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..
My wife’s elderly cousin had moved into a nice care home to spend his final days. When I went to visit him, there was no television, and I asked him why. “Don’t want one. It stresses me out”. Every time we visited him, his door was open and he was out an about with his walker visiting people instead of watching the tube...My Peace Corps
I have a different perspective from Frederik Stig-Nielsen on serving in the Peace Corps. I volunteered in Niger, West Africa from 1980- 83 and count it among life’s richest experiences...Applauding Tolerance
loved the front cover of the May 14 paper. Of course, I am a little
partial as the man on the right is my son Andy, with his partner Joel.
Your article was eye-opening, chilling, and reassuring...
Emergency Shelter Fulfilling 2006 Plan
the Grand Traverse community has been discussing the issues of
emergency shelter and homelessness these last few months, a document has
surfaced from 2006 that spells out some of the challenges we face...
ad for the strip club in the June 9 issue was pretty terrible.
“Supporting single moms one dollar at a time” is cruel and belittling to
the women who have no other option but to strip for a living to feed
During the Memorial Day Parade in Petoskey, I noticed that Congressman Dan Benishek was walking with local veterans...Letters to Jail
A big thank you to Sheriff Ted Schendel of Benzie County for rescinding the “Postcard Only” policy on May 23. This policy was initiated by the sheriff on April 27th. At the urging of Benzie citizens, Schendel reviewed the policy and then made a compassionate and legal decision...In Defense of Our Climate
So what’s going on in Washington? On May 22, the US House of Representatives passed the McKinley Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (the military budget), which would forbid the Department of Defense to spend any money to implement the recommendations of the National Climate Assessment, the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and two other climate reports when considering the national security impacts of climate change...Littering Never Okay
God made this world. He was here first and is still watching. He
loaned the world to us...
read the recent version of “Crossed” with interest. I can only respond
by quoting Mr. Lennon: “Imagine there’s no heaven It’s easy if you try
No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people Living for
Stop The Fluoridation
The decision of the Boyne City Commissioners to stop adding fluoride to the water supply is very good news for the citizens...The Reality at Griswold Mountain
letters to the editor to local newspapers by some Griswold Mountain
racetrack supporters have contained hostile references to “the
anti-trackers” that cloud the fact that racing on the mountain is a
zoning issue, not an issue of class warfare nor a debate about economic
development in Indian River...
Renewable Energy and Fracking
When Edison figured out how to harness electricity, the world was changed. What a wonderful addition to our lives. And now we have the knowhow to produce our needs from wind and solar which means we no longer need to drill these awful wells to produce natural gas. And no more fracking...
Stop Damage to Waters Lake Bellaire is a northern Michigan treasure, enjoyed by its residents and visitors for fishing, boating, and majestic views. But there is an unwelcome surprise awaiting those who love the Antrim Chain of Lakes, and Lake Bellaire...Learn About NSA’s Powers I read and watch the news with growing concern over the expansive powers of the National Security Administration (NSA). The explosive revelations by Edward Snowden now being reported by Glenn Greenwald and others hopefully are triggering thoughts and renewed debate over the tension between national security and information privacy...
Too Much War Are we addicted to war? A recent speaker on international affairs reported that the current military budget is 20 percent of the total U.S. budget. Those figures are “suspect.” Since 9/11, the US military budget has swollen by 49 percent over its 2000 levels, not including two wars...
In his upcoming campaign, Congressman Dan Benishek will undoubtedly use his vote for the Sleeping Bear Dunes wilderness legislation as an example of his support for environmental issues. It is worth noting that this bill was developed long before Mr. Benishek was elected. He was not the creator of the bill, only a supporter...Listen to the People
Recently the Traverse City planning commission listened to objections to the construction of homes the citizens felt would be out of character for the neighborhood. If only Forest Home Township in Antrim County had such a planning commission!Of Chefs and Cooking
Kudos to Northern Express and Patrick Sullivan for the story last week about Howard Schedle. Food preparation and service traditions are worth talking about here in this Traverse City regional “agricultural belt” because they give understanding and provide clues to the future...Stop Plastic Bags
is mentioned on the mainstream media about efforts across the nation
and around the world to reduce usage of the plastic shopping bag (PSB).
Plastic shopping bags are bad from the start. The manufacture of PSBs
takes much petroleum and creates toxic waste...
Raise Minimum Wage
The people of Michigan have overwhelmingly (65 percent) asked for the minimum wage to be raised from its present $7.40 an hour to a decent living wage. At present workers are still below the poverty line even if they work full time. The Governor and legislature in Lansing have refused to raise the minimum wage, so there is a petition drive to get it on the ballot in November...
We would like to thank several local heroes for putting Michigan Artists Gallery back together again after being closed for 45 days with flood damage...
In the “Crossed” column, Mr. Singer presents a timeless subject matter. One could say he tasted the water of man’s being as to spirituality but not deep enough, so at present he is an atheist...Does Government Care About Pipeline?
I am very frustrated with our state and federal government and the elected officials including Gov. Snyder. I wrote a letter to the Governor and to eight other state and federal officials, conveying my serious concern about a failure of the 60 yearold pipeline that goes under the Straits of Mackinac and carries Canadian tar sands oil at high temperatures and pressure...Ramps and a Rye Boule
On the narrow lane to our house, there’s a very old fence neatly defining a small green field and a cool leafy woods just beyond...
