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 10-28-13
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Letters 10-28-13

- October 28th, 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.

Here, kitty, kitty...

By my count, the picture scorecard of your Annual Tribute to Pets issue was as follows:

Pig - 1

Chicken - 1

Iguana - 1

Dogs - 21

Cats - 0

My Rating: Far from Purrfect.

Bill O. Smith • TC

(Ouch... Thanks Bill -- we’ll be sure to round up some cat stories & photos for next year’s “Pet Project” issue. -- ed.)

Frackdown in Kalkaska

On Saturday, October 19, 25 people gathered in Kalkaska to protest the misuse of Michigan water by fracking companies there. The effort was part of Global Frackdown 2, a world event initiated by Food and Water Watch and 350.org. Protests on Saturday were held in 30 countries and dozens of American cities.

Protesters in Kalkaska held signs along Cedar Street for two hours. Afterwards, they visited the Westerman well in Kalkaska County, seeing first-hand the industrialization of the rural landscape.

One couple, Bernard and Phyllis Senske, live across the street from a fracking operation where local zoning laws have been over-ridden. In recent months, their world has included 24-7 noise from drilling, silica sands drifting in the air, and massive amounts of truck traffic along their quiet road. An artificial berm was deliberately created to block the view of the couple, and over the Thanksgiving holiday, heavy equipment was run around the clock, which spewed fumes and created noise pollution. Their well pump quit when the water level dropped 80 feet in a short time due to water withdrawal by the industry. Kalkaska’s city water had to be used when wells in another part of the county ran dry from fracking operations.

Corporations have arranged for fracking to be exempt from environmental protection laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Drinking Water Act. The Michigan DEQ has granted permits for millions of gallons of locally-drawn water to be mixed with toxic chemicals by Encana and Halliburton, among others. Chemicals include benzene, arsenic and highly acidic compounds. The water that is used in this fashion is never again available for biological use; in Michigan, flowback fluid is stored in injection wells located throughout our state. In an exception, several times it has been spread on roads, where benzene has subsequently tested well above the level for human safety.

Movies on Link TV and others, such as Gasland, Gasland 2 and Promised Land have helped Americans learn about the hazards from fracking, which has escalated in recent years. Fracking is not your grandfather’s gas well practice; It is an effort to recover deep-shale fossil fuels, and is a relatively new technology. For more information, go to savemiwater.org, the website of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, dontfrackmichigan.org or banmichiganfracking.org, or do a search on global frackdown events.

Joy Smith • Manistee Water Guardians

Death in the forest

I agree with most of Steve Tuttle’s premises in “What a Friend Would Do,” but have serious issues with numbers posited for pre-Columbian populations.

Since we know from existing sites that Native Americans practice/practiced inhumation, where are the 24,500,000 grave sites? That is a massive number and with a sudden (100-200 years) die-off there would be physical evidence on a huge scale. None has shown up.

Dale Priester • via email

(The book, 1491, by Charles C. Mann addresses the prevailing theory that foreign diseases killed up to 90% of the Native American population before most colonists arrived. Mann states that mass death from diseases such as smallpox and viral hepatitis was so extreme that the few survivors were unable to bury the dead. He writes that the Mayflower colonists found thousands of corpses and empty villages scattered along the New England coast upon their arrival. English trader Thomas Norton noted at the time that the Indians had “died on heapes, as they lay in their houses.” The book is well worth reading, and many scholars agree with its conclusions. -- ed.)

New voice needed in D.C.

Retired general and former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon released the following statement on Dan Benishek’s 11th hour government shutdown vote:

“I’m relieved that Congress didn’t send our country into default, but we shouldn’t have needed an 11th hour vote to avoid that. Congressman Benishek voted to shut down the government and then took our country to the brink of economic default. He showed us everyday for the past 16, that he will put his party ahead of what is best for this country. That kind of partisanship is exactly why Washington is broken.

“I’m running for Congress because it’s time we had a representative in Washington who knows they are there to serve the families in Northern Michigan, not a political party.

“From veterans facing delays for their benefits to new retirees not being able to sign up for Social Security, and small businesses not getting loans, this political brinksmanship had a real impact on people’s lives. We may have avoided a more catastrophic economic hit, but real damage was done here. We deserve better, we can do better, and I will never let my personal views interfere with what’s best for the people of Michigan’s 1st Congressional District.”

A Vietnam veteran, Cannon served as a major general in the Michigan Army National Guard and was deployed multiple times around the world to keep America safe, including tours in Iraq.

Ed Keenan • via email

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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