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..
Religious Freedom Challenge Stephen Tuttle wrote (May 4) concerning state “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” (RFRAs) in his “Not Actually Legislating” column: “It is repugnant overreaction to a social change some people are unable to accept. Apparently their strongly held religious belief is they don’t like ‘gay’ people.”
A New Marriage Definition In regards to the gay marriage debate, as an American citizen and as a gay man, I do not support any declaration that defines marriage.
Let Cars Park Downtown Downtown TC merchants and property owners...where are your voices?
Takeaways From The GT Board All the dynamics we are seeing at the GT County Board level are due to years of pentup frustration with past county boards not following a specific results-based budgetary (RBB) process.
I Love The Eighth Street Changes I
read the letter in the 4/13 paper about not liking the Eighth Street
changes, and it spurred me to let you know that I do like the Eighth
Street changes, as do many of my neighboring residents.
Michigan Taxes Equal Uncompetitive State Michigan has been losing population. According to the eighth edition of the “Rich States, Poor States” report released by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), states with low taxes have been gaining population.
“Déjà Vu, All Over Again!” Sometimes that Yogi Berra quote is pitch perfect. Back in 1993, Michigan’s roads were falling apart. Governor Engler refused to raise motor fuel taxes -- he issued bonds instead and kicked that problem down the road.
No To Fracking I would like to respond to the article in the Apr 27th issue regarding fracking.
Find Something Better Our politicians in Lansing love to talk about “no more taxes.” I agree that they seem to be against any new taxes on the very wealthy and businesses, but seem to have no problem increasing taxes on the poor and the middle class.
Benishek’s Costly Tax Representative Dan Benishek announced in his latest bulletin a vote to repeal the “Death Tax.”
Unsafe In The Lanes As I drive a lot each workday, it is common to see a car carrier truck setting in the center turn lane in front of Fox Motors on US-31. The drivers unload cars for the dealerships along the road.
Message From Mother Earth At over 4 billion years old, I’ve been feeling my age. My lungs hurt, probably due to destruction of my forests, which act as my lungs. Why are you doing this?
Benishek And Income Disparity I wrote a letter to Rep. Dan Benishek regarding economics and middle-class income stagnation and asked, “What are you going to do about this inequality that is stymying the general welfare of our citizens?”
The Value Of Unions As a retired, 40-year member of Sheet Metal Workers 80, a building trades union, I truly appreciated Stephen Tuttle’s “How Ironic” column.
Time For Hartman/Hammond Long term planning would have coincided the timing of downing the Cass St/Keystone Bridge in TC and the construction of a Hartman/ Hammond Bridge. Such a planned roadway would have met everyone’s needs.
No more Apologies In view of the senseless, brutal murder of an unarmed black man in South Carolina last week by a police officer following a traffic stop for a broken taillight, we must revisit Thomas Kachadurian’s recent column.
What Is Your Experience To Lead? I listened to Marco Rubio’s announcement of his running for the presidency. Many have admired his speech. He said a lot of the right things
Outsourcing NMC Faculty “Outsourcing” the vast majority of NMC faculty? Do I hear the sound of NMC’s reputation sucked down the drain to save money? Really?
Perplexing Eighth Street Changes I’m writing to you about the way 8th Street in Traverse City is organized. I commute on 8th Street daily like hundreds of others.
115 Years of Injustice Investigative reporter Pat Sullivan’s March 23 article “BURNOUT” exposed for the first time to many northern Michigan residents the 115-year-old tragedy that took place at Burt Lake in October of 1900.
Kicking The Prop 1 Can “Proposal 1
consists of only 100 words, but if approved by voters on May 5, it
would trigger into law thousands of other words in 10 bills passed by
the state legislature in December.”
Expose The Republican Playbook There was much angst among Democratic Party loyalists after the November election about their failure to convey a strong populist message.
Unions Are Essential Thanks to Stephen Tuttle for pointing out in his recent column how we have had trade apprenticeships for decades throughout Michigan and other states.
Vote On The Boardman The talk about restoring the Boardman River to its natural, free flowing state resurfaces.
Stop Sanctioned Discrimination I woke up this morning from a bad dream that in my country, in the year 2015, the State of Indiana signed into law government sanctioned discrimination against someone’s sexual orientation.
Oppose Health Care Cuts Governor Snyder’s 2016 budget proposal eliminates graduate medical education, cuts $36 million from small and rural hospitals and $11 million from rural hospitals that provide obstetrical care.
No To Sales Tax Jump Were being asked to approve a one cent increase in the sales tax for the purpose of fixing our roads. But wait, one cent is a 16 percent increase that’s tough on the poor and middle class.
Vote No Why are businesses getting huge tax cuts while other programs are being slashed?
Bigotry Determined Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “bigot” as “a person who holds blindly and intolerantly to a particular creed, opinion, etc.” and “bigotry” as “the behavior, attitude, or beliefs of a bigot.”
Police State Thomas Kachadurian’s column might get the facts right but misses the story.
Oppose The Shell Game Is this a Shell Game? As a Democrat, I support increased taxes on motor fuels and vehicles to provide funding for our transportation infrastructure.
Sugars On The Way Senator Patrick Colbeck from Canton introduced a bill and the Senate passed it allowing schools and Girl & Boy Scout troops to have up to 3 bake sales per week.
Fresh & Unbiased I have always enjoyed reading the Northern Express to discover all the cool things happening in our region. However, as the time went by, the level of left wing bias became more evident.
