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

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Table tennis/Petoskey/Temp bike path closure/Dennos/TSO

Region Watch Kristi Kates TABLE TENNIS FOR ALL
A new table tennis training center has opened in Williamsburg at 5549 S. Bates Road near the High Pointe Golf Club. The Hayden Table Tennis Training Center will offer tournaments, lessons and leagues, as well as strength training and a pro shop. Don Hayden Jr., whose late father started High Pointe, has remodeled the former Heights Machinery building to make way for the Center and its 15 world championship tables; he and long-time table tennis partner Paul Everts talked for years about building a center dedicated solely to table tennis, and have now reached their goal.
Players are encouraged to bring their own equipment, though paddles are available for rent/sale. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9-9; Saturday, 10-8; and Sundays, 10-4. Daily and membership rates are available. Danny Seemiller, five-time U.S. Table Tennis Champion and current Olympic coach, will be holding clinics next year. For more information, call 888-456-PONG.
Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bird species hit hard

Region Watch A new analysis by the National Audubon Society reveals that some of America’s most familiar birds have taken a nosedive over the past 40 years, with some populations down as much as 80%.
The dramatic declines are attributed to the loss of grasslands, forests, wetlands, and other critical habitats from environmental threats such as sprawl, energy development, and the spread of industrialized agriculture. These threats are compounded by the escalating effects of global warming.
Thursday, July 5, 2007

New rules for anglers/Goodwill exits/Filmaking workshop/Leelanau bus

Region Watch Katie Huston New rules for anglers
A foreign pathogen that causes fish to bleed internally will have a big impact on recreational anglers this summer.
Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) is not a native disease to Michigan waters, but it was discovered in Lake Huron in 2005. Department of Natural Resources biologists believe the disease has also found its way into Lake Michigan. It has the potential to devastate entire fish populations.
To prevent the spread of VHS, anglers must make sure they do not release fish caught in VHS-infested waters into any waters that are listed as free of the disease. The transport of bait is prohibited, and anglers must make sure bait obtained in a VHS-positive area is only used on other VHS-positive areas.
“The invasion of exotic species is one of the gravest dangers facing the Great Lakes today,” said Jennifer McKay, a policy specialist at Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council in Petoskey. More than 180 invasive species have entered the Great Lakes since the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Chicago Shipping Canal. Currently, a new invasive species enters the Great Lakes every eight months.
Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dark waters/Volunteers wanted/Pig farm mess

Region Watch Something Fishy: James Crossman, a student with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU, netted a 25 pound sturgeon as part of a Sturgeon Viewing Guided Tour hosted by Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and Sturgeon for Tomorrow in the Black Lake watershed.
Each spring, the sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) head up select rivers to spawn along the rocky riverbanks, almost oblivious to nearby human activity, making these rare fish susceptible to poachers and illegal harvest.
The lake sturgeon is a threatened species in Michigan and a rare species throughout the United States. That’s why a group of conservation officers, volunteer off-duty National Guard personnel, and other volunteer groups concentrate in these areas 24-hours a day during spawning season to safeguard the fish from poaching. Photo by Marci Singer.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Earth Day Action

Region Watch Staff & Greg Reisig For the 19th consecutive year, Traverse City Light & Power (www.tclp.org) will be giving away free blue spruce seedlings starting at 8 a.m. at the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market in Traverse City (Union & Grandview Parkway) on Saturday, April 21.
The seedling giveaway is part of local Earth Day celebrations. L&P will also be donating 10,000 white pine seedlings to local school children and youth groups through their partnership with the Grand Traverse Conservation District.
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Holiday Inn West Bay/Sleeping Bear Weighs Options

Region Watch The Holiday Inn West Bay in Traverse City is trying to stamp out a destructive rumor that has been whispered around town over the past year. In short, there’s no truth to the claim that the landmark hotel will be sold and turned into condos.
“These rumors could not be further from the truth. We have recently entered into an agreement to extend our Holiday Inn franchise until 2012,” said William Wolfe, president of the Castrop Wolfe Development Company, which manages the hotel. “The Holiday Inn West Bay is a long-standing Traverse City landmark. We are committed to being a Holiday Inn and maintaining a standard of excellence in serving the people and visitors of Traverse City, both now and in the future. The Holiday Inn West Bay is here to stay.”
Thursday, March 1, 2007

Calling all volunteers for the Governer‘s Conference

Region Watch Anne Stanton If you’re a political junkie—Republican or Democrat—you might want to consider volunteering at the National Governors Association (NGA) Annual Meeting in Traverse City on July 20-23 at the Grand Traverse Resort.
Volunteers will meet and greet state governors, along with cabinet officials, business leaders, and national and local media representatives.
Conference organizers need about 200 volunteers in total. There are two requirements: volunteers must pass a criminal background check conducted by the Michigan State Police and attend a July 19 mandatory volunteer orientation to learn about their specific duties.
Thursday, January 4, 2007

