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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Other Opinions

Friday, September 4, 2015

Helping the Middle East

Other Opinions Jack Segal A tragedy of historic proportions has been unfolding in Syria and Iraq for over four years. Estimates of the number killed range to as many as 330,000, with over 1.5 million wounded and about 7 million driven from their homes as “internally displaced persons” or refugees.
Friday, August 28, 2015

Buses and Buildings and Babies

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle

Next week the yellow buses will once again be among us.

More than 70 percent of northern Michigan school children will be riding those buses. Their safety will be in the hands of the courageous men and women who drive them (yes, courageous. You try driving up to 70 children twice a day, five days a week and then tell me that doesn’t require courage) and the motorists who interact with them.

Friday, August 28, 2015

About a Girl

Other Opinions Thomas Kachadurian My view on abortion changed on July 17, 1994 at about 1:30 in the afternoon. It might be time for the rest of the country to catch up. On July 17, at about 28–29 weeks, because she was in distress, my daughter was born by caesarian section. She weighed 2.5 pounds. With help of a breakthrough synthetic surfactant she was able to breathe on her own in just a few hours. Her will to live was strong...
Saturday, August 22, 2015

No Debate

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle It’s less than a month until the next Republican presidential debate extravaganza but you still have time to make plans. And the organizers of these things still have time to create something meaningful instead of the ten-ring circus we saw last time..
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Prisoners of War in the Michigan Gulag

Other Opinions Grant Parsons Right-wing politicians use imprisonment as the answer to poverty, mental illness, addiction… you name it. Taxpayers are stuck with the cost – the wasteful cost of warehousing non-violent people who otherwise might be sentenced to community service or rehab.
Friday, August 14, 2015

Move Beyond Controversy And Embrace Public Art

Other Opinions Christie Minervini

Nearly eighteen years later, our community has a YMCA of which we can be proud and festival opportunities have quadrupled. But public art? Still lacking, and I think I know why. You might recall the controversy surrounding Dewey Blocksma’s “River Guardian” proposed public art piece in 1999. About 12-feet from its base, the figure’s shoulders are made of an aluminum canoe, the head created with a rounded piece of weathered wood, and eyes represented by seashells.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fooling Mother Nature

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle

Food activists have zeroed in on their next target: Genetically modified organisms (GMO; it’s plural). They must be labeled, we’re told, because we don’t know if they’re safe.

It must be true because Neil Young has written a song about it and Gwynyth Paltrow has declared it to be so (Ms. Paltrow also believes the molecular structure of water changes depending on whether you’re nice or mean to it. Seriously).

Saturday, August 8, 2015

High Rises, Piers and Dead Fawns

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle One would think TC would have some kind of height ordinance for its downtown area so these debates would be easily resolved. Oh wait, there is exactly such an ordinance that restricts building height to 60 feet, five or six stories depending on how the thing is constructed.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

Afghanistan’s Elusive Peace

Other Opinions Jack Segal Omar went underground in 2001 and fled to Pakistan. With a $10 million bounty on his head and U.S. drones buzzing 24/7 over his reputed hideout in Pakistan, he had not appeared in public since his escape.
Friday, July 31, 2015

What Would You Do?

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle

Apparently the deal hammered out to slow down Iran’s nuclear weapons program was a terrible mistake for which Barack Obama is to blame. In a none-too-shocking development, all 16 Republican presidential candidates have roundly criticized the agreement as feckless, reckless and a death knell for Israel. Mike Huckabee, low single-digits in the polls and desperate for attention, went so far as to declare Obama was leading Israelis “to the door of the oven.”

Friday, July 31, 2015

The “Real Man’s” Traverse City

Other Opinions Thomas Kachadurian We love Traverse City just the way it is. We’re not embarrassed that a popular restaurant has FouFou in the title. It’s fine that the 300 block of E. Front has been taken over by women in yoga wear, even if, to us, a yoga mat looks like a nice place to nap. But where is the stuff for guys? A stand-up paddleboard in open water would spell certain death, and no one wants to see us doing Zumba at 9:00am in the Open Space.
Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sublime to Ridiculous

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle

The 11th Traverse City Film Festival is upon us. This is a good thing. It’s an especially good thing if you enjoy movies you would not otherwise have a chance to see. And if you enjoy talking movies with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

We Get What They Pay For

Other Opinions Mark Pontoni During the 2014 election cycle, it was pretty obvious there were not many talented candidates running for office in northern Michigan. With the exception of Betsy Coffia, Wayne Schmidt, and Jerry Cannon, there was very little upon which to evaluate candidates.
Friday, July 17, 2015

Will You Get Mad With Me?

Other Opinions Carlin Smith Normally I use the precious opportunity of writing this commentary as a means to share the virtues of my beloved Petoskey, where I live and work. Rest assured, Petoskey is having a robust summer like most northern Michigan communities. Tourism is alive and well, and our resorters have returned to their summer cottages.
Friday, July 17, 2015

The Donald vs. The Bernie

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Donald Trump “loves the Mexicans” despite claiming their government is “sending us” rapists and murderers. He claims we currently have no border and he will build an “impenetrable wall” and make Mexico pay for it. Yes we do, no you won’t, no they won’t.