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..

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Saturday, August 13, 2016



Features Patrick Sullivan Northern Michigan’s success in preventing forest fires worries wildfire fighter and expert Jed Jaworski. We’ve done so well keeping our forests intact, he said, we’ve created a situation where wildfires could emerge as the region’s greatest threat. Counterintuitive? On the surface, maybe. But dig a little deeper into the symbiosis of the forest environment, where all elements coexist to create a balanced ecosystem...
Saturday, August 6, 2016

National Writers Series: Big Season Ahead

Books Clark Miller GRANDMOTHERS WHO MAKE IT HAPPEN On Sept. 17 at Northwestern Michigan College’s Milliken Auditorium, legendary photojournalist Paola Gianturco will discuss her book, Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon. The book praises grandmas around the world who have done their part to protect native cultures, the environment, human rights and education.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Her Best Shot

Music Kristi Kates The story of singer and four-time Gram-my Award winner Pat Benetar isn't your clas-sic rags-to-rock-n-roll legend. Benetar's interest in music started in Lindenhurst, Long Island, N.Y., where she pursued musical theater and trained as an accomplished soprano.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Farmfest and Hoxeyville

Music Kristi Kates Got time for a little more music? August offers up two major music festivals here in northern Michigan, so you’d best get out there while you still can. Whether you choose Farmfest’s countryside cool or Hoxeyville’s forest festivities, you’ll find plenty of great performances and fun amenities.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Is Turkey A Friend?

Other Opinions Jack Segal On July 15 a coup attempt erupted across Turkey that briefly threatened the stability of that long-time United States and NATO ally. The attempt has shaken Turkey’s relationship with NATO and the U.S. and raised questions about Turkey’s role in the ongoing struggle within the Islamic world.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Least Candidate

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle When Stephanopolis pointed out that Putin had, in fact, already gone into Ukraine and occupied the Crimean Peninsula, Trump made a dazzlingly fast pivot. He said it was weak leadership, NATO and President Obama who were to blame for the action he just said would never happen.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Dates 08-06-2016

Dates Jamie Kauffold Help support Grow Benzie at Bayou on the Bay: Blues & Zydeco Picnic in the Park on Saturday, August 13. Luke Winslow-King (pictured) performs original New Orleans blues, jazz & gospel. Others include the Gabriel Brass Band, K Jones & the Benzie Playboys, Barefoot, & The Standing Hamptons.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Gaijin - East Meets Midwest

Dining Janice Binkert Thanks to gastro-entrepreneur Simon Joseph, your culinary horizons, your cultural insight, and your food vocabulary are all about to expand. Or they may have already, if you’re one of the lucky ones who has discovered Gaijin, Traverse City’s first and only Japanese ramen shop, since it opened on June 10 on Front Street in downtown Traverse City.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Letters 08-08-2016


Downtown Parking An Embarassment In his recent column “The Parking Windfall,” Thomas Kachadurian hit the proverbial nail squarely on the head. The only thing he missed was the process of using the new parking pay stations. I cannot imagine someone standing in the rain or in a blinding snowstorm waiting for their credit card to be authorized so they can input the meter number, a number probably forgotten by the time the card is approved, waiting for acceptance, and deciding if they wish to have a receipt, or not...

Threats To Education System In a few weeks, school will start. Another year of the P-20 (prenatal to age 20) system, and another year of Common Core. I am wondering how long it will take before parents do homework of their own and see how damaging this system is. Nobody voted on it. Nobody even knew it was coming. Written by test company employees and not state-led, many states signed on to the program before these “standards” were written, just to get the “Race To The Top” funding promised if they signed on...

More To Be Done On Gender A recent Detroit News editorial praised the recent advances of women in politics and business. Hillary Clinton’s victory “shattered the glass ceiling” of male domination of candidates for president, said the editorial, and constituted “an accomplishment American women in the 20th century could only dream of.” So far, so good...

Avoiding The Parking Empire Thomas Kachadurian deserves a standing ovation for shedding light on the monopoly the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority has over parking...

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Runway Report: Top Picks For Fall 2016

Features Kristi Kates 2 Whether your fall involves plucking apples, buying boots, or strutting your stuff at your local cider house, you’ll need some great new autumn wear for the brand new season. So here are some just ripe for the picking: this fall’s top trends, right from the runway.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Get Smart!

Features Kristi Kates At first glance, the term smart clothing might drum up visions of your clothing assembling itself onto your body, transporting itself to the washing machine, or voluntarily lying across the iron until all wrinkles have disappeared.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

An Ally for Special Ed Families

Features Those trying to navigate the ins and outs of special education have an ally: Nicole Miller and the Michigan Alliance for Families (MAF). The statewide network offers expertise and fellowship, both of which are crucial for parents of children with disabilities.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Summer Steps

Features Kristi Kates Where do ballet dancers go on vacation? For many, their summer destination has become Traverse City, where the Traverse City Dance Project, under the artistic direction of Jennifer McQuiston Lott and Brent Whitney, is changing the way local people think about ballet, as well as the places they can go to see it.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Yearbook Memories

Features Kristi Kates Pretty much everybody has some unforgettable yearbook photos. The question is, are you brave enough to share them? Thankfully for the Express, some well-known locals certainly are.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Big Changes at the Women’s Resource Center

Features Patrick Sullivan Staff has turned over, and some former employees and supporters don’t like the direction the Women’s Resource Center Grand Traverse Area (WRC) has taken.