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, June 4, 2016

The Alternative

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle There is an alternative for the anybody-but- Trump and not-another-Clinton crowds, however. That perfect political philosophy for which we search, the one in which some candidate agrees with us 100 percent, will remain elusive, but there is an eclectic alternative.
Saturday, June 4, 2016

A Local Pastor and a Local Atheist Debate The Decline of Christianity

The End of Times or Reason to Celebrate?

Other Opinions Rev. Dr. William C. Myers, Gary Singer Buchanan’s Eurocentric bias is disconcerting. The Golden Age was not so golden! Yet his thoughts on the decline arising from increased secularism are worth noting. Citing demographic trends and secular systems of belief, Buchanan finds a correlation between the declines of Christianity and Western civilization.
Saturday, June 4, 2016

The New Question Of Faith

Other Opinions Thomas Kachadurian A few years ago the water level on East Grand Traverse Bay was so low our community dock went out 200 feet to get past the muck and weeds into open water. We were told that because of global warming, Lake Michigan was evaporating too fast and these low lake levels were the result.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Stacking The Deck For Tax-Generating Development

Other Opinions Christie Minervini Recently I had the opportunity to meet a friend for an early evening cocktail on the tenth floor of Traverse City’s Park Place Hotel. We soaked up the beautiful view of Grand Traverse Bay and enjoyed identifying landmark buildings along the skyline.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Water Woes

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Go back to 2001 and 2002, when the DEQ helped decide it would be a swell idea to let Nestle, a Swiss-based conglomerate and the largest seller of bottled water in the world, suck groundwater out of Mecosta County and sell it as Ice Mountain. Lots of water; a whopping 400 gallons every minute.
Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Plot To Hijack Our Minds

Other Opinions Isiah Smith But this is not yet another tiresome essay fuming about the evils of Trump, or about how Republicans, by their irrational hatred for President Obama, made inevitable the rise of Trumpism. Hatred begets hatred, and people often get the leaders they deserve.
Saturday, May 21, 2016

The One

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. By any metric, it just is. More people watch it on television (more than 3.2 billion people tuned in to watch at least some part of the 2014 World Cup finals), more people watch it in person, there are more leagues in more countries, more professional and amateur players, more everything.
Saturday, May 14, 2016

Remembering One Of 58,220

Other Opinions Jack Segal Memorial Day is coming up soon. If the weather’s good, there’ll be picnics, BBQs, family and friends. Only a few of us will take our kids to a ceremony marking the sacrifices that the day is supposed to commemorate. Only a few will fly a flag.
Saturday, May 14, 2016

Checking Up On Trump

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Our choices are being whittled down to the two oldest, least liked presidential candidates in history. One has a history of misogyny, bankruptcy and xenophobia while being accused of fraud in civil court. The other might be indicted on criminal charges during the campaign.
Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Local Pastor And A Local Atheist Debate The Upcoming Presidential Election — Prophecies Fulfilled?

Other Opinions Rev. Dr. William C. Myers, Gary Singer Twenty years ago I’d watch the “Jerry Springer Show” and laugh. Not a healthy laugh; more a “shaking the head in disbelief ” smirk, the kind reserved for carnival midways. A mix of amusement and disdain. Today I no longer laugh. The world of Jerry Springer is our world!.
Saturday, May 7, 2016

With Friends Like These...

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Our relationship with them began long before our supposed alliance following 9/11. They had lots of sweet crude oil that required minimal refining and we needed some of it. As long as that need existed we were happy to play the role of oil serf to their monarchy.
Saturday, May 7, 2016


Other Opinions Thomas Kachadurian It’s wedding season in northern Michigan. Unless you live under a rock — a really big one — you know that our culture has been engaged in a furious debate over who should and should not be allowed to marry. Those who read my words regularly might expect me to wade hipdeep into the fray.
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Why Schools Are Closing

Other Opinions Grant Parsons There was a time when we raised up bright leaders on our shoulders, when politicians smiled and school kids with batons led the parade, glancing at each other to keep in step, and the sun shone brightly and men’s pant legs flapped like flags and...
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Stop It

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Gum wrappers, drink cups, cigarette packages, beer cans, plastic bags; anything that should have been thrown in a garbage can is tossed on the ground by unthinking dunderheads. And if not on the ground then in the water. The Boardman River has yielded furniture, appliances and plenty of tires.
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Busy City

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle A redesign study of Division Street from 14th Street to Grandview Parkway with goals to improve safety, slow traffic, reduce congestion and become more pedestrian friendly is complete (if you’re wondering how slowing traffic will reduce congestion and where all those pedestrians are, you’re not alone).