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, February 4, 2013

Letters 02-04-2013


True meaning of MLK Day... Something about Paul J. Nepote’s letter lamenting the “hijacking” of Martin Luther King Day by the gay community seems a little disingenuous. It’s hard to tell if he’s attacking the gay community, the use of public funds for the celebration, or the holiday itself, but I did not find it to be in the spirit Dr. King’s life...

Racist rant... It’s too bad that Paul Nepote considers himself a viable voice for the African- American community, when it’s clear by his racist rant (Letters, 1-28-13) that nothing could be further from the truth. It’s too bad that anyone with a brain will see through his weak claim that “the majority of the black community do not support homosexuality...”

Sick of it... Is it just me or is everyone sick of hearing about Paul Nepote’s anti-Homosexual diatribes? And now he claims that the LGB&T movement has hijacked MLK day. Really? Ludicrous at best. Yes Mr. Nepote, you are entitled to your opinion, and I to mine...

Watch out for meddlers... While Barack Obama won the state of Michigan in November, Republicans successfully invested millions of dollars in local elections to impact policy decisions. Proposal 2, designed to guarantee collective bargaining rights, was defeated by a well-financed campaign...

Christian values violated... I found a copy of your publication on the break room table at work today. I was instantly upset and ashamed that you are proudly telling the story of the two homosexual men in Traverse City...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Letters 01-28-2013

Letters Reagan, Bush & guns... Why the hysteria over President Obama recommending the ban of assault weapons since Reagan and G.W. Bush did the SAME thing?

Guns & young men... Over the past decade, some reoccurring community concerns and thoughts that have come to mind. To me, it seems like we need to have some community reevaluation, rethinking, and changes. What say you?

Guns & the media... I agreed with your Random Thoughts column, re: violence in USA and gun control. Our perceptions are so ingrained about how safe we are here and how dangerous it is in foreign countries.

Slamming MLK Day... It’s too bad that Traverse City’s homosexual community continues their attempt to ride on the coat tails of black history. The majority of the black community do not support homosexuality or gay marriage, and are sick and tired of the sham that the gays and their allies continue to perpetrate on our citizens.

Snyder’s lack of jobs... Will Governor Snyder run again?  Total Michigan employment declined by 11,000 in December; however, the number of unemployed was little changed, edging upward by 1,000. The net impact was a 10,000 worker reduction in the state’s labor force over the month.

A better supreme court... We ask Governor Snyder to give serious consideration to the recommendation of the state’s bipartisan commission on Michigan Supreme Court elections.

Rigging the vote... Gerrymandering is the redrawing of congressional district lines to give one party advantage over the other in elections. Even though Democratic congressional candidates won the popular vote by over a million votes in the 2012 election, it was the Republicans who won the US House and both houses of our Michigan legislature due in large part to gerrymandering.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Letters 1-21-2013

Letters wim death mystery... I am concerned about the drowning death of Arianna Alieto in the Northern Michigan University swimming pool after the team worked out in the pool on November 30.

Right to Work myths... So called “right to work” (RTW) laws are best understood as state government interference with privately negotiated contracts to weaken and defund unions. A real “right to work” is not at stake anywhere in the USA. Since 1947, it has been unlawful for private employers and unions to require workers to join a union to obtain a job.

The debt debate... I was sorry to read that Stephen Tuttle hasn’t figured out the dynamic underlying the deficit battle. The purpose of that fight is to impose austerity and cut federal programs in an effort to balance the budget, a program that is clearly failing in the European Union.

Stop the violence... If “your” woman hits you, call the police. FIRST! You may have one chance to avoid going to jail.  Don’t imagine that you can handle it yourself. Don’t imagine that anyone will ever listen to your side of the story if you don’t take it to the law right away.

The value of whole foods... Thank you for the whole food story featuring Dr. Mary Clifton. As a certified instructor for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Food for Life programs, I can attest to the dramatic health improvements people gain from eating real food. I’ve had students get relief from arthritis pain and step away from their meds, elimination of migraines, diabetes reversal, significant drops in blood pressure and cholesterol, and that is just a start.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Letters 01-14-2013


Ending gun violence... Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people. It’s the relationship that’s lethal. While preserving our right to own guns the following suggestions would decrease the likelihood of future gun violence and mass murders.

Our plant allies... As the song goes: “from a distance the world looks blue and green and the snow capped mountains white.” It reminds me of Michigan’s sales pitch to tourists “Pure Michigan.” From a distance it is a stunning view, but if we take a closer look there are some serious problems now and more to come.

Hair & there... Re: T.J. Tracey’s letter, 1/7: According to the line item in the December 24 My Style, one had to assume that I seek out $96 haircuts. Yikes! My haircuts at Shear Pleasure are actually $22. The $96 “hair” was my recent bi-annual splurge on a frost/shampoo/cut.

Occupy TC pitch... Remember the Brown Shirts ? (With apologies to Pastor Martin Niemoller)

First they came for the poor, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not poor.
Next they came for the immigrants, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not an immigrant.

ALEC’s bad influence... Congratulations fellow Michiganders! Our once proud state is receiving national media attention thanks to our governor and state legislature. We are evolving into a ruling oligarchy. I speak of the evils of the DeVos family, the Koch brothers, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Monday, January 7, 2013

Letters 01-07-2013


What to cut?... Time to talk deficit. Clinton left a budget surplus of over $200 billion. George Bush left a trillion dollar deficit.

Blind lawmakers... Lou Ann McKimmy decries the 182 bills passed in Michigan’s fall 2012 session in her lame duck outrage letter. Her issue seems to be there was no discussion on the bills and there was no time to read and understand them within the given time period.

