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: them
Monday, January 2, 2012

Snurfing anyone?

Features Rick Coates Sherman Poppen leaned back in his chair and a big smile came to his face as the Gold Medal was placed around the neck of Shaun White during the 2010 Winter Olympics. While the redheaded White is the international face of snowboarding today, Poppen is the grandfather of the snowboard.
Monday, March 19, 2012



Hold all acccountable

Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying something like “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”

In 2001 after 9/11, Bush said more than once, paraphrased here because his actual statements are now obscured, “We will not change anything due to these attacks – doing so would be giving in to terrorists.”

Yet the so-called ‘Patriot’ Act and related laws say and do otherwise – see aclu.org/reform-patriot-act for details.

I recall a work manager saying who cares about electronic privacy – if you have nothing to hide then why worry about it!

Imagine the Nazis being able to use the snooping that we allow today – and remember our Declaration of Independence...

Monday, May 21, 2012



No politics needed

President Obama took a huge political risk when he authorized the successful removal of Osama bin Laden from this earth. Most Republicans have been strangely quiet about this until recently, when they now complain that the administration is attempting to politicize the killing of bin Laden.

Journey with me now to a fantasy land where Republicans would successfully resist the temptation to fully politicize the bin Laden mission had it failed.

Bob Ross • Pellston

Festivals tread lightly

I have read the news concerning the cancellation of two festivals that occur in late summer, the Schooner Festival and I believe the Epicurian classic....

Monday, June 25, 2012


Couple didn’t know they’d lost their house until it was gone

Features Patrick Sullivan This is the first of two stories about an Elk Rapids couple who encountered a mortgage modification scam artist and wound up on the brink of losing their home. This week, the Express looks at how becoming victims of fraud caused Pablo and Guadalupe Bocardo to have their home foreclosed. Next week, we will look at the efforts of their attorney, Jason Jenkinson, to fight Fannie Mae to get their house back.
Monday, July 2, 2012

The Other Traverse City

Photographer Alan Newton captures the lives of the homeless

Features Erin Crowell From the time the leaves started to turn and drop to the rise in spring temperatures, Alan Newton sat down and spoke with 24 homeless people living in Traverse City. A few are on the street by choice; but all are there by circumstance. Some are drug addicts, others are alcoholics.
Monday, September 10, 2012

Letters 09-10-2012


No hysteria in NRA

Trust a liberal to label his opposition as “hysterical” (re: “NRA hysteria unfounded,” Letters 8/27). All that libs can do is name-call.

Anyhow, the NRA was and is anything but hysterical in its warning about Obama and the Left being bitterly opposed to an armed citizenry. The fact that they spent their first-term political capital almost exclusively on getting Obamacare through does not mean that they have given up on the basic leftist goal of suppressing the people’s right (guns don’t have rights) to be armed. Also, Wayne LaPierre’s salary is closer to $600,000, after 35 years with the NRA.

Lastly, if you are going to call the NRA a branch of the Republican Party, which it most decidedly is not, why not point out, far more truthfully, that the Trial Lawyers Association, now laughably renamed the American Justice Association, is one of the biggest direct financial supporters of the Democratic Party...
Monday, September 17, 2012

Funny Business

NMC alumni reunite to form comedy troupe

Features Patrick Sullivan How many groups of friends get together, tell jokes, laugh really hard, and think, “Our lives should be a sitcom?” One bunch of friends who met years ago at Northwestern Michigan College decided to do something about it.

They’ve formed a sketch comedy troupe called Falling Down Stairs Productions and they produce short, funny videos that can be found on YouTube and Funny Or Die.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Taste Makers

Dining Rick Coates are a lot of schools of thought when it comes to preparing the Thanksgiving turkey. Many food experts suggest preparing two medium size birds (10 to 12 lbs) versus one large 20-plus pound turkey. Then there is the great stuffing in the bird versus not stuffing the bird debate.