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 6/6/02
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Letters 6/6/02

Various - June 6th, 2002
Sprawl and the bridge

Once in a generation -- once every 20 years or so -- we each have an
opportunity to make a statement about our community and the future of our
region. That moment is now.
Last month the Michigan Land Use Institute and a coalition of four other
regional and national environmental and conservation organizations filed
suit in state court against the Grand Traverse County Road Commission. The
purpose: To block construction of a $30 million road and bridge across the
Boardman River valley -- a magnificent stretch of natural river and quiet
forests just south of Traverse City.
I have been a resident of Traverse City for over 50 years now, so this area
has been very deeply imprinted on my husband and me. We have been imprinted
by the wondrous natural beauty of this north country. The Boardman River
valley is the last truly wild area in the gre ater metropolitan region. Each
year that passes increases the area‘s value for the animals that live there
and the thousands of people who visit its rolling hills, its woods, and its
waters. Those moving depths, which an Indian chief once called, “the smile
of the Great Spirit.“
I‘ve also been around long enough to see the welcome improvements to our
community that have come with its steady growth. And I‘ve seen the unwelcome
consequences too. The proposed bridge across the Boardman River is an
unnecessary, damaging, and illogical consequence that we all should do
everything in our power to avoid. It will cut this magnificent valley in
half with a wall of earth higher than the cedars there now, ruin wetlands,
damage water quality, and bring nearly 30,000 cars and trucks a day.
People come to the Grand Traverse region in search of a way of life that is
truly unique in Michigan and the nation. The magnificent setting. The high
quality of life. Perhaps too few realize how rare and how fragile it is. How
the onrushing tide of our times, of building something bigger, better,
faster has swallowed up the natural countryside almost before we even
realize it is gone -- the plague of urban sprawl.
Sprawl follows roads, specifically big, new roads. As surely as spring
follows winter, sprawl follows roads. If you build it, they will come. The
traffic, the noise, the congestion, the billboards. Do you recall Joyce
Kilmore‘s poem? “I think that I shall never see a billboard as lovely as a
The proposed Hartman-Hammond bridge is said by its supporters to be a
transportation solution for our rapid and ongoing area growth. Don‘t believe
it. This misguided proposal will not only fail to reduce congestion but in
the process will wreck the values that draw us here in the first place. The
destruction of vital wetlands and wildlife habitat, the inevitable urban
sprawl, is part of the price.
The proposed road and bridge across the Boardman is so unreasonable that 15
years ago 71 percent of Grand Traverse County voters rejected it in a
referendum. Four years ago the Michigan Land Use Institute and its partners
developed “Smart Roads: Grand Traverse Region,“ a less expensive, much less
damaging, and more effective alternative to solving traffic congestion. Last
year the city commission in Traverse City voted the road-and-bridge project
down. The road commission‘s failure to listen to publics concerns and
explore more effective, less destructive ideas is what lies at the heart of
the lawsuit.
So many citizens and organizations are working terribly hard in our region
to improve the quality of life while at the same time taking care to
minimize the damage to land and a rare small town way of life. They include
the partners in the coalition that filed the lawsuit -- the Coalition for
Sensible Growth, Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, the local
affiliate and national Sierra Club, and All The Way to the Bay, a canoe
racers group.
Will we be remembered by our children and then their children for having
decided to build a highway through this area? Are we going to decide that
the river valley is the place we should urbanize so that we have urbanized
every last square inch of this region? Is that the legacy we‘re seeking to
leave behind?
Or do we want to be remembered for being people who at the beginning of a
new century advanced a different vision that says, yes, let‘s manage and
solve our problems but let‘s also protect some irreplaceable places forever.
Halting this bridge and bypass and securing a landscape and a way of life
that all of us cherish is the gift I want to give to the future. Surely you
do too.

Helen Milliken • TC

Towards a just peace

Reader Nancy Brimhall ( Letters 5/23) thinks that in my interview (“Two Peoples, One Land“, Express, 5/09 ) I “glossed over important historical facts“ regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To describe such a subject in an interview is daunting if you have an understanding of its complexity, which I think I do. I emphasized what I feel is most pertinent, trying to be as fair as possible, since I have no axe to grind.
Ms Brimhall makes four points, which I can‘t address within the 300 word limit for letters, but suffice it to say I think the lady is making debater‘s points which are questionable historically and irrelevent to the goal of bringing a just peace to that tormented land.
One final thought. If and when the small movement of peaceful, nonviolent resistance to the military occupation grows into a mass movement, including thousands of Jews, arabs and international peace activists, the end to the present nightmare will be on the horizon. Large
demonstrations and marches have begun to appear in both Israel and the Palestinian territories, but without the media attention they deserve. Peaceful resistance may bring a just solution while the never-ending cycle of violence demonstrably can not.

James McCormick • Traverse City

Doggone considerations

I am responding to Jim Carruther‘s letter (5-2-02) about the 2002 National Cherry Festival commemorative print. Please consider the following:
1. Tom Kern does not choose the winning print; a panel of art experts do.
2. Banning dogs from the Open Space is a safety measure for both people and animals.
3. The delightful print depicts the puppy in a cherry orchard, not among thousands of people in the hot and crowded open space. The puppy is much happier, and so are the people.
If everyone had the benefit of possessing good common sense, a lot of “rules“ in life would be unnecessary.

Judy LaCross • Cedar

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