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 10/14/04
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Letters 10/14/04

Various - October 14th, 2004
Lighthouse needs help
Probably one of the prettiest islands of the Great Lakes, South Fox Island lies about 16 1/2 miles north-northwest of Cathead Point in Leelanau County, making it the most isolated island in Lake Michigan. The island is Crescent shaped and has 11 1/2 miles of shoreline and 2,100 acres of nearly unspoiled wilderness. There is some evidence that French explorers visited North and South Fox Islands in the early 1600s. South Fox has no natural harbor. Even today, when visiting the state land on the island, dockage can be risky! But sometimes a ship could hide behind the island from approaching storms. A lighthouse was erected in 1867 on the southern tip of the island.
During the summer of 1991, Doug McCormick, past caretaker of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, filmed South Fox and her light. His father, James McCormick, was keeper there between 1916 and 1921. Mr. McCormick reflected sadly that the once grand light is in “horrible condition, overgrown with trees, one even growing through the roof, vandalized, but still solid.” Mr. McCormick fondly recollects his happy boyhood memories of life on South Fox Island. On a personal visit in 1997, we inspected the light and adjacent keepers quarters with DNR approval. They are restorable we believe. Much support has already begun being partnered.
Help is needed to restore this light. The biggest obstacle is the island’s remote location. Ideas are needed along with a way to raise financial support and willing volunteer workers. We are in the beginning stages of hoping to rescue the light - if indeed it is even feasible.You may contact John McKinney at 231-947-1926 or mckinne8@msu.edu and/or Sandy Bradshaw at 231-271-6594 or northernnetworks@torchlake.com. A meeting will be held on Monday, October 18, at 7 p.m. at the Suttons Bay Area Public Library.

Sandy Bradshaw • Suttons Bay

Cheney & jobs
Regarding the recent vice presidential debate, I’d like to comment on Dick Cheney’s distortion and misrepresentation of the current job situation in the United States. Vice president Cheney said “We have added 1.7 million jobs to the economy.” The truth is, on November 2nd George Bush will be the first president in 70 years to lose jobs during his term. It is true that 1.7 million jobs have been added, however during this time, millions of other jobs have been lost.
According to the US Department of Labor, the unemployment level in January 2000 was 5.7 million, in August 2004 the number has grown to 8.0 million. The loss of 2.3 million jobs is not only evidence that the current administration has made poor choices for America, but also that Dick Cheney has once again attempted to mislead the American people!
Dick Cheney is a dangerous man representing his own interests, not those of the American people. For the job opportunities and future of our country, we must ensure political change on November 2nd.

Andrew T. Pierson • Kewadin
Say no to discrimination
Discrimination is never okay, introducing discrimination into the state constitution is unthinkable. The United States of America is built on freedom and equal opportunity for all of its people.
I am speaking specifically of this November’s Proposal 2. I urge you to think and learn about this proposal. Its wording will be very misleading on the ballot. Many would have you believe that you are voting on the legality of gay marriage. You are not. Marriage between people of the same sex is already illegal in Michigan. “Yes” or “No” will not change this. Voting yes on this amendment would instead remove rights many Michigan citizens already have. It bans civil unions “for any purpose”. This includes non-married straight and gay couples. Your unmarried neighbors who are in loving, committed relationships would potentially no longer be able to buy a home together, share certain health insurance plans, open joint bank accounts or be in the hospital room with their loved ones because they are not “married”.
This amendment would be the first time that discrimination is voted into and not out of the Michigan constitution. You have the power to stop it. Please vote no to discrimination on Proposal 2.

Megan Chandler • Beulah

Ditch the draft
On Tuesday Republicans in the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly against legislation that called for reinstating the draft. This was an important moment in today’s political climate because both Senator John Kerry and Senator John Edwards have falsely claimed that it is Republicans, and President Bush, who support draft reinstatement.
While this vote should put the issue to rest, it is necessary to point out that it is another Democrat -- South Carolina’s Ernest Hollings -- who has introduced similar legislation in the Senate. No Republican in Congress has introduced any draft legislation.
John Kerry is on record saying he might be open to the idea of a draft, and President Bush, in his closing statement in the first debate, made it clear that under him America’s military will remain all-volunteer.
President Bush understands that the men and women who volunteered to defend America, and who serve in our military today, deserve our greatest appreciation and respect. As a candidate to be Commander-in-Chief, John Kerry should know better than to play politics with military service.

Scott Sokolowski • Grawn

Cheney needs help
After sitting through the Vice Presidential debate it was easy and clear to form the opinion that Dick Cheney needs help. He is in serious mental trouble! He needs a couch and a psychiatrist immediately. He really believes that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 tragedy.
Where does he get this idea, when everyone else in this country knows that it was Osama Bin Laden’s brainchild? It is a frightening thought, to think that these mentally unbalanced people are running our country. It is no wonder the United States global stature has fallen to it’s lowest level.

Linda Beers Aydlott • East Jordan

Antrim‘s crime wave
I’ve seen ads and letters about the increase in crime in Antrim County. I’ve seen ads and letters about the low level of arrests for crimes in Antrim County. I’ve heard Gary Blair say these are official numbers. I’ve heard Sheriff Terry Johnson say its all “bogus”. What I haven’t seen is any news reporting or fact checking by this paper. Crime is a very important issue to Antrim County, regardless of election year politics. It’s time the paper stepped up and looked at the Michigan Uniform Crime Report and actually did some reporting. Look it up, do the math, report.

