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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Letters 06-09-2014

- June 9th, 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.

Benishek No Vet

During the Memorial Day Parade in Petoskey, I noticed that Congressman Dan Benishek was walking with local veterans.

He is not a veteran and I wondered why he was walking in the parade with them. Could it be that it is an election year and he is running against Jerry Cannon, a retired Two Star Major General of the Army National Guard?

Carolyn Bourland, Petoskey

Letters to Jail

A big thank you to Sheriff Ted Schendel of Benzie County for rescinding the “Postcard Only” policy on May 23. This policy was initiated by the sheriff on April 27th. At the urging of Benzie citizens, Schendel reviewed the policy and then made a compassionate and legal decision. Now anyone who corresponds with inmates of the Benzie County jail can send letters. Lord Byron (1788-1824)stated the importance of letters when he said: “Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.”

Unfortunately, there are many county jails in Michigan and across the USA that have this policy, despite the fact that research shows that inmates who have contact with the outside world through letters have a lower incidence of recidivism. Besides this, there is legal precedence that demonstrates that this policy is a violation of the inmate’s and the correspondent’s First Amendment right: Freedom of Speech. Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall spoke eloquently on the subject: “When the prison gates slam behind a prisoner, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions. . . .It is the role of the First Amendment and this Court to protect those precious personal rights by which we satisfy such basic yearnings of the human spirit. (“Marinez, 416 U.S. at 428(Marshall., J, concurring.)

We, as Americans, must be vigilant about our Constitutional rights. Our forefathers, created The Bill of Rights and the Constitution to protect our people against the power of the government, whether county, state, or national officials.

Kay Bos, Honor

In Defense of Our Climate

So what’s going on in Washington? On May 22, the US House of Representatives passed the McKinley Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (the military budget), which would forbid the Department of Defense to spend any money to implement the recommendations of the National Climate Assessment, the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and two other climate reports when considering the national security impacts of climate change.

As Paul Ferrell of the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Research programs ongoing and widely used by the Pentagon in strategic national defense planning for many years could, if the Senate agrees, become illegal to use.” In other words, the majority of the members of the lower House of Congress want to forbid the Pentagon from considering the findings and recommendations of scientists when making plans to keep our nation safe.

Huh? Our congressmen are forbidding the use of science? Are our elected officials working for us or for the wealthy oil and gas companies?

Our representative in Washington, Dr. Dan Benishek, voted with the Republican majority to ban the use of scientific analysis embedded in these reports in making plans about our security. It’s outrageous.

We can have cleaner air, cleaner water, cheaper energy, better health, a booming economy, full employment, and a safer world by embracing a 21st century energy revolution, developing a smart grid that can distribute safe, clean, renewable energy. If we want to continue our idyllic life here in northern Michigan and provide a livable future for our children and grandchildren, we must vote for responsible politicians who are willing to take action based on science and the reality of what is actually happening today.

William Gittlen, M.D., Frankfort

Littering Never Okay

God made this world. He was here first and is still watching.

He loaned the world to us. Educated adults are to teach all others this rule: Littering is not ok. It was never ok. It will never be ok. Throw garbage in an approved container. Educated adults –be responsible. Contribute to the solution.

You know the rules. Anything people throw on the ground that did not grow there or wasn’t there originally is unacceptable. Slum dwellers reached a new low. While cleaning the ravines I was lucky to find a used poopy diaper. What kind of person throws used diapers in ravines?

Any slum dweller you know doesn’t care what they do. Your job is to inform them. If slum dwellers are visitors, they aren’t welcome if they don’t follow the rules. That is why educated, responsible, residents must teach them and set an example.

If the title “slum dwellers” offends you, their actions offend me.

Service to God and community has no expiration date. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

Terry Witt, Williamsburg

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