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..

Home · Articles · By

Top Articles from
No articles in this section
Monday, January 16, 2012

Letters 1-16-2012


Saved by Obamacare

Over 60,000 Michigan young adults 26 and under are now back on their parents’ family coverage thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act. This fall, Governor Snyder sought to exempt Michigan insurance companies from the Obamacare requirement that they spend at least 80 percent of the premiums collected on healthcare. Michigan was one of only 13 states seeking such an exemption.

The Obama administration fortunately denied Snyder’s request and an estimated 340,000 Michiganders will now be getting $89 million rebated from their insurance providers. Snyder argued that some private insurers (United Health, Assurant, Humana and American Enterprise) couldn’t survive on just 20 percent of your premiums for administrative costs (overhead and profit). Michigan actually asked that these insurers be approved to rake off 35 percent of your healthcare dollar...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Letters 1-09-2012


H2S poses problems

A little after midnight on Christmas Eve morning, a valve failure at the Beaver Creek gas injection well in Crawford County owned by BreitBurn Energy Partners sent a plume of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas across Northern Michigan. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is deadly and often compared with cyanide. It is detected by a rotten egg smell. Higher levels of H2S destroy olfactory senses and can cause coma and death.

Luckily, when sensors at the Beaver Creek injection well site detected a blown needle valve, the H2S being injected into the well was shut down automatically. But sensors did not shut the injection well boreout, and H2S gas spewed back up from the injection well though a 1⁄4 inch hole...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Letters 01/02/2012


Services beyond abortion

Thanks to Claire Scerbak for her perspective on utilizing tax payer money for education and family services. I have utilized services at Planned Parenthood and all the services I have benefitted from included education and family services.

My spouse and I received our HIV education in order to get our marriage license there. I got my reproductive health care, including birth control and care and follow up when I was diagnosed with precancerous lesions...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Letters 12/19/2011


Beware mailings

I just got another one of these political mailers from some Washington, D.C.-based group I have never heard of trying (and failing) to convince me that Congressman Dan Benishek is somehow saving my Medicare.

Hogwash. Last year, then-candidate Dan Benishek said on many occasions that he wants to end Medicare and Social Security. And the first thing he did when he went to congress was to just that. Rep. Benishek voted to end Medicare and force seniors to pay $6,400 of their own money to buy private healthcare while at the same time giving even more tax breaks to the super wealthy.

So it’s clear that this mailer is flat-out misleading people into believe the opposite...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Letters 12/12/2011


Where our money goes

There was once a frequent public service announcement on the radio, asking parents, “Do you know where your children are?” With cell phones, that is far less of a concern now. It’s time to change the announcement to “Do you know where your money, personal and taxes, has gone?” Walking away from a cashier, we don’t think twice about our spending and the consequences.

Your taxes buy death as do many of your purchases. Your taxes buy inhumanity to others, degradation, starvation, and worse...

Monday, December 5, 2011



Fracking dangerous

T. Boone Pickens and Big Oil and Coal are working overtime and spending millions of dollars on advertising to convince us that natural gas is the best thing to happen to Michigan since fudge. But if unconventional slick-water fracturing (fracking) is so great, why does it need all the exemptions from law? Fracking is exempt from...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Letters 11/28/2011


Exposing duplicity

Northern Express’s fracking article portraying Don’t Frack Michigan’s JoAnne Beemon, both protesting and part of the press conference supporting the bills, exposes the duplicity of this group.

One may have the impression that Ms. Beemon of Don’t Frack Michigan (DFM) was there to protest the bills. That would be mistaken. Ms. Beemon was there to show support for the bills with DFM’s sign as a part of the press conference. After Rep. Mark Meadows’ team asked her to take it down as to not confuse the message, she did so...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Letters 11/21/2011


Buy ‘Made in USA’

I love buying products made in the U.S.A. In a second-hand store the other day, I realized my generation missed out on the good feeling of holding something of great quality, turning it over, and seeing, “Made in U.S.A.”