Mckimmy would have credence had she wrote a similar letter after ObamaCare passed in the dead of night with no discussion and no time to read it. 

Capital idea... Yes to the three C’s (re: Rick Coates’ article on making the region a Culinary, Cultural and Craft Farming capital).

The truth about Israel... WORDS! How easy it is for them to be accepted as inflammatory, baring the view of the writer’s heart. Recent letters used the term “anti-Semitic” to describe critics of Israel, as if that gave their words weight. Being Jewish, I saw “anti-Zionist.”

Missing the mark... I couldn’t let Stephen Tuttle’s “December 26” column slip by without comment. Tuttle states: “Christmas Day is the focal point of the giving season for most of us. And the endpoint.”

Excuse me, but what is this based on?

Those wondrous women... A few hundred years ago, Edmund Spenser wrote about women: “Such wondrous forms ought rather worshipped be than dared be loved by men of mean degree.”

Had Spenser been writing in contemporary America he might have penned, “Such wondrous forms ought rather worshipped be than menaced by Republicans of mean degree."

Monday, December 31, 2012

Letters 12-31-2012


Eyewitness errors... Two recent articles, “Distracted Driving” by Rick Coates and “Wrong ID in Attempted Abduction” by Patrick Sullivan had a serious and unrecognized common theme: that we cannot trust our presumed cognitive powers.

Arrogant & distracted... I think Rick Coates will find that, just like him, tragedy must be personal before distracted drivers wake up.

Union sunset... The Tuttle/Downes columns concerning the right-to-work legislation significantly misrepresent the effect of the legislation, and provide such a slanted picture of the facts of the issue as to severely undermine the credibility of both columnists.

A Chihuahua Christmas... Spirit. Something we carry in our hearts and minds, and sometimes in our hands. Her name was Tina Maria. A little spirit. A young girl who lived and died over 30 years ago. Her spirit carried in my heart and hand on a recent holiday shopping trip.

A bustle in the hedgerow?... Really, the Led Zeppelin classic, “Stairway to Heaven” is about shopping addiction (re: Random Thoughts, “The Songs Remain the Same”).
Monday, December 24, 2012

Letters 12-24-2012

Irresponsible NRA  The NRA and its members must be in a total adrenalin rush with the murdering of 26 children and teachers along with the mother of the shooter...

The role of mental illness
I seem to have a little different take on the Newtown tragedy than most. What I notice is that on the same day, halfway around the world, a disaffected Chinese worker went to a local elementary school and stabbed 22 kids.

No such thing...
How stupid are the American public? And how disingenuous is the left-wing press? Those poor children’s bodies were still inside the school building and the freekin’ liberals were all talking about gun control.

Extremists in charge
Our Republican dominated State Legislature has passed legislation that allows religiously affiliated hospitals and physicians to deny emergency room care to anyone who is a member of a group they consider immoral.

An answer to ignorance
But what feeds that confusion is exemplified in last week’s letter by Joel Weberman, titled: “An ignorant letter.”

The concert controversy
Regarding the Veterans Day concert at First Congregational Church ... As a Christian, FCC member, and veteran, I attended the concert and commend all who participated.

Lame duck outrage
One hundred eighty-two bills were passed in Michigan’s lame duck session, many in the middle of the night with no discussion. Guns & the Constitution There were no bullets as we know them today. To fire the gun the frontiersmen had to first pour a measured load of gun powder down the barrel.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Letters Black marks for governor... "...With our educational system becoming increasingly more amputated, our infrastructure crumbling and our state losing people, I put my hope - and trust - in your insight to keep focused on what mattered and what was needed..."
The meaning of Christmas...
Keep up the videos... Defending Israel... An ignorant letter...
Monday, December 10, 2012

Letters 12-10-2012

Letters Don’t mess with Texas ... Tuttle said that “more than 100,000 people” signed a petition on the White House website. Let’s pretend that all of those people signed one time only, and that they are all, in fact, from Texas (not one of those “18 other states”). I am disappointed that you neglected to mention what 100,000 means compared to the population of Texas.
Fire alarm ... The City would contract with or join the Grand Traverse Metro Emergency Services Authority. The Traverse City Fire Department would be dissolved and all firefighters laid off.
Monday, December 3, 2012

Letters 12-03-2012

Letters Agony in Gaza "After viewing just a part of the carnage where civilians were deliberately targeted, I felt sick and angry..."  Respect other religions "...we are surprised, disappointed, and shocked. This decision did not convey Christian love and respect for others’ views..." Excuses, excuses... "We have been waiting way too long for Congressional action on the fiscal crisis..."
Monday, November 26, 2012

Letters 11-26-2012


Disapproves of model ... Tough on local biz... Protect school districts

"There are elections, and there are elections..."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Letters 11-19-2012


A horrible waste ... A dam shame ... Big money & elections ... Violence & the homeless ...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Letters 11-12-2012


#2 priority? ... Buzz-kill robo calls ... Tea party extremism ... Didn’t like cover  ...
Catholics & tax dollars ... Corrections

Monday, November 5, 2012

Letters 11-05-2012


Women's rights ... Life & death choices ... Negative attitude ...
Two Americas at stake ...
Defending worker's rights  ... Liar on the run...

Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com 

Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page).

Monday, October 29, 2012

Letters 10-29-2012


No action on climate ... Has medical know-how ... Options for Division St. ... Biomass disinformation ... Republicans & rape ... The obvious differences ... TC Chamber blues ... Stanton brings experience ... Keilitz cares ... Stephen Tuttle's Proposition Picks