’ll have petitions for those who want to sign before the Oct. 1 deadline. You can also find us on our Facebook page.

Joy Smith, head of the Manistee Water Guardians

Fracking’s blight

What do we picture when we think of a hydraulic fracturing (un) natural gas well? Not a large, 24/7, noisy, smelly, permanent scar on the natural landscape, I’ll bet. Or an assembly of huge pumps, pipes, storage tanks and collection ponds.

The fracking industry would like us to overlook this industrial blight - blight that might end up in our neighborhood - Magoon Creek just south of Manistee, for example! The industry would also like us to forget about the permanent loss of millions of gallons of our precious water for every well they drill. They would like us to ignore hundreds of huge tanker trucks (the heaviest trucks on the road) hauling undisclosed toxic chemicals to and from every well. They would like us to ignore the potential threat of thousands of wells (Encana has already applied for 500) being drilled in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Please sign the Michigan anti-fracking petition for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. Give Michigan residents the right to decide their future.

Dick Landback • Pierport

No to war in Syria

I generally do not agree with Stephen Tuttle’s articles but found “We Can’t Fix This” to be right on!

We still have not learned that the Middle East will always be a no-win situation. If only our government could remember a little history-- if you don’t know it, you are bound to repeat it. Kudos Tuttle.

Rick Vida • TC

The risk of war

As we consider a military attack on Syria, I ask myself: is another war affordable? Spiritually? Financially? What are the risks? How long would it last? Are there alternatives?

In Northern Michigan, it’s the time of goldenrod and asters, ripening apples, ferns turning brown. On a morning walk, I wonder what it’s like to be a refugee, to behold my dead child lying in a long row, to know the attack is coming as a drone circles overhead.

Since 2002, arms sales among the 100 largest providers of military equipment and services have increased 60%. The profits that are made from war are obscene, unacceptable. I feel no safer.

I do not support military strikes.

September 11 gave me a bitter taste of what it’s liked to be attacked at home. I do not wish to inflict violence on the homes of others without careful consideration and only after every alternative has been explored.

I reflect on the legacy of the U.S. military’s use of napalm and agent orange in Vietnam and our little-discussed use of white phosphorous in Fallujah. What kind of example have we set?

Military action is unlikely to stop the killing in Syria or bring those responsible for the use of chemical weapons to justice. Diplomatic engagement with all regional stakeholders is what is called for along with practical assistance to the neighboring countries who have welcomed the 5,000 refugees on average every day.

These are the times to grow our souls. I love this country enough want us to rely less on force and more on wisdom and moral leadership. Regardless of your views on the situation, please share them with the president, your representative and senators.

Deb Hansen • Levering

Small house idea

Re your article “Not a Small World After All.”

The subtext of this article would appear to be that there would be less environmental impact if Centerville Township allowed smaller houses to be built. I don’t think that this is the case, however, because the primary environmental impact of housing is created by where the house is located and to what degree that location then requires the people that live there to drive in order to work/show/recreate.

If we want to decrease the environmental impact of residential development we need to encourage it to be as compact and urban as possible. The ADU ordinance that TC currently has in place for the Traverse Heights neighborhood, for example, allows for units to be built as small as 250 square feet. If we want to diminish the environmental impact of housing we should be encouraging the wider adoption of an ordinance like that by TC and by other local towns and villages, and not by making it easier for people to live 20 miles outside of TC by allowing them to build smaller houses.

Mike Grant • TC

Great experience

I just had to share this with as wide of an audience as possible so Northern Express seemed like a good starting point!

How many times do folks drive by Little Bohemia on Front St. in TC and dismiss it as “just another tavern”? I sure have been guilty of that numerous times!

Tonight was different -- I stopped in to see what they offered for supper. WOW! I enjoyed a half order of their special Bavarian dinner and it was absolutely melt in your mouth delicious! Capped off the meal with cherry bread pudding -- and they truly deserved the rating received from the Cherry Festival folks - delicious!

Please do your magic, Mr. Rick Coates, and help more folks realize what a gem of a restaurant this is in TC!

Nancy Whitten • TC

(Thanks Nancy, Rick plans to write about Little Bohemia in his Tastemakers column next week. - ed.)

Move to Amend

Remember going to a party where a loudmouth monopolizes the conversation with your girlfriend? Corporations, trade associations, superpacs, and multinational companies with big money are romancing our politicians and writing legislation through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that definitely does not favor you and me. It is not freedom if only rich people’s voices are heard. Congress will not change unless we speak out.

Move to Amend Northern Michigan believes it is time for a constitutional amendment to state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns.

Since Citizens United, corporations claim “corporate personhood,” the same constitutional rights as human beings, and use them against us. Our 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 14th Amendments are now protecting big corporations over real Americans.

Come to the Milliken Auditorium, NMC, on Monday, Sept. 16, 7 pm to learn more about what you can do to make a difference. All are invited and please bring a friend. Admission is free, donations accepted.

Beverly Christensen, chair Move to Amend Northern Michigan

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