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, April 23, 2016

A Closer Look At School Funding

Other Opinions Christie Minervini There has been a lot of discussion surrounding Traverse City Area Public Schools’ (TCAPS) decision to close two — possibly three — elementary schools over the next two years. Officials have blamed decreasing revenues, aging facilities, and declining enrollment for the needed closures.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Nuclear Nightmares

Other Opinions Jack Segal After the attacks on Paris in November 2015, authorities discovered video surveillance footage of what appeared to be an ordinary residence. But further investigation revealed that the house being monitored belonged to a senior official of the Belgian nuclear industry.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Nobody Learned A Thing

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle On March 9, an African-American family and some friends in Wilkinsburg, Pa., were having a backyard cookout on an unusually warm day. Two gunmen crashed the party. While one herded the partygoers into the backyard, the other waited and methodically shot them, killing six and wounding three others.
Saturday, April 9, 2016


A Local Pastor And A Local Atheist Debate Contraceptive Coverage - A Violation Of Religious Freedom?

Other Opinions Rev. Dr. William C. Myers, Gary Singer Female circumcision, valued in a handful of cultures, is considered unnecessary and immoral by many. Imagine a progressive business owner being required to provide insurance covering the cost of such a procedure.
Saturday, April 9, 2016


Other Opinions Thomas Kachadurian In a 2015 Rolling Stone article, Amanda Marcotte makes the deceiving statement that “no mass shootings in the past 30 years have been stopped by an armed civilian.” She makes this claim to refute NRA leader Wayne LaPierre’s iconic statement that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Tax Code Blues

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle According to the presidential candidates, some people and corporations aren’t paying enough taxes. According to others, some people and corporations are paying too much in taxes. The only thing candidates, non-candidates and the rest of us agree on is the tax code is a complicated mess made ever more so year after year.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Not Easy Being A Voter In 2016

Other Opinions Mary Keyes Rogers Think back to past election seasons when, as a nation, we would watch the final presidential debate. As you might recall, it has become the norm for the hosting network to assemble a group of undecided registered voters, sometimes even monitoring men and women through electrodes to monitor their excitement for candidates’ remarks.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Never an Encouraging Word

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle We get it, already. The Grand Traverse County Board of Supervisors has done a splendid job of telling us there is a serious budget problem, including deficits in both operating costs and in the county employee's pension system.
Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Return Of The Big Brother

Other Opinions Isiah Smith Somewhere in Traverse City, a young man reclines in a lazy-boy chair, opens his iPhone and proceeds to pour out his heart to a girl in Kalamazoo. He reminds her of their shared intimate moments and the things they have done in the privacy of their respective apartments.
Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Brief Review

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Republicans have a clear frontrunner in Donald Trump and two also-rans, Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Cruz and Kasich are mostly interested in preventing Trump from getting to the GOP convention with a majority of delegates; they have little chance of winning outright.
Saturday, March 19, 2016

Us Vs. Them

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle

Who’s to blame? They are. And they aren’t us. That’s the distilled message we’re getting from presidential campaigns. Create a problem, identify villains, blame them for everything. Unfortunately, it is a political infection that has spread to debates on local issues, too. Our intrepid presidential candidates have certainly chosen different targets...

Saturday, March 19, 2016

North Korea’s War Talk

Other Opinions Jack Segal My first experience with North Korea was during my initial tour as a diplomat in far away Botswana. North Korea had been invited to participate in a national trade fair with other nations, but when I walked into its pavilion, all that was on display was anti-American propaganda. I asked the North Koreans to explain why. Without a word, one of the North Koreans charged at me with a cricket bat.
Saturday, March 12, 2016

CROSSED: Did Jesus actually exist?

A Local Pastor and a Local Atheist Debate

Other Opinions Rev. Dr. William C. Myers, Gary Singer Almost fifty years ago, my grandmother taught me this prayer. Recently I mentioned it in a sermon. Most knew the prayer. How could this be? They didn’t know my grandmother; she didn’t know them. They must have learned the prayer somewhere else, perhaps their grandmothers.
Saturday, March 12, 2016

TCAPs’ Sinking Ship

Other Opinions Thomas Kachadurian For the second time in ten years, Traverse City Area Public Schools are closing facilities. In 2007 they shuttered Oak Park, Norris, and Sabin Elementary schools. When they made that move, TCAPS lost students to Elk Rapids Schools and to charter, private, and religious schools.
Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Imaginary Trump Voter

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Not since 1800 when a newspaper created by supporters of Thomas Jefferson accused John Adams of being an hermaphrodite has male genitalia been a campaign issue. But two weeks ago during the GOP presidential debate in Detroit, Donald Trump thought it was an appropriate topic.