But there is a brilliant and bold loophole, second-hand stores. They are proliferating here in Traverse City! Brilliant because it is more cost effective to buy quality used products. Bold because buying something made 50 years ago in the U.S.A., that still works better than something made at present, in country X, or shall I just say it, China, is a bold statement in itself...

Monday, November 14, 2011



Welfare for the rich

One often sees in the media signs by the Tea Party calling Obama a socialist. Our socialistic policies began with the New Deal with its subsidies during bad economic times. Since then our economy has improved, but the subsidies continue to this day. For example, every $1 of profits earned by corn sweeteners costs consumers $10, and every $1 of profits earned by its ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30.

In 2011 the Tea Party was the reform party. Earmarks were blocked in the 2011 budget because the Tea Party insisted upon it. There is an Office of Congressional Ethics, the only independent watchdog ensuring that members live up to ethical rules because the Tea Party insisted upon it...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Letters 10/31/2011


Vote YES on Proposal 1

My son came home for Thanksgiving this year and asked to sit down with my wife and me. He had an important decision to share with us. Christopher is a 29-year-old practicing attorney in Milwaukee. “I’m going to join the Army if the congress rescinds the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law.”

Chris has always wanted to serve his country but could not enlist 10 years ago because he was honest with the Army recruiter. Chris is gay. The armed forces no longer discriminate against gay soldiers. Chris just finished his basic training and Officer Candidate School (OCS) after training for 20 weeks in the hot Georgia sun. He is one of the first openly gay officers in the US Army (2nd Lieutenant). Chris’ unit is slated to depart for Afghanistan in January 2013...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Letters 10/24/2011


The 99%

As the 99% of citizens who are not millionaire/billionaires we have, and still do, bail out bankers to the tune of billions. We bail out private corporations. We give billions in welfare payments to farmers and the corporate billionaires who run corporate farms. We give billions to Israel, billions to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 1% of the richest Americans pay less that half in taxes that we 99% do as a percentage of income. We give away billions to insurance companies and executives, we give billions to drug manufactures, doctors, and hospitals. We give billions to Wall Street bankers...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Letters 10/17/2011

Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. Letters may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification. Faxed letters are not accepted.
Monday, October 10, 2011

Letters 10/10/2011


Science & vaccines

I am writing this in response to Heidi Kistler’s letter “Chose not to vaccinate.” While I wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Kistler’s views on freedom of choice and the importance of personal research, her logic train derails before it even has a chance to leave the station.

What she calls “fear-based rhetoric” is actually science-based medicine and it is responsible for the high quality of life we enjoy in modern western civilization. The number of ways modern medicine has benefited humanity is rivaled only by the number of logical fallacies in her argument...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Letters 10/03/2011


Different strokes...

I read Teresa Baker’s letter to the editor regarding your “My Style” column (Letters, 9/12). I applaud the editor’s comments about fashion creating millions of jobs and how it colors our world. I have a few comments to add.

Teresa, I’m sorry that you have such a problem with what some people will pay for an outfit. I have to say that I can only agree with you if we knew that these people were walking around in $400+ outfits while their children were unfed and their bills unpaid. But, for the sake of your comments and mine we don’t know that. Just like any reality TV show the “My Style” column is a voyeuristic look into other people’s lives and was created solely for entertainment purposes. If you weren’t so entertained you wouldn’t look at it every week.

I have a couple of questions for you...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Letters 09/26/2011


Call of the Wind

One sunlit and breezy summer day I had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand the beauty of what a wind farm could be.

Just off 115, south of Cadillac across rolling farmland not so unlike our own Benzie County, windmills stand in exquisite harmony with their surroundings. As I watched those marvels hard at their work it became clearer than ever; these are not things to fear or dread, for as in many manmade creations there is a gentle and artistic grace to them...