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: area
Monday, April 14, 2014

Homeless in Northern Michigan

Where they go and what’s available in our region.

Features Patrick Sullivan Amid the debate, the Northern Express decided to look at whether providing better services could draw more homeless to an area, why the problem has gotten so bad recently and what services for the homeless are offered in other communities in our region.
Monday, May 5, 2014


Looking Inside an Active Northern Michigan

Features Cody Sovis For area cyclists, the second annual Pumpkin Pedal in Traverse City on April 27 was a perfect way to send off an all too cold northern Michigan winter and herald the spring. Despite strong winds and chilly temperatures, more than 100 riders turned out to celebrate two-wheeled fun, great beer and some rare views.
Monday, May 19, 2014

Old Mission Hiking: Beauty in Your Backyard

Beyond its famous wine and vineyards, Old Mission Peninsula is also the region’s hidden hiking gem.

Features Mike Terrell Old Mission Point Park contains around 560 acres, which includes Lighthouse Park. The township has a long-term lease on 500 acres of state-owned land, after a state park plan there failed. Lighthouse Park has a few miles of trails on 60 acres at the tip of the peninsula.
Monday, May 19, 2014

Boyne City Bounces Back

While Northern Michigan suffered during the recession, one town weathered the storm – and then some.

Features Ross Boissoneau The ski hill and recreation area provide a number of jobs and bring people to the area year-round, while Boyne City’s restaurants, shops and proximity to Lake Charlevoix benefit Boyne Mountain. “They realize Boyne City’s success is good for them too,” he said.
Monday, June 16, 2014

Mud-Soaked Money

How area mountain biking events are impacting Northern Michigan’s economy

Features Becky Kalajian Traverse City is not the first town to pay attention to mountain biking. Bellaire, home to the roughly 20-mile Glacial Hills Natural Area bike trail, has “definitely seen an uptick” in business since the trail opened about eight years ago, said Patty Savant, the executive director of Bellaire’s Chamber of Commerce.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Dates Jamie Kauffold 6TH ANNUAL TC WINE & ART FESTIVAL: Held at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, TC this Saturday, June 21 from 3-10pm. Featuring more than 200 local wines & local fare by area chefs. This year’s art is a juried show of 40 fine artists. Music by Mayer Hawthorne, The Mainstays, The Crane Wives, & many others.
Monday, August 4, 2014

Homesteading Comes Alive in Port Oneida

Features Ross Boissoneau Albany businessman Thomas Kelderhouse, who owned numerous Lake Michigan cargo ships, was responsible for much of the logging in the area. In 1862 he built a dock on land provided by Burfiend. The growing community was named after the SS Oneida, one of the first steamships to stop at the dock.
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.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Letters 10-10-2014

Letters Shameful TV Ads: Like so many others, I’m watching my weekend sports shows. Over the course of these shows we get bombarded with political ads, most from the right wing side of the spectrum. There are also those anti ads, the kind that are intended to cast a bad light on a particular candidate as opposed to extolling the virtues of the opposition.

Franz Not Thriving:
A recent mailing from Ray Franz claims his “strong policies help our families thrive.” I checked out a few of his policies to see what they provide.

The Homeless Area: Think about where all the homeless assistance facilities, addiction treatment facilities, are located. Think about the growing number of homeless and why. Think about the big picture of who this directly impacts as Traverse City grows. All of these facilities are in the same general area in TC.

How To Vote. Literally: Voting, marking your ballot, is how you register your political preferences and is the foundation of our democracy. What could be more important than making sure your ballot states your wishes accurately and completely as possible?

Revisiting Minervini’s Column On Poor: Just wanted to commend Christie Minervini on her column on the poor. She hit the nail on the head on many issues.

Politics & Worshiping: We frequently hear the old adage: “Never discuss politics or religion”. I quickly noticed that what we really mean is: “Never discuss the other fellow’s perspective on politics or religion.”

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sled Mania!

Features Mike Terrell Snowmobilers from all around the Great Lakes come to ride thousands of miles of groomed trails crisscrossing the Wolverine State, and in turn support many small businesses that depend on that infusion of cash during the slower winter months to survive.