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..
There has been a lot of discussion about the festival issue in Traverse City recently. Festivals do draw people to the area and we don’t want to discourage that...
Other festival options
All of the articles and discussion on the festival issue seem to assume that all TC festivals must be at the Open Space. We can have BOTH festivals AND an open and attractive waterfront if the festivals are located someplace else in TC, such as the Civic Center, F&M Park, GT Commons, or on private property, such as the lot at Pine and Front, etc...Fatbikes bad for Vasa trail
TART Trails is a great organization that does many wonderful things for the region. Pushing fatbikes onto the Vasa Pathway ski trails is not one of them...
Perhaps the NRA’s president thinking that the best way to deal with an active shooter is to have a good man with a gun...
I read your “The Season of Giving” article in the Northern Express and appreciate what you conveyed in the article. I do have one comment about a term you used in the list of local agencies...Correction
A model in last week’s Northern Seen page was incorrectly identified. That was Kayla Jackson pictured at upper right with the towering hair-do. Cindy Toranzo was the stylist.
Today Traverse City Police sent two officers in separate cars to search downtown for me. An officer approached me while I was sitting on a chair in the hallway of a store with a sleeping baby in my lap, and said, “You’re the one I’m looking for...
He’s not so old...
just finished reading your article about my father; 61 years old is not
OLD! Many people have told me that they were offended at the
description of my father’s attempted burglary...
A black eye for millage
I have called Traverse City home now for 14 years. I have witnessed many wonderful, progressive and positive things over the course of time. My family has a deep passion for our community...Hoarders take note
A front page article in the October 11 edition of the Record Eagle read, “Hoarder found dead after home fire.” The fire took place in the Cherryland Mobile Home Park in the early morning of October 10. It took the life of the mobile home’s sole resident, John Norberg...Straitjacket education
A well-researched article in the Christian Science Monitor reviews the International Student Assessment (PISA) scores of U. S. students as 30th in math literacy, 20th in science and 14th in reading...Quack diagnosis?
I see that Dr. Benishek has described global warming as “some sort of scam.”Helping the homeless
Homeless Awareness Week is Nov. 17-23, so I decided to take a few moments to share optimistic news about homelessness for Grand Traverse, despite the HUD data that indicated roughly 350 people are homeless in the five-county area...
Kindness matters Three young men’s lives have now been lost in the very same location at Twin Lakes Park. Last week, TC West Senior High students and staff held a memorial service for my son Owen, the most recent of those drowned...
Jobs are out there Where
is the bus to pick up all the people on unemployment to pick apples and
Happy with Obamacare Hallelujah for Obamacare! While I didn’t get what I preferred: single-payer/Medicare for all... Republicans also didn’t get what they wanted. Instead we got this Heritage Foundation/GOP-approved/RomneyCare plan. Oops Obamacare is what the GOP once wanted...
Obamacare: what matters The
debate over Obamacare continues to be blurred by fringe issues instead
of focusing on what is at the heart of the matter. People should ignore
objections due to the incompetent roll-out, perceptions that the law is
socialist, or nothing more than that the program was proposed by a black
man in the White House...
About dam time Isn’t it time for the entire team that was involved in the Brown Bridge Dam fiasco to stand up and take responsibility for what was a colossal mistake from the git-go...
Correction Last week’s article on friends visiting Italy incorrectly stated that Rebecca and Pete Peterson are married. Rebecca’s husband is Chef Michael Peterson.
At a recent Forum on Gun Violence there was not a lot of talk about violent video games and movies, but panelists mentioned them as a factor. In my opinion as a retired pediatrician and adolescent and family psychiatrist, one result of the obsession with violent video games by young people is the loss of ability to talk and resolve problems...
Senate sends a message
The Michigan Senate passed a package of bills Oct. 22 that will restrict where people receiving public benefits can withdraw cash from ATMs using their Bridge cards...They’ll be missed...
years ago this summer, Bronwyn Jones started purchasing food from our
Leelanau County Sweeter Song Farm and giving that fresh, healthful food
to the Women’s Resource Center. Bronwyn’s idea evolved into the mission
for the Fresh Food Partnership: buy locally grown fresh food at a fair
market price for our neighbors in need...
Republican tax machine
Where are the campaign signs? Here it is, getting down to another millage election, and who knows anything about the three tax increases on the ballot?
By my count, the picture scorecard of your Annual Tribute to Pets issue was as follows...
