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 11-04-13
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Letters 11-04-13

- November 4th, 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.

The roots of violence

At a recent Forum on Gun Violence there was not a lot of talk about violent video games and movies, but panelists mentioned them as a factor.

In my opinion as a retired pediatrician and adolescent and family psychiatrist, one result of the obsession with violent video games by young people is the loss of ability to talk and resolve problems.

Because of a preponderance of split homes and two working parents, the kids do not see the usual discussion of differences that takes place in a family and the usual resolution by talking and compromising.

Young people want the immediate gratification that a shoot-them-up video game gives and have not developed the patience and skills to effect mutually beneficial resolution to a conflict. Without this experience of resolving even the smallest differences, it is easy to jump to the videogame answer -- just shoot the opposition!

This inability to talk and resolve, and the lack of developing the patience to obtain that resolution, can make young people ill at ease, anxious, and frustrated. They are unaware of their feelings, since they have not heard examples of expressing feelings as a part of resolving conflicts. This discomfort can lead to release through violence.

Schools add to the child’s problems due to the slashing of funds, the increasing numbers of students in a classroom, and teachers who don’t have enough time to talk to and help a student. I am surprised to learn that some of the junior and senior high school students get grades on their papers that have been submitted electronically and graded the same way. There are no red ink corrections. There is no teacher/student discussion, no time, too many kids in a class. Where and when is a student to learn how to talk, to express ideas, feelings, to interact with a guiding adult?

It seems we are bringing up kids without much guidance and contact with a responsible caring adult.

Remember the monkey experiments years ago? One monkey was given a surrogate mother, a wooden doll with a soft surface over it. That monkey never learned to relate to others as opposed to the monkey raised by a real live mother. That is what is happening to some children today. Then of course we have problems and escalation of violence.

There are many aspects to this problem:

Our society has become a “me-me” one as opposed to a “we” society (look at the Apple “i” products). We are told to take care of ourselves, ignore the poor beggar, step over the drunk or avoid that place altogether. If we do not see or hear of a problem, we can just go blithely on.

Michael Moore interviewed kids in Canada in his movie “Bowling for Columbine.” He found young people were not afraid of each other, not quick to lock their doors. Canadians have more guns in households than we have in the U.S., but are free of fear and have much less gun violence! Why? Maybe it is a societal attitude.

“We” are here together, the kids implied.

Are “we” here together in the U.S. (us)? Is our Congress an example of resolving conflicts? A few weeks ago, I even heard of a brawl that broke out in a courtroom because different people did not like the verdict. Is that how adults solve differences? Is that the message we give our youth today?

The Forum on Gun Violence and a community showing of “Columbine” raised many questions in the minds of those who attended. We need to raise awareness, stimulate conversation, and begin a movement toward the changes so badly needed in our nation. Meanwhile, talk with youth!

Emmy Lou Cholak • TC

Senate sends a message

The Michigan Senate passed a package of bills Oct. 22 that will restrict where people receiving public benefits can withdraw cash from ATMs using their Bridge cards.

Restricted sites would include: casinos, liquor stores, horse-racing tracks and strip clubs. The clear inference being that anyone on welfare is a self-destructive bum.

Perhaps that package of bills should be expanded to include a limitation on the ATM sites that state lawmakers can utilize to withdraw funds made available by the public benefits provided through the largess of Michigan taxpayers.

Bob Ross • Pellston

They’ll be missed...

Ten years ago this summer, Bronwyn Jones started purchasing food from our Leelanau County Sweeter Song Farm and giving that fresh, healthful food to the Women’s Resource Center. Bronwyn’s idea evolved into the mission for the Fresh Food Partnership: buy locally grown fresh food at a fair market price for our neighbors in need. Food pantries and meals programs in our five-county area received this food through the on-farm pickup and delivery work of many dedicated volunteers.

The Partnership recently announced that it was ending its services. Since its inception, the Fresh Food Partnership distributed over 450,000 pounds of food and supported small farmers in our area to the tune of $300,000, keeping donors’ money working in our local economy. Other organizations have since been formed to help feed those in need, but the Partnership will be missed for its support of local, small farms, and the delivery of high quality, fresh, nutritious food.

A great deal of thanks needs to go to Bronwyn, Joe VanderMeulen, The Land Information Access Association, present and past Partnership coordinators, the farmers, and all the volunteers who made this amazing program such a worthwhile endeavor.

Judy Reinhardt and Jim Schwante • Sweeter Song Farm • Cedar

Republican tax machine

Where are the campaign signs? Here it is, getting down to another millage election, and who knows anything about the three tax increases on the ballot?

It does seem odd, with all the noise in Washington about how taxes are destroying America, and the repeated rants from Lansing about reducing taxes to make Michigan more competitive, that the Republicans are not out in force to oppose more taxes here in Grand Traverse County. We have hundreds of elected and appointed township and county positions in this area, of which only a few are filled with Democrats.

Why are the Republicans so silent on tax increases? Because they want them.

In August, Green Lake Township raised the fire department millage by 29% and not one Republican took a public stand against it. Well, they actually proposed the increase, so who would expect them to oppose it?

Of course, when the next election comes around, they will be talking out of the other side of their mouths, and ranting about how we are being taxed to death - by the Democrats.

I realize it is foolish to be against these millage increases because they are needed for our schools, roads and emergency services. Unfortunately, much of the local millage increases are necessitated by the state and federal budget cuts and the boondoggle giveaways to corporations and special interests. It seems it is left to us commoners to make up the shortfall. We are expected to give a little more, so the rich can keep a lot more.

David Petrove • Interlochen

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