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 8/29/11
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Letters 8/29/11

- August 29th, 2011
The Moon Over Arcadia
Did you see the moon over Arcadia last night?
Alone in the evening sky
Luminescent over the earth
Full and round, a perfect orb?

Did you see the moon last night?
Starting low, climbing high
More than a pearl, less than a planet,
Glazed with tangerine glow
First in the company of sunset,
Then blazing stars?

Did you see the moon last night?
Lighting the journey to dawn,
Slipping low, glistening golden
Saying goodnight to our good morning?

I hope you can see the moon on future nights-
That it won’t be lost in competition
With batteries of blinking Industrial turbine lights,
Constructed high in the sky
With random abandon.

I hope in the future,
The moon which
Mariner’s sail by,
Lovers swear by,
Poets write by,
And astrologers plan by
Is still eminently visible,
As the sole bearer of light in darkened skies.

I hope as the new moon rests, biding its time,
Making us appreciate its source and power,
That we look to the blank heavens
As testament to its glorious cyclical illumination.

I hope, both now and in the future,
That the moon is always rising,
Alone, bright, and beautiful, over the
Pleasant valley we call Arcadia.

Connie Macek • Arcadia

Changes to downtown TC
The citizens of Traverse City need more information, and the opportunity to express their thoughts, regarding a dramatic change proposed for the southwest corner of Cass and Front Streets.
Based on information provided at the Traverse City Commission meeting held on August 15, three historic buildings are to be
demolished, the “pocket park” on the corner will be eliminated, and the” Santa House” location will be gone.
The proposed replacement is a five story building which will alter the skyline and cast a long shadow over that block of downtown. With that change would come a loss of local architectural history. The present buildings reflect the fine brick and stone craftsmanship of their time, especially on the higher levels, rewarding the upward glance.
Our historic buildings say “You are in Traverse City.” There is continuity of tradition and uniqueness of place. Thoughtful restorations such as The City Opera House and the State Theater illustrate the esthetic and economic benefits of downtown preservation.
Historic buildings provide diversity and stability in downtown district enterprises; modernization should never come at the expense of wiping out historic buildings in
great swathes. The economic value of historic buildings is irreplaceable.

Barbara Baker • TC

Don‘t blame tea party
For Bob Downes to blame the tea party for the stock market drop is just plain dumb! (Random Thoughts 8/22)
Standard and Poors is to blame because of lowering our credit rating. They lowered it because of too much debt! Plus the market is worried about Europe and it’s debt. Wake up Bob, the world is broke.

Charlie McCain • via emaIl

Defend no-fault
It has been my experience that Michigan has the best no-fault auto insurance policy in the USA.
I used to think that accidents happen to other people. I am a good driver and I am in control. In 1997, my husband was killed in an auto accident. I was left with three young children as a stay-at-home mom. I had no income whatsoever.
The insurance covered his wages for the next three years and the things that my husband would have done, such as mowing yard, fixing the car, etc. Four months after my husband‘s accident, my grandmother took two of my children to the Ionia Free Fair, and on their way home a volunteer fire fighter fell asleep while driving, crossed the center line while cresting the hill, and hit my grandma and kids head on at 65 miles an hour.
Grandma was killed instantly, but my son was rushed to Sparrow Medical Center in and ambulance and daughter was aero medevac‘d to Butterworth. My daughter sustained a closed head injury and was in a coma for four-plus months. She was hospitalized for 30 days and then went for rehab for three months. (The helicopter ride alone cost $20,000-plus).
My daughter had complete shearing of her brain and had to relearn everything: walk, talk, eat, with extensive tone and other disabilities as well. She is still in therapy today, but is doing amazing. She just graduated from Elk Rapids High School, is looking into going to college, and starting her own doggie day care facility.
Without no fault auto insurance, I do not know were my daughter would be right now, or my family.
It is very important that we all contact our representatives and have a voice on this matter, as (changes to no-fault insurance) are being rushed through to be voted on as early as September or October.
I no longer believe that stuff just happens to other people, ‘cuz it happened tenfold in one year to me, and I see it every day and thank God for Michigan no-fault insurance. It is worth every penny!

Christine O’Connell • via email

Fraudulence of fracking
As landowners in Cheboygan County we were approached by “landmen” in the Spring of 2010 to lease our mineral rights. The State of Michigan owns our mineral rights so this was not an option and one we never would have signed up for.
Our land is in a strict conservation easement with The Little Traverse Conservancy, forever protecting it from development, deforestation, mining, etc... Little did we know that the state could -- without our permission and with our land being in a conservation easement -- lease our mineral rights, which is exactly what they did. The state leased our mineral rights to Canadian Gas Company, Encana.
The State of Michigan has and continues to receive windfall revenues from leased lands. The state has not warned landowners of the unacceptable risks from horizontal high-volume slickwater fracturing or fracking. The state and the gas/oil companies are working together to defraud the citizenry about the hazards of the fracking process.
Let us be clear, DO NOT look to the state to protect our natural resources. The DNR/DEQ’s number one priority is to profit by it. The Department of Geological Survey is responsible for monitoring the process of gas/oil exploration and admits to being funded by those industries.
The state nor the gas industry are telling the truth, but one only has to do a bit of research to see what has happened to rural communities all over the country when fracking is permitted. The following has occurred and we must stand up and say NO TO FRACKING:

• Massive water diversions from freshwater aquifers.
• Polluted air from venting & flaring activities.
• Boom & bust industries/subsidies & loopholes.
• Toxic chemicals & secret formulas.
• Heavy industrialization of rural & residential areas.
• Exceptions from the Clean Water & Clean Air Acts.
• Sales of Michigan’s gas on the international market.
• Hazardous water from flowback.
• Hype and disingenuous P.R. of industry.
• Devalued property

Water is our most precious resource. We must ask ourselves, are temporary jobs worth destroying our rural environment and forever polluting our waters for our children and grandchildren. No amount of money is worth this.

Joanne Cromley • Cheboygan
Don’t Frack Michigan

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