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 2-17-2014
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Letters 2-17-2014

- February 17th, 2014  

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.

Tar Sands, Pipeline Opposition

Stephen Tuttle’s column titled "No Line in the Tar Sand" missed some key points. In describing the First Nation peoples of Canada as "appalled" by the tar sands mining understates their situation. Few of us would be simply "appalled" if our communities were deemed sacrifice zones. An analogy would be if Mr. Tuttle’s community’s access to food, clean water and shelter were eliminated forever.

The few billions in economic gain would be offset by the many billions of economic loss due to Keystone’s contribution to climate change.

It is helpful to understand the widespread opposition to the Keystone pipeline in the context of historical movements that drew "lines in the sand" and shifted the tide of history. To say that this extreme energy profiteering is inevitable is akin to saying you might as well accept slavery since it’s going to happen anyhow, or not allow women's rights since it's always been that way. The resistance to the Keystone XL saw the largest mass civil disobedience in the United States since the Civil Rights era. The resistance to tar sands is the harbinger of a global environmental rights movement that has groups on over 300 college campuses organizing fossil fuel divestment campaigns similar to those that helped topple apartheid in South Africa. The activities of mountain top coal removal, horizontal fracturing for methane, and mining of tar sands for oil will someday be universally seen as bizarre destructive practices from an era that was fixated on consumption instead of sustainability; on short term profit for a few, at the expense of a livable planet for all. Symbolic actions coupled with systemic changes are key steps to change, which will ultimately happen, new pipeline or not.

Gerard Grabowski • Bear Lake

Look Who is Behind the Attack Ads

Do you wonder who’s behind the negative ads aimed at the Democrats and Gary Peters, in particular? The DeVos family hides behind the following groups to peddle their bull… Action Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Council for National Policy, Federalist Society, Focus on the Family, Freedom Works Foundation, Heritage Foundation, Mackinaw Center for Public Policy, and the National Organization for Marriage.

Wake up citizens. These people want to control your lives. Just think, a few years ago they were soap salesmen. “Good” citizens don’t hide their names behind organizations like some people are doing.

David Petty • Charlevoix

No to Proposed Air Walk in Kasson Township

The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as “irresponsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” The proposed ecotourism park by developer Mark Evans designed with an air walk and observation areas that will scale the ridgeline of an 83-acre parcel of property on residential Fritz Road is a fancy packaging scheme to line Mr. Evans’ pockets with millions of dollars. It is hard to imagine how this theme park would improve my well being and the well being of those who reside in this quiet neighborhood - people who cherish and respect the surrounding pristine wilderness, wildlife and serenity that enhances our lives daily.

As much as I would like to be openminded, all I see is an influx of traffic. Evans’ goal is to attract 150,000 people annually. One hundred and fifty thousand people traveling by car, tour bus and motorcycle to an eco-attraction in this neighborhood is nothing short of a nightmare. The potential outcomes from the swell of human traffic include, but are not limited to, an increase in human and vehicular noise, traffic problems, road deterioration and the emissions of noxious pollutants. Sound travels. Noise pollutes. Noise disturbs the peace. Noise frightens wildlife and affects the delicate balance of the natural world we cherish. Noxious pollutants impact the health of trees, plants, water sources, air quality, wildlife and people. I value where I live, and am grateful for the National Park that provides opportunities for locals and tourists to experience the beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. In my opinion the 150,000 people Mr. Evans wants to create an eco experience for would be better served by the National Park.

JoAnna Pepe • Kasson Township

Consumer Alert

What a wonderful movie the "The Dallas Buyers Club" is, sure to win awards for acting. It may have brought to light some of the failures of our Food and Drug Administration as well. And we now learn that the chemical, azodicarbonamide, used in yoga mats and shoe soles, was approved by the FDA for use in breads and cereal flours to enhance freshness. That it was approved with the knowledge that azodicarbonamide causes respiratory illness and is banned in Europe and Australia makes one wonder who our FDA really works for. It is time to ban this chemical and demand that the people who pushed this one through pay for their greed and incompetence in protecting the American people. Immediately though please read all labels on breads, cereals and other wheat products and do not buy anything with azodicarbonamide.

Barbara McIntyre, Ph.D., ATR-BC, LPC Traverse City

We Need a Carbon Tax

Stephen Tuttle’s recent piece “No Line in the Tar Sands” describes some of the valid arguments for and against the Keystone XL pipeline. He then concludes with what he calls the two most salient facts. First, with regard to ongoing development of Alberta’s dirty oil --”The economic prize is simply too great to ignore.” Second, that in order to have the fossil fuel based products we routinely use, precursors must be delivered somehow -- whether by pipeline, rail or truck tanker.

Alright. We could just accept these points, resign ourselves to the inevitability of the KXL and endure the consequences. But the scientific consensus is in. If we continue to burn fossil fuels, it will be at our peril. We don’t need another pipeline. We need a carbon tax to drive the transition to clean energy. And most salient of all, we need to ask ourselves whether there exists any conceivable “economic prize” or any product whatsoever that is more valuable to us than our own children’s future in a livable world.

Sarah Campbell • Frankfort

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