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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Anne Stanton

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Monday, May 26, 2008

A funeral for Fido

Features Anne Stanton People through the ages have asked, do dogs go to heaven when they die?
Here’s another question you might not have thought about: Where does your cat or dog go if and when they’re put to sleep?
Well, now that you ask… a downstate cremation company makes a weekly round of area veterinarians’ offices, picks up the animals, and cremates them. Ashes are returned a couple of weeks later to the owner. Some people and area veterinarians can also go to Oakwood Veterinary Hospital in Traverse City to have their animals cremated.
Monday, May 19, 2008

Broke Spoke

Features Anne Stanton Deb Samuel was the not-so-proud owner of four bikes —- three with flats and one with a missing pedal. They were moldering in her garage before she joined an all-volunteer group called Broke Spoke.
Now the bikes are fixed and she’s cycling 20 miles round-trip from her home in Holiday Hills to Cedar Ridge in Traverse City where she works as a nurse at Northwest Surgical Center.
Samuel knows how to fix a flat if she needs to, and always has a spare bike tube on hand. “It’s very empowering,” she says
Monday, May 19, 2008

An upgrade for Sleeping Bear

Features Anne Stanton Park officials are talking about breaking new trails for nature lovers at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
A recently proposed management plan envisions a bay-to-bay backpacking trail, roughly 30 miles long. The path would stretch from Platte River Pointe to Good Harbor Bay and provide hikers with a series of overnight campgrounds, complete with campfire rings and primitive toilets. Kayakers would be able to paddle into shoreline and make a short hike to the campsites.
The management plan also envisions a roughly 50-mile bike path that would run on the lakeside of M-109 and M-22, the main roads that run through the national park. Bicycling on these roads is already popular, but can also be treacherous in some places because the pavement’s rough or lacks a shoulder.
Monday, May 12, 2008

Living with Lyme

Features Anne Stanton Public health officials in Lansing have heard next to nothing of Lyme disease in Northwest Michigan, but the area is abuzz with stories of people battling the disease.
Lyme disease is truly nasty, confusing and complicated. And the politics surrounding this tick-borne disease are pretty much the same way. In fact, the intense medical controversy has kept state officials in the dark about proven cases in the area.
Dawn Brown, whose face flashed with pain through a recent interview, believes a tick at the Lake Ann Baptist Camp burrowed into her leg on a sunny day last May. An avid walker/runner and mother of three, she paid little attention to the scab on her leg while shaving over the weekend.
But three days later she felt as if a Mack truck had hit her.
“I was fine in the morning, I did all my errands, got the kids to school. By noon I was on the couch and couldn’t move. I called my husband and he sat on the couch, and I screamed in pain. Just him sitting on the couch made me hurt.”
Her temperature climbed to 102. She sweated and shivered with chills. Over the next three weeks, her knees, ankles, wrists and elbows puffed up. Pain jumped from one joint to another. Unable to get a definitive diagnosis from area physicians, she surfed the Internet and found the Michigan Lyme Disease Association. She had all the symptoms of Lyme. Out of curiosity, she sent a note out to the neighborhood. Had anyone else been bit?
Monday, May 5, 2008

Foster kids

Features Anne Stanton May is National Foster Care Month in recognition of the 513,000 kids placed in foster care nationally due to abuse, neglect or sudden crises. Look for blue ribbons this month tied on trees—symbolizing the attempt to end child abuse. This article focuses on kids aging out of the system at the age of 18—about 20,000 kids across the country each year. A program called Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative helps them out.

When Kayla Abel was a sophomore at Kingsley High School, she had to drop out of school to take care of her new baby sister.
She cleaned the house, watched the baby and two other siblings, and cooked dinners while her mom worked at night. After a year, however, she called it quits. She moved in with a boyfriend, who beat her, and then with an uncle and aunt—her fourth set of foster parents.
Monday, April 28, 2008

Time for an eco-revolution

Other Opinions Anne Stanton Imagine. Dr. Howard Tanner as czar of Michigan.
Dr. Tanner was DNR director under Governor William Milliken, and he’s utterly disgusted with what’s happened since John Engler’s first day as governor. “And what I most often hear about Governor Granholm is that at least she’s not as bad as Engler,” he said.
Monday, April 28, 2008

Searching for a better way/Neahtawanta

Features Anne Stanton Talking with Sally Van Vleck and Bob Russell can either be highly motivating or deeply depressing. The couple eats and breathes the state of the planet and peace, which has gone arguably downhill since the first Earth Day in 1970.
In their quest to change the world for the better, they run the Neahtawanta Inn, a rambling and quaint turn-of-the century house on Old Mission Peninsula with a big porch overlooking Lake Michigan. All is quiet at the inn right now (except for the birds), but the place will be hopping once summer tourists return.
Monday, April 21, 2008

