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, April 6, 2015

It’s Profane and Anonymous and It’s Come to NMC

Features Patrick Sullivan There is round-the-clock, semi-secret, anonymous commentary running every day on the Northwestern Michigan College campus. The social media app Yik Yak has landed at NMC and, throughout the day, students post to a live feed about everything from sex to the weather to classes.
Monday, March 30, 2015

A Bridge and a Divide

Features Patrick Sullivan APRIL DECISION DUE Chuck Korn, Garfield Township supervisor and Hartman-Hammond’s biggest proponent of late, wants to see the Cass Road bridge project scuttled. He believes environmentalists want it built to ensure the Hartman-Hammond project never happens.
Monday, March 23, 2015


Features Patrick Sullivan Efforts for Bureau of Indian Affairs recognition have failed since the 1980s, but what’s now known as the Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians continues to work for reaffirmation. This year, with the help of former U.S. representative Bart Stupak, the Burt Lake Band (BLB) hopes to find legitimacy through the BIA or an act of Congress.
Monday, March 16, 2015

Congregation Beth El

Features Patrick Sullivan Terry Tarnow: It was built in 1885 by a group of Russian immigrants, mostly. They wanted a synagogue. They were very religious Jews. We’re not the oldest congregation. There are older congregations in the metropolitan Detroit area, but they’ve switched buildings a half a dozen times.
Monday, March 16, 2015

Licensed to Drill

Features Patrick Sullivan The stylist who cuts your hair needs a license from the state. So does the person who sells your house or gives you a massage, but that’s not the case for the trainer who leads you through rigorous workouts several times a week. In fact, Michigan has no minimum requirement for allowing someone to hang up a shingle as a personal trainer.
Monday, March 9, 2015

Michigan’s Craft Beer Explosion Leads To New University Programs

Features Patrick Sullivan This boom means something exciting where career paths are concerned: more people are needed to brew beer. Previously, would-be brewers in the Midwest were limited to opportunities at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas in Madison, Wisconsin.
Monday, March 2, 2015

National Treasures

Features Patrick Sullivan The renovation of an Earl Young home on a block filled with the celebrated mushroom houses has people talking in Charleviox. The once low-slung home now rises over the Park Avenue block. A modern addition is sandwiched between Young’s original first floor stone walls and a fantastical, flowing roof that’s being hand woven by a Scottish thatcher.
Monday, February 23, 2015

Inside Northern Michigan’s Chef-Making Machine

Features Patrick Sullivan “That whole system was kind of outmoded,” Laughlin said. “I think in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, more things were processed. The trend was — with a lot of restaurants, except your very high-end ones — that you had a kitchen manager that scheduled lowskilled line cooks that were basically preparing almost prepackaged stuff, heating things up.
Monday, February 16, 2015

Still Pure Michigan

Features Patrick Sullivan The East Lansing native assumed brand leadership of Pure Michigan on Dec. 1, following a 15- year career teaching at Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Philadelphia and serving as vice president of marketing for the Pocono Mountains Visitor Bureau.
Monday, February 9, 2015

Are You Kidding?

Features Patrick Sullivan Local improv group Good On Paper offers workshops in on-the-spot performance and two standup comedy promoters, Falling Down Stairs and Rotten Cherries, run open mic nights that give would-be wags a chance to test their stuff. Now, locals can watch comics take to the stages around town several nights each month.
Monday, February 9, 2015

Discomfort in the Spotlight

Features Patrick Sullivan Fisher: I’m a dock installer. I have not been in trouble in 20 years. I do my job. I go home every night. I raise my son by myself. My ex-wife, we raised one 50-50; I raised one all by myself. He turned out to be a great kid. Graduated high school. He’s now playing junior hockey.
Monday, February 2, 2015

Should You Join?

Features Patrick Sullivan Peace Corps volunteers come from all walks of life. Some of them enter the organization straight out of college, while others celebrate their 70th birthdays on their first assignment. What is typical, however, is the belief that the experience enriched and changed their lives forever.
Monday, January 26, 2015

On Shaky Ground

Features Patrick Sullivan This decision may force cardholders to obtain their supply from a registered caregiver — limited to serving five patients — which opponents of the decision say would be logistically difficult or impossible for many people seeking marijuana to treat serious illness.
Monday, January 19, 2015

Summer of Detentions

Features Patrick Sullivan “Can I swear it in front of a judge? Well, I can swear that that’s what I was told,” Dziekan said. “From what witnesses have told me, in most cases, people were stopped by immigration just because they looked Hispanic and then, when they were found not to have valid identification, then they were taken,” he said.
Monday, January 5, 2015

Northern Michigan’s Most Wanted

Features Patrick Sullivan Next, the team comes up with a plan for the day. This might mean setting up surveillance at a home or business. Maybe they’ve discovered a disgruntled family member who is ready to talk. Often, fugitives will make it easy for the police who are hunting them.