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, July 26, 2010

Eric VanDussen

Features Anne Stanton An Unlikely Reporter: Roughed up by a cop 18 years ago,
Eric VanDussen has never forgotten
By Anne Stanton
If you missed watching Archie Kiel’s marijuana trial reported this
week in the Express, you can still turn to Channel 97 and catch it in
its entirety on Up North TV. Same with Joni Holbrook’s admission to
second-degree murder earlier this month when she confessed to
“snapping” after years of her husband’s alleged emotional, sexual, and
physical abuse.
Monday, July 26, 2010

Archie Kiel found guilty

Features Anne Stanton Pot Farmer Archie Kiel Found Guilty
By Anne Stanton
Archie Kiel—whose story and photos in Northern Express triggered a
raid by the Traverse Narcotics Team nearly a year ago—was found guilty
in a jury trial for the manufacture of less than 20 marijuana plants.
The normal prison term for the charge is four years, but the maximum
is double that for Kiel since he was convicted once of a drug-related
misdemeanor.  It could have been worse. He was originally charged with
more than 20 plants, which carries a maximum of 14 years.
Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting tough on grandma/ Elaine Vanderberg

Features Anne Stanton Getting Tough on Grandma: Prosecutor drags on case against pepper-sprayed great grandmother
By Anne Stanton
It sounds like a send-up from a David Letterman show: Why did the deputy pepper spray a 79-year-old great grandmother?
Yet it isn’t a joke to either to Elaine Vanderberg or to Frankfort Village Police Officer Jason Wolfe, who pepper sprayed Vanderburg twice in the eyes and arrested her on a felony charge for resisting and obstructing a police officer. The charges were dismissed in May, but Benzie County Prosecutor John Daughtery filed a motion with the state Court of Appeals last week to reinstate the felony charges.
Vanderberg’s problems began last May when she asked her nephew, Andrew Haas, then 27, to come help her with her badly crippled husband, who “had every single disease and disorder that a human being can have—throat cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, Parkinson’s, gout, scoliosis, bones replaced with screws, a pacemaker and dementia.”
Monday, July 19, 2010

Throw for Joe

Features Anne Stanton Throw for Joe! Disc golf tournament will honor fallen teen
By Anne Stanton
The family of a teen killed in an alcohol-related car accident has invited disc golf players of all skills to take part in a July 31 tournament at Hickory Hills in Traverse City.
The family of the late Joe Welburn is holding a “Throw for Joe” tournament to promote the message of responsible driving, to provide band scholarships, and to help maintain the Hickory Hills disk golf course.
Most of all they wanted to honor the memory of Joe Welburn, a 2008 Traverse City High School graduate, who played in the drum line of the Traverse City West Marching Band. He loved listening to Led Zeppelin, attending music festivals, skiing and playing disc golf at Hickory Hills, a wooded area located in the heart of Traverse City.
Monday, July 12, 2010

Natural Gas

Features Anne Stanton Natural gas: Will drilling create a big fracking problem?
Last week, Northern Express covered a potential boom in natural gas
exploration, known as fracking (short for hydraulic fracturing), that
has some people excited over the money to be made, while others worry
about potential water contamination. This week, area
environmentalists—fractured over the Traverse City biomass
proposal—weigh in on this new issue.
By Anne Stanton
Monday, July 5, 2010

Fear of Fracking

Features Anne Stanton Fear of Fracking: Residents wonder whether to allow deep drilling on their land
By Anne Stanton
In the course of a few weeks, a Leelanau Township landowner was
approached by landmen representing 10 different natural gas companies.
They were pressuring him to sign a lease that would allow natural gas
drilling on his property. Some weren’t so polite.
Monday, June 28, 2010

Blowin‘ in the wind

Features Anne Stanton Blowin’ in the Wind: Coupling wind power & natural gas may provide answer to region’s energy search
By Anne Stanton
Under dark storm clouds, reporters last week visited a wind farm at
Stoney Corners outside of Cadillac where graceful turbines dwarfed the
barns and silos dotting the countryside.
Monday, June 21, 2010

Afghanistan: Our Second Viet Nam?

