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..

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Letters 1-16-2012


Saved by Obamacare

Over 60,000 Michigan young adults 26 and under are now back on their parents’ family coverage thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act. This fall, Governor Snyder sought to exempt Michigan insurance companies from the Obamacare requirement that they spend at least 80 percent of the premiums collected on healthcare. Michigan was one of only 13 states seeking such an exemption.

The Obama administration fortunately denied Snyder’s request and an estimated 340,000 Michiganders will now be getting $89 million rebated from their insurance providers. Snyder argued that some private insurers (United Health, Assurant, Humana and American Enterprise) couldn’t survive on just 20 percent of your premiums for administrative costs (overhead and profit). Michigan actually asked that these insurers be approved to rake off 35 percent of your healthcare dollar...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Renewable Future

A conversation with energetic Skip Pruss

Features Patrick Sullivan Stanley “Skip” Pruss is an advocate of renewable energy with an impressive résumé -- he served as director of the Department of Environmental Quality under Gov. Granholm.
Monday, March 24, 2014

Bata Turns the Corner

With Loop and Link, Traverse City’s bus service has become a viable alternative for more commuters

Features Patrick Sullivan They’ve gotten surveillance cameras on buses to cut down on liability and so that drivers can concentrate on driving. They’ve installed mobile data terminals and electronic fare boxes. They’ve redesigned the buses and route signs so the system is easier to use.
Monday, April 21, 2014

Beating the Odds in Mancelona

Mancelona’s graduation rate of 91 percent is on par with much better-heeled schools

Features Anne Stanton To put numbers to it, Mancelona’s per capita income is $16,344, the region’s lowest. Rates of child abuse, teen pregnancies, and marijuana use by teens in the region rank highest in Antrim County (where Mancelona is located) according to data compiled by The Annie E.
Monday, May 26, 2014

Letters 5-26-2014


Stop Damage to Waters Lake Bellaire is a northern Michigan treasure, enjoyed by its residents and visitors for fishing, boating, and majestic views. But there is an unwelcome surprise awaiting those who love the Antrim Chain of Lakes, and Lake Bellaire...

Learn About NSA’s Powers I read and watch the news with growing concern over the expansive powers of the National Security Administration (NSA). The explosive revelations by Edward Snowden now being reported by Glenn Greenwald and others hopefully are triggering thoughts and renewed debate over the tension between national security and information privacy...

Too Much War Are we addicted to war? A recent speaker on international affairs reported that the current military budget is 20 percent of the total U.S. budget. Those figures are “suspect.” Since 9/11, the US military budget has swollen by 49 percent over its 2000 levels, not including two wars...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Solar Golf

Michigan’s first solar course opens after a three-year statewide drought of new courses.

Features Patrick Sullivan Bigger players are also getting into solar. Consumers Energy announced July 1 that they had selected 22 solar projects across the Lower Peninsula as part of their Experimental Advanced Renewable Program. The program enables participants to sell excess energy back to Consumers.
Monday, August 11, 2014

Cameron Brunet-Koch and Tim Nelson

College Leaders talk learner success, college preparedness

Features Think students and parents have a lot on their minds entering a new school year? Cameron Brunet-Koch is the president of Petoskey’s North Central Michigan College (NCMC). Tim Nelson is president of Traverse City’s Northwestern Michigan College (NMC). The duo met at NMC a few weeks back to ponder the issues big and small facing them, their institutions, and their communities.
Monday, November 24, 2014

Five Gifts That Give Back

Features Loved ones can enjoy a second cup of morning Joe guilt-free with Higher Grounds Trading Company’s Coffees for Change program. A portion of the proceeds from each one or fi ve-pound bag in this specialty line of hand-crafted coffees benefi ts a mission-based nonprofi t.
Monday, March 23, 2015

Letters 03-23-2015


Fresh & Unbiased I have always enjoyed reading the Northern Express to discover all the cool things happening in our region. However, as the time went by, the level of left wing bias became more evident.

Racism Continues Even before the United States was an official nation, we were a country that practiced slavery. We are a country of slavery for more years than we have been not.

Rich Get Richer The other morning NPR said that GM had so much money the board of directors bought back $5 billion in stock.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Letters 04-06-15


Vote On The Boardman The talk about restoring the Boardman River to its natural, free flowing state resurfaces.

Stop Sanctioned Discrimination I woke up this morning from a bad dream that in my country, in the year 2015, the State of Indiana signed into law government sanctioned discrimination against someone’s sexual orientation.

Oppose Health Care Cuts Governor Snyder’s 2016 budget proposal eliminates graduate medical education, cuts $36 million from small and rural hospitals and $11 million from rural hospitals that provide obstetrical care.

No To Sales Tax Jump Were being asked to approve a one cent increase in the sales tax for the purpose of fixing our roads. But wait, one cent is a 16 percent increase that’s tough on the poor and middle class.

Vote No Why are businesses getting huge tax cuts while other programs are being slashed?