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 5-26-2014
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Letters 5-26-2014

- May 26th, 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.

Stop Damage to Waters

Lake Bellaire is a northern Michigan treasure, enjoyed by its residents and visitors for fishing, boating, and majestic views. But there is an unwelcome surprise awaiting those who love the Antrim Chain of Lakes, and Lake Bellaire.

The O.I.L. Energy Corporation has recently applied to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for two permits to drill for natural gas near the intersection of Brake Road and White Birch Lane, mere yards from the headwaters of the Grass River.

The proposed well will be over 900 feet deep, then turn, horizontally, for another 2600 feet. The amount of land cleared and industrialized will be significant. Given the DEQ’s record, the permits are almost guaranteed to be granted.

Residents will soon be forced into the debate of whether or not Michigan should continue to support gas and oil exploration, thought by many to threaten our pristine lakes, rivers, and water aquifers.

My advice is for residents and visitors to research the effects of gas and oil exploration in states like Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and California, where spills and fracking may be permanently damaging ground water. Michigan also has numerous gas wells, some of them fracked, many drilled near the headwaters of the AuSable, Manistee, and Muskegon rivers.

I believe Michigan must lead the nation by moving away from hydrocarbon energy towards renewable energy. Our current Lansing representatives benefit greatly from the lobbying efforts of big gas and oil, but could be persuaded if enough citizens remind them of the importance of tourism, which depends on clean lakes and rivers.

If Lake Bellaire residents wish to fight against permits for drilling gas, they should do so immediately by contacting their representatives and joining environmental groups resisting Michigan oil and gas exploration.

The gas companies have the upper hand, so protesting must be significant and persistent.

Glenn Bier, East Jordan

Learn About NSA’s Powers

I read and watch the news with growing concern over the expansive powers of the National Security Administration (NSA). The explosive revelations by Edward Snowden now being reported by Glenn Greenwald and others hopefully are triggering thoughts and renewed debate over the tension between national security and information privacy. It has now been reported that the NSA is collecting ALL mobile phone conversations in the Bahamas, not especially known as a hotbed of terrorism.

If you are concerned or just want to learn more, attend an airing of Democracy Now’s interview with Glenn Greenwald regarding his new book “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State” on June 2 at 6:30pm at the Traverse Area District Library. The event is sponsored by MidEastJustPeace.org.

Marian Kromkowski, Suttons Bay

Too Much War

Are we addicted to war?

A recent speaker on international affairs reported that the current military budget is 20 percent of the total U.S. budget. Those figures are “suspect.” Since 9/11, the US military budget has swollen by 49 percent over its 2000 levels, not including two wars. Many of our brightest engineers and scientists have been drawn from potential productive careers like developing alternative energy sources and research into developing weapons.

Has violence become our nation’s leading industry? One of the priorities of our national security strategy is to “perpetuate US military dominance globally so no nation can rival or threaten the United States.” In 2003, 80 percent of the top buyers of US weapons were countries our own State Department said were countries known for their failure to uphold civil rights. We sell to both sides of conflicts. In the past century, 43 million military personnel were killed in war, and 62 million civilians.

Ten percent of the U.S. military budget could care for the basic needs of the entire world’s poor. I can think of a few programs in our country that could use additional funds: education, medical research, and transportation -- all of which would add value to our lives as citizens. Must our fear outweigh our common concern for the life of our planet?

Lou Ann McKimmy, Kewadin

Correction: We mistakenly identified Jim Harvey’s wife Wendy as Linda in an article last week about the Traverse City Summer Concert Series. We apologize for the error.

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