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 5/2/02
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Letters 5/2/02

Various - May 2nd, 2002
The Great Lakes & Perrier

The Great Lakes basin holds 20% of the world‘s fresh surface water. World wide, supplies of clean water are decreasing and wars are fought over access to water. Jacque-Yves Cousteau said “water is life.“ If Michigan is to protect and preserve her freshwater treasure, citizens must insist that their representatives defend and protect our streams, rivers and lakes, and protect the lands that surrounds them.
Perrier, a subsidiary of Nestle, has moved into Stanwood Michigan. Millions of gallons of water a week will be extracted from wells there. Perrier is looking for 12 more sites for taking the water of Michigan, and some of those plants will be targeted in this area. As water is squandered and poisoned throughout the U.S. and the world, more and more pressure will be put on Michigan to share and sell her water.
Lower Michigan has transformed many of her natural trout streams and rivers into polluted drains. We do not have to repeat this tragedy, but we must significantly alter our patterns of development. The purity of groundwater and the water of the streams, lakes and rivers, is dependant on the water cycle and human activities on the land. Every time a stream is used for drainage of roads and malls and yards, water quality is effected. Unless great care is taken, roads become the storm water tributaries of the modern world, carrying soil and sediment and pollutants into the wetlands, streams and lakes.
1. We must create and maintain greenbelts along our streams, lakes, wetlands and tributaries to protect water quality, to moderate the flow of storm water, and to replenish our ground water.
2. We must be willing to limit growth to concentrated areas, leaving large areas of natural surface if we are to protect groundwater, our streams and our lakes. Clustering of homes and intelligent placement of apartments and complexes can dramatically limit impervious surfaces.
This battle to defend our water is the flag ship of today‘s crisis of democracy. Whose water is it? John Engler must not be allowed to give global corporations a green light to come into our communities and take our most precious resources. We borrow the water from our children. Will democracy be able to protect the “commons“ and the public good, from the short term profit, power and destructive forces of corporate privilege and global “free“ trade? It is time for the people of Michigan to claim their right to protect their land, their air and their water.
Jo Anne Beemon • via email

Hike Hartman-Hammond

John Muir, the naturalist, hiker, militant environmentalist, and tireless fighter for conservation programs, founded the Sierra Club in 1892 and was its president for the rest of his life. By the end of that life, in 1914, incredibly, he had hiked and backpacked most of the wilderness areas in this country, alone, with no sleeping bag, no gun, and, according to Muir‘s notes, carrying only a sack of stale bread and tea.
The Sierra Club today proudly carries on John Muir‘s dedication.
Our Traverse Group, over 700 members, and the fastest growing Sierra group in the country, enthusiastically explores, enjoys, and protects through our program which incorporates political activism, conservation programs, and a full schedule of outings, constantly being expanded.
One of those outings is scheduled for Wednesday evening, May I, when a group of Sierra members and friends will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the YMCA parking lot off South Airport Road in Traverse City, to hike along the beautiful Boardman River. All are welcome and each will walk the distance with which he or she is comfortable. We will tread lightly, breath deeply, listen carefully, marvel at the natural beauty. We will stop at the location of the proposed unspeakable degradation of the river valley, and our thoughts will naturally include the subject of man‘s inhumanity to his natural world. Perhaps we‘ll read and talk a bit about the life of this dedicated man, John Muir, and just maybe, some of us, in his further honor, may carry a sackful of bread, stale or fresh.
John E. Lewis • TC

April fools

The month of April brings the promise of spring with the return of the robins, and more than a few memories. April Fools‘ Day is my favorite, but then come the negatives. The 15th is tax day for those who pay, the 19th holds memories of the burning in Waco and the bombing in Oklahoma City, and the 20th is the anniversary of the Colombine shooting and the birth of Adolph Shicklgruber, aka Hitler.
After the explosion(s} in Okiahoma, some in the Clinton Administration proposed a “Homelands Defense Command.“ At the time, John Q. Public was not yet ready to bend over and grab his ankles, and so the proposal went away for a few years. After the sad events of November, 2000, and September, 2001, morale was low enough, the body count high enough, and the fear extreme enough to convince John Q. that maybe now was a good time to give up liberty for security. The Office of Homeland Defense now receives billions of dollars, and, like the CIA, doesn‘t have to tell the public where the money goes.
A recent poll showed 40% responding thought that the government should censor comics. Oh America, what will we remember next April?
Bob VanderLewn • Manistee

Luck of the Irish

Letter writer Bob Vance scorns the Irish in your April 18 edition, as if some ethnic groups are more worthy than others when it comes to the horrors of the past.
Yet, genocidal British policies over the past 300 years contributed to starvation of 1 million Irish during the Potato Famine alone. Ethnic cleansing began in 1670 when Oliver Cromwell removed the Irish from their own lands. Reports of Irish peasants eating grass were widespread. Jonathan Swift‘s satire, “A Modest Proposal,“ on the Irish eating their own babies in order to survive had a grim ring of truth to it.
The Irish “volunteered“ to be indentured servants as Mr. Vance claims. They also volunteered to be slaughtered as cannon fodder for our armies. Yet they volunteered knowing that life as a servant in the American colonies during the 1700s was often brutal and short. They volunteered to avoid starvation, prostitution and prison in the occupied territories of their native land.
One might as well say that African-Americans have “volunteered“ to live in slums over the past century.
The larger point is that cruelty begets cruelty, no matter what race or ethnic group.

Frank Gibbs • via email

Dog Daze

Just thought it was interesting to read that the Cherry Festival has chosen the art work for their poster for the 2002 Festival. I understand it features a cute dog in a cherry lug on a farm.
Being a dog lover and owner of several I like the sound of it. But it‘s funny how Tom Kern worked so hard last year to ban dogs from the Open Space during the Festival and now has chosen the dog theme to sell it this year.
Do they want dogs or don‘t they? It‘s time for dog owners to take action because dogs have rights too; poow, poow on you Mr. Kern.

Jim Carruthers • TC
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