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: board
Monday, May 14, 2012

NMC BBQ Still Going Strong

Features Rick Coates

This weekend the largest picnic in Northern Michigan will take place. Northwestern Michigan College will hold its 57th Annual Barbecue, Sunday, May 20, on the main campus “under the pines” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Just how large is the NMC BBQ? It takes 500 volunteers to coordinate all the activities and to feed the 10,000+ expected to attend.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Not a Small World After All…


Features Patrick Sullivan The attention set the couple on a course that saw them get cited with a civil infraction for a zoning violation and be refused a variance from the township zoning board of appeals. Ultimately, despite early, optimistic signs, they failed to see through a change in township zoning that would have enabled them to live a simpler, green lifestyle.
Monday, June 16, 2014

Art to be ‘Used and Abused’

Art Al Parker Growing up in Petoskey, Jason Thelen dreamed of being a surfer and riding the big saltwater waves. But fate kept him near fresh water, so he adapted accordingly and began building custom standup paddleboards that “take the big lake’s little waves,” he said.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

High Rises, Piers and Dead Fawns

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle One would think TC would have some kind of height ordinance for its downtown area so these debates would be easily resolved. Oh wait, there is exactly such an ordinance that restricts building height to 60 feet, five or six stories depending on how the thing is constructed.
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Top Board Games for Fall Fun!

Features None Amazon’s top-selling table games include Monopoly, Battleship, The Game of Life and Trivial Pursuit. Then there’s Scrabble, the classic word-building game that just won’t die; it’s said that one-third of American homes have a Scrabble set. The game is produced in 29 languages and sold in 121 countries.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Never an Encouraging Word

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle We get it, already. The Grand Traverse County Board of Supervisors has done a splendid job of telling us there is a serious budget problem, including deficits in both operating costs and in the county employee's pension system.
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Letters 07-04-2016


Anti-Air Shows I have spoken to many people over the last year regarding the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds. Feedback: 

• Money: Various charities fundraise for new beds at Walter Reed Hospital for our wounded veterans, but the annual Blue Angels taxpayer cost is $100,000,000? How many beds would that buy?

• The noise level the Blue Angels emit is over 140 decibels, a deafening level, far exceeding Traverse City laws. Any level over 85 is considered dangerous and can cause hearing loss or damage...

Cherryland Is Wrong A recent decision by the Cherryland Electric Board merits the attention of all who care about our air, land and waters. The Cherryland Directors, charged with setting policy for this “member driven” cooperative, has adopted a new rate structure that is fundamentally unfriendly and unfair to new solar installations. If it stands, it will virtually kill new installations in the Cherryland service area and the jobs that work supports and may well serve as a model of regressive policy for other utilities to follow as well...

Thanks For Highlighting Tim Green Many thanks for providing the space to an “outside” writer so he could tell the marvelous story of Tim Green’s fight for the civil rights of America’s largest minority. Wonderfully personal article, full of life -- like the subject..

Bring The Housing Gary Howe’s guest opinion last week is spot on! Traverse City is no longer the little Cherry/tourist town I grew up in. Today TC is a fast growing city and thus needs close, in-town housing. Ten to fifteen story condo buildings would add great property taxes and reduce auto traffic. The ideal buildings would be on the west...

Due Process Revisited Reading last week’s “Allow Due Process” letter, I am concerned with the author’s conclusion as to why it’s OK to be on the “No Fly List” and not OK to be on a “No Buy List.” Suggesting that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights make the “No Buy List” the same as the “No Fly List” fails to understand the issue.

The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments grant a Constitutional right to each citizen to “due process,” which means we are guaranteed a fair legal process when the government tries to interfere with a person’s protected interests in life, liberty, or property, and that Constitutional right will not be encroached on by either the Federal or State government...

Ignore Campaign Financed Ads As a registered 1st District voter, choosing an effective U.S. House district voice is a big challenge. Something is wrong when national and state outsiders try to “buy our primary.” Large outside contributions to local elections is a serious problem. You’d expect parties to wait to endorse until after the primary. Yet state and national Republicans and Democrats are already funding candidates. For example, DNC and state PACs are backing Lon Johnson in the primary...

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Big Changes at the Women’s Resource Center

Features Patrick Sullivan Staff has turned over, and some former employees and supporters don’t like the direction the Women’s Resource Center Grand Traverse Area (WRC) has taken.
Saturday, August 27, 2016

Power And Arrogance

Other Opinions Thomas Kachadurian In 2006 the developer of Cambria Suites in Traverse City requested a zoning variance to allow them to build beyond the established setbacks. The project and variance included the razing of an apartment building that we would now call “workforce housing.
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Time To Step-Up And Do The Right Thing

Other Opinions Scott Hardy Let’s put this in perspective. We all heard our Republican presidential candidate claim he was going to build a wall along the Mexican border with a big door, and that Mexico was going to pay for it. That should have been a non-starter for a presidential campaign but here he is, still saying it, and still in the running.