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, May 11, 2015

Letters 05-11-2015


Religious Freedom Challenge Stephen Tuttle wrote (May 4) concerning state “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” (RFRAs) in his “Not Actually Legislating” column: “It is repugnant overreaction to a social change some people are unable to accept. Apparently their strongly held religious belief is they don’t like ‘gay’ people.”

A New Marriage Definition In regards to the gay marriage debate, as an American citizen and as a gay man, I do not support any declaration that defines marriage.

Let Cars Park Downtown Downtown TC merchants and property owners...where are your voices?

Takeaways From The GT Board All the dynamics we are seeing at the GT County Board level are due to years of pentup frustration with past county boards not following a specific results-based budgetary (RBB) process.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Letters 05-04-2015


I Love The Eighth Street Changes I read the letter in the 4/13 paper about not liking the Eighth Street changes, and it spurred me to let you know that I do like the Eighth Street changes, as do many of my neighboring residents.

Michigan Taxes Equal Uncompetitive State Michigan has been losing population. According to the eighth edition of the “Rich States, Poor States” report released by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), states with low taxes have been gaining population.

“Déjà Vu, All Over Again!” Sometimes that Yogi Berra quote is pitch perfect.  Back in 1993, Michigan’s roads were falling apart. Governor Engler refused to raise motor fuel taxes -- he issued bonds instead and kicked that problem down the road.

No To Fracking I would like to respond to the article in the Apr 27th issue regarding fracking.

Find Something Better Our politicians in Lansing love to talk about “no more taxes.” I agree that they seem to be against any new taxes on the very wealthy and businesses, but seem to have no problem increasing taxes on the poor and the middle class.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Letters 04-27-2015


Benishek’s Costly Tax Representative Dan Benishek announced in his latest bulletin a vote to repeal the “Death Tax.”

Unsafe In The Lanes As I drive a lot each workday, it is common to see a car carrier truck setting in the center turn lane in front of Fox Motors on US-31. The drivers unload cars for the dealerships along the road.

Message From Mother Earth At over 4 billion years old, I’ve been feeling my age. My lungs hurt, probably due to destruction of my forests, which act as my lungs. Why are you doing this?

Benishek And Income Disparity  I wrote a letter to Rep. Dan Benishek regarding economics and middle-class income stagnation and asked, “What are you going to do about this inequality that is stymying the general welfare of our citizens?”

The Value Of Unions As a retired, 40-year member of Sheet Metal Workers 80, a building trades union, I truly appreciated Stephen Tuttle’s “How Ironic” column.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Real Estate {Power} Brokers

Features “I’ve been selling real estate for 42 years. 4000 properties and 65,000 showings. I joke that I might not know where you live, but I’ve probably been in your house.”.
Monday, April 27, 2015

Holly Hack, A Woman’s Voice

Features Holly Hack, broker-owner of Traverse Citybased EXIT Realty Paramount, was invited to participate in the realtors’ roundtable, but a scheduling conflict kept her away. Still, we wondered about her perspective on real estate growth and life as a woman owner.
Monday, April 20, 2015

Letters 04-20-2015


Time For Hartman/Hammond  Long term planning would have coincided the timing of downing the Cass St/Keystone Bridge in TC and the construction of a Hartman/ Hammond Bridge. Such a planned roadway would have met everyone’s needs.

No more Apologies In view of the senseless, brutal murder of an unarmed black man in South Carolina last week by a police officer following a traffic stop for a broken taillight, we must revisit Thomas Kachadurian’s recent column.

What Is Your Experience To Lead? I listened to Marco Rubio’s announcement of his running for the presidency. Many have admired his speech. He said a lot of the right things

Outsourcing NMC Faculty  “Outsourcing” the vast majority of NMC faculty? Do I hear the sound of NMC’s reputation sucked down the drain to save money? Really?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Two Shows for Spring

Music Husband and wife duo Andy and Julianna Wilson lead the quartet known as The Springtails, an eclectic collective from Lansing, Michigan that blends the pair’s vocal and instrumental skills with sometime-bandmates Louis Rudner on double bass and Bob Bryan on percussion.
Monday, April 13, 2015

Letters 04-13-2015


Perplexing Eighth Street Changes I’m writing to you about the way 8th Street in Traverse City is organized. I commute on 8th Street daily like hundreds of others.

