Voter Suppression And Choice In 2013, five Supreme Court justices, each appointed by Republican presidents, knocked the teeth out of the Voting Rights Act. Immediately a majority of Republican-dominated states began passing laws aimed at suppressing the votes of their majority Democrat demographics: minorities, students and the elderly. These laws – requiring voter IDs, cutting early voting, eliminating same-day registration, closing selected polling places, banning straight-ticket voting, etc. — never flat-out deny a person’s right to vote; they just make actual registering and voting more difficult, and therefore make it more likely that individuals in certain groups will not vote. Think of voter suppression as a kind of reverse marketing strategy, one aimed at getting people not to do something...
Free Parking Patrick Sullivan’s good story on parking overlooked one source of “free parking” that has become an increasing problem in Traverse City: spill-over into adjacent neighborhoods. Instead of discouraging people from bringing cars downtown, we’re allowing them to park on both sides of narrow residential streets all day long...
Real American Duality Isiah Smith didn’t really put his deep thinking hat on before writing the “American Duality” commentary. First there’s geography. His daughter feels safer in Sweden than in the United States, at least partially because of the violence in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minnesota. Really? Safer than in northern Michigan, which is further away from Dallas and Baton Rouge than Stockholm is from Ansbach, Paris or Brussels and no closer to Minnesota than Sweden is to Germany? Did Smith miss recent supremely violent events in those places? Alrighty then...
Mental Health Cuts a Tragedy
Governor Snyder’s upbeat message on the 2015 budget left out an important fact: in a time of a state surplus, $180 million in general funds is being removed from community mental health programs. The reason for this is simple...Minimum Wage Hike Deserves Second Thought
Should the minimum wage be raised? There are good reasons for conservatives who worry about budget deficits to support an increase. Let’s do the math: The current minimum wage in Michigan is $7.40 per hour...Lots to Lose, Little to Gain in Land Swap
When rumors started that St. Mary’s Cement wanted to make a new entrance to Fisherman’s Island State Park and close Bells Bay Road, it seemed too outrageous to be taken seriously. But St. Mary’s has lobbied government for two years and has proposed a “land swap” to obtain 190 acres of Fisherman’s Island State Park and the county road...
Patrick Sullivan’s article there was no mention of the county that
would have put the cherry on top his premise on the divide between rich
More crony captalism
really enjoyed Stephen Tuttle’s recent article titled “A line in the
tar sands. Mr. Tuttle has a way of making you think on both sides of an
Tax Junk Food or Ban Boxing?
So, if you break it down to its simple basics, Bill Bustance likes oatmeal and thinks it shouldn’t be taxed. He doesn’t like Cheerios and thinks they should be taxed and the revenue should be used for roads (Huh?!)...
Stephen Tuttle’s column titled "No Line in the Tar Sand" missed some key points. In describing the First Nation peoples of Canada as "appalled" by the tar sands mining understates their situation. Few of us would be simply "appalled" if our communities were deemed sacrifice zones...Look Who is Behind the Attack Ads
Do you wonder who’s behind the negative ads aimed at the Democrats and Gary Peters, in particular? The DeVos family hides behind the following groups to peddle their bull… Action Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Council for National Policy, Federalist Society, Focus on the Family, Freedom Works Foundation, Heritage Foundation, Mackinaw Center for Public Policy, and the National Organization for Marriage...No to Proposed Air Walk in Kasson Township
The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as “irresponsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” The proposed ecotourism park by developer Mark Evans designed with an air walk and observation areas that will scale the ridgeline of an 83-acre parcel of property on residential Fritz Road is a fancy packaging scheme to line Mr. Evans’ pockets with millions of dollars...Consumer Alert
a wonderful movie the "The Dallas Buyers Club" is, sure to win awards
for acting. It may have brought to light some of the failures of our
Food and Drug Administration as well. And we now learn that the
chemical, azodicarbonamide, used in yoga mats and shoe soles, was
approved by the FDA for use in breads and cereal flours to enhance
We Need a Carbon Tax
Stephen Tuttle’s recent piece “No Line in the Tar Sands” describes some of the valid arguments for and against the Keystone XL pipeline. He then concludes with what he calls the two most salient facts...
I applaud Mr. Estes’ article on keeping Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes. Unfortunately, his solution is too simple, too cost efficient and can be accomplished too quickly. Why do something now when you can drag it out for 25 years at a cost of billions of dollars. Even if some action were taken several years from now, it would be too late anyway...Who Stole Traverse City?
