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 14, 2002

Letters 11/14/02

Letters Various Peaceful but angry in D.C.

Fifteen Grand Traverse area people traveled together in a van to Washington,DC, (along with at least 10 others who went independently) to join - in the organizers’ words: “...the biggest anti-war demonstrations since the Vietnam War.” Hundreds of thousands of people on October 26 took to the
streets across the country, announcing with a massive, visible and vocal presence the creation of a new anti-war movement to stop George W. Bush’s plans to wage war against Iraq.
Thursday, November 7, 2002

Letters 11/7/02

Letters Various Petoskey‘s peace march

I took a few moments on Saturday to view the gathering in Pennsylvania Park and listen to the speakers. The depth of sincerity displayed on the faces of those in attendance was impressive and the passionate opposition to the Bush/Cheney/Big Oil cabal was evident in the slogans on the signs carried by many of the marchers.
It is comforting to know that there are people in this community who are so dedicated to stopping the proposed war for oil that they are willing to take time out of their busy schedules and drive into town to make their voices heard.

Bill Mayer • Petoskey
Thursday, October 31, 2002

Letters 10/31/02

Letters Various Support Proposal 4

I would like to respond to Robert Downes’ comments regarding Proposal 4 (Random Thoughts, Oct. 17). I appreciate Mr. Downes giving both sides of the I argument, but I would like to clarify the position in favor of Proposal 4.
I am concerned with his statement: “... Hollywood bookkeeping that will surely squirrel the funds down a drainhole in the state’s hospitals and health industry.” Proposal 4 does provide legislative and public oversight of how the tobacco settlement funds are spent. Proposal 4 requires the Auditor General to conduct an annual accountability report to ensure that funding allocated by the Healthy Michigan Amendment is spent as intended. By doing the audit, taxpayers will know that special interest groups did not raid the funds, and the funds in fact went to health care and smoking prevention as promised.
Thursday, October 17, 2002

Letters 10/17/02

Letters Various Democrats on Iraq

Since you have had several letters on our posture re. Iraq, I would
like to send along a resolution passed in August at the Michigan
Democratic State Convention. This represents the unanimous opinion of
the 3,000 delegates present who applauded the reading in its entirety.
The resolution was submitted by the Counties of Leelanau and Calhoun.

“Whereas, we condemn Saddam Hussein‘s violation of the human rights
of the people of Iraq and deplore his development of weapons of mass
Thursday, October 10, 2002

Letters 10/10/02

Letters Various Ice Mountain is OK with me.
I disagree with those opposing the Ice Mountain water bottling plant in
Mecosta County. As I understand it, the Ice Mountain plant is taking water,
putting it in bottles, and selling it. Miller Beer does the same thing,
they just add alcohol and hops. Coca Cola adds sugar. Shampoo and water
based paints add a little more stuff to the water. If the only difference
between Ice Mountain and Miller Beer is the fact that Ice Mountain is
selling water as water while Miller Beer and Coca Cola are selling “improved
water,“ then that distinction as a reason to oppose Ice Mountain is
intellectually dishonest. The protesters should also be protesting any
company that sells a product containing water, which of course is
ridiculous. Selling water in little bottles should be treated the same
whether it‘s pure water, or water with stuff added. This company is simply
producing a product to sell like any other company.
Thursday, October 3, 2002

Letters 10/3/02

Letters Various Standing up to racism
Special thanks and congratulations to Spartan Stores General Manager Kevin Clark for being so prompt and responsive.
While walking to my neighborhood Prevo‘s store, I spotted an SUV emblazoned with the phrase “Kill ‘em all- let Allah sort ‘em out“ on the back window. I was disturbed by this racist and genocidal message and went to find the owner.
Thursday, September 26, 2002

Letters 9/26/02

Letters Various Crystal River alternative
Regarding the issue of a possible land swap between the Homestead and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, I feel strongly that the land swap proposal would set a bad national precedent. The parkland originally came from private parties, and it would be grossly unfair (if not illegal) to return this property from the public trust back into private hands.
As things now stand, the public faces two unsatisfactory choices. The Crystal River property clearly is worthy of preservation for its pristine quality and “globally rare“ characteristics. Should the Homestead choose to develop this land in lieu of the land swap, I feel certain that we will all be launched into the types of controversies that have previously taken place. So I propose another approach.
Thursday, September 19, 2002

Letters 9/19/02

Letters Various Eminent domain turnaround
In reference to the Homestead‘s land swap, I feel I have the most logical
answer, and that is for the National Park Service to apply “eminent domain“
upon the Homestead and forcefully take over the rich white man‘s paradise.
We as public owners could then remove the condos, golf courses and pools
and reclaim the property for all to enjoy. Simple enough?

