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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Region Watch

Monday, August 8, 2011

Group accuses CMU of keeping a lid on survey of controversial wind project/Groundbreaking for Sleeping Bear bike path

Region Watch Group accuses CMU of keeping a lid on survey of controversial wind project
By Patrick Sullivan
A citizens group opposed to a wind farm in Benzie and Manistee counties
says Central Michigan University (CMU) is keeping documents related to the
project from public view.
An attorney for Arcadia Wind Study Group filed a lawsuit last week that
seeks to force CMU to release hundreds of pages of documents.
CMU and Duke Energy entered into an agreement on March 1 to undertake a
study called “Township Views of Alternative Energy and Wind Farms.”
Duke agreed to pay CMU $21,581 for the work.
Monday, July 25, 2011

This Old House Benefit planned for Old Mission landmark

Region Watch Things are generally pretty quiet at the Old Mission House, which reflects
on 169 years of history, dating back to the earliest days of white
settlement in the Grand Traverse area.
Monday, June 6, 2011

Region Watch: Cherry Festival Music, Ken Smith honored, Chicago-Bound, Bear-ly there

The National Cherry Festival has announced its music lineup for the
Bayside Stage this coming July 1-9.
The big acts include:
• Kansas - Wednesday, July 6
• 1964 Beatles tribute - Thursday, July 7
• .38 Special & Brant Lee Gilbert - Friday, July 8
• Josh Graycin, country - Saturday, July 9
Susan Wilcox, media relations & marketing manager, says a $15 pass will
get festival-goers into all four shows, with nightly passes also
available. And, for the first time, premium seating options will also
be available up-front.
“We‘re also very excited about the line-up at the Cherry Blast Stage in
the beverage tent,“ Wilcox adds.
“These will all be free shows by great performers including the Sun
Messengers, the Detroit Pistons House Band, Motown R&B, Joe Caine, Larry
McCray and Thornetta Davis.“
Check out upcoming stories on the artists in the Express‘s Festival
Music and Cherry Festival issues in late June-early July.
Monday, May 16, 2011

Thunder down under/Something to carp about/Choo-choo

Region Watch Please be seated..
At last year’s Traverse City Film
Festival, organizer Michael Moore made a spur-of-the-moment promise based
on an idea from a member of the audience: if the TC Area Public Schools
would officially honor the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday for the first
time since its inception 26 years ago, Moore said he would lead a campaign
to provide new seats for the Lars Hockstad
Auditorium, located at Central Grade School on 7th Street.
Monday, April 18, 2011

Saving the Great Lakes/New Frontier/Senior Blowback

Region Watch Saving the Great Lakes
Water activists and experts from throughout the Great Lake Basin will
be flowing in for a “Saving the Great Lakes Forever” conference which
kicks off on Friday, May 6, at the State Theater in downtown Traverse
“We take our incredible natural beauty and abundance for granted, but
there are very real threats facing the Great Lakes Basin.” said
environmental attorney James Olson, who serves as executive director of
the Flow for Water Coalition. “If we don’t protect these majestic
waters now, the Great Lakes could be lost for our future generations.
Our goal is to build deep citizen awareness and provide solutions to
make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Monday, October 25, 2010

New fim fest heads into the wild: Calling all hipsters: Solar sharing

Region Watch New film fest heads into the wild
A Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival will be screened at the State Theater in TC on Sunday, November 14, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Headlining the festival is a humorous documentary, No Impact Man, along with five other short films.
Nationally, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival was launched by the South Yuba River Citizens League, a watershed advocacy group that formed in 2003 to fight several dam projects in California. The League eventually won “wild and scenic” status for 39 miles of the Yuba River. The film festival, which offers local presenters more than 50 films to choose from, began touring in 2004. This year the festival will be seen in more than 110 venues. It will be sponsored in TC by the Michigan Land Use Institute (MLUI).
After the films, the action moves to Left Foot Charley in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, where MLUI hosts a free reception, from 5-6:30 p.m. The evening concludes with a CD release party and performance by Breathe Owl Breathe for Magic Central, benefiting MLUI, from 7 to 9 p.m.
No Impact Man follows a young, eco-guilty New Yorker, Colin Beavans, as he tries living for a year without affecting the environment. The film recounts the challenges he faces, including not using electricity, taxis or elevators; eating only local food; and making no waste. His biggest challenge? Getting his own family on board.
Fans of another entertaining documentary, King Corn, will enjoy Curt Ellis and Aaron Woolf’s follow-up, entitled Big River. The filmmakers track the harm caused by the fertilizers and insecticides they used to grow their now-famous acre of Iowa corn as those chemicals flow down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.
Also on the program will be the winner of the Micromovie Competition for Young Filmmakers, organized by MLUI and SEEDS, a TC-based environmental education group. Entries are still being accepted from those 19 years or younger.
Tickets for the festival are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. They are available at www.mlui.org and Higher Grounds Trading Company, Oryana Natural Foods, and Pangea’s Pizza Pub—all in TC. Tickets for the Breathe Owl Breathe CD release party are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. They are also available at the ticket outlets listed above.
Monday, September 13, 2010

Preserving the Pigeon/Energy Guru Nicole Foss

Region Watch Preserving the Pigeon
The Pigeon River has enjoyed the protection of the Little Traverse
Conservancy since 1983 when Agnes A. Andreae donated 27 acres and a
cabin perched along the river.
Monday, June 7, 2010

