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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Thursday, August 5, 2004

Burgermeister Bob Serves Up a Great Book

Books Anne Stanton Bob Sloan, perhaps one of the area’s most prolific writers, has just published a great new cookbook for burger lovers: “Great Burgers: Mouthwatering Recipes.”
Thursday, August 5, 2004

Kerry & Edwards: The Right Stuff on the Write Stuff

Books Nancy Sundstrom In early July, as something of a primer for last week’s viewings of the Democratic National Convention, I finally got around to reading two books that had been on my nightstand for the past few months: “Four Trials” by John Edwards and “Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War.”
Thursday, August 5, 2004

Regional Book ROUNDUP

Books Nancy Sundstrom Local authors offer everything from poetry to postcards
In our fast-paced world, sometimes the majority of us can forget about how great it really is to crack open a book. In Northern Michigan there are a number of gifted authors who have works encompassing subjects from cooking to farming to photography. This summer offers a number of new texts from area authors that deserve attention:
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Shadow Divers: The Deep, Blue Saga of a Watery Grave

Books Nancy Sundstrom When written with a true passion for their story, non-fiction writers can craft their works into anything as gripping, compelling and powerful as that concocted by their peers in the fiction genre. The latest in an impressive, long line of these comes from Robert Kurson, and follows in the tradition of bestsellers like “A Perfect Storm,” “Into Thin Air” and “In Harm’s Way.”
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Just Take those Old Records off the Shelf....

Books Nancy Sundstrom Chris Colin is a talented young writer whose work has been featured in McSweeney’s and the New York Times Book Review, among other publications, and who served a respectable tenure as a writer and editor for Salon.com. When it was announced that his first book, a work of non-fiction, would hit the stands this summer, there was a fair amount of anticipation in literary circles.
Thursday, July 15, 2004

Get Hold of...

Books Nancy Sundstrom A familiar theme resonates through bestsel-ling British novelist Jane Green’s sixth novel, and that is to be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it. And if you do, what happens when it looks like real life will surpass your dreams? Can you trust it? Can it last? Are things too good to be true just that?
In her latest, the delightful and still substantive “To Have and to Hold,” Alice is a shy and unpretentious woman whose life consists primarily of being a loyal friend and successful caterer who takes great pride in her work. Her needs and wants are simple, and when she attracts the attention of wealthy, dashing businessman Joe Chambers, she simply can’t believe her luck. When he asks her to marry him, she thinks she’s died and gone to heaven.
Thursday, July 8, 2004

A Silver-Tongued Devil Offers Details in ‘My Life‘

Books Nancy Sundstrom It was expected that former American President Bill Clinton’s highly-anticipated autobiography would be one of the hottest sellers of the summer, but wasn’t expected was exactly just how hot it would be. Though it has been on the bookshelves for just two weeks now, there is only word to describe the barometer reading for “My Life,” and that is scorching.
Too bad we can’t say that for the tome itself, but we’ll get back to that in a minute.
Thursday, July 1, 2004

Helen Fieldings‘ off-the-wall Imagination

Books Nancy Sundstrom In general, book reviewers tend to gravitate toward and steer other readers on to works of quality, ones that merit a solid recommendation and are worth plunking down your hard-earned dollars for or giving up spare precious time to enjoy.
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Sex and the City for the Chick-lit Crowd

Books Nancy Sundstrom Marian Keyes is a talented, intelligent, prolific Irish novelist who, nearly single-handedly, has put the “lit” into chick-lit. Keyes’ books are chatty, charming and cheeky, and fairly crackle with killer one-liners and insightful observations about women, careers and relationships. Throw credibility and heart into the mix, and you’ve got works that completely engage while they entertain.
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Great Summer Beach Reads

Books Nancy Sundstrom We all have many reasons for looking forward (all year-long) to summer, and that‘s certainly the case if you love books.  Of course, there are always new “beach reads,“ but summertime also traditionally brings with it a number of paperback releases, works by new authors and eagerly-awaited titles.
Thursday, June 3, 2004

Medici Revisited: The Birth of Venus Prowls 15th Century Florence

Books Nancy Sundstrom BBC host, screenplay author and literary personality Sarah Dunant is one of Britain‘s most innovative suspense and travel writers, so critics and fans alike were holding their breath as they awaited release of her first historical novel earlier this spring.
Thursday, May 27, 2004

Destruction of the U.P.‘s Forests Inspired Jim Harrison‘s New Novel

Books Glen D. Young While it is true that you can take the writer out of Northern Michigan, it is equally accurate that you cannot take Northern Michigan out of the writer. So, it is with Jim Harrison, long time area resident, recent Montana transplant, and author of “True North,”
a new novel from Grove/Atlantic.
Thursday, May 27, 2004

Candyfreak: One Sweet Read

Books Nancy Sundstrom After a lifetime of responding to jokes about his last name, it was probably inevitable that Steve Almond should finally cave in and write an open love letter to the world of sweets in the form of “Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America.“
Thursday, May 20, 2004

There‘s Nothing Amateurish About The Amateur Marriage

Books Nancy Sundstrom As a longtime fan of the gifted author Anne Tyler, I had very much been looking forward to reading her latest and 16th novel, “The Amateur Marriage,“ when it came out earlier this winter.  Just as the book was released, my own 25-year marriage came spiraling apart, and try as I might, I just couldn‘t seem to immerse myself in Tyler‘s tale of two people who love each other deeply but seem to be unable to live together – it simply cut too close to the bone.
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Minnow Al: An Untypical Fish Story Captures the Spirit of the Wilderness

Books Robert Downes When it comes to literature, the lone, wild places of the north have a way of piercing the heart and illuminating the souls of men in crisis, as demonstrated by such masters of the rod, the gun and the pen as Ernest Hemingway and Jim Harrison. Rough, unadorned tales of fishing in the great north woods make up a genrè that thrums with insight into the male psyche.