Racism Continues Even before the United States was an official nation, we were a country that practiced slavery. We are a country of slavery for more years than we have been not.
Rich Get Richer The other morning NPR said that GM had so much money the board of directors bought back $5 billion in stock.
Change Slow In Michigan Our great state of Michigan abolished the death penalty way back in 1846, but it took until 1917 until we gave our female citizens of Michigan the right to vote.
Action Now On Climate 74 percent of Americans, including half of Republicans, now support government action to address climate change, according to a recent poll conducted by Stanford University, a nonpartisan research group, and The New York Times.
Views Of Middle East After events such as the Netanyahu address to Congress, I appreciate the follow-up by professional columnists and local letter writers. So here is a little more “grist for the mill.”
What If I’ve got to agree with [Express columnist] Grant Parsons on the Jared Ottenwess situation. Could it have been salvaged?
A Courageous Stance Thank you
Stephen Tuttle for your courageous and excellent editorial about the
LGBT community. I appreciated, too, your willingness to delve into the
biblical roots of this prejudice... and expose it for a sham, as it
Laughter The Best Weapon The “Saturday Night Live” skit featured Dakota Johnson playing a high school graduate apparently heading off to her first year of college and saying goodbye to her dad.
An Educational Monster I would like to respond to Mr. Tuttle’s column in this week’s Express regarding Common Core. I’m not sure where he is getting his information, but most of it is incorrect.
What’s Just? Apparently as proven by the acceptance of Jered Ottenwess’s resignation, one can allegedly perform domestic abuse during a drunken binge and receive three months of pay and benefits from the City of Traverse City.
American Exceptualism Rudy Giuliani was espousing his opinion to Fox News that Barack Obama did not love America and didn’t brag enough about “American Exceptionalism.”
Fur Is Not Chic When my 25-pound
dog stepped in a toothed steel leg hold trap a few ft off the trail, I
learned how “unchic” fur is. I had to carry her out two miles to get to a
Which Is More Dangerous? Just
a couple of thoughts I had in response to the letters by Gordon Lee
Dean and Jarin Weber in the Feb. 23 issue. Mr. Dean claims that there
have been zero deaths from the measles in the past ten years.
Real Action on Climate In “Climate Madness” in the Feb. 9 issue, the writer points out that scientists are all but unanimous and that large numbers of people agree: global warming poses a threat to future generations.
Real Science Wolfgang Pauli, the Nobel Prize winning Austrian-born theoretical physicist, was known not only for his work in postulating the existence of the neutrino but feared for his razor-edged humor.
Vaccines And Israel Apparently Stephen Tuttle thinks that whatever he writes is accepted as fact according to his February 9th article titled “Outrageous.”
Turn Your Lights On I’ve mentioned this before in this column, but here we go again.
Measles Facts, Not Fear I am responding to Mr. Steven Tuttle, who stated in a recent column that politicians who support parents’ rights to make vaccine choices for their children are promoting fear mongering rather than science.
Media Or President? Fox’s Heather Childers took exception to President Obama’s use of the term “YOLO” (you only live once) in a healthcare.gov promotional video by responding with “Well, you know who’s not alive? Kayla Mueller.”
Silence Cheapens Us All Brian Williams, the deposed NBC news anchor, was recently crucified upside down on the cross of conservative obscenities.
The TPP And My 401k In response
to Beverly Christensen’s letter in the February 9 edition, I have to say
that YES I am alarmed about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade
deal that is now being negotiated.
Fine Tune The Cherry Fest As a kid who grew up on Michigan’s west shore, I love cherries. During WWII, kids in junior high were enlisted to pick cherries because of the labor shortage, and I’ve had a warm spot for cherries ever since.
The Stupid Party? In a January 2013 address to the Republican National Committee, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued the following warning to his fellow Republicans: “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party.”
Respect The Cherry Fest Regarding Jack Lane’s column critiquing the National Cherry Festival, clearly Mr. Lane’s business is not affected by tourism.
Anti-Vacc Not Conservative Steve, reading your opinion piece in Feb. 9th Northern Express, I could not have been more shocked to see you pin the anti-vaccine speech to conservative thinking.
Applause For “Next” Issue The February 2 edition of Northern Express is/was the best issue I’ve read in some time.
Climate Madness Recent polls show that not only do large portions of our population agree that global warming is a real result of our use of carbon energy, but also scientists are almost unanimous in their agreement that global warming is real, will lead to the catastrophe of our current world and will prevent our grandchildren from leading a life anywhere near normal.
No To Multinational Deal Are you alarmed about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?
History Lesson “The days of cheap oil and easy acquisition are over. “ -- President Obama, June 2010
A Study In Mudslinging In the January 12 issue of Northern Express, Grant Parsons wrote a piece that touched on behind-the-scenes campaign financing. Mr. Parsons referenced attack ads he received in the mail prior to the November elections.
Sad Story I read with sadness in the Detroit Free Press of 24-year-old Angela Marie Alexie, who abandoned her just born baby boy in an unheated Eastpoint, Michigan garage to die alone in the cold, and who had also previously lost 3 children to foster care, the youngest of which, a girl, suffered withdrawal symptoms because of Alexie’s drug use during pregnancy.
Balance On The Page Having looked through the Northern Express for years, I have finally found something worth reading besides News of the Weird and the Advice Goddess!
An Eye On Congress The U.S. Senate on January 21 voted 98 for and 1 against to adopt a non-binding resolution stating, “It is the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.”