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: development
Monday, February 10, 2014

Experts Weigh in on Petoskey’s Big Hole

Back in 2006, 200 E. Lake Street – a gateway address with jawdropping views in downtown Petoskey – was poised for change.

Features Kristi Kates A proposal had been approved for a new development called Petoskey Pointe, and there was a grand plan swirling around to turn the block into a multimillion dollar hotel, condo, parking, and restaurant project that some said would revitalize the Gaslight District.
Monday, February 24, 2014

New Downtown Living

Features Patrick Sullivan Petoskey’s downtown is also built out, and prices of old homes close to the center are going up, even if they aren’t in great condition. A red hot market for in-town real estate and a lack of space to build has taken away a lot of what builders or remodelers can do, said agent Lori Jodar of Lori Jodar & Company.
Saturday, May 30, 2015

Meijer Appears in Acme, but the Fight Rages On

Features Patrick Sullivan Steven Smith has been consumed by an Acme Township development for 14 years. The site where a new Meijer store is emerging from a former farm field has been the subject of lawsuits and bitter political battles, the scene of environmental violations and the source of fervent discussions about growth.
Saturday, June 6, 2015

Letters 06-08-2015


The Truth In Acme I write in response to your article “ Meijer Appears In Acme but the Fight Rages On,” which reported on the fact that this massive development adjacent to a designated cold water trout stream was fined $40,000 by the DEQ for the pollution to the stream and East Bay due to clay and nutrient runoff after several storms last fall.

Don’t Destroy Leelanau’s Beaches  Many Grand Traverse area residents enjoy traveling up the Leelanau Peninsula to enjoy the orchards, wineries and beaches.

Ignorance, Stupidity & Racism Jack Dancer’s letter of May 25 stating his view that people of color do not like Traverse City because they don’t like or tolerate the cold is significantly the most ignorant and racist remark I can recall reading in a northern Michigan publication.

Offensive Letter Vs. Real Truths In the May 25th issue letter “Cold Paradise,” the author proposed that northern Michigan is full of diversity, which in his mind consists of white northern Europeans the author’s conclusion was that there are no African Americans because of the cold climate.

My Pipeline Solution Reading Mr. Tuttle’s article about the aging pipeline infrastructure in the United States and what that means for getting natural gas delivered to our homes and oil delivered to refineries so I can fuel my car, tractor and lawn mower, I was struck by the difficulty in finding a reasonable solution.

Friday, June 19, 2015

What Has Michigan Oil Done For You Lately?

Features Bridgette Steele & Erin Anderson While most people are aware of the pristine lakeshores, abundant parks and state game areas that form the foundation of our state’s tourism assets and enhance our quality of life, only a fraction are aware of how the MNRTF has made the acquisition and maintenance of many of these incredible properties possible.
Friday, July 17, 2015

Brownfield Dollars

Features Patrick Sullivan There’s never been a time when so many large-scale developments were proposed, or in progress, in Traverse City. The incredible number of projects that could develop in the next year — and the requests for Brownfield funding expected to accompany them — means development and public incentives are slated to be a hot topic.
Friday, July 31, 2015

Letters 08-03-2015

Letters Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Traverse City’s Development Boom

Features Beth Milligan and Al Parker

The Grand Traverse region is experiencing one of the most intensive development booms in decades, thanks to a recovering economy, strong population growth and high demand for housing and commercial real estate.

“This is probably one of the most active times I can remember with all the development going on,” says Grand Traverse County Deputy Director of Planning and Development Jean Derenzy. “I think right now the economy is right.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Politics of Growth

Other Opinions Scott Hardy As a preface to this column I should note that I am a lifelong resident of Traverse City who grew up inside the city limits of the town I love.
Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nine Stories of Conflict

Features Patrick Sullivan Debate over two nine-story buildings proposed at the corner of Front and Pine streets in Traverse City has become about something bigger than whether developers should be able to build a large mixed-used apartment complex — it’s become a debate about the future of Traverse City.