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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Saddest Conventioneer

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle It gave us some interesting television. Now it gives us an hour or so of prime time boredom and nothing more entertaining than plagiarism. We don’t even get coverage of the arcane business of creating a party platform, a process akin to sausage making. Of course, the platform will be largely ignored before being forgotten entirely.
Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Most Obvious Fact

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle According to the Department of Justice, minorities are arrested more often than whites for similar offenses, are more likely than whites to be denied bail for similar offenses, are less likely than whites to receive favorable plea bargains for...
Saturday, July 16, 2016

Who Are The Good Guys?

Other Opinions Carlin Smith My colleague Doug Luciani [of the Traverse City Area Chamber] pointed out to me several years ago how often businesses are made out to be the bad guys.
Saturday, July 9, 2016

Will Nato Survive “BREXIT”?

Other Opinions Jack Segal In the June 23 referendum known as “Brexit” — shorthand for Britain’s exit from the European Union — a clear majority of voters across the United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) chose to leave the EU. Only in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland did the “stay” camp prevail.
Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Tale Of Ten Stories

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle We arrived at this seeming obsession with the need for 10-story structures in two ways: First, a two-decade old master plan calls for buildings up to 95 feet in certain areas with a special use permit.
Saturday, July 2, 2016


A Local Pastor and a Local Atheist Debate Terrorism – Is Religion the Cause or the Cure?

Other Opinions Rev. Dr. William C. Myers, Gary Singer A thorn by any name? Ideology isn’t faith. President Obama avoids the modifier “Islamic” when speaking about Al-Qaeda, ISIL and other terrorist groups. He isn’t being politically correct; he’s identifying a fundamental difference between ideology and faith.
Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Gibby’s Dilemma

Other Opinions Thomas Kachadurian Last year was my 26th Cherry Festival as a Traverse City resident. For those twentyplus years I had puzzled over one of the great dilemmas of the ages. It was consuming my waking hours and it was time to heal myself and make a final decision.
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Closing Doors

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle The European Union is 28 mostly European countries that have come together to create a single economic and political entity. It has its own elected government, enacts rules member nations must obey, levies taxes, regulates trade and has its own judiciary.
Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Black And White Snapshot Of Tim Green

Other Opinions Grant Parsons

My old law partner Merritt W. Green II — Tim — died last month. He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense of social justice.

The black and white snapshot from 1960 shown here — the old courthouse, the terrazzo floor, the arched windows, the white cops, the large black man in work clothes, Tim – shows exactly what he was. It’s 1960; the Civil Rights Act hasn’t been passed yet. Tim’s being taken to jail; the cops are laughing at something he just said; his black client looks like he wants to protect Tim.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Yimby Shout

Other Opinions Gary Howe I envision an inclusive Traverse City that is able to proactively plan for future needs and respond to new demands. Our land use policy should support these efforts and address our need for housing -- housing that is close to jobs and services and affordable across the continuum…in particular, the demand for more accessible, compact housing often referred to as the missing middle needs our support.
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Blue Angels Blues

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Our local Veterans for Peace organization, comprised of honorable men and women who served in the military, is leading a small but vocal group insisting that the Blue Angels fly on by us and go someplace else. (Full disclosure: They were nice enough to ask me to speak to their group some years ago.)
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Doing Something

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle We’re very good at the post-massacre activity: The spontaneous memorial to Orlando’s Pulse nightclub tragedy, featuring the requisite teddy bears, flowers and candles, grew within hours. The candlelight march/vigils and the non-denominational memorial services followed.
Saturday, June 18, 2016


Other Opinions Scott Hardy Transparency….it’s the latest media buzzword when chastising elected officials for not transacting all discussion and deliberations in public. Many local cities, counties, and school boards have been either chastised or burned recently by being — or not being — “transparent.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Lizard Brain

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle The judge, of course, is not Mexican. He was born in Indiana. The “biased” and “unbelievable” rulings? They unsealed documents exposing the sham that was Trump University; legal experts confirm the rulings were perfectly appropriate. (It does make one wonder just whom President Trump would appoint to the federal bench.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

America’s Many Endless Battles

Other Opinions Jack Segal U.S. forces are struggling to help indigenous troops make headway against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, while in Afghanistan, 10,000 American troops are trying to pull together an Afghan fighting force to keep at bay a growing insurgency.