Frackdown in Kalkaska
On Saturday, October 19, 25 people gathered in Kalkaska to protest the misuse of Michigan water by fracking companies there. The effort was part of Global Frackdown 2, a world event initiated by Food and Water Watch and 350.org. Protests on Saturday were held in 30 countries and dozens of American cities...Death in the forest
I agree with most of Steve Tuttle’s premises in “What a Friend Would Do,” but have serious issues with numbers posited for pre-Columbian populations...New voice needed in D.C.
Retired general and former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon released the following statement on Dan Benishek’s 11th hour government shutdown vote...
Dan Benishek voted to strip Supplemental Nutritional Assistance
Payments (food stamps) from the bi-partisan Senate passed Agriculture
bill. According to the USDA, there are over 92,000 SNAP recipients in
Benishek’s district. He also voted against the expansion of Medicaid
benefits for the most vulnerable Michigan residents.
Regarding Thomas Scribner’s letter, “Reckless Behavior,” 10-7-13, quite a rant. Mindless, totally partisan, uninformed, but quite a rant nonetheless...What about taxes?
The report, “Obamacare: What’s In It for You” by Robert Downes was certainly biased and borderline propaganda...Who’s running the show?
Here is a little “pop quiz” re: definitions and examples. What is the government of the U.S.? The U.S. is a federal constitutional republic. The citizens elect who controls their government...
Misinformed on BC/BS
In the October 7 issue, letter writer Tom North stated categorically that he was informed through their customer service department that “Michigan Blue Cross/Blue Shield will terminate ALL-100% of their current insurance plans by 3-31 14.”The latest free trade threat
TPP: Trans Pacific Partnership. Have you heard of it? If you care about “Pure Michigan” or “All Things Local” you need to be paying attention. This is a trade agreement that for the last three years has been negotiated behind closed doors. It has been called “NAFTA on steroids” for good reason...
Last month, after attending Congressman Dr. Dan Benishek’s town hall meeting in Traverse City, I came away thinking “what a waste of time!” Upon entering I was asked to register, write any questions, and leave my email address in case the doctor could not get to my question from the floor...Complainers take note
I’m writing in response to a couple letters complaining about improvements along the waterfront. I grew up in this town and also moved away to do blahblahblah and then came back...Value what we have
I have lived in the Grand Traverse Region since 1984, and I have seen continued improvements in the vitality of the region from the restaurants, boutiques, waterfronts, salons -- and, yes, to the festivals in the last almost 30 years...A musical thank you
A love letter to Traverse City on behalf of my family and me. I want to give a huge thanks to the Traverse City community, and the musicians who helped with the benefit for my family. I wish I could hug you all...False claim
I spoke with Blue Cross/Blue Shield this morning concerning this statement made by Tom North in the Oct 7, 2013 issue of the Northern Express that “Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, through their customer service department, told me in August that ALL - 100% - of their current insurance plans are being terminated by March 31, 2014.” This is not a true statement!Misguided state rep
Representative Greg MacMaster, (R) 105th District, voted NO on Common Core for Michigan. These standards define expectations for what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade...
This is a political cartoon in words. In the background is a band: Karl Rove on drums, Grover Norquist on keyboard, the Koch brothers (not to be confused with the Allman Brothers) on guitars...
Healthcare for fat cats
Our Michigan State Senators have feathered their own nests, garnering lifetime, full-family insurance coverage. The requirement is an astonishing minimal six years of service...Tuttle & Obamacare
Stephen Tuttle’s editorial about “Obamacare” (“No Points Scored,” Sept. 30) may be a decent attempt at a balanced analysis. However, the article contained a couple critical and glaring factual errors about that law...Reckless behavior
Where’s the justice when a small band of zealots can wreck the economy and damage the paychecks of millions simply because they don’t wish to obey the law of the land -- a law that’s been upheld by the Supreme Court?MPA contest honors:
Northern Express Weekly took first place for Graphic Design in this year’s Michigan Press Association contest for class B weekly newspapers, with honors going to Colleen Zanotti and Kyra Poehlman. Investigative reporter Patrick Sullivan took first place in News Enterprise Reporting for his story, “Upland Forest or Forested Wetlands?” Stephen Tuttle took third place for “Best Local Columnist.”
Rick Coates hit the nail on the head with his recent article on the increasing number of festivals and events up north, particularly the Traverse City area. Personally, I am “festivaled out” and no longer attend any of them, no matter what the theme...
