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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Saturday, July 25, 2015


The path a movie takes from film to Film Fest

Features UNOFFICIAL SUBMISSIONS “Most film festivals post a submission period where anyone can submit their films. There’s a form and a fee, and then the festival watches the film and gets back to you with feedback and whether or not it will get into the festival.
Friday, July 17, 2015

Letters 07-18-2015


Real Facts About Affordable Housing “The standard definition for affordability is that households should pay no more than 30% of their income for housing, including utilities.” Source: U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development...

Thanks To BATA I would just like to express my gratitude to BATA and the National Cherry Festival for providing the free shuttle bus to the visitors center from NMC and Thirlby Field. If not for this service my wife would have not been able to attend any of the concerts due to health issues. We managed to make it to all but one. Three generations of our family were represented at the Joan Jett concert and we had an awesome time...

Heritage, Not Hate A few weeks ago, a crazy white boy killed some black folks and suddenly the Confederate Battle flag must be removed from everywhere. That flag is a symbol of historical heritage, not a symbol of hate. Karl Marx once said, “If you can cut people off from their history they can be easily persuaded.”

Housing Problem Is Real Contrary to columnist Thomas Kachadurian’s belief, affordable housing is not identical to low-income, federally subsidized housing. The latter was directed to inner-city populations of poor, disabled, and elderly Americans. The former targets primarily younger workers and families, particularly service workers and others whose contributions to local economies are necessary to its functioning...

Friday, July 17, 2015

Catching Up with Local Filmmakers

Features ON GETTING STARTED: Crouse has been broadcasting since he was 16, when he co-hosted a weekend radio program in his hometown of Lima, Ohio. “Then, in 1987, when I was 35, I had a chance encounter in NYC with Norman Vincent Peale,” Crouse said. “He was at the end of his career and spoke a sermon at the church he’d preached at for 52 years.
Friday, July 10, 2015

Letters 07-13-2015

Letters Support Benzie Jail On August 4 the residents in Benzie County will be asked to vote on a millage renewal of .9000 for six years to fund the Benzie County Jail...

Fair, Smart, Sustainable & Affordable Let’s agree for a moment with Thomas Kachadurian (Words of Warning, July 6) that terms such as ‘fairness,’ ‘smart,’ ‘sustainable’ and now ‘affordable’ resurrect “old ideas that have been tried and failed.” To be sure, whether it’s healthcare, child care, elder care, education or housing, what we have is a system that fails to deliver basic human needs at an affordable cost to a widening number of citizens...

Science, God and Love In response to “Faith in Politics” June 29, the spiritualization of thought transcends a building, a religion, race, culture, gender. Love is the “universal solvent.” It is the natural spirit within humanity. This “voice” of love cannot be silenced by yet another bigoted group fussing about rubbing elbows with people not of their “belief.”

America the Good Stephen Tuttle’s indictment of America shows his true colors, so to speak. “Flag-waving patriotism?” I suppose he thinks burning it is the thing to do. His liberal buddies sure do. Indians were mistreated and still are? Oh please. Would Tuttle rather be a serf on some European noble’s estate...

War Machines For Family Entertainment Does no one in the Traverse City Commission or National Cherry Festival see the warmongering and pollution spewing caused by military demonstration teams so called Thunderbirds and Blue Angels? They are instruments of war...

Friday, July 10, 2015

Jim Gillespie

A Beatnik’s Love Affair with Blissfest


For folk music fans looking to tour the past, a must-stop on the northern Michigan scene is 421 Howard Street in downtown Petoskey.

Today, that address houses the Julienne Tomatoes cafe, where you can snag a great sandwich. But back in the mid-’80s, it was the Spectrum Center artist collective and coffeehouse — where Blissfest was born. It’s also where Bliss Executive Director and festival guru found his calling.

Gillespie and his crew wrapped up another successful Blissfest this past weekend, the event’s 35th happening. We talked to him about how the whole thing began.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Letters 07-06-2015


Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...

Friday, July 3, 2015

Presidential Pie, The Original World Record?

Features A newspaper explained, “The two men reported that they were held up in Canada by a police officer for traveling at high speed, but they were permitted to proceed when they explained their mission and urged consideration of international comity.”.
Monday, June 29, 2015

Top Cherries

Features Only five people have been served as executive directors of the National Cherry Festival since its beginnings 89 years ago. It’s a job that comes with parades and smiles and crowds – but also with lots of logistics and high expectations.
Saturday, June 27, 2015

Letters 06-29-2015


The Truth Within Cartoons  Thank you, Northern Express, for printing the current cartoons by both Jen Sorensen and Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling!

