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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Public Safety


Patrick Sullivan - January 6th, 2014  

Police are investigating a fresh tip in the hit-and-run death of Kelly Boyce Hurlbert.

There have been over 600 tips in the case, and while the latest one is not particularly promising, Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said detectives will follow up on the potential lead.

Hurlbert was struck and killed by what police believe was a dark-colored SUV or pickup truck at around 2 a.m. July 5 while she bicycled alone on Washington Street near F&M Park.

Police have exhaustively searched for the driver of that vehicle but so far all of the leads have come up empty.

Ayling said the new tip concerns a Michigan resident who lives elsewhere in the state and who drives a vehicle that matches the suspect vehicle description. It came in before Christmas and detectives haven’t yet made contact with the person.

He said he hoped to be able to either close that tip or announce a development in the case in early January.

There is a $50,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the responsible driver. Anyone with information should call the Silent Observer at (231) 947-8477 or TC Police detectives at (231) 995-5152.


Two men face charges after one of them allegedly broke into a house, stole a safe, and then used stolen hundred dollar bills to “make it rain” on his girlfriend.

The Dec. 11 breakin in Garfi eld Township began to unravel almost right away.

The homeowner whose house was robbed of jewelry and as much as $4,000 in cash suspected a former tenant who had been evicted for nonpayment of rent, according to charges.

When Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s deputies investigated the tenant, Anthony Vernon Bucco, 29, they learned his girlfriend had become suspicious on the day of the burglary when Bucco appeared with four or fi ve hundred-dollar bills “and began to make it rain on her.”

She questioned Bucco about the money, investigators said. That upset him, but the following day he confessed to her in an effort to patch things up, according to the charges.

Bucco, of Mancelona, faces up to life in prison on charges of safe breaking, second-degree home invasion and being an habitual offender.

Another man, a 27-year-old Traverse City resident, faces charges of being an accessory after the fact for allegedly lending Bucco tools and a place to break open the safe.


A 26-year-old Boyne City man died of injuries after a fi ght with a family member. William Grice appeared at the Charlevoix Area Hospital Dec. 22 having suffered injuries in what police called an early-morning “incident” at his home eight hours earlier.

Charlevoix County Sheriff Don Schneider said investigators believe there may have been an altercation with a family member that led to the injuries.

Schneider also said alcohol was a “contributing factor” to the incident.

Grice was transferred to McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey for emergency surgery, but he died on Dec. 24.

His body was taken to Grand Rapids for a forensic exam.

A report will be submitted to Charlevoix County Prosecutor Alan Telgenhof once an autopsy is complete. Telgenhof said he had no comment prior to the completion of the investigation.


The case of a man accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend appears it could have been what the man said it was -- an accident.

That call will have to be made by Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Robert Cooney, who received the voluminous fi le on the death of Monica June Anderson on Dec. 20.

Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling said investigators turned up no proverbial smoking gun to indicate the suspect, Robert L. Caldwell, 33, planned or intended to kill Anderson.

Caldwell initially told police he meant to commit suicide by shooting himself but that he shot Anderson instead.

“We haven’t been able to disprove that,” Ayling said.

The shooting occurred in a Traverse City apartment on Nov. 19.

Days after the shooting Caldwell was sentenced to 93 days in jail with credit for time served for a probation violation in a Leelanau County drunk driving case. He remains in jail.


Thousands came to see the sparkling red cherry drop on Front Street to mark the beginning of a new year.

Fortunately, the crowds and the crowded bars did not add up to much trouble in the city.

Traverse City Police Capt. Brian Heffner said no one was arrested by his department for drunk driving on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. There were three warrant arrests, six minors cited for possession of alcohol and a shoplifting bust.

In the county, things weren’t much more hectic. State police made no drunk driving arrests in the county over the twoday period. There was just one drunk driving arrest by Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s deputies, Lt. Bryan Marrow said. That occurred at 8 a.m. on Jan. 1. During the twoday period, deputies arrested two for possession of marijuana and one person for driving with a suspended license.


Two men were arrested after a man reported he was beaten and robbed at his home. State police arrested two Gaylord men, Renard Kevin Wilcox, 21, and Dustin Eugene Redman, 25, on Dec. 27 stemming from an alleged unarmed robbery several days earlier.

A 53-year-old told police he was robbed in his home in Otsego Lake Township by two men, one of whom wore a mask. The man was assaulted and required medical care after the incident, police said.


Six horses that were killed at a home that burned to the ground the following day were laid to rest and the investigation into the series of events remained open.

The 57-year-old woman who was pulled from the home remained hospitalized and the horses were buried Dec. 26, Grand Traverse County Sheriff Capt. Christopher Clark said.

Investigators were called to the home on Miller Road in Grant Township on Dec. 16 to investigate the horse deaths. The following day fi refi ghters were called to the home, which was ablaze, and the woman was saved from the fi re. Investigators say the fi re is suspicious.


Deputies arrested a 43-year-old Lake Leelanau man on charges that he beat up his 25-year-old girlfriend.

As the man drove the woman from his house to her house on Dec. 19, he berated her and accused her of infi delity, Leelanau County Sheriff’s deputies said.

He allegedly pulled his car over near the intersection of French Road and E. Duck Lake Road and ordered her out of his car. When she refused, he punched her in the head, police said. After, police said he removed the woman from his car as he continued to strike her. The woman ran to a nearby home to call 911.

The man denied the assault but deputies said they could see the injuries and arrested the man for domestic violence. Paramedics treated the woman at the scene.


A man already headed to jail faced more serious charges after he was found with what police say turned out to be a bottle of morphine.

Dustin Laver Miller, 28, of Traverse City, was being booked into the Grand Traverse County Jail Oct. 9 when offi cers found a small bottle that contained a gooey substance.

The material was sent to the state police and tests revealed the substance was morphine, according to charges.

Miller faces a charge of possession of morphine and being an habitual offender. A warrant was issued for his arrest Dec. 23.

Miller has faced numerous misdemeanor and felony charges in Grand Traverse County in recent years. In October he was arrested on a warrant issued after he failed to pay fi nes in a suspended license case from earlier in the year.

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