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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Eartha Melzer

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Cracks in the Stronghold: Up to 1, 500 Turn out for Biggest Protest Ever

Features Eartha Melzer “How many people do you have to kill before you no longer qualify as pro-life?” read a homemade sign carried by one young man.
“Stop depleting my dating pool,” read another carried by a young woman who wanted to draw attention to the U.S. military’s death toll in Iraq -- now approaching 950.
Traverse City has always been known as a Republican stronghold, but last Monday -- in what local historian Larry Wakefield termed the largest demonstration in the city’s history -- over 1,000 people gathered to protest a campaign appearance by George W. Bush.
Captain Morgan of the Traverse City Police Department estimated the crowd of demonstrators at between 1,000 and 1,500.
Thursday, July 15, 2004

Medical Marijuana Case Heads to Trial: Civil Disobedience Case could have Statewide Impact

Region Watch Eartha Melzer There was a pony-tailed man with a pinwheel among the crowd gathered to support multiple sclerosis sufferer and medicinal marijuana user Matthew Barber at the court house on Tuesday, July 6. But there was also a former magistrate, a kindergarten teacher and a retired cop at the rally. And no tie-dye in sight.
Thursday, July 8, 2004

MS Patient Faces Hearing for Medical Marijuana

Features Eartha Melzer At the age of 29, Matthew Barber, a disabled Gulf War vet, was diagnosed with terminal multiple sclerosis. He became paralyzed, lost his memory, and experienced extreme pain from lesions on his brain.
Barber tried all conventional treatments, with no improvement. Medical bills cost Matthew and his wife Laura everything they owned, and Laura had to quit her job to take care of him.
Thursday, April 8, 2004

The Pentagon‘s Eco-warriors: Military Ponders Upheaval Caused by Global Warming

Other Opinions Eartha Melzer A strange thing happened when I called the Pentagon the other day.
Yes, I called the Pentagon. I had just read an article in Fortune magazine which discussed a Pentagon report that predicted catastrophic climate change would
threaten national security soon. A couple of papers had done stories on the Fortune article, but I wanted to read the whole report, so I e-mailed the reporter
for Fortune and he gave me the name of the guy at the
Pentagon who‘d given him the report.
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Bad Boys, Bad Boys

Features Eartha Melzer A police decal on your car may cause an officer to be lenient on moving violations (which normally run $65 $115 dollars), said a state trooper at the post in Traverse City, though he claimed to not pay much attention to the stickers himself.
Thursday, August 7, 2003

Petoskey: A City Divided: Nursing Strike has Police, City Officials and Strikers at Odds

Features Eartha Melzer Almost no one is neutral in a small town. In Petoskey where the town‘s largest employer, Northern Michigan Hospital, is the site of the nation‘s longest nursing
strike, the mayor‘s business partner is on the hospital board and the chief of police‘s wife is a strikebreaking nurse.
Thursday, May 15, 2003

Marijuana Activists March On: Interview: Jeff Fillmore on the Medicinal Side of Cannabis

Features Eartha Melzer Between the War on Drugs and the War on Terror it‘s not often that the benefits of marijuana make the news. In an effort to get this message out people in hundreds of cities participated in a Global March for Cannabis Liberation on May 3. Jeff
Fillmore is an organizer with the Michigan Cannabis Action Network (MCAN) which sponsored the Millennium Marijuana March in Traverse City.
Thursday, April 24, 2003

Petoskey‘s Heavy Metal Professor: Sociology Students get a Scholarly Dose of Metallica

Music Eartha Melzer College instructor Craig Swanson recently completed a Master‘s
thesis/book entitled “The Heavy Side of Metal: Metallica‘s Counter-Hegemonic Trilogy.“
Thursday, March 20, 2003

Addicted to Food: Hooked on Legal White Powders, She Battled a Food Addiction

Features Eartha Melzer Some 58 million Americans are overweight according to the
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and
Kidney Diseases, a branch of National Institute of
Health. Obesity-related illnesses are the second
leading cause of premature death in this country.
Despite this health crisis there are limited resources
to help people develop healthy relationships with
Thursday, August 15, 2002

The Battle for Ice Mountain: A Global Trade War in our Backyard

Features Eartha Melzer A bluegrass band plays the theme to the Beverly Hillbillies inside a festival tent adorned with red, white and blue balloons. Hundreds of people wait in line in front of a sumptuous catered buffet. It could be a county fair, a wedding, some public fest, but something is odd about this event. Everyone is a winner at carnival games which are staffed by Cub Scouts imported from two counties away. A glossy poster of the hydrologic cycle hangs over the food at the back of the tent. This is the grand opening of the Ice Mountain water bottling plant in Stanwood, Michigan, and the Nestle corporation is buying everyone lunch.
Thursday, April 18, 2002

Greening Hate: The Dangerous Intersection of Environmental and Anti-Immigration Activism

Features Eartha Melzer John Tanton was able to express some extreme views during his career as an
opthamologist in Petoskey because, he says, even if his patients didn‘t
like his views they weren‘t likely to change doctors. The next eye surgeon was hundreds
of miles away.
So the nature-loving small town doctor developed an extremely active
political life. He became a committed environmentalist and used his education and
organizational skills to protect virgin forest in the U.P. and to establish
the Little Traverse Land Conservancy and the Michigan Environmental Defense
His work to protect Michigan‘s environment has been immense, but this
guy is not your average tree hugger. He has bigger, national reputation
for a very different type of social activism. In a book recently featured in the
Express on April 4 (1) Tanton says that an “instinctive territorialism“ has driven
him to protect the “national culture“ from the threat of fertile immigrant women.