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..

Topic: because
Monday, September 19, 2011

Horizon Books

50 Years of Anchoring Traverse City

Features Rick Coates “Considering we host more than 1,000 events a year, most people might not even realize we are having a special celebration going on,” said Amy Reynolds, who coowns the store with her husband, Vic Herman. “The balloons might tip them off and we will have more events going on than we typically do in a given day.
Monday, December 12, 2011


Features Patrick Sullivan Two members of Don’t Frack Michigan – including one who was a board member and in charge of the group’s website – resigned in protest after other members of the group endorsed House Bills 5151 and 5150, legislation that among other things calls for a moratorium while the state conducts studies about the natural gas drilling process.
Monday, December 19, 2011

Letters 12/19/2011


Beware mailings

I just got another one of these political mailers from some Washington, D.C.-based group I have never heard of trying (and failing) to convince me that Congressman Dan Benishek is somehow saving my Medicare.

Hogwash. Last year, then-candidate Dan Benishek said on many occasions that he wants to end Medicare and Social Security. And the first thing he did when he went to congress was to just that. Rep. Benishek voted to end Medicare and force seniors to pay $6,400 of their own money to buy private healthcare while at the same time giving even more tax breaks to the super wealthy.

So it’s clear that this mailer is flat-out misleading people into believe the opposite...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Keep It Moving

Features Michael Moore These are excerpts from a talk Michael Moore gave to Occupy Traverse City at the group's Dec. 22 general assembly meeting held in the basement of Horizon Books on Front Street. The speech was transcribed and abridged by Patrick Sullivan.
Monday, July 29, 2013

KickStarting Success

Local filmmaker feels the love in crowdfunding trend

Features Erin Crowell There’s strength in numbers. That’s the belief behind the money-raising phenomenon known as crowd-funding, an online campaign for artists, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. Websites like IndieGoGo, KickStarter and Razoo allow people to translate their faith in a mission, project or business idea into actual dollars.
Monday, December 9, 2013

Letters 12-09-13

Letters Think before you donate

As a frequent shopper at the Women’s Resource Center, Goodwill, etc., I am often irritated at the deliberate bad choices in donations. If an item you wan to donate doesn’t work perfectly, ask your junk collector to take it. Scratched Teflon pans are a health hazard, discard, don’t donate. Small appliances, check them out at home first...

Allegations of abuse

I feel compelled to write because days after reading the article, “House of Abuse” (11//25), it is still weighing heavy on my mind..

Turn on your headlights

Okay, I honestly just don’t get it. What is it about the growing number of drivers here in the Grand Traverse area that feel there is no need to turn on their headlights in extreme low visibility conditions?!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Storming Ahead

How two Northern Michigan weathermen wound up running for political office

Features Patrick Sullivan “I literally walked into [the station] and met the general manager who happened to be standing in the lobby,” he said. Although nothing was available right then, the station manager must have seen something telegenic in him. In the summer of 1981, he brought Barrons back to the studio for an audition.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jewelry Gets the Blues

More than 100 years ago, the Leland Lake Superior Iron Company operated an iron smelter in Leland.

Features Kristi Kates “As best as we can tell, it was discovered as a ‘stone’ sometime within the last thirty years,” said Thatcher, who has stores in Traverse City, Glen Arbor, Harbor Springs, and right in Leland. “We have come to repurpose it, in essence making it sustainable.
Monday, July 14, 2014

The New Social Hour

Experts, Users Speak Out About Social Media

Features Ross Boissoneau Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Foursquare, Snapchat, Digg, YouTube, and a host of other sites and technologies have come and, in some cases, gone (anyone remember MySpace?). Some people dabble in it; for others, it can replace actual interaction. Fortunes have been made and lost, lives enhanced and ruined. It all depends on how it’s used.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Go Inside TC’s First Wet House

Features Patrick Sullivan A 2012 University of Washington study found that providing food and shelter to homeless alcoholics at a wet house in Seattle caused them to drink 40 percent less after two years. At Dann’s House, residents are expected to cut back from what they consumed on the street.