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 6, 2003

You Know You‘re from Northern Michigan When....

Features Express Staff -- November 15th is a holy day!
-- You go to a public place with “hat hair“ and don‘t care.
-- You collect unemployment.
Thursday, December 19, 2002

Protesters head for Washington

Region Watch Express Staff Protesters head for Washington

Citizens opposed to the pending war in Iraq will voice their opinions at a massive rally in Washington, D.C., on January 18, with a bus scheduled to make the round-trip from Traverse City.
Sponsored by the local Mideast: Just Peace organization, the 54 seat charter bus leaves Traverse City on Friday, January 17 for Washington D.C. returning mid-day on Sunday, January 19. Up to 500,000 people are expected at the demonstration.
Thursday, November 14, 2002

High school lesson in free speech

Region Watch Express Staff High school lesson in free speech

Quoting from the likes of Mahatma Gandhi can apparently put students in hot water in high school these days, as Troy Stewart found out when the Marquette High School senior was suspended for speaking out against the proposed war in Iraq at a pep rally.
The Oct. 18 suspension was put on hold by a Marquette County judge to determine whether the school had violated Stewart’s First Amendment right to free speech.
What kind of dangerous talk did Stewart fill his fellow students’ ears with? The beginning of his speech is as follows:
Thursday, November 7, 2002

Computer waste

Region Watch Express Staff Computer waste
What should a responsible person do with their electronic relics?
Recycle them at Grand Traverse County‘s Computer and Electronics Recycling
Event on November 9 in Traverse City.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 4.3 million tons of
electronic waste was discarded in 1999. They project that 63 million more
computers will require disposal by 2005. At present, 75% of our electronic
waste sits piled in basements and attics awaiting better disposal options
than the local landfill.
Residents who want to “do the right thing“ by recycling their old computers
and electronic equipment must make a reservation to attend the collection.
A $5 fee per item will be charged in order to help cover the cost
of shipping and recycling the equipment. Call the Resource Recovery hotline
at 922-2052.
Thursday, October 31, 2002

Vote in Bear Creek

Region Watch Express Staff A ‘precedent-setting vote’ in Bear Creek

The fate of a proposed shopping center and housing development outside Petoskey may hang in the balance of the Nov. 5 election when voters from Bear Creek Township decide a referendum on rezoning the site of the project.
Over one year ago, the township board voted against rezoning the Strathmore Co. site to allow a 175,000-square-foot “big box” store development along with 224 low-income housing apartments and 36 duplexes. Opponents of the project believe that threats of a lawsuit by Strathmore against the township prompted the board to reverse its position a year later.
Thursday, June 27, 2002

Double Vision: Twice the Musical Pleasure at the Cherry Festival

Music Express Staff If you‘re a veteran of Cherry Festivals past, you know that Traverse City‘s annual cherrypalooza offers not just one but two music festivals throughout the week.
That means several big-ticket, high-profile concerts held outside at Turtle Creek Casino in Williamsburg this year, as well as nightly almost-free concerts at the Open Space by the bay in downtown Traverse City.
Each concert series has its fans, and generally some surprises: last year‘s big concerts featured such offbeat notables as Fuel and Steel Pulse, while the downtown series always manages to unearth an archeological treasure from rock‘s substrata, with past performers including Eric Burdon, Maria Muldaur, Todd Rundgren and Leon Russell.
Thursday, March 7, 2002

The Very Best People

Features Express Staff When it comes to people, we‘ve got plenty. Hundreds of surveys for our annual Reader‘s Choice awards gave us thousands of names to choose from for everything from Best Waitperson to Top Cop. Just like the “Cheers“ song claims, Northern Michigan is a place where everybody seems to know your name, although often it‘s just a first name. Sometimes readers also like to pull our leg on the survey, voting for people who‘ve been controversial in their communities during the course of the year. Whatever, it‘s all good, so here‘s our readers‘ choices for the Best People of 2002:

Best Local Hero:
The year of the 911 Attack was a reflective one for readers who aptly chose local Firefighters and Postal Workers as Best Local Heroes. Look for stories on pages 10 and 20 on the reaction to 911 by firefighters in Petoskey and postal workers in Traverse City.
Other local heroes who received an above average number of votes included:
-- Marty Moody, Boyne City School Board Trustee and community service volunteer
-- Coach Larry Sellers of TC, who faced trial for a road rage incident
-- Ray Minervini, redeveloper of Building 50
-- Margaret Dodd, Mayor of Traverse City