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 11-11-13
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Letters 11-11-13

- November 11th, 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.

Kindness matters

Three young men’s lives have now been lost in the very same location at Twin Lakes Park. Last week, TC West Senior High students and staff held a memorial service for my son Owen, the most recent of those drowned. Emergency responders, ER Staff, many community members have expressed great concern that this area is NOT a safe area to allow any public access to swimming. Perhaps it is a combination of natural phenomenon such as a very cold spring-fed area, soft bottom, unusual drop off, it isn’t clear why this area has claimed three lives in just the past few years. There are no easy answers in situations like these.

I would like to recognize some very important work done this summer. Lifesaving equipment and a phone have been placed at Twin Lakes Park. More significantly, Coast Guard and Red Cross experts have provided much needed information for TCAPS to use implementing new water safety education in the high school phys-ed/health curriculum. Possibly, this may become a model for other area schools as well. Thank you to everyone involved for helping to save countless lives in the future!

It is discouraging to hear about acrimony between GT County Commission leaders and our County Parks and Recreation staff. Public officials: please remember you were asked to provide public service and to make real decisions that help our whole community. We are asking you to listen carefully, speak openly, and then to consider thoughtful responsive actions. Our public schools, parks and trails, recreational and senior centers are treasures that we can all be involved in, making them the best possible.

HUGE thanks are due to all those who so generously give their time and resources for the benefit of others. Isn’t it rewarding to touch someone with a smile or a laugh, to look into another’s eyes with understanding? Please let’s keep working together for everyone’s good. It is important to reflect on the reasons we are here today, to love one another and to appreciate the wonders of the world we live in.

Whether we are considering bullying, bicycle safety, water safety... let’s remember, Kindness Matters.

Ann K. Parker • TC

Jobs are out there

Where is the bus to pick up all the people on unemployment to pick apples and grapes? I am sick of working sooo hard, and people sitting on their BUTTS collecting unemployment. I was taught, I can always push a broom.

K.B. Sutton • via email

Happy with Obamacare

Hallelujah for Obamacare! While I didn’t get what I preferred: single-payer/Medicare for all... Republicans also didn’t get what they wanted. Instead we got this Heritage Foundation/GOP-approved/RomneyCare plan. Oops Obamacare is what the GOP once wanted.

The Affordable Care Act is the most exciting new government program since Medicare.

Readers, you or your loved ones or neighbors will benefit from this. I know of at least four single adults about age 40 -- all employed --- who can now afford an insurance plan. With subsidy their premiums will be as low as ZERO per month.

One friend wrote, “this plan may even save my life.”

As for the glitches at www.healthcare.gov, I had no problems at all last week getting on and setting up an account. I know some folks are having glitches, but they will be fixed by Nov. 30.

Let’s be rational, a major undertaking as this is bound to have glitches. Does anyone remember the roll out of Medicare Part D prescription plan? It was an unfunded plan by Bush which added to our national debt. It was an absolute nightmare!

The Affordable Care Act is a national plan that I am happy to help fund. We have had too many uninsured citizens for too long. According to a Harvard University study, we’ve had an estimated 45,000 fellow Americans dying each year due to lack of access to medical care.

For those who are not working there is now an expanded Medicaid program, although it comes with a huge flaw. Our Republican legislature is limiting coverage to only five years.

I still prefer single-payer.

Karen Martin • Cheboygan

Obamacare: what matters

The debate over Obamacare continues to be blurred by fringe issues instead of focusing on what is at the heart of the matter. People should ignore objections due to the incompetent roll-out, perceptions that the law is socialist, or nothing more than that the program was proposed by a black man in the White House. They should also ignore support based on utopian expectations for improving our society. Such arguments range from inconsequential to invalid - and, most important, they don’t matter to most people.

What matters - what the debate should center on - is the main impact of Obamacare: the minority of Americans who are economically disadvantaged will receive affordable access to health insurance.

The majority will pay for the minority’s access, however, either through higher health insurance premiums, or indirectly through subsidies paid-for with our taxes.

Conservatives resist the program because they believe that people should be responsible for their own welfare: those who do so successfully shouldn’t be compelled to support others who do not.

Progressives support the program because they understand that some people are disadvantaged due to forces beyond their control: unavoidable health crises, the demands of caring for loved ones with special needs, jobs lost to competition overseas or economic problems at home, etc. They believe that while such people aren’t entitled to the best our country has to offer, we, as a society, should provide them with a basic level of health care - even though we sometimes help people who neither deserve nor appreciate it.

Those are the basic concerns regarding Obamacare. To support or reject it, people just need to decide what kind of society they want to have. Everything else is background noise: program weaknesses, large and small, which will be resolved over time.

Doug Welker • TC

About dam time

Isn’t it time for the entire team that was involved in the Brown Bridge Dam fiasco to stand up and take responsibility for what was a colossal mistake from the git-go?

They have done more damage than mother nature or our forefathers could ever do. And the idea of letting this team move forward on the removal of the other two dams before they have completely settled with all 66 of the home owners who were compromised and something done to remove the toxic waste that was released into Boardman Lake is not even rational.

Then I believe that whoever is in charge of this mess should take bids on making all three of the dams into high tech hydroelectric plants. In this way they could at least make an effort to pay back the rest of us for the damage they have done.

Isn’t it time to listen to the people?

Walt Lund • Kalkaska


Last week’s article on friends visiting Italy incorrectly stated that Rebecca and Pete Peterson are married. Rebecca’s husband is Chef Michael Peterson.

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