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 9/26/02
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Letters 9/26/02

Various - September 26th, 2002
Crystal River alternative
Regarding the issue of a possible land swap between the Homestead and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, I feel strongly that the land swap proposal would set a bad national precedent. The parkland originally came from private parties, and it would be grossly unfair (if not illegal) to return this property from the public trust back into private hands.
As things now stand, the public faces two unsatisfactory choices. The Crystal River property clearly is worthy of preservation for its pristine quality and “globally rare“ characteristics. Should the Homestead choose to develop this land in lieu of the land swap, I feel certain that we will all be launched into the types of controversies that have previously taken place. So I propose another approach.
The Homestead‘s Crystal River property should be incorporated into the National Lakeshore. Short of that, they should pursue whatever types of conservation easements, possible gifting of property, potential tax shelters, sales to conservation buyers - whatever they might work out with the local land conservancies, the Michigan Land Use Institute, or the national Nature Conservancy. Having done this, they could tout the Homestead conservation land as a model for other resorts and launch the Homestead into a new, successful marketing arena of ecotourism. I believe the local public would support and applaud such a move.
My surmise is that, rather than facing untold costs of legal battles, along with the ire of the local public, a conservation decision would bring Homestead owners wealth in ways beyond anything they might have imagined. It would be a way they would be proud to be remembered by future generations.

Alison Heins • Traverse City

Balanced report
As you know, there has been a long debate about the use of land along the Crystal River that we own. During it, hundreds of articles about that debate have appeared in the print and broadcast media including The New York Times and the Today Show. In my opinion, none was as well balanced as the article that appeared in a recent edition of the Northern Express (Sept. 5).
I commend you for researching both sides of this debate, organizing your questions on it, asking those questions fairly and presenting your work in an unbiased way that was highly beneficial to your readers.

Robert A. Kuras • President, The Homestead

Spouting off
We come to the Traverse Area sbout every two weeks in the summer and always look forward to reading your publication. However, in your edition of Aug. 29, there was an article written by Ramsey Clark that I was most offended by (“Why War With Iraq Is A Bad Idea“). There were many inaccuracies and some outright lies that should have been checked. In my mind some of his remarks were at best treasonous. I am a World War II vet and when printings are made that make my country out to be the bad guy when they are mostly not true makes me very angry.
I think it would be nice if he were deported along with Molly Ivins who writes for a Texas based syndicate.
Thank you for letting me spout off.

Larry Rolfe • Vicksburg

(Ramsey Clark is the former U.S. Attorney General under Lyndon Johnson. - ed.)

A lie repeated
From “Encounter With a Nazi“ by Irwin Edmon, 1938: “The grandchildren of this generation of Americans will not be grateful to their grandparents, let me assure you.“ My, was he off the mark. G.W. Bush is very grateful to his grandfather, Prescott. The Union Banking Corp., Holland American Trading Corp., Seamless Steel Equipment Corp., and Silesian American Corp., all managed by Prescott, were seized by the U.S. government in 1942 under the Trading With the Enemy Act. Prescott‘s business dealings with the Nazi Party helped enrich the family fortune. The lessons taught by Hitler help G.W. to this day.
One lesson being a lie repeated often enough becomes truth. “Saddam may have weapons of mass destruction,“ but which country has the world‘s largest stockpile of such weapons? “The U.S. is fighting a wor on terror,“ but the killing and wounding of dozens of innocent humons at a wedding on 7/3/02 was not a terrorist act but merely collateral damage. “Iraq is a threat to the region,“ but why is the region begging the U.S. not to start a war? One would think that if Saddam was such a threat his neighbors - and the world - would welcome military intervention. Instead, global opinion is strongly against U.S. involvement. And where does the Constitution authorize regime changes by a lawfully elected president?
Many people are finding frightening parallels between Orwell‘s “1984“ and Bush‘s 2002. Bush is merely following in the footsteps of his father, the former head of the CIA. George I had a “war“ and George II seems determined to be better than his father at something.
Like Bushs‘ Clean Air Act, which will actually increase air pollution, the Patriot Act has a misleading name and seeks to severely limit liberty. Only one senator had the moral courage to vote against it, and she has been vilified for her moral stand. Of the thousands of relatives of those killed in the Trade Center, only a few have said “not in my son‘s name should we cause death for death.“ Where are the calm voices of reason, and why are they so quiet?
“It Can‘t Happen Here“ by Sinclair Lewis should be read by everyone to see how fast things can go from bad to worse, and a quote seems appropriate. “I tell you, an honest man gets sick when he hears the word ‘liberty‘ today, after what the Republicans did to itl“

Bob Vanderlewn • Manistee

I am writing to thank Emily Groves for her mention of my Open Mic. Night at the Mackinaw Brewing Company. I have long held the opinion that Open Mic.‘s are the best bang for your entertainment dollar. Free Music? What could be better??!!

I‘ve played most of our local Open Mic. scene and the problems I‘ve run into center around time and air quality. With the exception of the monthly outing at Borders Bookstore, Open Mic.‘s are all held in SMOKY bars. Many of the performers at Open Mic.‘s are vocalists and smoke and vocal cords don‘t generally mix well. Since putting down the cigarettes four years ago, I can‘t stand to come home smelling like an ashtray. I try not to proselytize about smoking too much, I did it for 10 years, I know what fun it is, but a smoke free performance space is always a treat. (BLATANT PLUG: Mackinaw Brewing Company allows smoking in it‘s bar area next door to the Open Mic.) Regarding the time issue, I have a regular job during the day and staying out until 2:00 a.m. tends to slow down productivity the following day. When the Open Mic. doesn‘t start until 9:00 and visiting performers don‘t get to the stage until 9:30 or 10:00, it doesn‘t make for an early night. It‘s nice to be able to get out, play your set, hear some other musicians, shoot the breeze and make it home in time to get 40 winks before work the next day. (BLATANT PLUG #2: Mackinaw Brewing Company‘s Open Mic starts at 8:00 p.m. SHARP and we only run until 11:00. The restaurant closes at 12:00 so we have to break down and go home, but if there are people that want to play, we‘ll run a little later.)

The best thing about the Open Mic. format is the freedom that it offers. If you are enjoying a performer and they start up a song that you know the harmony to, most often they‘ll appreciate a little help. If you can join in and augment someone‘s performance at an Open Mic you should. If you don‘t know the tune, or aren‘t sure you can make the song any better, just enjoy it from where you are. It‘s a great way to get out and meet people with similar interests and, who knows, maybe even play some music with them. I encourage every player of every skill level to get out and play in front of an Open Mic. crowd. I always tell newcomers to rip it up when they get behind the mic, no-one is listening anyway. I don‘t mean to say that these folks are unappreciative, quite the opposite in most cases, but they are not too judgemental when it comes to a dropped chord or a squeaky high note. Open Mic. is a great place to hone your skills and see what it‘s like to play in front of someone other than your dog.

Thanks for the article, I think it will help bring performers into the Open Mic.‘s. The more music the better ESPECIALLY AT THE MACKINAW BREWING COMPANY, Wednesday nights from 8-11) [FINAL BLATANT PLUG]

Bill Dungjen
Open Mic Host
Mackinaw Brewing Company

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