Living Badly in Eden
and raised in Michigan, I moved away 33 years ago to pursue an
education and career. Now, at age 60, after living in Boston, Dallas,
Calgary, and earning a PhD in Brisbane, Australia, I chose to come back
to Michigan because of its breathtaking beauty, its localized economy,
and its commitment to community and culture. Indeed, sitting at the
epicenter of the world’s fresh water supply, Michigan is second to none...
Just a stoners’ convention?
logo for the medical marijuana convention does NOT instill faith that
this is a viable form of medicine for the suffering. The conference also
starts at 4:20 - another reference to going against societal norm...
Circadian Rhythms Influence Organs
biological clock that regulates day and night cycles is called the
circadian rhythm. Besides color, the healing of congestion is rhythm. It
is a tremendous healing factor...
No yard signs for mayor
mayor, documentation of my city service is public information that is
recorded on public TV and commented on by the media on a regular basis.
As such, my campaign for re-election will have no expenditures and will
not include the display of yard signs...
Improvements not for us
seems some of the Traverse City locals are confused about a few things.
The improvements to the Open Space, the waste-of-money Splash Pad, and
the new Marina, were not made for us that live here year round. We are
already here, and most were here for years before...
Thanks so much for your column on over-population (re: “Not enough workers or too many?”). Nobody talks much about this issue but I recall when Helen Caldicott was a speaker at NMC in the ’80s. She said, “If we don’t solve this problem, we won’t have to solve any of the others.” Yet, here we are, billions of people later...
Moderates: the enemy
The recent editorial by Stephen Tuttle regarding possible Republican presidential candidates is quite typical of the far left. The praising of candidates like Bush or Christie, both moderates while simultaneously trashing other more conservative people will end should one of these moderates get the nomination...Race & I.D.
Regarding Stephen Tuttle’s piece on race: So much to say, so little space. Let’s
settle for his uninformed comments on the Supreme Court’s decision on
the Voting Rights Act...
residents may or may not know about the petition-drive for a 2014
ballot initiative to ban/block shale gas and oil fracking in Michigan.
The deadline for 250,000 signatures is October 1. Time is running out
and we need your help...
are a large growing number of concerned citizens in Traverse City who
want lawn chemicals and pesticides out of this city. What does one have
to do to drill it in peoples heads that these chemicals are extremely
toxic.? Toxic, toxic, toxic! Chemicals and nature don’t mix...
In Manistee, a newly formed group of concerned citizens called the Manistee Water Guardians is working to advance the dialogue about horizontal hydraulic fracturing, known commonly as “fracking.”Fracking’s blight
What do we picture when we think of a hydraulic fracturing (un) natural gas well? Not a large, 24/7, noisy, smelly, permanent scar on the natural landscape, I’ll bet. Or an assembly of huge pumps, pipes, storage tanks and collection ponds.No to war in Syria
I generally do not agree with Stephen Tuttle’s articles but found “We Can’t Fix This” to be right on! We still have not learned that the Middle East will always be a no-win situation. If only our government could remember a little history-- if you don’t know it, you are bound to repeat it. Kudos Tuttle.
The risk of war
As we consider a military attack on Syria, I ask myself: is another war affordable? Spiritually? Financially? What are the risks? How long would it last? Are there alternatives?Small house idea
Re your article “Not a Small World After All.” The subtext of this article would appear to be that there would be less environmental impact if Centerville Township allowed smaller houses to be built. I don’t think that this is the case, however, because the primary environmental impact of housing is created by where the house is located and to what degree that location then requires the people that live there to drive in order to work/show/recreate.
I just had to share this with as wide of an audience as possible so Northern Express seemed like a good starting point! How many times do folks drive by Little Bohemia on Front St. in TC and dismiss it as “just another tavern”? I sure have been guilty of that numerous times!Move to Amend
Remember going to a party where a loudmouth monopolizes the conversation with your girlfriend? Corporations, trade associations, superpacs, and multinational companies with big money are romancing our politicians and writing legislation through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that definitely does not favor you and me. It is not freedom if only rich people’s voices are heard. Congress will not change unless we speak out.
Express Weekly and reporter Patrick Sullivan have written a scandal
sheet story that does not paint a true picture in the fireworks case
against James Goodyear (Express, Aug. 26). It seems that they have
cherrypicked the official police report leaving out pertinent
information and timelines to sensationalize the story...
