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: mackinac
Monday, July 16, 2012


British invaders overwhelmed Mackinac 200 years ago this week

Features Patrick Sullivan

British soldiers didn’t take Mackinac Island entirely by surprise 200 years ago, though they may as well have.

When the British invaded on July 17, 1812, they found the Americans unprepared because news of the war had not yet reached this frontier outpost, even though President James Madison had declared war on the British a month earlier.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Beautiful Blooms

Features Kristi Kates The 66th annual fest will run June 5-14 this year, in sync with the lilacs’ own schedule. Some of the flowers have already begun to bloom, but the majority should be in full force by festival week if the Chamber of Commerce has anything to say about it.
Friday, August 28, 2015

15 Fun Facts About the Mackinac Bridge Walk

Features Kristi Kates You say potato, I say potahto… Mackinac Island was considered shaped like a turtle, so it was given the early Native American name Michilimackinac (Great Turtle), a moniker that eventually came to represent the entire Straits of Mackinac region. By the early 1800s, it was shortened to Mackinac.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Spring Abloom

Features Kristi Kates What plant is native to the Balkan Peninsula, is the state flower of New Hampshire, was the subject of a famous painting by Edouard Manet… and is the honoree of a major festival right here in northern Michigan? None other than that bountiful, perfumed spring bloom of the north, the lilac.
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Not Your Typical 4th in the North

Features Kristi Kates Parades, picnics, bright fireworks and sunny beach days. Block parties, barbecues, hot dogs and ice cream. They’re all essentials for a classic Fourth of July celebration.
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Oh Fudge!

Features By most accounts, the first batch of fudge was concocted in Baltimore in the 1880s. It wasn’t long after that when father and son Henry and Jerome “Rome” Murdick were commissioned to create canvas awnings for the new Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Saturday, July 9, 2016

History Underwater

Features Kristi Kates There is an incredible amount of history beneath the Great Lakes’ depths, and scuba divers are some of the people who know the lore best. As they descend into the fresh waters that we are all so familiar with, ghosts of the past slowly come into view: hulking freighters and broken masts.
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Michigan’s Ironmen

Features Kristi Kates Fundraising and planning takes place year-round for the festival, which takes many volunteers and hundreds of manhours to make happen. It’s also a reunion of sorts, as men who worked on the bridge, as well as many other ironworkers from across the United States and Canada, meet up for this annual event.