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 12-30-2013
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Letters 12-30-2013

- December 30th, 2013  

Say no to the racetrack

As the “baby” cousin of the fabulous, extended Willman family, I am expressing our collective, resounding NO to the prospect of a racetrack facility on Griswold Mountain in Indian River.

We gather regularly at the family cottage on Grandview Beach (which was built around 1927) and enjoy kayaking, swimming, sailing, golfing and other activities, none of which disturb the natural beauty of the local environment. We want to continue to gather together as a family without the traffic, noise, and pollution that would accompany the development of a racetrack within approximately a mile of our beloved cottage.

We descend from my maternal grandparents, E.J. and Lovina Willman of Owosso, where E.J. was the superintendent of schools. He loved children and supported educational opportunities for all; all five of his daughters obtained their college degrees, despite the economic hardships during the Depression. The high school football field was named after my grandfather, who was known for his integrity and courage; he endured intimidation from the local KKK when he hired Catholic teachers at a time when there was some anti-Catholic sentiment in Shiawassee County.

While we support the concept blessed in this country to pursue one’s dream, this pursuit should not come at the expense of many others who quietly engage in honorable careers and lifestyles that contribute to the collective “good” of society. We hope that the Cheboygan County officials feel the same when they consider the zoning changes sought for a motorcycle racetrack on Griswold Mountain. This divisive issue has the potential to disrupt the quality of life for many people that also share a story as unique and special as that of our family.

Sue Devick • Mullett Lake

Destructive plan

About 80 years ago my grandfather built a cottage near Indian River that he named North Haven. He, my grandmother, and their five daughters spent every summer with the woods and waters. Those daughters in turn faithfully brought their nine children back to the cottage for long visits. We nine children brought our children to stay at a place undisturbed by noisy crowds. And our children now bring our grandchildren.

We continue to come because North Haven keeps its promise of a quiet natural setting where we can focus on family. The proposed location for a motor sports facility would greatly impair that.

None of us oppose the concept of a motocross facility - it would bring welcome revenue and tourists. But the location on Griswold mountain would be destructive. There is a viable proposal for an alternate site on state land south of Indian River, and I encourage that this alternative be seriously considered. It would provide equal benefits for much less harm, and let North Haven and other homes and cottages like it continue to be a refuge for future generations.

Edward W. Ahern • Fairfield, CN

Creepy condition

I read with amusement the Detroit Free Press article on “The Elf On The Shelf” named Michael who watched children’s every move before heading to the North Pole each evening to report directly to Santa on each child’s misadventures. A co-owner of Anderson’s Bookshop stores in Illinois, although selling the elf for $29.95, does not recommend it because she finds to be “a little creepy.”

Her creepy verdict brought back memories of the Southern Baptist pastor of my childhood, who described a God who watched our every move, and then made a sort of demerit list based on our behavior which could result in eternal hell-fire. He also convinced me that partaking of one sip of communion wine with sin in my heart (a common condition of young boys going through puberty) would also result in everlasting hell-fire.

The choice between displaying my sinful nature to the entire congregation by refusing communion, or drinking the communion wine at the risk of eternal damnation was such an onerous one, that I often skipped the once-a-month communion Sunday altogether, rather than having to make that impossible choice.

If some form of being creeped-out is mandatory, I would choose Michael, the elfin enforcer, as my creepy disciplinarian, since Michael’s bad report to Santa would only serve to diminish the quality of my Christmas gifts, whereas, the disciplinarian God favored by my pastor would allow me to suffer eternal punishment for even the bad thoughts I might have had during communion. Now that is creepy!

Bob Ross • Pellston

Special interest scandal

I’d like to thank Michigan law enforcement for putting the brakes on the Republicans' attempt to make AT&T more profitable at the expense of constituents by discontinuing land line service. Since this legislature has demonstrated repeatedly that the concerns of their constituents are secondary to the whims of special interests, I have no doubt without blow back from law enforcement our Republican ALEC lackeys would have made this bill law.

There is another scandal here that the lazy media will never tell you. It perfectly illustrates how government and corporations screw Americans.

As you know, our leaders have abandoned free market competition in favor of too big to fail, too big to regulate monopolies. One of those is the telecommunications industry. In 2006, Congress agreed to allow an AT&T merger on the condition that AT&T provide broadband Internet to every customer in 22 states by the end of 2007.

Seven years and six telecommunications mergers later, all made with the same broken promises, my cell phone and internet service is a step above carrier pigeon. Just like free trades deals, corporate bailouts and tax incentives to lure corporations to these states, corporations know they’ll never be held accountable by bought off politicians.

Before Republicans considered this bill, they should have held AT&T’s feet to the fire in hearings and demanded follow through on their word to first provide broad band to Michigan’s huge rural population (their constituents). They should have held impact studies.

You see, it’s not profitable for AT&T to bring broad band to rural areas and it’s not profitable for them to maintain landlines. Republicans legislators just attempted to let AT&T have their cake and eat it too, bamboozling constituents in the process.

This AT&T Landline Bill is exhibit A in how legislators help corporations screw the public.

Julie A Racine • Marion

A taxing subject

In Michigan we have huge income from various sin taxes. We have a tax on alcohol, on nicotine addiction (tobacco), and income from gambling on the lottery and video poker machines. When marijuana is legalized here, as it is in the state of Washington, we will have a tax on that. What we don’t have is a tax on sex.

Not all sex is a sin, of course, but prostitution is. It’s time the state intervened and acknowledged sex workers, both male and female. If the state made sex workers state employees, and provided clean and safe places to work, aka bordellos, with a pension plan and health benefits we would take the amateurs off the street and put the pimps out of business.

We would also protect the health of sex workers and reduce the risk of what is clearly a sometimes dangerous profession. But if sex workers were licensed, like many professions, they would benefit. And if there were a tax on their services, the state would take in a ton of money we could spend on health care, schools, and public housing.

A tax on sex would be an all around winner.

Harley Sachs • via email

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