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: express
Monday, December 12, 2011

Letters 12/12/2011


Where our money goes

There was once a frequent public service announcement on the radio, asking parents, “Do you know where your children are?” With cell phones, that is far less of a concern now. It’s time to change the announcement to “Do you know where your money, personal and taxes, has gone?” Walking away from a cashier, we don’t think twice about our spending and the consequences.

Your taxes buy death as do many of your purchases. Your taxes buy inhumanity to others, degradation, starvation, and worse...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Letters 05-14-2012


Tuttle right on Time

That article was 100 percent spot-on!

My uniquely effective high school English composition instructor directed his students, with each assignment of a paper that required citations of source material, “If you decide to include Time Magazine in your bibliography, please save me the trouble and go ahead and put a red ‘F’ at the top of your paper.”

His disdain for their editorial standards was total, and appropriately so.

I have my personal nominee for “Time Magazine Nonsensical Cover Hyperbole”...
Monday, November 26, 2012

Letters 11-26-2012


Disapproves of model ... Tough on local biz... Protect school districts

"There are elections, and there are elections..."

Monday, December 3, 2012

Letters 12-03-2012

Letters Agony in Gaza "After viewing just a part of the carnage where civilians were deliberately targeted, I felt sick and angry..."  Respect other religions "...we are surprised, disappointed, and shocked. This decision did not convey Christian love and respect for others’ views..." Excuses, excuses... "We have been waiting way too long for Congressional action on the fiscal crisis..."
Monday, September 16, 2013

Letters 09-16-13

Letters Protect the Manistee

In Manistee, a newly formed group of concerned citizens called the Manistee Water Guardians is working to advance the dialogue about horizontal hydraulic fracturing, known commonly as “fracking.”

Fracking’s blight

What do we picture when we think of a hydraulic fracturing (un) natural gas well? Not a large, 24/7, noisy, smelly, permanent scar on the natural landscape, I’ll bet. Or an assembly of huge pumps, pipes, storage tanks and collection ponds.

No to war in Syria

I generally do not agree with Stephen Tuttle’s articles but found “We Can’t Fix This” to be right on! We still have not learned that the Middle East will always be a no-win situation. If only our government could remember a little history-- if you don’t know it, you are bound to repeat it. Kudos Tuttle.

The risk of war

As we consider a military attack on Syria, I ask myself: is another war affordable? Spiritually? Financially? What are the risks? How long would it last? Are there alternatives?

Small house idea

Re your article “Not a Small World After All.” The subtext of this article would appear to be that there would be less environmental impact if Centerville Township allowed smaller houses to be built. I don’t think that this is the case, however, because the primary environmental impact of housing is created by where the house is located and to what degree that location then requires the people that live there to drive in order to work/show/recreate.

Great experience

I just had to share this with as wide of an audience as possible so Northern Express seemed like a good starting point! How many times do folks drive by Little Bohemia on Front St. in TC and dismiss it as “just another tavern”? I sure have been guilty of that numerous times!

Move to Amend

Remember going to a party where a loudmouth monopolizes the conversation with your girlfriend? Corporations, trade associations, superpacs, and multinational companies with big money are romancing our politicians and writing legislation through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that definitely does not favor you and me. It is not freedom if only rich people’s voices are heard. Congress will not change unless we speak out.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Iceman Returneth

Q&A with the original Iceman cyclist Steve Brown

Features Patrick Sullivan When Steve Brown got a group of friends together a couple of dozen years ago to ride on trails and two-tracks from Kalkaska to just outside of Traverse City, no one could have imagined what the race would become. Brown charged each rider $5 to cover the cost of the barbecue he threw after the event.
Monday, November 4, 2013

Moving On

Love’s call leads to a new life in Chicago

Features Erin Crowell I’m not sure why, either. Maybe because it’s easier to get down what you know and deal with the theatrical introduction later. Not that I have one, but I guess it’s a big deal for me since this will be my last article – at least as a feature writer and listings editor for Northern Express.
Monday, November 4, 2013

Tales of Miss Fortune

Features Patrick Sullivan She followed the case against him and his subsequent flight from the state to a level that got Hunter’s attention -- he became a disgruntled commenter on her blog while he was on the run. She said he threatened her in an effort to get her to stop writing about him.
Monday, November 25, 2013

Johan's Expands Their Empire

Dining Kristi Kates Johan’s is a long-standing tradition in the Petoskey-Harbor Springs-Boyne area. Anyone who lives near one of their bakeries knows the scent of fresh-baked pastries and bread that begins early in the morning, tempting passers-by to stop in for breakfast, lunch, or just a treat.