Happy Belated Easter
Happy Easter to all of you! On this day of celebration, I will have no truck with cynicism or anger. Today will be about hope and resurrection and love will reign supreme. Once again we will attach our spirits to the banner of the Risen Lord, and bathe in the glory that is to come...Stealing from Education
Governor Snyder’s proposal to fix roads by converting the sales tax on gasoline at the pumps to a fuel tax at the wholesale level is a camouflaged raid on the school aid fund. The Michigan constitution and the Proposal A were combined to assure that the public school aid fund would receive 4 percent of each 6 percent sales tax collected. For every $500.000,000 of sales tax that is removed at the pump and converted to a tax at the wholesale level on fuels, Michigan public schools will lose $333,000,000 annually...Congrats to Students
to all the area high schools who participated in the Academic
WorldQuest program and contest. How we view ourselves in relationship to
other countries and how they view us is paramount to understanding our
world and our place in it...
Many brave men and women have worn and do wear the military uniform of the United States of America. They put their lives at risk and have lost their lives to protect our freedom, our loved ones and our right to vote...
Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...Climate Change Warning
Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...Fed Up About Roads
It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...Don’t Blame the IRS
have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself
entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not
for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be
organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing
about civic betterment and social improvements.”
ACA Has Benefits
I hear people bashing the Affordable Care Act and wonder why they like the old plan better. The ACA: Covers preventive screenings like blood pressure, diabetes and cancer screenings free of charge without a co-pay or deductible...We Are Clean
The artist in the “A Door Closed, A Window Opened” in the March 10 issue is a nice looking woman with some interesting jewelry creations. However, her assertion that “we” come to God “broken and dirty: and then somehow get ‘cleaned up’ by him” is a rationale I find offensive and ridiculous...Oppose Griswold Racetrack
When it comes time for Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners to make a decision regarding the conditional rezoning of Griswold Mountain, I hope they will show the same amount of professionalism, attention to detail, and commitment as their own Planning and Zoning Commission has already demonstrated...Ban Pesticides
pesticides (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides etc.) are poisons
that kill insects, weeds and organisms. Numerous studies show them to
also cause cancers, birth defects, autism, infertility and MCS (multiple
Uncap Social Security
I agree with Mr. Don Semen’s letter from the March 24 issue. I see no reason to have a cap on income taxed for Social Security. People who have income greater than $110,000 can most afford it and it would help keep Social Security and Medicare healthy.
During National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 6-12, the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) pays tribute to the dedicated and generous individuals that volunteer with our organization...
welcome surprise: someone in Michigan is actually seeking solutions,
rather than bemoaning problems!
Voters in the Dark
was in Florida for two weeks prior to the election about which Mr.
Tuttle wrote (“Voters in the Dark”, 3/24) As I watched the
advertisements on TV, I was appalled to read the sponsors for them...
We are all human and deserving of being treated with dignity. The
labelling of people is undignified, and frought with the danger of
causing divisions and controversy...
Tax Reform Wanted
“Tax reform,” “less taxes,” blah blah blah…the historical plea of every would-be re-elected congressman since time immemorial. Dave Camp is looking to begin his second quarter century in Congress using that same card from that same old deck...Teach Healthy Sexuality
children and teens of today are our hope for tomorrow. It’s important
for us as parents, caring adults and community members to help set young
people on the path for a healthy future and support them as they work
to create positive change...
Spring Of 2014
of 2014 has sprung The Republican Tea Party cycle has begun For their
goal is only one That your life remains on the bottom rung. In
non-election years they ignore their constituents By covering their ears
For they have no fears in those years...
Homestead’s Position Disputed Thank you to the Express for the recent news item about ten local, state, and national organizations that joined together in a statement calling on The Homestead Resort and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to work together to correct the problem of incompletely-treated wastewater spray blowing into an area of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, rendering it unavailable for public use. Here is just one clarification...
Done With Snyder Governor Snyder lowered taxes on well-off businesses while raising nearly everyone else’s taxes, undermining both education and the labor movement, which together created Michigan’s strong middle class. His actions also dismantled protections for our priceless Great Lakes shorelines...
Gerrymandering is Alive I have major disagreements with Stephen Tuttle’s column from March 17th. Let’s start with an agreement that conservatives do control the majority of the congressional districts and state legislatures, but let’s also tell the real reason...
Benishek No Environmentalist For Dan Benishek to say he is responsible for preserving a natural wonder (Sleeping Bear Preservation Act) is akin to Al Gore saying he invented the Internet...
CORRECTION: In the March 17 issue, we mistakenly identified the Holiday Inn as “best deck scene” in the Traverse City Best area listings. In fact, their new name is West Bay Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort.
We are fortunate to live in America. We are required to act responsibly. Contribute to the SOLUTION...
The past president of Monster Beverage Company has stated publicly on several occasions that he wants to build a racetrack on Griswold Mountain in order to “give back” to Indian River...RISE OF INEQUALITY
Since the 1970s the income earned by the top fifth of Americans has risen from 40 percent to 47 percent of total income. It is difficult to say that this level of inequality is a bad thing; many of the reasons are clear...