Alex Harvey • Traverse City
Thursday, September 12, 2002

Letters 9/12/02

Letters Various Stop the swap

I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed land swap between the Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Homestead Resort.
I have started this letter several times, only to scrap it because it sounds too sentimental but then I asked myself why I am opposed to this swap and it is hard not to feel emotional about it. I am opposed because my grandfather and his father before him grew up in Leelenau County and my grandfather knew and loved that land and drove me through it so often that for a while I could tell you about every road, every creek and every hill.
I am opposed because this land was taken away from the original owners, people like my grandfather, surely people that he knew, by eminent domain so that it could be kept precious and guarded from development for the benefit of all those who love that land as well as generations to come.
Thursday, September 5, 2002

Letters 9/5/02

Letters Various Worse things could happen with water

While I agree it’s pretty stupid to allow private companies to sink a well and then have them sell the water to suckers throughout the Midwest for a buck per half liter, Eartha Melzer‘s article on the Ice Mountain issue is a bit lacking on several counts.
First off, what is the big deal with this particular plant? Why do we have people blocking trucks as if what this one plant is doing is of some grave importance? Why has this become the progressive cause of the moment?
Thursday, August 29, 2002

Letters 8/29/02

Letters Various Dismay over swap plan
I was extremely saddened to learn that the idea of a so-called “land swap” between the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Homestead resort has been revived. I’m not sure I will be able to convey the particular feeling I and other members of my family have regarding this issue, but fatigue and deep concern and dismay come close.
Both the Homestead itself and the “swap” parcels in question formerly belonged to my grandparents, Arthur S. and Helen M. Huey of Suttons Bay. (My father, Richard K. Huey, also briefly owned the resort together with a partner, Jim Stevens, whose interest was eventually bought out by Robert A. Kuras; around that time the property to its north and east on Thoreson Rd. was purchased by the national government.) As I have written elsewhere, the Thoreson Rd. property was acquired for the park through an exercising of the government’s right of eminent domain (or the threat of such action). My grandparents would not have otherwise chosen to sell this property.
Thursday, August 22, 2002

Letters 8/22/02

Letters Various Boycott all spring water

I was absolutely thrilled to pick up your latest issue and see the great cover with the protesters lying down in front of the Ice Mountain trucks. Talk about real-life heroes! I want to express my utmost respect and gratitude to Sweetwater Alliance for doing what the rest of us, for whatever reasons, can‘t or won‘t do.
Thursday, August 15, 2002

Letters 8/15/02

Letters Various A burning (CD) issue

After reading Robert Downes‘ latest “Random Thoughts“ (“The Day the Music Died“ 8/1) I am compelled to
pooh-pooh the entire notion that the music industry as we know it is
something we should keep alive or are somehow obligated to preserve by
purchasing CDs. I have no compunction about burning CD copies of music any
more than I feel guilty about switching television channels during
commercials. While I do feel compassion for those who might be thrown out
of work because of the closing of the traditional record store, it is a
natural and unavoidable consequence of an evolving technology base and those
who choose not to cling to the old model are not to blame for the change.
Thursday, August 8, 2002

Letters 8/8/02

Letters Various Follow the oil: Cheney created war for profit
As more and more corporate accounting scandals emerge - the latest involving Vice President Dick Cheney during his watch as CEO of Halliburton Co. - an even bigger offense lurks in the shadows.
Perhaps the greatest crime committed here is by those who would play upon the highest sentiments of human beings for the basest of reasons. For this is often how wars get fought, and how the innocent and the courageous get killed by the thousands. To paraphrase “Deep Throat” - just “follow the oil.”
Thursday, August 1, 2002

Letters 8/1/02

Letters Various A system gone mad
Corporate fraud, scams, stealing and corruption are simply symptoms of a
system gone mad.
Fueled by greed, motivated by increasing the “bottom line“ at ANY cost,
and “unhindered“ by social or environmental responsibility, is it any wonder
that corporations have gone amok?
These are the crooks, who buy the politicians, who write the laws, which
steal billions of our tax dollars in the form of corporate welfare.
Welfare given to the poor is a drop in the bucket compared to what is
shelled out to these rich, seedy crooks and their corporations!
Time to get these greedy scumbags off the tax dollar gravy train and
enact strong campaign finance reform to put an end to this “good ol‘ boy“
network, which is sucking the lifeblood from working people, their children,
future generations... and the earth itself.
Time to strip corporations of their power. Time to demand reform and
accountability. Time to take back our democracy... don‘t you think?

Virginia Heick • via email