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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Monday, January 10, 2011

Maggie Daniels/ Jamie Ritchie

Features Anne Stanton Maggie Daniels: Changing lives in Petoskey ... one muscle at a time
By Anne Stanton
Maggie Daniels’ life changed when she stopped smoking Tareyton cigarettes
at the age of 28. She took up the habit with a couple of rebellious high
school friends, but one day -- and she doesn’t remember why -- she stopped
smoking, just like switching off a light. If she had the urge for
nicotine, she’d get on the floor and do sit-ups. The pain, the headaches,
the cravings all stopped in a matter of two weeks. And in their stead,
Daniels discovered a lifelong passion for fitness and health.
Monday, January 10, 2011

Beyond Spinning

Features Anne Stanton Beyond Spinning: Hard-core 90 minute sessions on a high-tech bike…
By Anne Stanton
Yes, we are in the dead of winter—a time when most serious cyclists put on their skate skis or snow shoes or ride a stationary bike. But now there’s a new option—a hardcore indoor cycling class for those determined to increase their speed and strength over the winter.
It’s almost guaranteed, said Lauri Brockmiller, who runs the class. Of course, there’s a niggling caveat. The cyclists must commit to a three-day-a-week, 90-minute training sessionover eight weeks and follow a specific ride progression of minutes and intensity.
“It’s hard not to get better when the training is dialed in,” said Brockmiller, who writes down the ride format on a card for each rider before each session.
Of course, a 90-minute ride (at 5 a.m. no less) is easier said than done. But the universal lesson in life is the more you put into it, the more you get out of it, plain and simple.
Monday, January 3, 2011

The Volvo Volcano

Features Anne Stanton The Volvo Volcano: Couple watches their car go up in
flames, but gets no sympathy from Volvo
By Anne Stanton
On the warm fall evening of September 21, James Weston Lynne and
Jamaica Lynne Weston were driving on East Silver Lake Road to a
meeting in their 1996 850 Volvo wagon.
Monday, December 27, 2010


Features Anne Stanton WikiLeaks: ‘It’s too much power for one person,’ says retired diplomat
Last week, the Express reprinted a Michael Moore editorial on
WikiLeaks, “Leaks Don’t Kill People, Secrets Do.” Here is another
viewpoint from Jack Segal, a retired State Department diplomat.

By Anne Stanton

Most Americans who have heard reports of WikiLeaks believe the release
of thousands of secret State Department communications will do more
harm to this country than good, according to a Pew Research Center
survey released on December 10.
Monday, December 20, 2010

CAFO Farmers

Features Anne Stanton CAFO farmers: ‘Our cattle are healthier’
Last week, Northern Express wrote about a confined animal feeding
operation in Mesick. Here, two owners of CAFOs in Alpena and Mount
Pleasant talk about their operations and their value to society.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wind turbines

Features Anne Stanton WIND TURBINES: Draft of discontent in Manistee and Benzie
By Anne Stanton
Winds of controversy are sure to arrive at Benzie Central High School on
Tuesday, December 21, when residents are invited to attend a panel
discussion on the industrial wind turbines planned in southern Benzie and
northern Manistee counties.
There are definitely two sides to the proposed construction of 112 wind
turbines by Duke Energy’s Gail Windpower Project -- and potentially other
energy companies -- seeking to erect wind turbines.
Monday, December 20, 2010

Up in smoke

Features Anne Stanton Up in Smoke: Legal battles create ongoing drama for medical marijuana growers
By Anne Stanton
 Medical marijuana grower and patient Cecil Drost was able to drive off for
a Florida vacation last week instead of going to jail, relieved that
Charlevoix Prosecutor John Jarema decided to drop all charges against him.
But Drost anxiously wonders if he’ll be compensated for the estimated
$100,000 worth of medical marijuana plants that were seized in the raid.
Drost’s 32 plants were destroyed on September 20, after the Joint
Operational Law Enforcement (JOLT) multi-jurisdictional drug team flew
over Drost’s property in a black helicopter.
Monday, December 20, 2010

Archie Kiel

Features Anne Stanton The Stressful Saga ofArchie Kiel
By Anne Stanton
Archie Kiel of Rapid City is out of jail after serving 42 days for the
felony conviction of possessing and manufacturing less than 20 marijuana
plants. Kiel was the subject of a story on medical marijuana growers in
the Express in August, 2009 and has been in one legal battle after
another ever since.
Monday, December 13, 2010

The future of farming

Features Anne Stanton The Future of Farming: Small dairy farms struggle to survive as factory farms move in
By Anne Stanton
A drive down a quiet paved road outside of Mesick reveals a contrast
in the old and the new: Old McDonald’s versus Factory Farming.
At one end of West Four Road is farmer Mike Hampel’s place. About 50
cattle stand among neat rows of stumpy brown cornstalks. A few gaze
curiously as a lone car passes by. Inside a large shed are tools and
several vehicles in the midst of repair. Two white stray cats,
Monday, December 13, 2010

The Free Range Option

Features Anne Stanton The Free Range Option: Local farmers offer healthy choices
By Anne Stanton
If there can be good news in the trend toward confined animal feeding
operations (CAFOs), it’s this. A growing number of farmers are trying
a health-oriented tack. They are marketing their free-range cattle,
turkeys, chickens, eggs and cattle to local residents at premium
Monday, November 29, 2010

Winds of fortune

Features Anne Stanton Winds of Fortune: 12,000-acre wind farm planned for Manistee and Benzie counties
By Anne Stanton
Over the years, Jim and Carol March have traipsed in the hills of
their Arcadia hay fields with energy company reps who talked of
building a wind turbine on the farm’s hilly ridge. But after getting
the couple’s hopes up high, the company reps disappeared and refused
their phone calls.
Monday, November 22, 2010

The Book Angel: Margaret Kelly

Features Anne Stanton The Book Angel: Margaret Kelly created a book club for the region’s homeless
 By Anne Stanton
About a year ago, an energetic librarian bustled up to Tom Ockert, a
59-year-old homeless man, who spent most of his daytime hours in the
Traverse Area District Library -- not only because it’s a warm place
to stay, but also because he loves to read.
Monday, November 15, 2010

High Anxiety

Features Anne Stanton High Anxiety
By Anne Stanton
With anxious thoughts jabbing their minds awake each morning, some
people don’t need alarm clocks any longer. Just ask Mary Sue Feldman,
a Traverse City woman who has hit bottom with $50 in her checking
account, no car, and no job.
Monday, November 1, 2010

Mary Moore runs across Africa

Features Anne Stanton By Anne Stanton
If you want to know how tough Mary Moore is, you need to look no
further than her resolve to log in the required 15 miles each day for
her upcoming run across Ethiopia.
Monday, November 1, 2010

Scripps vs Franz

Features Anne Stanton Scripps vs. Franz: State Rep candidates battle for the 101st
By Anne Stanton
Still wondering who to vote for on Tuesday? If you’re talking about
the race for the 101st House seat, the two candidates offer clearly
differing views.