Features Anne Stanton Afghanistan: Our Second Vietnam?
NATO diplomat Jack Segal offers a view from the “graveyard of empires”
By Anne Stanton
Last week Jack Segal was trying to figure out how to pump a shallow
pool of gray water out of the basement of the Traverse City house he
and his family had recently moved into.
Monday, June 21, 2010

Afghanistan: Our Second Viet Nam?

Features Anne Stanton Afghanistan: Our Second Vietnam?
NATO diplomat Jack Segal offers a view from the “graveyard of empires”
By Anne Stanton
Last week Jack Segal was trying to figure out how to pump a shallow
pool of gray water out of the basement of the Traverse City house he
and his family had recently moved into.
Monday, June 14, 2010

Lyme disease

Features Anne Stanton Lyme disease in Northwest Michigan? Hikers are cautioned to check for disease-carrying deer ticks
By Anne Stanton
The State of Michigan has reported for the first time that deer ticks
have been found in northwestern Michigan — the type of ticks that
potentially carry Lyme disease.
Local health officials say they have no confirmed reports of Lyme, but
 hikers need to respond by taking a few precautions.
Monday, June 14, 2010

Wave Riders

Features Anne Stanton Wave Riders The New Rage: stand-up paddle boarding
By Anne Stanton
When Beryl and Frank Scrocki learned they were expecting a third child, they decided to pack it in as far as downstate living goes, sell their house, and move north to Empire to open a … surf shop.
“We didn’t know anything about surfing or whether anyone surfed here, but I spent summers here, and I knew you could surf. I’d spent a lot of times playing in the waves. Everyone thought we were crazy. ‘Such a liability!’ But it’s working!”
Beryl, a fit and fresh-eyed blonde, is now the proud owner of Sleeping Bear Surf and Kayak, a colorful store in Empire that’s packed with surfboards and surfer clothing. It’s not their full-time income by any means (her husband works a full-time day job in the environmental field), but it’s been a blast, plain and simple since opening the shop in 2004, she said.
Monday, June 7, 2010

These Dam Decisions

Features Anne Stanton These Dam Decisions
By Anne Stanton
When Traverse City Light and Power proposed building a 10 megawatt biomass
plant (or three or four) earlier this year, people wondered about the
wisdom of removing the three Boardman River dams, which once produced more
than 2 megawatts of energy each year, enough to power 1,400 homes. The
owners, the city of Traverse City and Grand Traverse County, voted last
year to dismantle them, but people wonder if it’s too late to reconsider.
The cost to remove the dams is about the same as to bring them into
compliance and add upgrades to get the river colder.
Monday, May 31, 2010

Why the Dam Hurry? Biomass controversy sparks a kinder, gentler look at hydropower

Features Anne Stanton Why the Dam Hurry? Biomass controversy sparks a kinder, gentler look at hydropower
By Anne Stanton
Fred Kiefer, an older gentleman from northern Indiana, walked down the
path of Lone Pine Trail off Keystone Road in Traverse City with his
wife, to a place they held dear in their memories. Hung around his
neck was a camera, ready to capture a picture of the blue herons,
swans, mergansers, and, if he was lucky, a pair of loons.
Monday, May 24, 2010

Will subsidies go poof?

Features Anne Stanton Will Subsidies go Poof? EPA decision sends ‘chilling message’ to the biomass industry
By Anne Stanton
 An EPA final rule issued last week did not exempt biomass power from
greenhouse gas permitting requirements, sending a “chilling message” to
the biomass industry, the New York Times reported last week.
Monday, May 24, 2010

A case of mistaken identity: Christopher Phillips

Features Anne Stanton A Case of Mistaken Identity: Christopher Phillips copes with the ‘other’ Christopher Phillips
By Anne Stanton
 Back a dozen years ago, Christopher David Phillips, 30, was pulled out of
his algebra class at Traverse City Central High School and hauled down to
the office. The principal accused him of getting in a fight with a guy
he’d never heard of.