Downtown Traverse City is becoming a living abortion to common sense. Who came up with the brilliant concept of filling every square foot of space with tall brick buildings that are built within ten feet of the street? The Traverse City I remember was full of laughing people and children playing. We parked our cars along the streets. Now, the parking meters in front of these buildings are dedicated to the rich few who work in these mausoleums...
I applaud Betsy Coffia for her informative Jan 20 Northern View article. She connects the dots between the water crisis in West Virginia, caused by a leaking chemical container, and the potential for disaster here in Michigan if the sixty-year-old oil pipeline under the Mackinac straits were to rupture...
Many Issues cause need
“Back atcha” in response to the letter “Take Responsibility” dated 1/13/14. Pointing a finger at the down and out people as irresponsible losers who deserve no assistance because they caused their own plight is extremely short sighted and shallow...Tolerance came lately
Most people believe that toleration arrived in North America with English colonists who were seeking religious freedom, but this is not the case. Moreover, religious toleration was not considered a virtue at the time...Leelanau: Still worth the trip
Born and raised in Traverse City and with great grandparents who homesteaded in Kasson Township, it was a natural for our family to treat out-of-town visitors with a scenic drive out to Glen Lake and Sleeping Bear dunes in our oversized Buick sedan...
Before my husband and I permanently moved to Glen Lake eighteen years ago we lived in three different communities in Ohio and Indiana. All three are classic examples as to why zoning and the maintaining of the zoning are so very important...Sidewalk Solutions
I’d like to weigh in my 2 cents on all things snow removal for Traverse City’s sidewalks. Especially the stretch of sidewalk that remains COMPLETELY covered with snow on and around Garfield Road south of S. Airport in Garfield Township...Pay Your Taxes, NFL
No matter which problem is being discussed or argued, it always comes down to say one thing, support the opposite with dollars. Detroit need money, Michigan needs money, but the football obsessed still watch their games, buy the trinkets, etc and never question that the thing they support doesn’t support them...
The History Center is in trouble and lacks enough funds to ensure its continued presence in our community. Meanwhile, our City Council is embarked on a path to figure out what went wrong with the splash pad, how to apportion blame and what it will take to fix it...
Support Native American Role
Thank you, Derek, for your well-written and informative article. May the TC Commission open their minds and hearts to honor the first national people in a beautiful, artful way at the Clinch Park area...Addiction Here, Too
Thank you to Mike Morey for his article in the January 6 issue depicting sad scenes from inside an alcohol and drug detox unit. I hope more and more people begin to realize that addiction is rampant in our area, it’s not just relegated to “big cities” any more...Energy Policy Should Ban Fracking
The insanity of fracking hit me one night while vacationing in Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. At night the sky lights up with thousands of flares from fracking wells. Fracking there is done for oil because it is more valuable than gas...
Thank you so much for the wonderful article (in the Jan 6 edition) on the alcohol and drug detox unit. The article made a wonderful point on the struggles of people who are addicted (regardless of addiction type)...An Unholy Marriage
wars. Poverty. Racism. Climate Change. Pollution of water and air. Fear
propaganda. Unfettered capitalism...
Opposing Motocross Track
I’m writing in response to the hearing for rezoning Griswold Mountain property for proposed construction of a motocross track. Our family cottage is located approximately one mile from Griswold Mountain and I vehemently OPPOSE this proposed rezoning and development...Safe Home Thanks
Thank you to area schools, businesses, organizations, service and faith-based groups and individual community members for your outpouring of support during the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan’s (WRCNM) Safe Home Harvest Food and Supply Drive...
Christmas season where liberals whined about poverty and income
inequality. Communism produces income equality but doesn’t work because
it’s human nature not to collectivize one’s earnings...
As a long-time resident of Indian River, I must express my concern for the proposed racetrack at Griswold Mountain. I have lived here full-time since 1992. I have cherished the serenity and beauty that Indian River and the surrounding woodlands have provided me and my many neighbors...Women under the gun
Dear women of Michigan: Our legislature, in its wisdom, just presented us with a gift, and just in time for Christmas. There is truly a second class citizenship for women in our great state...Litter & the Bible
It’s Old Mission
I have read several times in your paper writers referring to Old Mission as “Mission” as in “the Mission Peninsula.” Most recently this reference appeared in Bob Downes’ farewell letter (so long, good work, see ya around)...Wrong party...
Regarding Stephen Tuttle’s column in the December 23 issue, Bob Filner, mayor of San Diego, was and is a Democrat.