Grease could be the word for Dominic Fortuna

Region Watch Take a careful look at commercials airing on NBC for the new “Grease: You’re The One I Want” reality TV series and you‘ll spot Northern Michigan’s own Dominic Fortuna.
The series premieres Sunday January 7, and based on the commercials and a photo of Fortuna at NBC Grease website, it appears that he is a potential major player in the new series.
Fortuna has signed a confidentially agreement and is unable to comment on his potential participation. He did acknowledge that he tried out and was sent out to the “Grease Academy” in California.
Thursday, December 21, 2006

Peace breaks out in Petoskey

Region Watch Northern Michigan People for Peace, the Little Traverse League for Peace & Freedom, Blissfest Music Organization, and Tara’s Meadow of Beaver Island will present the first annual “Solstice Celebration for Life & Peace” Friday and Saturday, Dec. 22 and 23, in Petoskey.
“Our intention is to celebrate the ‘family of humankind’ — to uplift, to educate and entertain during this season of light returning to our hemisphere,” said NMP4P member Jim Norgaard.
Friday’s activities will feature a concert headlined by Earthwork musicians Seth Bernard, Daisy May, and “Breathe Owl Breathe.” The concert starts at 7 p.m. at the Crooked Tree Arts Center’s Ross Stoakes Theatre, 461 E. Mitchell St. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Call (231) 348-7074 for advance tickets. Tickets will also be available at the Grain Train Natural Food Co-op (220 E. Mitchell St., Petoskey) and at the door. Proceeds from the concert will support NMP4P and the Little Traverse League for Peace and Freedom.
Thursday, December 7, 2006

Closing the loop

Region Watch Anne Stanton Get ready, set, rev ... or maybe do a slow boil of disappointment. It all depends on who you are.
Thanks to a decision to open a 12-mile railroad grade along Mullet Lake, snowmobile enthusiasts can now make a complete loop around Northern Michigan. The trail connects snowmobile trails in Indian River and Cheboygan. With the gap closed, the snow machines can tour from Indian River north to Mackinac City, south to Alanson, and then back to Indian River, said Mike Grisdale, executive director of the Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce.
Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sinking Ship

Region Watch Anne Stanton As one activist group puts it, the U.S. Coast Guard has proposed plans to “turn the Great Lakes into the world’s largest freshwater shooting range.”
The Coast Guard plans to fire a mounted M-240B machine gun and an M16 rifle on boats and targets in order to prepare for potential terrorist attacks on bridges, canals, and locks—not to mention 13 nuclear power plants—situated on the Great Lakes. In fact, it has already held 24 weapons training exercises without hurting anyone.
The Coast Guard says it will make safety a paramount concern, but boaters and fishermen fear getting shot. A group called Citizens for Lake Safety proposed that the Coast Guard practice with closed shooting ranges on land.
Illinois attorney Steven Pollack, who just passed the bar this month, says that the best way to stop the plan is with a legal challenge. He believes the lead bullets will pollute the Great Lakes, the source of drinking water for 42 million Americans. (The Coast Guard has countered that an environmental analysis by the consulting group, CH2M Hill, predicts the lead concentrations would be well below EPA standards.)
Here’s a quick interview with Pollack.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pie & Peace

Region Watch Express Staff More than just autumn aromas will fill the Grand Traverse Pie Company this
Thanksgiving weekend. Visitors will find jazz filling the air as
selections from the region’s newest CD, “Your Peace Counts” are played.
The benefit CD with a pie-friendly theme will be on sale at the GT Pie
Company through the holidays.
Thursday, October 19, 2006

Payday in the State House

Region Watch Anne Stanton Did a Georgia-based company that makes “payday loans” try to influence a Northern Michigan representative?
Dan Scripps thinks so. Scripps is running against David Palsrock (R-Manistee), the incumbent Republican state representative whose 101st District includes all or part of Mason, Manistee, Benzie and
Leelanau counties.
Thursday, September 28, 2006

It‘s time to party

Region Watch Rick Coates On Saturday, October 7, Goodwill
Industries will host their third annual “THE PARTY” a “fun-raiser,” as they bill it, to benefit their Goodwill Inn Homeless Shelter program.
While Northern Michigan is perceived as an affluent part of the state and the region lacks many people
living on the streets, THE PARTY organizers point to the growing homeless community as an “invisible” reality of the area.
Thursday, September 21, 2006

The vice tightens

Region Watch Anne Stanton Record-Eagle detractor Ross Childs has succeeded in putting pressure on Record-Eagle editor Bill Thomas—but Thomas said his staff hasn’t backed off a whit from doing its job and he’s not intimidated.
And thanks to a counter–effort to applaud the Record-Eagle’s investigative journalism, the newspaper’s corporate office “has just been flooded with letters of support,” said Publisher Ann Reed. “I want to thank people for caring about our newspaper.”
In late August, the newspaper’s parent company announced that it was putting the Record-Eagle up for sale, along with five other papers. Dow Jones & Co. owns Ottaway newspapers, which owns the Record-Eagle along with 51 other newspapers and publications.