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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Stephen Tuttle

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ballot Questions To Question

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle If you live in Traverse City, or outside the city but in Grand Traverse County, you will be making choices beyond candidates on November 8. There are three ballot proposals for the voters inside the city limits and an additional two millage questions for all county residents.
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Interesting Election

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle We have a county commissioner race in which a Green Party candidate is likely to garner more votes than any Green Party candidate in memory. We have odd legislative races in which candidates from one district are ubiquitous, and candidates from the other are nearly invisible.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Our Money

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle The national debt is rapidly approaching a staggering $20 trillion. For those of you who enjoy zeroes, that would be $20,000,000,000,000. That’s our cumulative debt, the annual deficits stacked one atop the other until they’ve made a really big pile..
Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Trump Presidency

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle He will round up and deport all 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States. Or he will round up and deport everybody but children. Or he will round up everybody but children and their law-abiding parents. Or he will identify, round up and deport all the criminal illegal immigrants.
Saturday, September 24, 2016

If We Build Them...

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle The study by the University of Pennsylvania was especially salient since researches looked at smaller communities, too. They compared increased road capacity — new roads and the widening of existing roads — with traffic patterns and congestion. They discovered that traffic almost always increas es.
Saturday, September 17, 2016

Speaking Of Speech And Forgetting The Unforgettable

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Colin Kaepernick, the back-up quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers National Football League (NFL) team, has created a bit of a brushfire by refusing to stand when the national anthem is played prior to games. He says he’s protesting police violence against minorities. Several NFL players and other athletes have joined him.
Saturday, September 10, 2016

Rising Tides

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle That sea levels are rising does not seem to be in dispute. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we’ve experienced an 8- to 10-inch sea-level rise in the last century, but the rate of rise is now increasing rapidly..
Saturday, September 3, 2016

Land Deals And School Buses: Proceed With Caution

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle The basis of this is a “housing target market analysis” LandUseUSA completed in 2014 for Networks Northwest, an organization representing 10 counties in the northwestern lower peninsula. (It used to be called the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.
Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Fraud Of Voter Fraud

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Donald Trump says if he loses in Ohio or Pennsylvania, both of which voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, it will be because of “rigged” voting. That makes him the first presidential candidate in memory, and maybe ever, making excuses for a loss months before the election takes place.
Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Bug And The Elephant

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle His father, James, was mayor of Traverse City and a state senator. His mother, Hildegarde, became the first woman in the city to hold elective office when she was elected to the school board. The couple had a rather large downtown department store that locals seemed to like.
Saturday, August 13, 2016

County Woes And City Votes

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Its leaders continue the sad journey of trying to solve its budget woes on the backs of current employees. The latest indignity will increase employees’ share of their health insurance costs by more than 300 percent in January. That’s a pretty significant economic hit for deficits they had no part in creating.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Least Candidate

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle When Stephanopolis pointed out that Putin had, in fact, already gone into Ukraine and occupied the Crimean Peninsula, Trump made a dazzlingly fast pivot. He said it was weak leadership, NATO and President Obama who were to blame for the action he just said would never happen.
Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Saddest Conventioneer

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle It gave us some interesting television. Now it gives us an hour or so of prime time boredom and nothing more entertaining than plagiarism. We don’t even get coverage of the arcane business of creating a party platform, a process akin to sausage making. Of course, the platform will be largely ignored before being forgotten entirely.
Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Most Obvious Fact

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle According to the Department of Justice, minorities are arrested more often than whites for similar offenses, are more likely than whites to be denied bail for similar offenses, are less likely than whites to receive favorable plea bargains for...
Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Tale Of Ten Stories

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle We arrived at this seeming obsession with the need for 10-story structures in two ways: First, a two-decade old master plan calls for buildings up to 95 feet in certain areas with a special use permit.