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: how
Monday, March 26, 2012

Best Broadcast Journalist

Shuffle off to Buffalo

Best of NM 2012 Despite announcing her move over a month earlier, Fairbanks was voted “Best Broadcast Journalist,” receiving an overwhelming number of votes. Along with hundreds of emails, Facebook posts and phone calls, Northern Michigan wanted to show the former evening news anchor of TV 7&4 just how much they would miss her.
Monday, March 26, 2012

Story you’d like us to do?

Best of NM 2012 • 10 Curious ways to enjoy winter • A feature on the good work of county administrator, Dennis Aloia • A green issue to promote contractors trying to create positive change • A piece called “remember when” for all of the peeps who grew up here • A...
Monday, July 23, 2012

Letters 07-23-2012


'Get off my lawn'

After reading the Letters to the Editors in the July 16th issue I am very curious - how old are the readers of The Express?!

This publication has had an edge to it since its inception and has never been afraid to ask some very hard questions or to tip-toe the line between aggressive and conservative. I’ve read it for years (I’m 30) and so have my friends and perhaps I was assuming something untrue in that the readers tended to be under the age of 80.

The letters people have written take on this point of view of an old man sitting on his porch yelling at kids to get off of his lawn. It doesn’t fit!

For instance - the letter about fireworks is unreasonable. Really? Your neighbors were using expensive professional-grade fireworks? The kind the Cherry Fest can’t even afford to use...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Letters 08-20-2012


Irony & Oklahoma

A lady from Oklahoma sent in a pronatural gas/fracking response letter in your August 13th issue. I wonder, do they have something called irony in Oklahoma?

I ask this because it makes perfect sense that someone from a dry, flat, hot, nearly treeless place like Oklahoma would want to vacation in a land of verdant forests, rolling hills and immense stretches of clean water like our Michigan. The irony comes in when she lectures us on how wonderful natural gas drilling/fracking is, and that those of us who are rightly terrified of it are “unenlightened.”

Lady, the only way we can keep this area a vacation/everyday living paradise is to stop fracking cold...
Monday, September 17, 2012

Letters 09-17-2012


Man without a plan

Mitt and Ann Romney have five sons who have never served in the military but Mitt wants to expand the military budget. Mitt was of age during Vietnam but he didn’t serve either.

Since the Bush era, we have been in two wars, for what? Iraq isn’t fixed and the Afghanistan people have been fighting since well before Jesus was born and it’s never going to end until they end it themselves. Most times, the reason for going to war is to enable the manufacturers of munitions (and now services) to make money.

The Republicans have made it their mission to replace Obama. Not only is he a Democrat but he’s black. When you overhear someone in a crowd of very well-dressed, deck boat shoe-wearing, bling-dripping Americans say that he and his wife are just “uppity n____s,” it does not bode well for our country.

I really do want to see more tax returns from the Romneys. I’m also wondering whether the reason he’s not providing these returns is that he would owe more to his church for his tithe.

I don’t believe he’s a bad man, but he believes that he and his party can continue to climb to the top of the ladder on the backs of people who are trying desperately how to figure out how to feed their children or purchase their medications. Jobs for any American who wants to work would certainly be a welcome change, but I haven’t heard a plan from Mitt...

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Furrier for the Modern World

Michael Fridrich Henke practices an age-old profession

Features Patrick Sullivan It happens, though, that the fur trade is the Great Lakes region’s oldest profession. The first European settlers came here and established relations with Native Americans to buy and sell furs and trap beaver that could be sold in the east or in Europe.
Monday, August 26, 2013


Letters Bikes & self preservation

The recent vitriol against bike riders is short-sighted at best and pathetic at worst. Talk of getting the police to ticket cyclists more and of licensing and insuring bicycles are solutions looking for a problem...

Endless crowds

I found Sam Porter’s marketing comments about his new “Spectacular Structures” mobile venue being touted for our area perplexing. On the one hand he comments about how we should celebrate all that is great and good about life in Northern Michigan and laments those events that can “close down our parks and streets.”

Where’s the love?

So many disagreeable comments appeared in your article about Fridrich Furs: Trapping... fur farms...Fridrich seems to be comfortable rationalizing the most despicable and inhumane treatment of animals to further his profession...

Our poisoned roads

Once again Team Services has been caught using toxic waste chemicals from oil and gas drilling as dust control on roads. Team Services reportedly sprayed 300,000 gallons of toxic fluid on 121 miles of roads in Benzie County...

Christians & science

The incessant and unnecessary conflict between science and religion continues, but we can and should learn from history. Beginning in 1534 when Copernicus published “On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies,” until at least 1633 with church decrees against Galileo, a battle raged which bore striking similarities to the evolution versus creationism war of today...

Monday, September 16, 2013

‘A Community Responsibility’

Features Patrick Sullivan If you’ve driven into Traverse City on Silver Lake Road this summer, you’ve seen the site of the new YMCA transformed from a hole in the ground into a sprawling complex, soon to be home to an aquatics center, health and fitness center, tennis courts and lounges.