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, August 13, 2012

A Ride On The Pine is Always Fine

Swift-flowing river offers a wild ride in Manistee County

Features Mike Terrell Like a favorite old song that always conjures up good memories, the Pine River in Manistee County falls into that category for me. The clear, cold waters tumble through deep forests underneath high banks supporting towering pine and hardwood trees.
Monday, October 1, 2012

Heavy Metal

Scrap industry provides second chance for junk & its peddlers

Features Erin Crowell In a rotted-out building in Suttons Bay, Jeff Bryant sifts through a pile of rusted desks, abandoned cabinets, broken windows and molding furniture. A grape vine, with violet berries still attached, snakes through the gaping hole in the ceiling into the collection of junk.
Monday, October 15, 2012

Corn Maze Mania

How I got lost and found in a field of corn

Features Erin Crowell

For awhile, all I hear is the rustling of dry corn stalks in the wind. Then, I hear the laughter of a child somewhere toward the west. I can’t see anyone, but I know they are wandering like me through this maze of maize.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Water & the West

Observations of a Michigander cycling through the green deserts of the West

Features Bob Otwell Last fall, my wife Laura and I embarked on an adventure. With good health and time available, we cleared our schedules and relied on friends and family to fill in on the home front. We dropped our youngest daughter off at college, and took off for a 10-month, 9,000-mile journey around the perimeter of the USA on touring bicycles.
Monday, June 10, 2013

Flying high with ‘Birds of Paradise’

Features The rain forests of New Guinea and their feathered occupants are revealed this week with “Birds of Paradise: Amazing Avian Evolution,” a National Geographic Traveling Exhibition coming to the Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College in TC.
Monday, July 29, 2013

KickStarting Success

Local filmmaker feels the love in crowdfunding trend

Features Erin Crowell There’s strength in numbers. That’s the belief behind the money-raising phenomenon known as crowd-funding, an online campaign for artists, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. Websites like IndieGoGo, KickStarter and Razoo allow people to translate their faith in a mission, project or business idea into actual dollars.
Monday, February 10, 2014

Hot Dates

Dates Jamie Kauffold Olympic training skills, this challenge is open to families with children ages 4 – 14. This week’s course is: Biathlon - Move quickly through the pool, shooting targets with a water gun. 7pm, John & Marnie Demmer Wellness Pavilion & Dialysis Center, Petoskey.
Monday, June 16, 2014

Going Camping Whithout Roughing It

Features Mike Terrell Those looking for the “softer side” of camping will appreciate the newest trend: “glamping,” shorthand for glamorous camping. Take a load off and enjoy the outdoors without all the work, the theory goes. Here in northern Michigan, you’ll find plenty of examples of glamping the area’s luxury campgrounds and upscale RV parks.
Monday, September 8, 2014

Breezing Through the Tunnel of Trees

Features Kristi Kates The fall edition of this year’s Cycling Classic is set for Sept. 13, with a trio of routes. All offer beautiful glimpses of Lake Michigan, farmland, horse pastures, and that jaw-dropping foliage..