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, July 8, 2004

A Silver-Tongued Devil Offers Details in ‘My Life‘

Books Nancy Sundstrom It was expected that former American President Bill Clinton’s highly-anticipated autobiography would be one of the hottest sellers of the summer, but wasn’t expected was exactly just how hot it would be. Though it has been on the bookshelves for just two weeks now, there is only word to describe the barometer reading for “My Life,” and that is scorching.
Too bad we can’t say that for the tome itself, but we’ll get back to that in a minute.
Thursday, July 1, 2004

Helen Fieldings‘ off-the-wall Imagination

Books Nancy Sundstrom In general, book reviewers tend to gravitate toward and steer other readers on to works of quality, ones that merit a solid recommendation and are worth plunking down your hard-earned dollars for or giving up spare precious time to enjoy.
Thursday, June 17, 2004

Sex and the City for the Chick-lit Crowd

Books Nancy Sundstrom Marian Keyes is a talented, intelligent, prolific Irish novelist who, nearly single-handedly, has put the “lit” into chick-lit. Keyes’ books are chatty, charming and cheeky, and fairly crackle with killer one-liners and insightful observations about women, careers and relationships. Throw credibility and heart into the mix, and you’ve got works that completely engage while they entertain.
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Great Summer Beach Reads

Books Nancy Sundstrom We all have many reasons for looking forward (all year-long) to summer, and that‘s certainly the case if you love books.  Of course, there are always new “beach reads,“ but summertime also traditionally brings with it a number of paperback releases, works by new authors and eagerly-awaited titles.
Thursday, June 3, 2004

Medici Revisited: The Birth of Venus Prowls 15th Century Florence

Books Nancy Sundstrom BBC host, screenplay author and literary personality Sarah Dunant is one of Britain‘s most innovative suspense and travel writers, so critics and fans alike were holding their breath as they awaited release of her first historical novel earlier this spring.
Thursday, May 27, 2004

Candyfreak: One Sweet Read

Books Nancy Sundstrom After a lifetime of responding to jokes about his last name, it was probably inevitable that Steve Almond should finally cave in and write an open love letter to the world of sweets in the form of “Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America.“
Thursday, May 20, 2004

There‘s Nothing Amateurish About The Amateur Marriage

Books Nancy Sundstrom As a longtime fan of the gifted author Anne Tyler, I had very much been looking forward to reading her latest and 16th novel, “The Amateur Marriage,“ when it came out earlier this winter.  Just as the book was released, my own 25-year marriage came spiraling apart, and try as I might, I just couldn‘t seem to immerse myself in Tyler‘s tale of two people who love each other deeply but seem to be unable to live together – it simply cut too close to the bone.
Thursday, April 8, 2004

Radio, Radio -- 40 Watts from Nowhere

Books Nancy Sundstrom Continuing with a trend that this reviewer has been particularly enjoying as of late, another engaging and entertaining memoir has surfaced The title is “40 Watts From Nowhere,“ and the author is Sue Carpenter, a feature writer for the Los Angeles Times and a senior contributor to Jane magazine., whose work has also appeared in such publications as George, Marie Claire, and Cosmopolitan.
Thursday, April 1, 2004

A New York State of Mind

Books Nancy Sundstrom Readers worldwide have had a longstanding love affair with books about New York City, a trend that has shown no sign of diminishing in the recent years, thanks largely to the works of gifted authors like Don DeLilo, Richard Price and Tom Wolfe, to name just a few.
Thursday, March 25, 2004

Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair, With Music

Books Nancy Sundstrom For writer Helene Stapinski (“Five Finger Discount“), there are a lot of
parallels between being in a relationship and being in a rock band. Hence
the title of her delightful and sometimes heartbreaking new memoir about
band life and marital problems, “Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair, With
Thursday, March 18, 2004

Is 15 Minutes of Fame So Five Minutes Ago?

Books Nancy Sundstrom The book‘s title intrigued me first, but once I‘d confirmed its subject matter, I just planned on sitting down and not getting up until I‘d finished it off.
Thursday, March 18, 2004

Kid Stuff - Great Lakes Children‘s Museum at a Crossroads

Features Nancy Sundstrom In just a few short years, the Great Lakes Children‘s Museum (GLCM) has become one of Northern Michigan‘s, premier attractions. Located in downtown Traverse City, the new museum was voted “Best Place to Take Kids“ in the recent Northern Express “Best of Northern Michigan“ poll.
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Getting to Know Handsome Harry

Books Nancy Sundstrom If you intend on picking up “Handsome Harry,“ the eighth novel from James C. Blake, then plan on spending some time with it. That doesn‘t mean it‚s a hefty read - more that it‘s one that you‚ll most likely have an extremely hard time putting down, especially if you‘re any sort of afficionado of crime novels.
Thursday, March 4, 2004

My Thirteenth Winter: A Memoir by local author Samantha Abeel

Books Nancy Sundstrom Ten years ago, when Traverse City native Samantha Abeel was just 13-years-old, she collaborated with local artist Charles Murphy to create “Reach for the Moon,“ a stunning collection of evocative poetry accompanied by Murphy‘s beautiful and unique watercolors.
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Fraternity Hazing gets your Goat

Books Nancy Sundstrom With books like Augusten Burroughs‘ “Running With Scissors“ and James Frey‘s
“A Million Little Pieces,“ 2003 was a very good year for angst-ridden
memoirs by troubled young men who are also brilliant young writers.