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: see
Monday, July 8, 2013

Letters 07-08-2013

Letters Medicaid disgrace

The decision of the Michigan Senate Republicans to abandon ship and go on vacation rather than vote on expanding Medicaid is both disgraceful and stupid...

Political hypocrites

I don’t understand some politicians who are pale, male, and stale claiming to be prolife Christians, yet at every chance, they pass legislation to cut health care, cut food stamps, cut nutrition programs, sabotage our public schools, cut access to college by doubling the interest on student loans...

 Bring racetrack to TC

There’s a lot of “I” in the opponents' statements (regarding a potential motocross racetrack in Indian River)...

Bible bunglers

Regarding the Bible and the admonition about homosexuality, I find it disquieting when Christians usurp the Hebrew Bible, call it the “Old” (and therefore superseded) Testament and then cherry pick the laws of Israel...

Don’t be a hater

In the last two weeks, Facebook has taught me that there is a Christian church where the folks who attend, and the pastor who preaches, are nude. A nudist church...

Crosswalk talk

Can we please get an explanation of what constitutes a pedestrian crosswalk here in Traverse City?


The National Cherry Festival is the host of the Meijer Festival of Races, and not the Traverse City Track Club as stated in last week’s Random Thoughts column. The Track Club’s primary fundraising race is the Bayshore Marathon and related events.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hit the Water This Winter

A wintertime float down a frigid river is a far cry from the familiar, lazy July excursion.

Features Mike Terrell “We see a lot of repeat business,” said Harper, who has run trips for 20 years with his wife Kay through Jordan Valley Outfitters. “Many come back with friends. Once they make the trip, they discover winter is a special time. The beauty and peace and quiet this time of year are extra special.
Monday, August 18, 2014


A local pastor and a local atheist debate Should Abortion Be Legal?

Features I originally started out with three arguments as to why abortion has been a bad deal for everyone—women, men, and society as a whole. I’m old enough to remember one of the early pro-choice arguments: abortion will eliminate or severely curtain child abuse because only wanted children will be born.
Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Challenges of Filming Up North

Features Kristi Kates There are a lot of great things about filming in Michigan. For starters, big budget films like “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and "Red Dawn" have utilized the urban wilds of Detroit, where they’ve found endless examples of inner-city blight, abandoned factories and graffitied walls to serve as backdrops for various apocalyptic scenarios.
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Star Wars Fever Engulfs

Features Jacob Wheeler George Lucas’ epic space opera captivated the world with episodes IV–VI (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Lucas released a prequel trilogy, episodes I–III, between 1999 and 2005.
Saturday, December 19, 2015

Detroit Auto Show Revving up for Next Month

Features Ross Boissoneau Despite a major recession and retooling, Detroit is still the Motor City and it’s still the site of the biggest car show in the country. The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), aka the Detroit Auto Show, takes place Jan. 11–24 at the newly renovated (to the tune of $300 million) Cobo Center.
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Winter Astronomy

What to See in Northern Michigan's Night Skies

Features Kristi Kates Skygazing is a frequent pursuit in the summer months, when the weather’s warm and it’s easy to sit outdoors well past midnight. In the winter, it takes a little more effort to get out there and see what the night sky has to offer. Is it worth it? Our two experts definitely think so.
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Technology Reshaping Weddings

Features Ross Boissoneau “Some of the money shots are high over the water looking back on a cliff, hovering over water near a gazebo, second story balcony shots and flying backwards along the beach as the bride and groom walk into the sunset,” she added.
Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Plot To Hijack Our Minds

Other Opinions Isiah Smith But this is not yet another tiresome essay fuming about the evils of Trump, or about how Republicans, by their irrational hatred for President Obama, made inevitable the rise of Trumpism. Hatred begets hatred, and people often get the leaders they deserve.
Saturday, June 25, 2016

There's Something Fishy Going On at the Oden State Fish Hatchery

Features Kristi Kates The Oden State Fish Hatchery does a lot of good work for northern Michigan. Not only is it a major rearing facility for brown and rainbow trout, it also helps teach people about the lake and rivers in their own backyard through the awareness and educational components made available at the hatchery’s on-site visitor center.