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: school
Monday, September 26, 2011

The Email that Ended a Career

Features Patrick Sullivan “It’s destroyed my life, I mean, I was the major breadwinner in the family and I’m not now,” said Whitfield, the former IT director for the school district. “But just imagine how bad I would feel if something really bad was going on and I didn’t raise it.
Monday, November 28, 2011

Letters 11/28/2011


Exposing duplicity

Northern Express’s fracking article portraying Don’t Frack Michigan’s JoAnne Beemon, both protesting and part of the press conference supporting the bills, exposes the duplicity of this group.

One may have the impression that Ms. Beemon of Don’t Frack Michigan (DFM) was there to protest the bills. That would be mistaken. Ms. Beemon was there to show support for the bills with DFM’s sign as a part of the press conference. After Rep. Mark Meadows’ team asked her to take it down as to not confuse the message, she did so...

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, August 6, 2012

Putting the Sportsmanship Back In Youth Sports

Features Rick Coates This week thousands of athletes around Northern Michigan will begin their fall high school sports seasons. But there is rising concern about the direction and future of youth and high school athletics in our country.
Monday, December 24, 2012

Letters 12-24-2012

Irresponsible NRA  The NRA and its members must be in a total adrenalin rush with the murdering of 26 children and teachers along with the mother of the shooter...

The role of mental illness
I seem to have a little different take on the Newtown tragedy than most. What I notice is that on the same day, halfway around the world, a disaffected Chinese worker went to a local elementary school and stabbed 22 kids.

No such thing...
How stupid are the American public? And how disingenuous is the left-wing press? Those poor children’s bodies were still inside the school building and the freekin’ liberals were all talking about gun control.

Extremists in charge
Our Republican dominated State Legislature has passed legislation that allows religiously affiliated hospitals and physicians to deny emergency room care to anyone who is a member of a group they consider immoral.

An answer to ignorance
But what feeds that confusion is exemplified in last week’s letter by Joel Weberman, titled: “An ignorant letter.”

The concert controversy
Regarding the Veterans Day concert at First Congregational Church ... As a Christian, FCC member, and veteran, I attended the concert and commend all who participated.

Lame duck outrage
One hundred eighty-two bills were passed in Michigan’s lame duck session, many in the middle of the night with no discussion. Guns & the Constitution There were no bullets as we know them today. To fire the gun the frontiersmen had to first pour a measured load of gun powder down the barrel.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fly Fishing Casts its Spell on Scott Smith

Features Rick Coates Scott Smith was two years old when he became “hooked” on fishing.  Smith, who has a dental practice in Adrian (south of Jackson/Ann Arbor) and place on the Au Sable River outside of Grayling, now shares his love of fishing with others. He will be one of several volunteer instructors at the 43rd Annual Michigan Council Trout Unlimited Fly Fishing School. The threeday school will be held June 7-9, on the Boardman River at Ranch Rudolph, southeast of Traverse City.
Monday, August 26, 2013

Take Two!

Suttons Bay Floatilla attempts Guinness World Record…again

Features Erin Crowell “We have a great group of kids in our school, but we aren’t the affluent school you think we would be for this type of area. The money is in second homes and that population. Our school just isn’t big enough to have that money on-hand for these types of activities,” said Kate Thornton, who returns as Floatilla’s organizer.
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.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Open Carry

Our confusing gun laws, weapons in schools, and “packing” at Burger King

Features Anne Stanton Shoppers might stare, wondering, “Is he ready to open fire or just making a gun rights statement? Am I safe? Should I run?” In this hypothetical case, the man might have bought the semi-automatic rifle from a neighbor with no background check or borrowed it from a friend.
Monday, August 11, 2014

Grading Our Schools

Money, scores drive inequities across district lines

Features Patrick Sullivan

As parents are well aware, selecting a school district is hardly black and white. Funding formulas and test scores – though widely available – are confusing even to the adminstrators that adhere to them. Although the State of Michigan readily provides this information online, navigating it can be another story.