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, March 10, 2005

Benefit for Tom Harrington‘s chi;dren

Region Watch Staff Reports Benefit for Tim Harrington‘s children
Volunteering in the South Pacific

Johnny Walker, a bartender at Leo‘s Lounge in Petoskey, says the thing he remembers most about Tim Harrington was his sense of humor.
“He was a really good person, really funny and open,“ Walker says.
“He was a pretty interesting character,“ he adds. “Really animated and a big pool player. He used to come in and play pool with his brother and if he won he used to make his brother get down and do push-ups. He always made us laugh.“
Walker and Leo‘s Lounge are hosting a benefit this Wednesday, March 19 for the three children Tim Harrington left behind in the wake of his murder on the evening of Jan. 17. His roommate, Bradford Carl Ross, 35, has been charged in 90th District Court with first degree murder for allegedly beating Mr. Harrington to death with a baseball bat during a fight at their home on Sheridan Street in Petoskey. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
A pit boss in charge of supervising gaming tables at Victories Casino, Mr. Harrington is survived by two sons and a daughter. Walker says the mother of Mr. Harrington‘s daughter died of a brain tumor, so the need for funds is especially pressing.
To lend a hand, Leo‘s Lounge is hosting a Chuck Barris-style “Gong Show“ karaoke night on Wednesday with a $3 cover to benefit the children. “The highest bidder will also be able to gong someone out,“ Walker adds. A professional
karaoke team called Kick-Ass Karaoke will be on hand to rev up the crowd.
Walker says he hopes Tim Harrington‘s memory will turn out the town in support of his children. “He had a really big funeral here,“ he says. “Tim knew everyone.“
Thursday, October 28, 2004

New air terminal at Cherry Capital Airport

Region Watch Staff Reports New air terminal has cherry flavor
The new $45 million terminal at Cherry Capital Airport got its wings this week, opening to the public on Wednesday with a 115,000-square-foot complex that incorporates the flavors of Northern Michigan in its design and landscaping. Close-in parking, electronic check-in computers, advanced baggage screening and an outdoor garden for ticketed passengers are among the perks of the new terminal. And check out the 14 new cherry-wood check-in counters for a touch of local class.
Designed by Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida, the terminal is Arts and Crafts/Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired and encompasses the openness and natural setting of the Grand Traverse region.
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Medical marijuana meeting

Region Watch Staff Reports Medical marijuana meeting
Laura and Matthew Barber, who are at the center of a medical marijuana case in Traverse City, are planning an informational meeting/fundraiser at their home this Sunday, Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. to share their story with the public.
Thursday, August 12, 2004

Two wheeling

Region Watch Staff Reports Two Wheelin‘
NoMich cyclists leaving tracks all over...
Maybe it‘s the Lance Armstrong effect, but the wheels are in spin on a number of bicycle-powered endeavors this week, going far beyond the borders of Northern Michigan:
Thursday, July 8, 2004

New CD aims to beat Bush

Region Watch Staff Reports New CD aims to “Beat Bush”

... but even the President might enjoy this polite CD

President George W. Bush doesn’t seem to be too popular with local musicians. Scores of top acoustic artists in the region have joined forces to record a new CD as part of the effort to dump Bush from office this November.
Thursday, June 24, 2004

Here, Piggy-pig, Pig.... Goodwill Party will Benefit Area‘s Homeless Shelter

Region Watch Staff Reports Taster’s choice this Saturday when Goodwill Industries Volunteers Services ( GIVS ) hosts “The Party” pigroast and dance to benefit a the homeless shelter in Traverse City.
“We just wanted a fundraising party that people can have fun at and dance their tails off -- there’s no silent auction or anything like that -- the idea is to have a great time and a big party,” says Heidi Hallett-Treece, a GIVS volunteer who is organizing the event with co-chair Mary Stanton.
Thursday, April 1, 2004

Acme‘s Village

Region Watch Staff Reports Acme’s Village goes back to drawing board

A proposed “big box”-style shopping center masquerading as a downtown was scuttled in Circuit Court last week by Judge Thomas Power in a decision hailed by opponents of the project.
Thursday, March 25, 2004

Dominic Fortuna‘s new dinner theater

Region Watch Staff Reports Guess Who‘s Coming to Dinner?

Dominic Fortuna, voted “Best Entertainer“ by Express readers, is backing a new dinner theater in Acme, expected be up and running this summer.
Thursday, March 18, 2004

War protest planned

Region Watch Staff Reports War protests planned

Northern Michigan‘s antiwar movement started with a bang over a year ago, with hundreds of people waving signs protesting the invasion of Iraq along major highways in Petoskey and Traverse City. But the marches gradually dwindled in size and volume after the U.S./British blitzkrieg swept through Iraq in a matter of days. By mid-year, protests attracted only a handful of marchers in the region.
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Peek at City Opera House

Region Watch Staff Reports Public to get a peek at City Opera House

The glory days of a lumber-era opera house are being recast in downtown Traverse City, where a $4.3 million restoration project has reached completion of its first major stage.
This weekend, the public will have an opportunity to see the fruits of that effort when the City Opera House Heritage Association hosts an open house at the renovated facility on Front Street.