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: about
Monday, November 7, 2011

ANIMAL HOUSE: Veterinarian Karen Mertaugh lives an unconventional life

Features Erin Crowell When you come to the house of Karen Mertaugh, chances are you’ll be greeted by a dog, a cat or even a school of fish housed on the west-side wall – all before setting foot in the actual home.
Monday, December 19, 2011

Letters 12/19/2011


Beware mailings

I just got another one of these political mailers from some Washington, D.C.-based group I have never heard of trying (and failing) to convince me that Congressman Dan Benishek is somehow saving my Medicare.

Hogwash. Last year, then-candidate Dan Benishek said on many occasions that he wants to end Medicare and Social Security. And the first thing he did when he went to congress was to just that. Rep. Benishek voted to end Medicare and force seniors to pay $6,400 of their own money to buy private healthcare while at the same time giving even more tax breaks to the super wealthy.

So it’s clear that this mailer is flat-out misleading people into believe the opposite...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Disappearing Forest

Logging near the VASA trail has activists concerned

Features Patrick Sullivan Some neighbors near the VASA trail are worried the state is stepping up timber harvests in the area and encroaching on the beloved skiing and cycling trail. They point to a piece of land cleared near the Supply Road parking lot for the 50K loop and a compartment mark for logging between the trail and a nearby neighborhood.
Monday, January 16, 2012

Skiing With Elk

Features Mike Terrell Located just a snowball throw off I-75, Gaylord is arguably one of the best cross country towns in the Lower Peninsula. The village has a charming alpine motif that would fit right into the Swiss Alps, and there’s close to 60 miles of trails, both tracked and untracked, to choose from.
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, January 23, 2012

Letters 1-23-2012


Move to Amend

If you weren’t at the Milliken Auditorium on January 11, you won’t believe it. If you were there, you probably still can’t believe it! More than 500 people - to include folks from the UP to the north and Manistee and beyond to the south - crammed into Milliken to hear a riveting presentation by David Cobb, founder and spokesman for the national Move to Amend movement (www. movetoamend.org).

One thing making this evening so incredible was that 500 Northern Michiganders came out, not so much for a speaker most had never heard of, but because we know that corporations are not people. We know that legislators too often are accountable to the huge moneyed interests that get and keep them elected, not to us. We know that WE the people are what make democracy work. And we also know that our democracy isn’t working for 99% of the people in this country – and we aren't going to take it anymore...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Vietnam Vagabond: Veteran Shares Raw Stories of Homelessness in ‘The Walking Wounded’

Features Erin Crowell In May 2005, Jeanne Oleniczak received a package from her brother, Winfred Roy Compton II. In it was a diary written by Compton from 1970 to 1995 describing his life living as a homeless veteran, wandering through the streets of countless cities. With it was a note from her brother telling Oleniczak to do whatever she wanted with it.
Monday, February 13, 2012

Letters 02-13-2012


Vet Parade – Hell No

As a nation we have been “smitten with the madness – blindness – and astonishment of heart” – passionately in love with war.

Rather than hold a ticker tape parade, let’s have President Bush apologize to Americans for starting a war based on lies – apologize to Iraqis for the death of 117,000 innocent civilians killed, for the destruction of its infrastructure, and for leaving a nation at civil war – apologize to veterans and families – apologize to America for squandering its resources.

Let’s have President Obama apologize for the needless escalation of the war in Afghanistan – apologize to Afghan citizens for the reckless death of 66,000 innocent civilians – for fueling corruption – return his Nobel Peace Prize as unearned – and end the war today...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Letters 02-20-2012


Robo Fracking Letters

It seems like the “anti fracking” propaganda gets distributed on a regular basis similar to the Robo politico calls we will most certainly have to endure this coming fall. The message is more or less the same but the names are changed so the letters are not interrupted.

And like Robo calls after you heard the first one well you get the picture. There is no “opinion” just negative propaganda begged from what one can glean from the internet and like-minded blogs or in the name of saving the environment.

At what point can we have a meaningful discussion when it comes to energy...
Monday, February 27, 2012

A Dose of Inspiration

Features Erin Crowell So when a friend propositioned me on helping him with an upcoming book project that would have me running my first marathon, my initial thought was excitement, which was immediately followed by doubt as I pictured the number – 26.2 miles – in my head.