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, September 18, 2003

Writers, Wars, Wit and Words

Books Nancy Sundstrom Is all fair in love and publishing?
Few would probably know better than veteran authors Garrison Keillor and Martha Grimes, who use the industry that has served them so well as the backdrops for their latest works of fiction. “Love Me“ is the latest from storyteller extraordinaire Keillor, who has penned nearly a dozen books, along with being a radio host and regular contributor to Time magazine and the online Salon.com. “Foul Matters“ is a change of pace for Grimes, a top-selling mystery writer who has cranked out 18 acclaimed novels featuring Scotland Yard detective Richard Jury.
Thursday, September 11, 2003

Two Years Later: 900 Interviews Round out a Look Back at 9/11

Books Nancy Sundstrom Two years ago, the unthinkable happened, and our world, as we knew it, has never been the same.
The “unthinkable,“ of course, is the devastation that took place on September 11, 2001. Much has actually been written and documented about that day’s horrific events and its aftermath, and the latest comes on the two-year anniversary in the form of “Middletown, America: One Town’s Passage from Grief to Recovery“ by Gail Sheehy.
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Ball of Fire Glows with Warmth

Books Nancy Sundstrom It’s this simple: if you love Lucy, then you will love Stefan Kanfer’s “Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic Art of Lucille Ball.“
Kanfer is a respected author well-suited for the task of dissecting the life of the complex, multi-faceted, sublimely gifted Ball to life. A writer and editor at Time for more than 20 years, he has written eloquently on the subject on comedy and some of its most noted practitioners before, especially in the books “Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx“ and “The Essential Groucho: Writings by, for, and about Groucho Marx.“
Thursday, August 21, 2003

The Secret (and Sometimes Sleazy) Lives of Schoolgirls

Books Nancy Sundstrom English writer Rosemary Kingsland and former porn star Traci Lords couldn’t be more dissimilar. Ironically, though, what they have in common is greater, especially that both proved to become objects of male fantasy, something they document with eloquence and effectiveness in memoirs about their lives.
Thursday, August 14, 2003

Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs

Books Nancy Sundstrom Chuck Klosterman is a pop culture junkie, which is a darn good thing for the rest of us pop culture junkies. Even horror-meister Stephen King, no slouch himself when it comes to the genre, has lauded Klosterman by saying, “Writing about American pop culture doesn‘t get any better than this, or any funnier, or any more readable.“
Thursday, July 31, 2003

The Late, Great Kate

Books Nancy Sundstrom Very few people in the literary world knew that an extraordinary sort of memoir had been in the works since 1983 about Katherine Hepburn by the fine biographer A. Scott Berg, the writer who had previously tackled Max Perkins, Samuel Goldwyn and Charles Lindbergh as subjects, and with resounding success.
Thursday, July 24, 2003

A Story of Violent Faith: Jon Krakauer Probes America‘s Version of the Taliban

Books Nancy Sundstrom Jon Krakauer is the respected author of such outdoor-based books as “Eiger Dreams,“ “Into the Wild,“ and “Into Thin Air,“ insightful stories about people who lives are pushed to the fringe of extremes. In his latest book, he moves into new literary territory in the extremes of religious belief primarily within American borders and based on the Mormon faith. The result has made for fascinating storytelling and more than a bit of controversy.
Thursday, July 17, 2003

The Glory of Getting Mother‘s Body

Books Nancy Sundstrom If the title alone isn’t enough to intrigue you, scan through the first few paragraphs of “Getting Mother’s Body“ by Suzan-Lori Parks. Parks is a wonderful writer whose has accomplished something quite special with this, her fiction debut, and the reader knows it almost immediately by the way her musical prose comes swinging out of the corner.
Thursday, July 10, 2003

Dry is Anything But

Books Nancy Sundstrom After surviving James Frey’s powerful and harrowing “A Million Little Pieces,“ I thought it might be a while before I delved into an addiction saga again, but the buzz (no pun intended) for “Dry: A Memoir“ by Augusten Burroughs has been so strong, that it looked like it shouldn’t be ignored.
Thursday, June 26, 2003

The Da Vinci Code is a Work of Art

Books Nancy Sundstrom Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code“ is so smart and sharp that you will raise your I.Q. by reading it. And you won’t be able to stop turning the pages in the process. I promise.
Thursday, June 19, 2003

30 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do Before Turning 30... or any age, for that matter

Books A.T. Jakeway Do you know how to ask for a raise? Can you cure a hangover, carve a turkey, or parallel park? Can you make dogs and cats love you? Can you change a diaper, or build a successful campfire? Do you know how to dance a “slow dance“ without looking like an idiot?
Thursday, June 19, 2003

Cosmopolis, Anyone?

Books Nancy Sundstrom Many in the literary world wondered how Don DeLillo was going to top his last effort, the sprawling, muscular masterpiece named “Underworld.“ But we should have known to look for a surprise. In “Cosmopolis,“ his 13th novel, he spins a tale that is taught, intimate and tightly controlled. In may not be “Underworld,“ but then, what could be?
Thursday, June 12, 2003

Mountains of Books for Great Summer Beach Reads

Books Nancy Sundstrom There are mountains of new books that look to be great summer beach reads, so as you start listing the reasons to look forward to summer or the plans you have for the season, sizzling summer books ought to at least make a decent showing.
Thursday, June 5, 2003

Masters of Doom: How the Lennon and McCartney of Video Games Transformed Pop Culture

Books Nancy Sundstrom You may not know the names John Carmack and John Romero, but chances are excellent that you’ve had some kind of encounter with what they did to mastermind a major industry and shape a generation.
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Caramelo - As Rich, Intriguing, and Delightful as it Sounds

Books Nancy Sundstrom “Tell me a story, even if it’s a lie,“ begins “Caramelo.“ To the great delight of the reader, what author Sandra Cisneros delivers is not the latter, because feels far too real for that, but the former, in spades.