Fred Trimble • Alden

Botched war effort
The recent statements of former U.S. administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer that the United States did not have enough troops in Iraq to effectively bring the country under control should come as no surprise. Even if one thinks the invasion of Iraq was the right thing to do, is it possible to come to any other conclusion than that the Administration has completely botched the effort at stabilizing Iraq and putting it on the path toward becoming a self-governing nation.
There has been much attention on whether John Kerry offers a realistic plan for solving the Iraq situation. But before critiquing the specific details of Kerry‘s proposals for fixing the mess that Iraq has become, shouldn‘t we be asking ourselves a more basic question: why should we trust the people who created the mess in the first place?

Jonathan Kunz • Cedar

Our environment & Bush
Mr. Bush’s repeated weakening of environmental protections directly undermines the economic welfare of northwest Michigan where tourism, resorts and recreational businesses are the #1 source of jobs. These enterprises are directly tied to clean air, clean water, open spaces, and natural preservation, all of which have been degraded by the Bush administration and its cronies in Congress and Corporate America.
John Kerry’s plans to improve environmental protection and his business and tax policies will put an end to such fat-cat favoritism. Residents of northwest Michigan can help protect our beautiful area and provide a better future for working families by voting John Kerry for President.

Phyllis Baldwin • TC

Unnecessary war
John Kerry won the first debate and should be elected the next President.
Kerry showed strength, conviction, and a steady command of the facts. I believe he is better suited, more experienced, more intelligent, and a stronger leader than ‘W’.
Bush lead us into an unnecessary war without coming close to exhausting his diplomatic alternatives. Kerry’s remark about ‘understanding what it means to kill’ was powerful. I feel that Bush takes the pain and death he has caused unnecessarily too lightly. Ironically, Bush chided Kerry for calling Iraq’s current president a puppet. Who is pulling George’s strings?

James Reznich • TC

Fixing a mess
Last week, Senator John Kerry demonstrated that he is better equipped now to be a leader on the global stage than President Bush is after four years in office. Sen. Kerry clearly articulated what the Bush Administration doesn’t want to admit: that the war in Iraq was undertaken to secure Iraqi oil, not to eradicate a threat to our national security.
Now that we are in this mess, Sen. Kerry understands that diplomacy with other nations will be key to our success. Sen. Kerry understands that coordinating with our allies is the best way to pursue the terrorist network. And he knows that a complex world demands that its only superpower be equipped with more than militarism to solve problems.
President Bush let us know that he doesn’t “do nuances.” Let us take that as a tacit admission that he is ill-equipped to lead America on the global stage. Let us replace him with a man who can.

Jeffrey Wescott • Traverse City

Worst ever
I hope the vice-presidential debate last Tuesday night will help undecided voters in this hugely important swing state of Michigan to make up their minds that a change in direction is critical for our nation.
Dick Cheney’s only answer as John Edwards listed all the untruths and incompetencies that the current administration has given us concerning the awful, death-dealing war in Iraq was “I’d do the same thing again.” How could anyone vote for a team that refuses to acknowledge the many mistakes in handling the war that even their own side is daily admitting to?
Cheney talks about the value of the administration’s experience. Yet we have the worst unemployment, the highest deficits, more and more millions without health care. As Edwards said, can the country afford four more years of this kind of experience?
Why don’t the Republicans stop attacking Kerry and begin accounting to the country for what has gone wrong on their watch?

Joan Thompson • Freesoil

A brother‘s vote
Kalkaska County is electing a sheriff. I know one of the candidates well, having lived with him for many years. As a child, a twin, in the middle of 12 children, he never asked nor expected special favors. He worked hard and readily accepted new responsibilities. As the eldest, I was often in charge when our parents were both working fulltime. My brother could always be counted on to do the right thing. He put himself through school. He volunteered to serve his country. He and his wife raised four wonderful children. For almost 30 years, he worked for the Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Office.
A good listener, I have observed him politely, patiently and professionally address questions when constituents approach him in public places. He is seldom “off the clock.”
My brother Marvin is ready to be Kalkaska County’s Sheriff. I respectfully ask that you give him your vote in November.

J. Walter • Suttons Bay

Voting for Bush?
You’re thinking of voting for Bush? Doesn’t it bother you that...
• As 27 retired diplomats and military commanders have said, Bush has undermined our national security. Bush’s actions have fired up the recruiting machines of terrorist organizations.
• His tax cuts were designed to help the wealthy instead of stimulating the economy. As a result, we had 3 years in a row of job losses for the first time since the beginning of the Great Depression. The cuts are the primary cause of the budget deficits, which threaten future economic growth as well as the future of Social Security and Medicare, and require under-funding of education, environment, homeland security, etc. He’s irresponsibly pushing to make these unaffordable cuts permanent.
•Dozens of premier scientists have said this administration has manipulated, suppressed, and ignored science, jeopardizing public health and safety. Bush puts ideology and his friends in industry ahead of science and the common good.
• He is turning over the government to rich and powerful special interests. The foxes are guarding the hen house!
• Nixon counsel John Dean has said this administration is more secretive than Nixon’s. He has also reviewed statements Bush made to Congress to justify the Iraq war, and determined that Bush lied to Congress.
• Bush is impeding stem cell research that promises to save and improve countless lives without requiring a single abortion.
• His administration cut FBI counter-terrorism funding prior to 9/11.
• Bush’s Medicare drug benefit contains enormous giveaways to corporations at the expense of meaningful benefits to recipients and at huge costs to taxpayers. The administration kept the true cost a secret from Congress until after it passed the legislation.
• Bush is widely regarded in the environmental community as the most anti-environmental President in history.
Clearly, Mr. Bush hasn’t come close to earning a second term.

Fred A. Cepela • Leelanau County

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