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 3-17-14
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Letters 3-17-14

- March 17th, 2014  

Email letters 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. Faxed letters are not accepted.


We are fortunate to live in America. We are required to act responsibly. Contribute to the SOLUTION.

RULE #1. Anything people throw on the ground that did not grow there or wasn’t there originally is unacceptable. If it is processed, it’s garbage.

What is litter? Cigarette butts, empty cigarette packages, paper cups, bags, flossers, candy wrappers, cans, bottles, fast food debris, everything indicated in RULE #1.

Cover garbage containers left on the road. In all windy conditions cover with a heavy weight. YOU are liable for your garbage.

RULE #2. All commercial vehicles must not throw their garbage on the ground. It doesn’t matter who you are or who you work for. Put a bag in your truck and use it for garbage. Place it in an AUTHORIZED container. My street, yard, neighborhood or County grounds are NOT AUTHORIZED.

WE are fortunate to live in the United States. Every person lucky enough to live in this country which I served for nearly 30 years is entitled to treat it with respect. Service to God and community has no expiration date. Pass the message to others. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

Terry Witt • Williamsburg


The past president of Monster Beverage Company has stated publicly on several occasions that he wants to build a racetrack on Griswold Mountain in order to “give back” to Indian River.

I am a retired public health nurse with over twenty years of service to the people of Cheboygan County. As a public health nurse I had the privilege of working with many community leaders as part of several different forums which sought to improve the health and well-being of our residents.

During these carefully constructed “needs assessments” never once did the Cheboygan County leaders come to the conclusion that what this county needs more than anything else is a world class motocross racetrack.

Many recurring themes were present, however. High on our list were improved health care and better access to it; safer places for our children to play and for our seniors to exercise; and better nutrition for everyone. Most importantly, the one need that was always identified was the creation of more long-term high-paying jobs with health benefits.

If the Griswold Mountain developer truly wants to give back to his community, he could indeed address this need. As a board member of the Monster Beverage Company, he could encourage his company to create real jobs in Indian River. They could possibly build a bottling plant or a distribution center at the Indian River Industrial Park, where many new employees would have year-round full-time employment.

The developer truly could be instrumental in helping to bring prosperity to Indian River. But building a race-track will not address this need. In the developer’s own words, putting on a motocross race would be like having a “traveling circus” come to town. Unfortunately, when the circus is gone, so are the jobs.

Pam Miller • Indian River


Since the 1970s the income earned by the top fifth of Americans has risen from 40 percent to 47 percent of total income. It is difficult to say that this level of inequality is a bad thing; many of the reasons are clear. People tend to have lower incomes when they are young, higher income in middle age, and lower incomes when elderly. Even year-to-year, there are shifts between rich and poor, some people making money a top priority in their lives, while others do not.

The concern is not in inequality itself, but rather the increase in income inequality since the 1970s. The reason for the rise is due to the change in information technology that has favored the productivity of highly skilled worker. Inflation adjusted, the current minimum wage is lower than it was in the 1970s. Household incomes have become more unequal because of changes in family patterns, including the rise of singleparent families and the rise of high-earners marrying each other. Lastly, globalization has played a minor role in job loss to countries paying lower wages.

While higher taxes on the rich can be used to equalize, the share of federal taxes paid by those with high incomes is fairly high by the standard of recent decades. An alternative method of reducing inequality would be to increase government spending. This could be accomplished by expanding direct payments to the working poor, via an earned income credit and/or an increase in the minimum wage. Another way would be to increase government spending on infrastructure, which could create higher paying jobs.

Ronald Marshall • Petoskey

CORRECTIONS: In the March 3 issue, we mistakenly noted that Brett and Kristina Nichols of Elevated Arts had created the Music Together program. In fact, Music Together is an international program developed in the 1980s. We apologize for any confusion.

In the March 10 issue on the Style page we ran an incorrect price for a sweater at Ellas. The correct price is $216.

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