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 6/13/11
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Letters 6/13/11

- June 13th, 2011
The burden of guilt
After reading Stephen Tuttle’s “I Hate You” article (6/6), I have to agree
with him on pretty much all the sentiments he expressed. However, there
is one statement in there that I have to dispute.
He discusses our nation’s sordid hatred of minority races, as expressed in
the line “...we tried to systematically eradicate the indigenous peoples
already populating this continent when our European ancestors showed up.”
Excuse me: “WE?” Sorry, I was nowhere around when that happened, and
neither were my ancestors. There were bad things that happened, to be
sure, but we need to quit apologizing for actions and deeds carried out
several generations ago. It wasn’t “we” who did it. It was “them.” And
they’re all dead now. Guilt shouldn’t be carried on down the generations,
especially when my generation was so effective in ending so many civil
rights infringements on minorities in this country. Pinning our ancestors’
guilt on us is inappropriate.
It’s true that we are trained to hate and to look down on those who are
“different,” regardless of what that difference is. We are also trained
to have contempt for those we feel are technologically inferior to us.
As an avocational archaeologist, I have nothing but admiration for those
who were here before us. They coped with everything nature threw at them,
and developed the necessary technology to cope with it. They achieved a
near-perfect balance with nature. The only problem they seemed to have
had is that they didn’t see the need to develop the technology sufficient
to kill massive amounts of other people. The conquistadors and pioneers
had that need, and developed the weapons that allowed them to effectively
do so. I don’t really admire them. And I don’t admire those who carry on
the legacy of hatred that has been passed down to them through the medium
of ignorance.

Howard J. Blodgett • via email

Heroin & hope
I am very grateful for Patrick Sullivan’s recent article “Shooting Up and
Checking Out” (6/6), promoting awareness of the drug overdose spike across
Northern Michigan. My heart goes out to those who have lost a loved-one
due to a drug overdose.
It is important that members of our community recognize this is a serious,
and growing problem. Myself, and a number of people from our community,
are in the process of starting a non-profit organization called St.
Maximilian Kolbe. This will be an adolescent residential treatment center
to help young men ages 14-17 who are struggling with an addiction.
It is our hope to intervene early and to provide a safe, nurturing
environment in which they can begin to heal and find hope for their
future. The reality of addiction and death was clearly shown in Mr.
Sullivan’s article. It is time for our communities to rise up and provide
additional treatment options for those suffering from addictions. With
early intervention, lots of help and lots of love there is HOPE!

Claire Scerbak • via email

Inhumane politicians
A government’s first duty lies in supporting those people who through
their taxes support that government. For me this would include programs
like Social Security and Medicare, infrastructure construction and
maintenance, and most importantly education for all, to whatever level
they are capable of reaching.
Education is the one factor that can help us rise above the problems we
now face as a society, including the ignorance and prejudice that
produce the division and conflict evident everywhere. Through
education we can bring people’s awareness to a level where the attacks
on everything civil in our society can be seen for the ruthless acts of
greed and aggression they truly are.
We the people have lost control of our government. Our elections have
become more about what the candidates don’t tell us about their agenda
than what they do tell us, as in the case of Republican members of
Congress and their promises of jobs, or our governor and his attack on
education to fund tax breaks for corporate entities that are returning to
profitability without his help.
Republicans in Congress raised our debt ceiling FIVE times since 2002,
twice in 2008, and now, uncompromisingly, they fight another raise, even
going so far as to refuse aid to those obliterated by tornadoes in
Tuscaloosa and Joplin unless we meet their demands.
We’ve been run over by a big truck full of rich people and the inhumane
politicians they’ve hired through overwhelmingly financed and deceptive
campaigns. Some of you just don’t realize it yet.
Don’t lose hope. Support all the recalls, and we can undo the damage done.

Robert A. Wallick • Cross Village

Win with wind power
We have been reading about, talking about and contemplating the Gail
Windpower Project by Duke Energy in northern Manistee and southern Benzie
counties for the past 6 months. With an open mind last winter we attended
the Duke Energy Open House as well as viewing the film “Windfall” .
We know that whatever we as humans do to generate power there are
environmental and human impacts. When we evaluate the safety of our
current energy sources, we see many problems and disasters with our fossil
fuel based energy production. Compared to fossil fuels like coal and the
safety problems with nuclear -- a wind farm seems to have the lowest human
and environmental cost.
Are the doomsday claims by people against wind farms really based on fact?
Wind production doesn’t kill or cause disease with air pollution and seems
likely to contribute to saving hundreds of millions of lives in the future
through reducing greenhouse gasses. Wind is a low-impact, constant,
renewable resource.
We have viewed the wind farms already in production in Michigan,
Illinois and Indiana and personally think the appearance is much better
than smoke stacks, and cell telephone towers. It isn’t the only answer
to our energy production -- just one of the alternative energies we
should “invest in” in for a cleaner, safer, future for our world.
We think this wind farm will have a very positive effect on our
region. This wind-farm would announce to future residents and visitors
that Michigan cares about the world and our environment. It will help
diversify the economy of our area, add to the tax base and provide new
types of income. Not to mentions the 150 construction jobs that will be
created, as well as a number of local long term positions.
Governor Snyder talks about the bright future Michigan has building on our
natural resources, universities, manufacturing and industrial base and
our people. Duke Energyʼs wind project uses all of these assets.
Michigan needs a change and our area has been blessed with great wind
resources and a company willing to invest in our economy for the long
If we citizens work with Duke Energy and our local units of government, we
can insure that the project will also have great rewards for our
communities. Change is difficult but it is a lot easier when the people
are included. When was the last time you heard of a coal or nuclear plant
sharing their revenue with residents in the area?

Dick and Linda • Manistee

It’s Macpodz
FYI, the band name Macpodz does not have a capital “p.”
Love the article though.

Kay Huff • via email
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