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 3, 2014

MDOT, Others Gamble on Casino Train

Passenger trains could rumble through Traverse City for short hauls

Features Patrick Sullivan “Each map, at each forum, included connecting Traverse City to a southern part of the state in some fashion,” the report said. “The southern connection points varied between Grand Rapids and the Ann Arbor area depending on where the forum was held.”.
Monday, January 27, 2014

Ripped From the Headlines

Former Kalkaska prosecutor looks back at a domestic violence murder case

Features Patrick Sullivan It came on the heels of another famous Michigan case that involved a woman who killed her abusive husband by setting him on fire. That one spawned a nonfiction book that went on to become the 1984 hit made-for- TV movie “Burning Bed,” starring Farrah Fawcett.
Monday, January 20, 2014

The Revolution is Already Happening

A decade of online auto sales has changed the relationship between the dealer and the customer

Features Patrick Sullivan “I think that the dealerships that are on high-cost, highvalue retail space, at the corners of large intersections, and main drags, will become less and less important,” Marsh said. “You’re already seeing dealerships downsizing the size of their lots and their inventory.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Out of the Chair, Into the Gym

Employers finding ways to get the reluctant active

Features Patrick Sullivan “You can just have somebody telling you what you need to do and you don’t have to think about it,” she said. “Somebody said to me yesterday, ‘I love the classes, because if it was just a gym, I would never go.’ And it’s so true, because you have somebody there to keep you accountable.
Monday, January 6, 2014

Public Safety


Features Patrick Sullivan When Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s deputies investigated the tenant, Anthony Vernon Bucco, 29, they learned his girlfriend had become suspicious on the day of the burglary when Bucco appeared with four or fi ve hundred-dollar bills “and began to make it rain on her.
Monday, January 6, 2014

A Year of Wrenching Crime

Tough first year for a young prosecutor

Features Patrick Sullivan Swanson and investigators depended on witnesses who were criminals or the associates of criminals to sort out what happened and bring charges. The case would eventually end in a no-contest plea and the defendant is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.
Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Renewable Future

A conversation with energetic Skip Pruss

Features Patrick Sullivan Stanley “Skip” Pruss is an advocate of renewable energy with an impressive résumé -- he served as director of the Department of Environmental Quality under Gov. Granholm.
Monday, December 23, 2013

A Cold Blast From the Past

December, so far, has looked more like an old fashioned winter

Features Patrick Sullivan Extraordinarily cold, in fact. “This cold, this early and this long -- I’d have to say is a pretty big story,” said Scott Rozanski, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Gaylord. “It’s pretty cold. ... Had you moved up here five years ago and you’d lived up here for the last five years, you’d say, ‘I’ve never seen it like this.
Monday, December 16, 2013

Motocross Showdown in Indian River

Opponents propose an alternative track

Features Patrick Sullivan “What I would like to say is, we finally have our hearing, there was a lot of work that’s gone into our proposal, and we’re hoping to present it on the eighth of January,” Hall said. “Come to the meeting on Jan. 8 with an open mind and listen to what’s proposed.
Monday, December 9, 2013

Goodbye, Tattoo

Improved lasers zap tats that have outlived their welcome

Features Patrick Sullivan Middleton said the biggest issue she raises with potential clients is that they need to keep their expectations in check. There are many variables that go into how difficult it will be to remove a tattoo and they are not always evident on the first office visit.
Monday, December 2, 2013

Unsafe at 4 Miles per Hour?

DUI scooter charges thrown out of court

Features Patrick Sullivan After he reached Save-A-Lot, something happened and Lyon was asked to leave. He believes there is someone at Save-A-Lot who doesn’t like him and that person called the cops on him. Clark acknowledged in court that Lyon caused a disturbance at the store.
Monday, November 25, 2013

House of Abuse

Investigators say adopted boys lived under hellish conditions

Features Patrick Sullivan “For punishment the children were required to eat a bowl of ‘mush,’ consisting of corn, peas, and vinegar,” an investigator wrote. “When the children vomited into the bowl of mush, they were then required to eat the vomit mixture as further punishment.
Monday, November 18, 2013

Court Tester

Why did Ryan Gubbins throw his business (and maybe his freedom) away?

Features Patrick Sullivan At first, when people at the court learned that the woman, who had pled guilty to impaired driving in 2011, had missed daily PBTs, they didn’t suspect wrongdoing on Gubbins’ part, according to testimony and court filings.
Monday, November 11, 2013

Fatbike Faceoff

Skiers hope to head off a conflict over trail use

Features Patrick Sullivan “We did not build a groomed trail for mountain bikes,” said Lombard, who still skis every day each winter. “Mountain bikes are welcome there six months a year, but in my opinion, they are not welcome when we’re grooming the trail.”
Monday, November 4, 2013

Tales of Miss Fortune

Features Patrick Sullivan She followed the case against him and his subsequent flight from the state to a level that got Hunter’s attention -- he became a disgruntled commenter on her blog while he was on the run. She said he threatened her in an effort to get her to stop writing about him.