Say no to the racetrack
As the “baby” cousin of the fabulous, extended Willman family, I am expressing our collective, resounding NO to the prospect of a racetrack facility on Griswold Mountain in Indian River...Destructive plan
80 years ago my grandfather built a cottage near Indian River that he
named North Haven. He, my grandmother, and their five daughters spent
every summer with the woods and waters. Those daughters in turn
faithfully brought their nine children back to the cottage for long
I read with amusement the Detroit Free Press article on “The Elf On The Shelf” named Michael who watched children’s every move before heading to the North Pole each evening to report directly to Santa on each child’s misadventures...Special interest scandal
like to thank Michigan law enforcement for putting the brakes on the
Republicans' attempt to make AT&T more profitable at the expense of
constituents by discontinuing land line service...
A taxing subject
In Michigan we have huge income from various sin taxes. We have a tax on alcohol, on nicotine addiction (tobacco), and income from gambling on the lottery and video poker machines. When marijuana is legalized here, as it is in the state of Washington, we will have a tax on that. What we don’t have is a tax on sex...
It’s true that Obamacare led my daughter’s insurance company to decide to drop her plan. But guess what? Thanks to Obamacare, she will be getting better coverage from the same company at lower cost...GOP’s desperate attacks
irony in the monumental fight over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is
that most Democrats prefer a single-payer system (Medicare-For-All),
demonstrably the most efficient and economical method of healthcare
Guns & screwdrivers
Recently, I bought a gun at a sporting good store that required a background check that took about 3 minutes. The next day I stood in line at Sears about 5 minutes to buy a screwdriver set that was on sale...
Nelson Mandela is being acclaimed worldwide for his role in managing the peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa. Without Mandela, South Africa would have otherwise become a bloodbath...
As one of his first official acts, Governor Snyder picked the pockets of Michigan retirees by taxing their pensions and retirement savings. He then lined the pockets of his corporate backers by reducing business taxes...
Food stamp cuts
Yes, that would be the real “Hunger Games” (I’ll credit the movie for my title to avoid a Rand Paul plagiarism charge)...Racetrack woes
The Indian River Racetrack issue has unfortunately very much divided our community, literally pitting neighbor against neighbor...
As a frequent shopper at the Women’s Resource Center, Goodwill, etc., I am often irritated at the deliberate bad choices in donations. If an item you wan to donate doesn’t work perfectly, ask your junk collector to take it. Scratched Teflon pans are a health hazard, discard, don’t donate. Small appliances, check them out at home first...Allegations of abuse
I feel compelled to write because days after reading the article, “House of Abuse” (11//25), it is still weighing heavy on my mind..
Turn on your headlights
Okay, I honestly just don’t get it. What is it about the growing number of drivers here in the Grand Traverse area that feel there is no need to turn on their headlights in extreme low visibility conditions?!
Pass the pee...
Republican Rep. from Florida, and a Tea-Party favorite, Trey Radel, voted in favor of a broad Florida food stamps bill that includes a provision that requires food stamp recipients to pee in a cup to prove that they are drug-free, and thereby eligible to receive their food stamps...Exercise caution
The use of marijuana as medicine has a long history, but here in Michigan a person needs to obtain a certification from a licensed M.D. or D.O. in order to have protection from jail or prison...Empires tend to fall
Does America need the American empire? And can America afford an empire? In sharp contrast, five world empires have fallen since 1945, but at least they have left lessons for the American empire...Tales for shelter dogs
I’ve attached a picture of myself reading the Northern Express to a shelter dog at the Cherryland Humane Society. Why? Firstly, because I’m a volunteer dog walker there and this is what we do with frightened and abandoned dogs...Correction
A model in a recent Northern Seen page was incorrectly identified. That was Valerie Hays-Schaub at upper left on Nov. 18, with hair and makeup by Signature Salon.
There has been a lot of discussion about the festival issue in Traverse City recently. Festivals do draw people to the area and we don’t want to discourage that...
Other festival options
All of the articles and discussion on the festival issue seem to assume that all TC festivals must be at the Open Space. We can have BOTH festivals AND an open and attractive waterfront if the festivals are located someplace else in TC, such as the Civic Center, F&M Park, GT Commons, or on private property, such as the lot at Pine and Front, etc...Fatbikes bad for Vasa trail
TART Trails is a great organization that does many wonderful things for the region. Pushing fatbikes onto the Vasa Pathway ski trails is not one of them...
Perhaps the NRA’s president thinking that the best way to deal with an active shooter is to have a good man with a gun...
I read your “The Season of Giving” article in the Northern Express and appreciate what you conveyed in the article. I do have one comment about a term you used in the list of local agencies...Correction
A model in last week’s Northern Seen page was incorrectly identified. That was Kayla Jackson pictured at upper right with the towering hair-do. Cindy Toranzo was the stylist.