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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Letters 9-30-13

- September 30th, 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.

Too many festivals

Rick Coates hit the nail on the head with his recent article on the increasing number of festivals and events up north, particularly the Traverse City area. Personally, I am “festivaled out” and no longer attend any of them, no matter what the theme. I don’t enjoy the crowding, the competition for parking spots, and the traffic problems. TC in particular is not designed for the level of traffic it is experiencing in the summer, and this will only increase as celebrities such as Mario Battali praise the area’s virtues. It seems it is not enough to have a beautiful natural area: one must be over-stimulated with dozens of entertainment options to an exhausting degree. The issue of trendiness is related. Journalist Ted Conover, in his book “Whiteout,” tells what happened to Aspen, Colorado, a once sleepy mining town, when it became fashionable. As property values and rents increase, basic service people such as teachers, law enforcement, restaurant workers, etc., can no longer afford to live where they work, and a town becomes a mono-culture comprised of, and serving, only the very wealthy. Wealth begins to drive a town, and as can be seen in TC, the local character of a place is gradually lost. TC is succumbing to the construction of larger and larger buildings,upscale restaurants replacing local cafes, and of course the endless traffic issues. I appreciate Coates writing about the issue of festivals and commend Mayor Mike Estes for taking a serious look at it.

Jean Wynn • Petoskey

Living Badly in Eden

Born and raised in Michigan, I moved away 33 years ago to pursue an education and career. Now, at age 60, after living in Boston, Dallas, Calgary, and earning a PhD in Brisbane, Australia, I chose to come back to Michigan because of its breathtaking beauty, its localized economy, and its commitment to community and culture. Indeed, sitting at the epicenter of the world’s fresh water supply, Michigan is second to none. At least it should be.

But without collective and sustained self-reflection, Northern Michigan may soon find itself just another shabby spot on the map of exploitation. For instance, building a novelty splash park upon the very shore of an immensely beautiful freshwater bay is ludicrously redundant. Debasing movie theater marquee lights promote only the seduction of celebrity advertising over genuine community artworks. Expanding oil and gas production (fracking) despite real potentials of water and soil contamination panders only to short-term greed. Voting to defund education yet courting Asian exchange students in Traverse City schools, while 51% of all young children in Michigan remain in poverty is, to me, neither Christian or moral. Spraying toxic brine on roads, expanding airport runways without noise control, criminalizing an autistic child’s mother, jeopardizing the Boardman River, running over innocent bicyclists, baiting deer to kill them with semi-automatic weapons, clear cutting cherry trees to grow corn for ethanol... these are symptoms of malignant deadend exploitative growth and greed, not human solutions to a healthy sustainable community. These actions make northern Michigan ordinary, not extraordinary.

Maybe “festivals of nothing” are actually good for the people of northern Michigan. It just might give us time to pause, to breathe in our precious abundance, and ponder what is really important to us today and for tomorrow. We have forgotten to behave as if we live in Eden.

Holland Wilde • Empire

Just a stoners’ convention?

The logo for the medical marijuana convention does NOT instill faith that this is a viable form of medicine for the suffering. The conference also starts at 4:20 - another reference to going against societal norm. If it’s just a stoners’ convention, then drop the auspice of benefiting the community and wanting to have legislative discussion. You’ll probably be taken more seriously if you leave the yellow submarine, tie-dye and Cheech and Chong out it.

Dawn Wesenberg • via email

Circadian Rhythms Influence Organs

The biological clock that regulates day and night cycles is called the circadian rhythm. Besides color, the healing of congestion is rhythm. It is a tremendous healing factor. The heart heals under the rhythm of 3/4, the lungs 2/4 rhythm. The lymphatic system likes an even, soft rhythm like the sound and rhythm of a brook in the forest.

rhythm of stomach and colon

rhythm of the liver/pancreas

rhythm of the nerves

rhythm of the lungs

PLEASE, PLEASE Can we VOTE to leave the TIME alone? Let’s join Arizona.

Kb Sutton • via email

No yard signs for mayor

As mayor, documentation of my city service is public information that is recorded on public TV and commented on by the media on a regular basis. As such, my campaign for re-election will have no expenditures and will not include the display of yard signs. I’ve previously used campaign yard signs but with seven commission candidates, three ballot issues and signs for everything else one can imagine, I’ll abstain from decorating our town any further. As mayor, I believe that I have made a significant contribution to the betterment of the city and if re-elected will make every effort to make the city the best that it can be.

Michael Estes • Traverse City

Improvements not for us

It seems some of the Traverse City locals are confused about a few things. The improvements to the Open Space, the waste-of-money Splash Pad, and the new Marina, were not made for us that live here year round. We are already here, and most were here for years before. We were already happy with the old stuff. The new vision of the Open Space was made for others. It was designed with tourists in mind. The design was set up to lure in visitors. Its the same principle behind driving flashy sports cars, driving over-sized pickups, wearing huge diamonds, glittery gold, and designer clothes, and throwing huge extravagant weddings. None of these purchases are meant for the individual. They offer no benefit other than to show off to others what you have. We would be naive to think otherwise. 

George Nemetz • via email

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