Faith and Politics: A Recipe for Disaster Government, religion, and ultra conservative politics is an alliance that if it stays the present course will be the demise of our great republic.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Letters 06-20-2015

Letters Benishek Hurting Medicare, Workers

I see today, 6-12-15 that Dan Benishek just voted to cut Medicare. Medicare is not a slush fund, and it is not an entitlement. Medicare is insurance that working Americans pay for with every hour that they labor...

Celebrate Your Environmentalist

Environmentalists get a bad rap. I’ve heard us called “hippies, libtards, wackos, tree huggers, un-American” and the rest. The environmentalists I know are caring people. We care about our children, our grandchildren, and future generations...

Reexamine Military Recruiting

Thanks Christine Minervini for a well-researched column on military recruiting in our schools. Indeed, the fact that the No Child Left Behind Act requires public high schools to open their campuses and student records to military recruiters or risk losing federal funds points out how militarized our society has become...

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Letters 06-15-2015


Military In Schools Regarding Christine Minervini’s column, I have an issue with the idea that the military is a bad influence in our schools. What world do you live in

Pristine Freshwater Is Ours Seeing the “Acme Debate Rages” convinced me to grab a copy to take home to read in the privacy of my Williamsburg rental.

Diversity And Soccer Thomas Kachadurian’s “Sunday in the Park” seems to be trying to delineate contrasts between the well-groomed and financed Traverse City Little Leaguers and soccerplaying “migrant workers” who both use Bowers Harbor Park’s fields.

It’s All About The Water The Great Lakes are not a renewable resource. They are the product of glacial melt over 10,000 years ago.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Letters 06-08-2015


The Truth In Acme I write in response to your article “ Meijer Appears In Acme but the Fight Rages On,” which reported on the fact that this massive development adjacent to a designated cold water trout stream was fined $40,000 by the DEQ for the pollution to the stream and East Bay due to clay and nutrient runoff after several storms last fall.

Don’t Destroy Leelanau’s Beaches  Many Grand Traverse area residents enjoy traveling up the Leelanau Peninsula to enjoy the orchards, wineries and beaches.

Ignorance, Stupidity & Racism Jack Dancer’s letter of May 25 stating his view that people of color do not like Traverse City because they don’t like or tolerate the cold is significantly the most ignorant and racist remark I can recall reading in a northern Michigan publication.

Offensive Letter Vs. Real Truths In the May 25th issue letter “Cold Paradise,” the author proposed that northern Michigan is full of diversity, which in his mind consists of white northern Europeans the author’s conclusion was that there are no African Americans because of the cold climate.

My Pipeline Solution Reading Mr. Tuttle’s article about the aging pipeline infrastructure in the United States and what that means for getting natural gas delivered to our homes and oil delivered to refineries so I can fuel my car, tractor and lawn mower, I was struck by the difficulty in finding a reasonable solution.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Letters 06-01-2015


Truth About Inner City Violence It’s quite amazing how far off the mark someone like Stephen Tuttle can travel simply by ignoring all the elephants in the room.

Cold Not To Blame Regarding the opinion letter that we are not diversified in northern Michigan because of cold weather, here are the average highs and lows of each city from December through February: Traverse City December 32 and 15, January 27 and 14, February 30 and 14 Detroit December 35 and 21, January 31 and 19, February 32 and 18 Doesn’t hold much weight with me as a reason that African Americans do not feel at home “up north.”

Brainless Response, Provocative Article The May 25th editorial response by reader Jack Dancer couldn’t be more off the mark. He states that the reason there are not more African-Americans living in Traverse City is because it’s too cold?

Not So Black And White The article “Why...so white?” in a recent issue is a very simplistic approach to considering the notion of diversity in our region.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Letters 05-25-2015


Michigan’s Depleted Funds So now we know why the Michigan legislators wanted to rush Proposal 1 down our throats.

Legality of Marriage & Divorce An article in the May 25th issue of Time reveals that: “We now have reached a point where fewer than half of kids leaving high school will have their parents living together.”

Cold Paradise Your May 18 cover story “Why is Northern Michigan So White?” is preposterous. For starters, we have plenty of diversity in this region: German, Polish, Swedish, Lithuanian, Norwegian, French Canadian, etc. – all groups that flourish in colder, harsh winter climates.

Unpave Those Roads Michigan legislators recently put before the people a proposal to increase tax to increase funds to the DOT and road commissions across the state for road repairs. The proposal failed by a significant margin.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Letters 05-18-2015


Will History Repeat Itself? What large patterns or trends can guide our ideas about the next century? We can look at the history of Easter Island as a warning about the dangers of a future crisis.

Applauding Michigan’s Renewable Standards Recently, state legislators introduced dueling initiatives that would impact the state’s existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) expiring at the end of the year very differently.