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, November 21, 2015

5 Gifts for the Techie

Features Kristi Kates Media streaming is big as more and more people sever their connections to expensive cable TV packages and find their entertainment elsewhere; Chromecast is a great way to start that process.
Saturday, November 21, 2015

Meet Joseph Morrissey

Features Joseph Morrissey came to Interlochen in August, having recently served as Director of Artistic Planning and Touring for The Hong Kong Ballet. He has danced with the Bavarian State Ballet in Munich, the Boston Ballet and the Charleston Ballet Theatre..
Saturday, November 21, 2015

About the Community Foundation

Features Nick Beadleston “Our unique role is to partner with donors and nonprofits, matching donor passion with purpose through grant awards,” said Alison Metiva, GTRCF director of community relations. “Through the Community Foundation, [donors’] gifts will impact lives in our region now and forever.
Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nine Stories of Conflict

Features Patrick Sullivan Debate over two nine-story buildings proposed at the corner of Front and Pine streets in Traverse City has become about something bigger than whether developers should be able to build a large mixed-used apartment complex — it’s become a debate about the future of Traverse City.
Saturday, November 21, 2015

5 Nonprofit Giving Tips

Features Beth Milligan “One easy first step is for people to identify what they’re interested in and what’s important to them,” said Program Director Joe Liszewski of NorthSky Nonprofit Network. “From there, people can look locally, statewide or nationally for organizations that fit those criteria.
Saturday, November 21, 2015

5 Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast

Features Kristi Kates LoopRope is one of those things your giftee might not even know she wants, but once she gets it, she’ll wonder how she ever backpacked, boated or camped without it.
Saturday, November 21, 2015

A $ 15 Million Gift to Educate a Community

Features Nick Beadleston It’s not often that a single gift continues to touch countless lives for an untold number of years. However, that was the goal of Central Lake native Cleo Purdy when she left nearly $15 million to the children of the small, financially challenged northern Michigan village.
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Exploring the Wonder of Dolphins

Features Clark Miller Dolphins are athletic and cute; they are even said to smile. Seen by many New Age devotees as spiritual guides and by children and adults alike as excellent swim buddies, dolphins have held a special place in the human imagination as far back as 5,000 years ago in Minoan culture.
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Off-Season Shopping Fun

Features Kristi Kates The Petoskey Chamber of Commerce farmers market may have ended Sept. 29, but that’s not the end of farmers market season for the city. A new market operated by Crooked Tree Arts Center is taking over for the winter, allowing farmers to vend and shoppers to buy well into the colder months.
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Licensed to Carry, Reason to Worry?

Features Patrick Sullivan County gun boards, the gatekeepers who decide whether a person should be given a concealed pistol permit, will disappear at the end of the month. Beginning in December, state police will conduct background checks and county clerks will process the paperwork to issue licenses to carry handguns.
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Flu Fighters!

Features Kristi Kates Cold and flu season has arrived and, with it, the yearly conundrum of how to keep from catching it and, if you do, how to get over it — fast. Your best bet, of course, is always your doctor, especially if your symptoms are severe, but if you’d like to try a different approach, herbal remedies can be an effective option.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

Saluting Veterans

Features Welcome to our own demonstration of appreciation and support for U.S. veterans! Northern Express readers purchased the stars on these pages to honor active military and veterans in our lives. All star sales proceeds will go to Goodwill of Northern Michigan’s veterans services.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

What Happens to the Ones Who Serve When They Come Home?

Features Patrick Sullivan A surge of veterans — that’s what Northwestern Michigan College expected when the Post-9/11 GI Bill took effect in 2008. In 2012, NMC established a Veteran Services Office and, since then, the aim of its leader Scott Herzberg has been to make the school a more welcoming place for students who come from the military — and it’s working.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

Expanding Health Care Services for Our Veterans

Features Al Parker If all goes as scheduled, northern Michigan veterans will soon have a new annex providing some specific health care services. Officials have agreed to lease a 16,000-square-foot building at 880 Munson Ave. in Traverse City to house services for veterans needing physical therapy, primary care and mental health services in their homes.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

Snapshots: Three NMC Vets

Features Patrick Sullivan In January 2014, Frederick rejoined civilian life in Traverse City after his wife found a job as a social worker at Bethany Christian Services. They are expecting their first child in April. Frederick is in his third semester at NMC and holds a work-study job in Scott Herzberg’s Veteran Services Office.