Couple to seek skydiving record/ Bullies in BAy Harbor

Region Watch Couple to seek skydiving record
Skydive Harbor Springs is hosting a Guinness World Record Event on June
29, with the public invited to come and watch.
Monday, May 31, 2010

Up in smoke/ Stupak‘s view/ Looking ahead

Region Watch Robert Downes Up in smoke: two proposed coal plants in Rogers City & Bay City
Plans for two new coal plants in Rogers City and Bay City were
scuttled last week, raising hope in Michigan’s environmental community
that power companies will pursue a cleaner path to producing
Monday, May 24, 2010

Desperate moms have an option/ Cyclists urged to support Streets bil/ Camp vows to ovrturn healthcare reform legislation/ Paella anyone

Region Watch Desperate moms have an option
The recent deaths of two newborn babies abandoned in the Traverse City
area has prompted an adoption agency to speak out on a state law passed
nine years ago to help out desperate mothers.
Monday, January 25, 2010

Everyone knows it windy/help for Haiti/Food Rescue delivers

Region Watch Everyone Knows It’s Windy
But some lakeshore residents are fearful of proposed wind farm project
A fight over wind turbines is shaping up in Oceana and Mason counties,
where 400 area residents have organized to oppose a proposed wind farm
project on Lake Michigan.
Monday, November 23, 2009

No home? New housing developement offers refuge/Suiting up/Operatics

Region Watch Danielle Horvath No Home? New housing development offers refuge
By Danielle Horvath
Being homeless can happen to anyone, even for former NBA players like David Vaughn who blew through $22 million and ended up sleeping in his Chevy Impala. Or, it can be a single mom with two kids who escapes an abusive relationship and is living in a campground with winter coming and who still has no job. At least 1.35 million children in the U.S. are homeless during the year -- over 200,000 on any given day.
Monday, November 9, 2009

Region Watch: Med pot grower faces jail/ Want to tell a great story?

Region Watch Anne Stanton Region Watch:Med pot grower faces trial/Want to tell a great story?
By Anne Stanton 11/9/09

Archie Kiel, a “caregiver” who grows marijuana plants for himself and several other medical marijuana patients, was arraigned in 13th Circuit Court last week on felony charges for growing more than the legal limit of plants.
He pled not guilty. Kiel has a jury status conference on December 9—the final date on whether he can decide to plead or go to trial.
Charged with manufacture of more than 20 plants and less than 200, Kiel of Rapid City will likely stand trial in December, unless the judge agrees to dismiss his case, said his attorney Ross Hickman.
Hickman says he wishes the prosecutor would just drop the case. “At best, here’s a guy who was trying to abide by the law, and thought he was and made a mistake. It’s certainly possible he didn’t make a mistake. It just doesn’t seem appropriate to hang him out to dry for this,” Hickman said.
Monday, August 31, 2009

Region Watch: Community treasure stolen/Volunteers needed for Schooner Fest/ Calling all Christian rednecks/ Road whales sighted in Europe

Region Watch Region Watch 8/31/09
Community Treasure Stolen
A 125-year-old wrought iron gate on the grounds of the Village of Grand Traverse Commons was so beautiful, photographers often used it as a backdrop for graduation and wedding photos.
But the massive gate was stolen on August 18 with the use of bolt cutters to cut a security chain and most likely heisted in broad daylight.
“It was right across from the K parking lot of Munson Medical Center, but people see trucks there all the time and might have assumed we were having it refurbished. It would have taken four men to carry it, and they’d have to have a flat bed or huge moving truck to carry it,” said developer Ray Minervini, who is renovating the former Traverse City State Hospital into a village of shops, offices, clinics, condos, and restaurants.
“We had intended to restore the gate and the hidden garden behind it,” said Minervini, who said he was devastated by the theft. “It’s terrible. It belongs to the whole community. It’s not Ray’s gate, it’s the community’s gate.”
He called the theft “unconscionable” and plans to contact area salvage yards and architectural resale stores in case someone tries to sell the gate.
Minervini said there’s a reward for information leading to its return: “I’ll buy them dinner, give them a tour of the site, take them to the underground tunnels. If, whoever stole it comes to their senses, we won’t prosecute them.
“We implore anyone who may have witnessed this to provide any information, and beseech those responsible to simply return it to its rightful place in history,” he said.
If you have any information, call Ray Minervini at 941-1900 or go to www.thevillagetc.com.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Standish: Gitmo of the North? Benefit for bass player Jason Kott

Region Watch Express Staff/ Rick Coates Standish: ‘Gitmo North‘?
Small town would reap 340 jobs & $100 million makeover

Some residents of the small Lake Huron town of Standish say they’re more afraid of losing their jobs than the threat of housing 229 Guantanamo Bay prisoners at the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility, which is in imminent danger of closing.
Throughout the town, handmade signs saying: “Save Our Town, Save Standish Max” have reportedly been popping up in the windows of local stores, restaurants and outside the prison itself.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) announced that the 640-bed prison is being considered as a possible destination for the detainees who’ve been held at Guantanamo, Cuba for the past seven years. The other site being considered by the Obama administration is Fort Leavenworth, a military penitentiary in Kansas.