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: pay
Monday, October 24, 2011

Letters 10/24/2011


The 99%

As the 99% of citizens who are not millionaire/billionaires we have, and still do, bail out bankers to the tune of billions. We bail out private corporations. We give billions in welfare payments to farmers and the corporate billionaires who run corporate farms. We give billions to Israel, billions to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 1% of the richest Americans pay less that half in taxes that we 99% do as a percentage of income. We give away billions to insurance companies and executives, we give billions to drug manufactures, doctors, and hospitals. We give billions to Wall Street bankers...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Letters 09-24-2012


Appalled by article

I am appalled that a guest opinion writer in the Northern Express would insinuate Kirsten Keilitz was not qualified for a probate judge job simply because she does not have children. The probate court does not only deal with children, but elder law, estates, etc.

Many of us who have children have not yet had to deal with aging parents as Kirsten has. (And let’s be honest, many judges with families are not involved with their own children.) She is both professionally and personally qualified for the job. She is smart, sensitive, rational, and trustworthy. She is the best candidate for judge.

Colleen Shannon • via email

Oil biz targeting Obama

Why are Republicans opposed to Obama’s plan to allow taxes on very high incomes to return to where they were during the Clinton years? Have they forgotten that when Clinton raised the top tax rate, what followed was arguably the best economy in American history...

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Water Lord

One man’s monopoly on water in Walloon Lake leads to felony charges

Features Patrick Sullivan

There was one more thing to take care of after a man purchased a home on M-75 in the picturesque Village of Walloon in 2008. The new homeowner had to make sure that when he turned on his taps, water would come out.

Before that could happen, however, he was told by the local water utility that he would have to pay the previous owner’s water bill.

And he would also owe an administrative charge.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Renewable Riesling

State’s first solar ‘net-zero’ winery goes live

Features Patrick Sullivan The 430-square-foot tracking panels make Crain Hill the first “net-zero” winery in Michigan, meaning the operation produces as much electricity as it uses to make and sell its white and red wine blends, Reislings, Pinot Noirs, cherry wine and other batches from 22 acres of grapes.
Monday, August 4, 2014

Letters 08-04-2014

Letters What Will You Tell Your Children?

What will you tell your children about climate change? Will you tell them how the increase of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere caused more severe storms, the melting of Arctic sea ice and the Antarctic ice shield, and the warming and rising of our oceans? Will you tell them how this caused water and food shortages around the world?

Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage

I’ve noticed that over the last couple of years letters printed in the Northern Express concerning Israel have all been critical of Israel with no blame assigned to the Palestinians. With this current offensive against Hamas, no doubt there will be plenty more criticism of Israel...

Taxing Retirees

How remarkable to see letters from rational folks instead of the usual loony rants about the Koch brothers, Citizens United, corporate evils in general, global warming, fracking, and how by some twisted logic, women’s rights to purchase and use birth control are infringed unless her selection is fully paid for by a third party...

Symphony Masterpiece

I’m writing to draw attention to a recent presentation of professional classical music outdoors. The audience experienced a new sort of sound and light show Saturday, July 19, when the Traverse Symphony Orchestra presented its first ever concert on the lawn of the Grand Traverse Commons...

Revisiting The Wethouse

The Christie Minervini column on “wethouses” was insightful and I hope received positively by the community. Our drug and alcohol policies are built on failure and powerlessness. We try to live up to some undefined moral code, and pay no attention to “reducing the harm” we all face from alcoholism and addiction. A priest or minister won’t solve this problem but maybe, God willing, an engineer can!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Letters 04-27-2015


Benishek’s Costly Tax Representative Dan Benishek announced in his latest bulletin a vote to repeal the “Death Tax.”

Unsafe In The Lanes As I drive a lot each workday, it is common to see a car carrier truck setting in the center turn lane in front of Fox Motors on US-31. The drivers unload cars for the dealerships along the road.

Message From Mother Earth At over 4 billion years old, I’ve been feeling my age. My lungs hurt, probably due to destruction of my forests, which act as my lungs. Why are you doing this?

Benishek And Income Disparity  I wrote a letter to Rep. Dan Benishek regarding economics and middle-class income stagnation and asked, “What are you going to do about this inequality that is stymying the general welfare of our citizens?”

The Value Of Unions As a retired, 40-year member of Sheet Metal Workers 80, a building trades union, I truly appreciated Stephen Tuttle’s “How Ironic” column.