Dropping from the sky: Mark Colburn

Features Anne Stanton Nearly 11 years ago, Marcus Colburn fell 3,000 feet from the sky, his chute shredded by a fellow Navy SEAL skydiver. Nearly every bone in his body was broken. Even worse, his brain was slammed against his skull and badly injured.
Marcus was fortunate in one way, though. The ground was soft from rain the night before. Doctors induced a coma to aid recovery, but couldn’t revive him back to consciousness.
His doctor gave him five chances out of 100 of ever waking up.
Mark started coming back to life after four months, but with the abilities of a six-month old. He had to re-learn even the most elementary skills—rolling over, moving his toes, and drinking liquid.
Monday, April 14, 2008

Rewire your life

Features Anne Stanton In the last year, I have personally witnessed the following:
• A dad who appears to be in the living room with his wife, an out-of-town
guest, and his two kids—all trying to plan out what to do that day
together. Meanwhile, he’s on his laptop scheduling airline tickets for a
business trip and has no idea what’s going on.
Monday, March 31, 2008

Local writers help local writer

Features Anne Stanton A friend of Lori Hall Steele recently asked her if she saw the movie Sicko.
“I haven’t seen it,” she quipped. “I’m living it!”
Steele, a gifted freelance writer, has been sidelined with a paralyzing neurological condition that has yet to be diagnosed. It’s left her unable to walk or even write. That prompted a band of friends and local writers to hold an April 12 fundraiser to help her out.
“It’s pretty amazing that these independent, creative types are all pitching in. I think we all think of ourselves as poor, starving artists, but collectively we’re going to make a difference,” said Kris Hains, a freelance writer, who’s coordinating the event.
Monday, March 24, 2008

Green Warriors

Features Anne Stanton Who knew? When it came to a vote for “favorite environmentalist,” no fewer than 34 “people” were nominated. Included were “hippies,” “Yule Gibbons” and “Oryana Natural Foods Market,” receiving one vote each.
So we chose a few dedicated folks—knowing, of course, that dozens more should rightfully be honored.
Our question for the environmentalists: What motivates you to work so hard, when it’s clearly not the money.
Monday, March 24, 2008

Top Stories of 2007

Features Anne Stanton What stories had the most impact on Northern Michigan and the state in general last year? Everyone has a different perspective, but these are a few that we at the Express feel had the biggest impact:

The Death of Craig Carlson: In an exclusive interview with Northern Express, the close-knit family of an Interlochen man told of the evening they called 9-1-1 to get help for Craig Carlson, who was deeply depressed and suicidal. The story reflected the family’s heartache, as well as the challenge of trying to ensure public safety in an uncertain situation.
Monday, March 24, 2008

Best Local Athletes

Features Anne Stanton There was no clear stand-out for best athlete this year—there was one or two votes for scores of athletes across the region, so Northern Express chose Traverse City West senior J.T. Hogan who “gets life,” and we’re not just talking football. There’s also Helene Dryden, a junior at St. Francis High School, who says she doesn’t feel fearless on her snowboard, but you’d never know it by looking at her.
Here’s a profile on each.
Monday, March 17, 2008

New Museum/Lights, Camera/New Heritage Route

Region Watch Anne Stanton Look for a major new museum in Northern Michigan this summer when the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians opens the Eyaawing Museum & Cultural Center in Leelanau County.
“The creation of a Museum & Cultural Center has been a long-time vision of the Grand Traverse Band,” said Pat Putney, GTB Elders and cultural department manager.
The emphasis of the new museum will be on education and increasing the understanding and respect for the Grand Traverse Band’s vibrant culture, art, and history. Although the specific date when Eyaawing will be open to the public has not been set, construction is slated to be completed at the end of May.
The name Eyaawing was selected by tribal members. It translates as “Who we are” in Anishinaabemowin, the native language of the Grand Traverse Band and Michigan’s Anishinaabek.
In addition to telling the story of the Grand Traverse Band through various exhibits, the Eyaawing Museum will be a place where the traditions and language of the tribe will be kept, taught, and celebrated. Eyaawing’s programming will be twofold, with some programs designed specifically for tribal members and others designed to share the culture, language and spirit of the Grand Traverse Band with the public.
Eyaawing will focus on both the traditional and contemporary culture and history of the Grand Traverse Band and Michigan’s Anishinaabek. Critical to that saga is the long path that leads to the Grand Traverse Band’s recognition as a Native Sovereign Nation on May 27, 1980.
Monday, March 17, 2008

Hookers in the ‘Hood

Features Anne Stanton Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his dalliance with a gorgeous, highly-paid hooker have the television networks aflame.
But politics and sex have always gone together like, um, nylons and garters.

The most recent buzz in Michigan, of course, involves Kwame Kilpatrick, the married mayor of Detroit, who wishes it would all go away. He’ll be forever remembered by his text message to his chief of staff: “I’ve been dreaming all day about having you all to myself for three days. Relaxing, laughing, talking, sleeping and making love.”
George Weeks, a veteran political writer, says that in most cases, it isn’t the sex that gets these guys in trouble as much as lying about it. And Kilpatrick is no exception.