115 Years of Injustice Investigative reporter Pat Sullivan’s March 23 article “BURNOUT” exposed for the first time to many northern Michigan residents the 115-year-old tragedy that took place at Burt Lake in October of 1900.

Kicking The Prop 1 Can “Proposal 1 consists of only 100 words, but if approved by voters on May 5, it would trigger into law thousands of other words in 10 bills passed by the state legislature in December.”

Expose The Republican Playbook There was much angst among Democratic Party loyalists after the November election about their failure to convey a strong populist message.

Unions Are Essential Thanks to Stephen Tuttle for pointing out in his recent column how we have had trade apprenticeships for decades throughout Michigan and other states.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Letters 04-06-15


Vote On The Boardman The talk about restoring the Boardman River to its natural, free flowing state resurfaces.

Stop Sanctioned Discrimination I woke up this morning from a bad dream that in my country, in the year 2015, the State of Indiana signed into law government sanctioned discrimination against someone’s sexual orientation.

Oppose Health Care Cuts Governor Snyder’s 2016 budget proposal eliminates graduate medical education, cuts $36 million from small and rural hospitals and $11 million from rural hospitals that provide obstetrical care.

No To Sales Tax Jump Were being asked to approve a one cent increase in the sales tax for the purpose of fixing our roads. But wait, one cent is a 16 percent increase that’s tough on the poor and middle class.

Vote No Why are businesses getting huge tax cuts while other programs are being slashed?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Letters 03-30-2015


Bigotry Determined Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “bigot” as “a person who holds blindly and intolerantly to a particular creed, opinion, etc.” and “bigotry” as “the behavior, attitude, or beliefs of a bigot.”

Police State Thomas Kachadurian’s column might get the facts right but misses the story.

Oppose The Shell Game Is this a Shell Game? As a Democrat, I support increased taxes on motor fuels and vehicles to provide funding for our transportation infrastructure.

Sugars On The Way Senator Patrick Colbeck from Canton introduced a bill and the Senate passed it allowing schools and Girl & Boy Scout troops to have up to 3 bake sales per week.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Road Trip: The U.P.

Features From the top of the tannin brown Tahquamenon Falls to the dark depths of a copper mine, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has its own quirky sights, traditional foods and plenty of backcountry beauty. Head up to visit the Yoopers and you’ll find a whole lot of rustic adventure.
Monday, March 30, 2015

Road Trip: Michigan’s Sunrise Side

Features Across the state from northwest Lower Michigan and its legendary sunsets lies the other side of the mitten. Often called The Sunrise Side or The Sunrise Coast, this region from Rogers City to Au Gres offers outdoor recreation opportunities that make for a whole new Up North perspective.
Monday, March 30, 2015

8 Steps to Turn Your Home Into A Spa

Features word spa conjures images of ultimate relaxation, cleansing and renewal. Whether part of a fulllength vacation or just a day off, spas offer ways to detach from our stress-filled daily routines. However, a full spa experience can be expensive, making it difficult to incorporate if you’ve chosen a budgetfriendly staycation.
Monday, March 23, 2015

Letters 03-23-2015


Fresh & Unbiased I have always enjoyed reading the Northern Express to discover all the cool things happening in our region. However, as the time went by, the level of left wing bias became more evident.

Racism Continues Even before the United States was an official nation, we were a country that practiced slavery. We are a country of slavery for more years than we have been not.

Rich Get Richer The other morning NPR said that GM had so much money the board of directors bought back $5 billion in stock.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Letters 03-16-2015


Change Slow In Michigan Our great state of Michigan abolished the death penalty way back in 1846, but it took until 1917 until we gave our female citizens of Michigan the right to vote.

Action Now On Climate 74 percent of Americans, including half of Republicans, now support government action to address climate change, according to a recent poll conducted by Stanford University, a nonpartisan research group, and The New York Times.

Views Of Middle East After events such as the Netanyahu address to Congress, I appreciate the follow-up by professional columnists and local letter writers. So here is a little more “grist for the mill.”

What If I’ve got to agree with [Express columnist] Grant Parsons on the Jared Ottenwess situation. Could it have been salvaged?