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 04-07-14
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Letters 04-07-14

- April 7th, 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.

ACA Has Benefits

I hear people bashing the Affordable Care Act and wonder why they like the old plan better. The ACA: Covers preventive screenings like blood pressure, diabetes and cancer screenings free of charge without a co-pay or deductible.

Stops insurance companies from overcharging or canceling coverage when you get sick and need it most.

Removes annual and lifetime caps on benefits so your treatments are covered.

Requires 80 percent of your premium to go for actual medical care or you get a rebate.

Gives tax credits to individuals and small businesses so they can afford to offer quality health care for employees.

Prevents insurance companies from charging women more than men.

Prevents companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Creates state-based marketplaces where people can compare and shop for insurance.

Young adults can stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26.

Helps seniors save money on their medications.

Increases penalties for Medicare fraud and abuse recovering $19.2 billion over the last five years. (Source: www.whitehouse.gov)

Beverly Christensen • Cedar

We Are Clean

The artist in the “A Door Closed, A Window Opened” in the March 10 issue is a nice looking woman with some interesting jewelry creations. However, her assertion that “we” come to God “broken and dirty: and then somehow get ‘cleaned up’ by him” is a rationale I find offensive and ridiculous. I am also angry that she makes this pronouncement on behalf of all of us rather than for herself by using the big “we.”

“We,” meaning myself, my close friends and relatives, believe that we actually enter this universe wonderfully clean, whole, and full of the potential and ability to bring happiness, love and fulfillment into our lives and the lives of others.

Michael Kearns • Northport

Oppose Griswold Racetrack

When it comes time for Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners to make a decision regarding the conditional rezoning of Griswold Mountain, I hope they will show the same amount of professionalism, attention to detail, and commitment as their own Planning and Zoning Commission has already demonstrated.

It is imperative to sort out the emotion and hype from the relevant zoning law and supporting facts. We all know that some people in Cheboygan County love the noise and excitement of race-tracks, while others are more interested in serenity and nature. We also know that some people in Cheboygan County believe that a racetrack will bring economic prosperity, while others believe that most of the revenue will be swallowed up by traveling vendors along with the owner of the racetrack. However, neither of these issues is relevant to a zoning decision.

What is relevant is whether Griswold Mountain is an appropriate location for a racetrack. The Planning and Zoning Commission looked at hundreds of documents and listened to hours of public comment. They determined that the conditional rezoning of Griswold Mountain did not meet any of the ten standards under consideration. They voted unanimously to not recommend the conditional rezoning of Griswold Mountain.

There is a good reason for this decision.

Common sense and historical precedent dictate that you do not place a racetrack in the middle of an existing residential area.

I hope that the Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners will follow the recommendation of their own Planning and Zoning Commission. To ignore their recommendation would make a mockery of the entire zoning process.

Jess Miller • Indian River

Ban Pesticides

Lawn pesticides (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides etc.) are poisons that kill insects, weeds and organisms. Numerous studies show them to also cause cancers, birth defects, autism, infertility and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities). Pesticides can also damage the brain, nervous system, lungs, kidneys, liver, endocrine and immune systems. It is also against the law to advertise or market pesticides as “safe.” Even tiny amounts are harmful.

Research indicates that Round-Up, a popular weed killer used in the U.S., can cause liver damage, reproductive disorders, Non- Hodgkins lymphoma, as well as cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, nerve and respiratory damage. Round-Up is blamed for poisoning ground water throughout the U.S. and beyond.

2,4-d, used in Vietnam (with Agent Orange ) on crops and people, is another herbicide (weed killer) found in Speed Zone and many other products. Despite decades of scientific evidence associating 2,4-d with cancer and other illnesses and diseases in humans and animals, the chemical continues to be one of the top 3 pesticides sold in the U.S.

These poisons can easily get into your home, even with windows shut. They can also be tracked in by foot or paw. If neighbors use pesticides, they can blow onto your property. Rays from the sun increase their toxicity.

Using lawn or orchard pesticides or hiring lawn chemical companies to use them can make other people sick, including your neighbors, children, pregnant women, cancer survivors, the elderly, and people with serious health issues.

In 1995, Cleveland Heights was the first American city to ban lawn chemicals from city property. New York and Connecticut banned lawn chemicals from school grounds. In 1991 Quebec, Canada banned pesticides and six more provinces have followed since.

Julie Collins • Traverse City

Uncap Social Security

I agree with Mr. Don Semen’s letter from the March 24 issue. I see no reason to have a cap on income taxed for Social Security. People who have income greater than $110,000 can most afford it and it would help keep Social Security and Medicare healthy.

Karen Rogers • Traverse City

Volunteer Thanks

During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 6-12, the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) pays tribute to the dedicated and generous individuals that volunteer with our organization.

It is with sincere gratitude that we celebrate WRCNM volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Week and every day. They provide invaluable help to our organization, making it possible for us to continue to provide vital programs and services to individuals and families in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, Cheboygan and Otsego counties.

Last year, community members provided more than 5,386 volunteer hours to the WRCNM. They performed important tasks and activities such as providing information and support to those who call our 24-hour crisis line; assisting customers at our Gold Mine Resale Shops; helping prepare direct mail pieces; performing maintenance at our facilities; creating craft projects with the children of domestic abuse survivors at our Safe Home; or serving on our Board of Directors and Violence Prevention Team.

WRCNM volunteers are an inspiration to our staff, as well as those who seek and need our services. Please know that the contributions of WRCNM volunteers make a positive difference in northern Michigan communities!

Jamie Winters Safe Home Coordinator, Petoskey

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