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: county
Monday, September 19, 2011

Justice & Geography

Features Patrick Sullivan The story of how the body of the Traverse City teenager was found in a sand pit on the eve of her 17th birthday was splashed over newspapers across the state, broadcast on television and radio throughout Michigan, and spawned at least four Facebook groups with over 10,000 members.
Monday, March 26, 2012

Desperate Run Ends In Crash

Features Patrick Sullivan Prosecutors say couple endangered an infant and a four-year-old in a bid to get away from the cops.  They were a couple of desperadoes, at least as described in court files: Running from police at a hundred miles per hour, along rural highways and through quiet villages, he unwilling to go back to prison, and she willing to do whatever it took to help him.
Monday, May 14, 2012

"Open Season" on Marijuana

Features Patrick Sullivan Marijuana advocates turn to grassroots campaign

Part two of a two-part story. Last week, the Express examined the case of Walter Sbresny, a medical marijuana patient who faces felony marijuana charges in Kalkaska County and might not be able to use his medical marijuana card-holder status as a defense at trial. This week’s story looks at the case of Archie Kiel, and the grassroots political efforts of Kiel and Sbresny.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Letters 07-30-2012


Penn State's punishment

“...the fundamental chapter of this horrific story should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down.”

-- Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee

A months-long coma would have been the only way to have escaped hearing of the tragic events at Penn State. At first, the sickening realization that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused at least eight underage boys on or near university property. Then the deep disappointment in learning an investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh found school officials, including the school president and vice president, head football coach Joe Paterno, and athletic director had known about the allegations of child abuse as early as 1998, but failed to disclose them.

Now the NCAA has handed down penalties that some say are close to a “death penalty” for the school’s football program, including a $60 million fine, four year bowl-ban, loss of some scholarships and withdrawal of wins dating back to 1998. The statue honoring Joe Paterno has been removed by the university. Sadly ironic, the statue’s inscription reads, “Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.”

These appalling events and revelations have shed light on behaviors most people would rather not examine. Yet it also creates awareness of deep-seated cultural attitudes and hopefully a willingness to learn more about ourselves, our society and what we value...

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Old Man and the Addicts

Inside Mancelona’s drug underworld

Features Patrick Sullivan Former drug addict Jason Craig Blackmore was apparently getting his life back together and trying to emerge as a productive member of society when out of the blue he was arrested.
Monday, September 12, 2011

Hot Dates Sept. 12-18

Dates Erin Crowell The Osmond family has spent more than 50 years entertaining audiences across the globe. The Osmond Brothers, a.k.a. Wayne, Merrill, Jay and Jimmy, continue the family tradition of performing pop, rock & roll, country and gospel. They will make an appearance at the Performing Arts Center on the Kirtland Community College main campus, in Roscommon, on Sept. 17.
Monday, January 28, 2013

Fear in the Forest

Features Patrick Sullivan “The guy is dressed like a commando out of a bad movie,” Roote said. “He’s got on camo from head to toe, boots, and he’s got two shoulder holsters, each one holding a handgun, ready to draw at around chest high. You can’t imagine. I told my brother to get on the ground.
Monday, March 18, 2013

Letters 03-18-2013


Sugar buzz in our schools: Too much sugar is bad. Too much of the alternative is worse.

Because my kid’s public school (Glen Lake) doesn’t allow sodas, I naively thought most schools followed that trend. Unfortunately, while attending a district finals basketball game at Traverse City Central I was a bit surprised to find a bank of soda machines in the school cafeteria. Surprise turned to concern when I noticed they contained only diet sodas, water and sports drinks. Pepsi Next, which boasts 60% less sugar, quickly caught my attention. Guess what’s in it...

Wolves & free-thinkers: Your article (“Confessions of a Save the Wolves Petitioner”) hit home about the lack of citizenship in America where apathy, selfishness, frustration and lack of care is rampant in a government that serves the people...

New war on marijuana: We pride ourselves on how we take care of the sick in this country. We have the best hospitals in the world, as well as the finest doctors. You would think that America totally supports people getting better with whatever resources are available.

But wait just one minute. If you choose to medicate with cannabis, (aka: marijuana), not only are you NOT supported by most of the medical industry (which won’t treat you if you have THC in your system), but you may find yourself in a jail cell for growing and using it...

Scott Weiland rocked: I have been a big fan of Northern Express for many years. I have never felt compelled to write a letter to the Express or any other publication in the past. However, the recent article by Rick Coates where he trashes Scott Weiland’s performance at Ground Zero leaves me so compelled...

Ordinance clears way for demolishing junk building: On February 19, the Benzie County Board of Commissioners approved Ordinance number 2013-001, adopting the International Property Maintenance Code, provided by the International Code Council.

Approved, adopted and provided by who? The people of Benzie County didn’t know anything about this until it became enforceable law on February 27, when it was published in the Record-Patriot...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Criminal or Conscientious Businessman?

Murky med marijuana law puts Christopher Gee at risk

Features Patrick Sullivan Wexford County Circuit Court Judge William Fagerman agreed with Williams that Gee could be considered a primary caregiver, even though he was not a registered caregiver, who was able to hand out reasonable amounts of medical marijuana to patients under the law.