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, November 13, 2003

Love - Toni Morrison Style

Books Nancy Sundstrom A new release by Toni Morrison is usually hailed as nothing less than an event, which is why this eighth release in her impressive oeuvre has been eagerly awaited.
Thursday, November 6, 2003

Hearts and Smarts -- Tales of Two Remarkable Women

Books Nancy Sundstrom At first blush, Mariane Pearl and Elizabeth Smart may not seem to have much in common, but they actually do, including the fact that they are the subjects of eagerly awaited and hot-off-the-presses books.
Thursday, November 6, 2003

Homeward Bound: A Chance Remark Offers a New Direction

Features Nancy Sundstrom I wish I had a quarter for every time that someone has said to me, “I don‘t know how you do it all.“
Thursday, October 30, 2003

Howling Good Reads for Halloween

Books Nancy Sundstrom It’s Halloween week and movie-goers have been flocking to the likes of the remake of the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Kill Bill,” but readers, especially fans of the horror genre, have plenty of new options, as well.
Thursday, October 30, 2003

The Mayor‘s Race: Margaret Dodd & Linda Smyka Locked in Historic Battle Between Two Women

Features Nancy Sundstrom Two years ago, Margaret Dodd made Traverse City history when she was elected its first female mayor in a race that was the second election of its kind since 1940. Now, she’s squaring off against city commissioner Linda Smyka and the question for those who keep a close eye on city politics is whether she can make history again by retaining her role when voters go to the polls on Tuesday, November 4.
Thursday, October 23, 2003

‘My Cold War‘ is a Visit to a Personal Battlefront

Books Nancy Sundstrom John Piazza‘s non-fiction writing (“Blues and Trouble“) has made unabashed fans out of the likes of Bob Dylan, so his debut novel of fiction has been eagerly awaited for some time now. It has finally arrived in the form of “My Cold War,“ a fine first effort that parallels the socio and cultural backdrop of the Cold War years with a coming of age and beyond story of battles fought on the inner fronts of the heart and home.
Thursday, October 16, 2003

The Ravage of Nature Makes for a Riveting Read

Books Nancy Sundstrom If you have not witnessed one in person or seen images that capture the power, fury and devastation of a natural disaster, it might be hard to imagine that words could be the most effective means to do so.
Thursday, October 9, 2003

Thrillin‘ Trillin: A Writer‘s Writer Comes to Town

Books Nancy Sundstrom Among even the most highly regarded of his peers, it’s known that Calvin Trillin is the kind of writer other writers aspire to be. He also happens to be equally adept as an actor, critic and raconteur in general, all of which makes him constantly in demand for everything from appearances on David Letterman’s show to speaking gigs such as the one he’ll be doing in Traverse City this weekend.
Thursday, October 2, 2003

Radicals Revisited

Books Nancy Sundstrom In recent years, she’s become a Trivial Pursuit question and fodder for the “I Love the ‘70s“ program on VH1, along with making guest appearances on talk shows and films by John Waters, and speaking out on the recent, highly publicized abduction and rescue of Elizabeth Smart.
Thursday, September 25, 2003

The Buzz About ‘The Secret Life of Bees‘

Books Nancy Sundstrom Sue Monk Kidd‘s “The Secret Life of Bees“ is one of many that has been on my reading stand for awhile, and now that I’ve finished it, I’m kicking myself for not having gotten to it sooner.
Thursday, September 18, 2003

Writers, Wars, Wit and Words

Books Nancy Sundstrom Is all fair in love and publishing?
Few would probably know better than veteran authors Garrison Keillor and Martha Grimes, who use the industry that has served them so well as the backdrops for their latest works of fiction. “Love Me“ is the latest from storyteller extraordinaire Keillor, who has penned nearly a dozen books, along with being a radio host and regular contributor to Time magazine and the online Salon.com. “Foul Matters“ is a change of pace for Grimes, a top-selling mystery writer who has cranked out 18 acclaimed novels featuring Scotland Yard detective Richard Jury.
Thursday, September 11, 2003

Two Years Later: 900 Interviews Round out a Look Back at 9/11

Books Nancy Sundstrom Two years ago, the unthinkable happened, and our world, as we knew it, has never been the same.
The “unthinkable,“ of course, is the devastation that took place on September 11, 2001. Much has actually been written and documented about that day’s horrific events and its aftermath, and the latest comes on the two-year anniversary in the form of “Middletown, America: One Town’s Passage from Grief to Recovery“ by Gail Sheehy.
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Ball of Fire Glows with Warmth

Books Nancy Sundstrom It’s this simple: if you love Lucy, then you will love Stefan Kanfer’s “Ball of Fire: The Tumultuous Life and Comic Art of Lucille Ball.“
Kanfer is a respected author well-suited for the task of dissecting the life of the complex, multi-faceted, sublimely gifted Ball to life. A writer and editor at Time for more than 20 years, he has written eloquently on the subject on comedy and some of its most noted practitioners before, especially in the books “Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx“ and “The Essential Groucho: Writings by, for, and about Groucho Marx.“
Thursday, August 21, 2003

The Secret (and Sometimes Sleazy) Lives of Schoolgirls

Books Nancy Sundstrom English writer Rosemary Kingsland and former porn star Traci Lords couldn’t be more dissimilar. Ironically, though, what they have in common is greater, especially that both proved to become objects of male fantasy, something they document with eloquence and effectiveness in memoirs about their lives.
Thursday, August 14, 2003

Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs

Books Nancy Sundstrom Chuck Klosterman is a pop culture junkie, which is a darn good thing for the rest of us pop culture junkies. Even horror-meister Stephen King, no slouch himself when it comes to the genre, has lauded Klosterman by saying, “Writing about American pop culture doesn‘t get any better than this, or any funnier, or any more readable.“