As a past cyclist and a current driver, I see the need for both groups to co-exist on the road for everyone’s safety. Some of the issues with motorists stem from a road selection by cyclists, choosing a road that has minimal shoulder room to allow safe passage past cyclists...Ditch all traffic signs
Tear down ALL TRAFFIC signs inside Traverse City. I mean it. Every single one. Every traffic light, every speed limit sign, every stop sign...No bombs for Syria
An open letter to our senators, members of Congress, and President Obama. I urge you to do everything you can to reject bombing of Syria...
Bikes & cars, compared Okay, really? A car and a bike. A car weighs several THOUSAND pounds. Most bikes, under 40. I just read the Aug. 19 issue. In the everpopular “Public Safety” section, there are two articles about accidents involving cars running stop signs. One resulted in death, the other in injuries.
One-ton death machines Driving my F-250 diesel to work a few months ago, I started to pull away from a stop sign and, BAM - a reckless bicyclist ran the stop, sheared off the front end of my truck, and put me in the hospital for a week... SAID NO DRIVER EVER!!!
Doggone whiners... The whiners have won. Everything is regulated because of whiners. I wish people would stop whining, figure out problems on their own, forgive other people, and quit ruining America with all the whining.
The recent vitriol against bike riders is short-sighted at best and pathetic at worst. Talk of getting the police to ticket cyclists more and of licensing and insuring bicycles are solutions looking for a problem...Endless crowds
found Sam Porter’s marketing comments about his new “Spectacular
Structures” mobile venue being touted for our area perplexing. On
the one hand he comments about how we should celebrate all that is
great and good about life in Northern Michigan and laments those events
that can “close down our parks and streets.”
So many disagreeable comments appeared in your article about Fridrich Furs: Trapping... fur farms...Fridrich seems to be comfortable rationalizing the most despicable and inhumane treatment of animals to further his profession...Our poisoned roads
Once again Team Services has been caught using toxic waste chemicals from oil and gas drilling as dust control on roads. Team Services reportedly sprayed 300,000 gallons of toxic fluid on 121 miles of roads in Benzie County...Christians & science
The incessant and unnecessary conflict between science and religion continues, but we can and should learn from history. Beginning in 1534 when Copernicus published “On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies,” until at least 1633 with church decrees against Galileo, a battle raged which bore striking similarities to the evolution versus creationism war of today...
The leakers & freedom
Stephen Tuttle’s writing exemplifies the confusion surrounding Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. You say that names of Afghan and Chinese nationals have been released? The list please. You write that “they’ve exposed nothing illegal under current law.” If one looks at what Wikileaks published thanks to Mr Manning (http://www.bradleymanning.org/learn-more/ what-did-wikileaks-reveal), then one may be exposed to revelations describing what should be illegal acts.Exposing the insanity
I have to disagree with Stephen Tuttle about the comparison between Manning, Snowden and Daniel Ellsberg (who released The Pentagon Papers). Ellsberg had the support of the New York Times and a country that was sick of the war in Southeast Asia. The people that supported us were doomed at the end of the war. The same thing will happen in Iraq and Afghanistan.She’s following the rules
Dear Fellow Cyclists/Commuters: I am surprised and dismayed at your anger towards me and I feel you missed the point of my letter in the August 5 issue. I DO NOT feel that I am in any way above the law.Violations everywhere
I have taken a week since reading the letter to the editor about being ticketed for running a red light in downtown Traverse City. I was so filled with different emotions as I read it that I needed to take some time to sort through it all.By the book
Far too often cyclists violate traffic laws with little regard for drivers. I’m not saying that all cyclists are bad drivers and that I support this form of transportation. I wish I had the ability to ride a bike to work as Susan Ruoff does.Reckless riders
I live in TC and the behavior of some cyclists is quite frankly scary. Running red lights, wearing dark clothes without any lights and only minimal reflectors at night, riding three abreast taking up the entire street, riding on the wrong side of the road, weaving from one side of the road to the other, not signaling turns, not stopping at crosswalks when riding on the sidewalk, cutting in front of cars and jumping from riding on the sidewalk to riding on the street are all things I have seen cyclists do in the past two weeks.Negligent motorists
The recent bevy of hostile letters directed at cyclists (Letters-8/11) has me convinced that there is more going on here than just frustration over how long a cyclist sits at a red light. First of all, if the drivers of motorized vehicles that require licensing and insurance convey this much hostility in a letter, I, as a cyclist, certainly don’t want to share any road with you.