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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Friday Night Lights


Al Parker - August 18th, 2014  

Strap on the pads and helmets and get ready for fall football, northern Michigan style.

Optimism is rampant; as of today, every squad has a chance at playing in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Championship Games set for Nov. 28 and 29 at Detroit’s Ford Field. Here are a few schools, teams and players we have our eyes on this season.


Coach: Jerry Angers

Conference: Northwest Football League

2013 record: 9-2

Key players returning: Quarterback and linebacker Travis Wiltjer, wide receiver and safety Mac Ewing, fullback and defensive tackle Andrew Lindeman, tight end and linebacker David Greizbenick.

Why watch them: Glen Lake will be running its successful veer offense again this year, though look for “a few wrinkles,” according to coach Angers. After posting back-to-back 9-2 records over the past two years, the Lakers will be challenged in 2014. “This is our hardest schedule in the last 20 years,” says coach Angers. “We start at Frankfort (on Aug. 29) then have Suttons Bay (Sept. 5), then have a big game on Sept. 12 at Grayling, and we’re at Boyne City(Oct. 3). All tough games.”


Coach: Bill Koenig

Conference: North Star League

2013 record: 5-4

Key players returning: Guard/defensive lineman Dave Julka, wide receiver/cornerback Mason VanPamel, quarterback Ty Jones, offensive lineman/defensive lineman Kyle Hennigen, wide receiver/defensive end/ kicker Josh Reinbold and running back Kenny Kolcan.

Why watch them: Hillman returns several players from last year’s squad that was an offensive powerhouse, scoring 58, 55, 48, 48 and 47 points in their victories last year. Coach Koenig is running a pro set offense and expects to keep the scoreboard lit up again in 2014. “Our toughest games look to be Mio (Sept. 26) and Whittemore-Prescott (Oct. 17)” he says.


Coach: Joe Smokevitch

Conference: Ski Valley Conference

2013 record: 8-3

Key players returning: Tight end and defensive end Dan Nieman, punter, guard and defensive lineman Trevor Pickelmann, quarterback Brandon Huss.

Why watch them: Last year the young Cardinals started 1-2, then rattled off seven wins in a row before falling to St. Ignace, 2014, in the Division 8 District title game. “We started six sophomores on offense and six on defense in the playoffs,” says second-year coach Joe Smokevitch, who served as an assistant for 15 years. “I expect this year’s team to be even better (than last year’s)…I’ve got some kids who can make plays.” Smokevitch will rely on an array of six different running backs to spark the offense. The Cardinals will be tested in their opener against Mancelona on Aug. 29. The Ironmen won last year’s contest, 28-6. “We’ve got to beat Mancelona and St. Ignace (on Sept. 26),” says Smokevitch. “To win the Ski Valley you’ve got to beat them.”


Coach: Jim Hunter

Conference: Northwestern Six

2013 record: 3-6

Key players returning: Quarterback Jarret Sovereign, running back Jordan Coe, lineman Elijah Hayes and lineman Josh McPherson.

Why watch them: After winning three of their first five games last year, the Portagers struggled at the end losing four straight.

Onekama suffered growing pains last year with eight sophomores in the starting lineup, some going both ways. Coach Hunter hopes to build on last year’s experience and expects improvement, especially as the season rolls on. “Those sophomores got tons of experience last year,” he says. The Portagers will be seeking revenge when they open the season on Aug. 29 at Suttons Bay. Last year the Norsemen blanked Onekama 21-0 during that four game skid.


Coach: Tim Wooer

Conference: Big North

2013 record: 5-5.

Key players returning: Quarterback Jeff Turnquist, wide receiver and defensive back Zach McIntyre, defensive lineman Zach Schwert.

Why watch them: The Titans return six starters on defense and five on offense as they take aim on their fourth postseason bid in the last five years. Offensive linemen Jake Cerny, Thiyo Lukusa and Tommy Roush are three potential Division 1 players to watch. Coach Wooers is cautiously optimistic, citing the Titans tough schedule. The big rivalry game with TC Central is Sept. 12, while an Oct. 10 contest against Cadillac could decide the Big North title.

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