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: over
Monday, January 2, 2012

Letters 01/02/2012


Services beyond abortion

Thanks to Claire Scerbak for her perspective on utilizing tax payer money for education and family services. I have utilized services at Planned Parenthood and all the services I have benefitted from included education and family services.

My spouse and I received our HIV education in order to get our marriage license there. I got my reproductive health care, including birth control and care and follow up when I was diagnosed with precancerous lesions...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Letters 02-06-2012


Fracking dangerous alternative

Fresh water contaminated and forever removed from the hydrologic cycle; poisoned air, rivers and streams; gas well leaks and explosions; debilitating health problems including asthma, neurological disease and cancer; dead wildlife and livestock; earthquakes; toxic gas plumes causing families to evacuate their homes; poisoned and exploding water wells; loss of property value and ruined roads from 24-hour truck traffic …
Thursday, March 29, 2012

Best/Worst Michigan Athlete

Best of NM 2012 None Megatron earned a blizzard of national attention by posting the best statistical season of his NFL career in 2011. He posted a career high 1,681 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. In week four against the Dallas Cowboys, Johnson helped rally the Lions from a 24-point deficit to a 34-30 victory by snagging two 4th quarter touchdown passes.
Monday, May 14, 2012

NMC BBQ Still Going Strong

Features Rick Coates

This weekend the largest picnic in Northern Michigan will take place. Northwestern Michigan College will hold its 57th Annual Barbecue, Sunday, May 20, on the main campus “under the pines” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Just how large is the NMC BBQ? It takes 500 volunteers to coordinate all the activities and to feed the 10,000+ expected to attend.
Monday, July 23, 2012

Loose Pistol

Suspect in gun thefts a troubled man

Features Patrick Sullivan

It didn’t take long for police to make an arrest after someone broke into a shooting range in May and made off with five semiautomatic handguns.

Break-ins that involve stolen handguns tend to get a lot of police attention, and this one was no exception.

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, October 1, 2012

Fracked Roads

Activists angered over flowback wastewater being sprayed on roads

Features Patrick Sullivan Some environmentalists are alarmed after it was learned that thousands of gallons of flowback wastewater from two high-volume, deep-shale hydraulic fracking wells in Kalkaska County was sprayed on roads throughout the region to control dust.
Monday, January 28, 2013

Letters 01-28-2013

Letters Reagan, Bush & guns... Why the hysteria over President Obama recommending the ban of assault weapons since Reagan and G.W. Bush did the SAME thing?

Guns & young men... Over the past decade, some reoccurring community concerns and thoughts that have come to mind. To me, it seems like we need to have some community reevaluation, rethinking, and changes. What say you?

Guns & the media... I agreed with your Random Thoughts column, re: violence in USA and gun control. Our perceptions are so ingrained about how safe we are here and how dangerous it is in foreign countries.

Slamming MLK Day... It’s too bad that Traverse City’s homosexual community continues their attempt to ride on the coat tails of black history. The majority of the black community do not support homosexuality or gay marriage, and are sick and tired of the sham that the gays and their allies continue to perpetrate on our citizens.

Snyder’s lack of jobs... Will Governor Snyder run again?  Total Michigan employment declined by 11,000 in December; however, the number of unemployed was little changed, edging upward by 1,000. The net impact was a 10,000 worker reduction in the state’s labor force over the month.

A better supreme court... We ask Governor Snyder to give serious consideration to the recommendation of the state’s bipartisan commission on Michigan Supreme Court elections.

Rigging the vote... Gerrymandering is the redrawing of congressional district lines to give one party advantage over the other in elections. Even though Democratic congressional candidates won the popular vote by over a million votes in the 2012 election, it was the Republicans who won the US House and both houses of our Michigan legislature due in large part to gerrymandering.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Adventures of the Compost Kid

Features Erin Crowell

Today’s industry trends aren’t lost on Carter Schmidt.

“Selling lemonade? You just don’t make much doing that; and, well, the newspaper boy may have disappeared,” the eight-year-old tells me, a journalist, on the logistics of childhood employment. The third grader at Eastern Elementary School in Traverse City is an entrepreneur, having just completed the milestone of one year in business with his company, Carter’s Compost. The bike-powered, kid-driven kitchen scrap pick-up service has been turning dirt since last April, charging its Traverse City neighborhood customers $5 a month for fresh compost.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Letters 08-05-13

Letters The dictator of Detroit

Detroit may well join the great Mayan cities of Mexico & Guatemala, as cities no longer fulfilling their function. Countless military, commercial and cultural centers have come and gone in our planet’s history...

Cyclists: beware of police

Last week while bicycling to work I was pulled over by a Traverse City police officer in his cruiser on Front Street! I was guilty of “running a red light.”

Unions are everywhere

To those who continue to oppose any labor groups; attempt to organize a union, let us look at the description of the word, “union.” It can be a bloc, club, guild, alliance, marriage, fellowship, and any coalition of groups...

Health costs gone wild

Are we being doctored! Health care costs, Medicare, and Medicaid are out of control. Drug companies bombard us with commercials for medications. They urge us to ask for these pills, as they ask our doctors to prescribe them...