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, April 30, 2012

Crawford County Caper

Features Patrick Sullivan How a cigarette butt led police to a group of burglars suspected of selling weapons to Detroit gang. The first person to notice something awry was neighbor Philip Halbritter, who suspected trouble the day before a burglary even took place.
Monday, May 7, 2012

Letters 05-07-2012


Citizens vs. PACs

I believe American citizens, not superpacs and billionaires, have the constitutional right to elect our President, Congress, and Judges. The Citizens United vs. FEC ruling by the Supreme Court gives corporations including multinationals, foreign entities, and unions the constitutional right to spend unlimited funds to oppose or support a candidate without disclosing who is giving, how much, and to whom.

Because Citizens United says money is the same as speech, superpacs allow individuals to do the same. Those who donate the most money win the votes of the politicians. This is destroying our democracy!

Average citizens across Northern Michigan trying to voice their concerns to their legislators can be overwhelmed by the corrupting influence of outside billionaires and corporations who donate unlimited amounts of money.

As a citizen of this country that I love, as a mother and grandmother, I believe we have a right and a responsibility to elect the best legislators who will safeguard and advocate for our family, community and country...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Neighbors Propose Change to Trail

Features Patrick Sullivan The Sleeping Bear Natural Heritage Trail is under construction in Leelanau County, and now some residents are worried.
Monday, July 16, 2012

Letters 07-16-2012


Fireworks pollution

The new Michigan fireworks law does untold damage to the environment, wildlife, pets and our personal right to quiet and safety in our own homes.

On July 7th and numerous times, between late June through September, I have been jolted out of bed by neighbors setting off extremely loud fireworks – the kind used in public displays.

I have had to rearrange my life to accommodate my neighbors “fun.” This includes getting my dog up to the house and into a closet at night before the fireworks start, which is always a guess. Then waking him up after midnight to pee because he was too scared to pee on the way to the house.

I have had to remain up till after midnight on evenings when I was not feeling well or just needed to sleep because I work long hours. I have heard others say that their children are scared awake in the middle of the night from neighbors fireworks.

Veterans with PTSD call the 4th of July “a day from hell.” Deer are reported to have miscarriages from fear after explosions and I can’t imagine the pain of birds or bats with sensitive hearing, not to mention the toxic heavy metal smoke from the fireworks that they are forced to breathe which can cause digestive disorders, cancer and asthma attacks...

Monday, July 23, 2012

'Ticket, Please'

Volunteers keep TC Film Festival reels rolling

Features Erin Crowell

Last year at the Traverse City Film Festival, I volunteered at the State Theater. My shift, which consisted of taking tickets and counting occupants, had me working alongside a couple who were summering in the area.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Drug Deal Gone Wrong

Fake money in a heroin deal leads to bad blood

Features Patrick Sullivan

It appeared at first to be a crime that made no sense at all. A man was attacked on the side of a rural road in East Bay Township southeast of Traverse City Aug. 12, stabbed over 20 times and left to stagger to a nearby house to call for help.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Letters 10-15-2012


Birthday bust

What constitutes probable cause? This is one of many questions that has been going around in my head since my house was raided last Wednesday!

Last Wednesday should have been a celebratory day in my life. My boyfriend had just bagged a trophy buck and it was the eve of my birthday. My festive spirit was quickly halted when I received a call from TNT informing me that they were at my house. When I returned home from work, I found many police cars and officers at my house. My boyfriend was being detained in a police car, and officers were going through my personal belongings. I found out later that the officers busted into my house, and had held my boyfriend and house guest at gun-point.

I was told that based on two tips from informers and my boyfriend’s history, they felt just cause in raiding my house, instead of knocking on the door and politely asking, which they said was the usual protocol!

One of the informers told police that my boyfriend, Zach, had an illegal marijuana grow room and was manufacturing marijuana. The second informer, which was a recorded citizen tip, stated that Zach was selling crack-laced joints. Both of which were lies!

Zach told the officers as soon as they entered that there was a grow room. The room belonged to me, and I had my medical marijuana card. They proceeded anyway. If there had been an investigation, why didn’t the officers know this bit of crucial information before they came into my house? They found no evidence of illegal substances! They also found no evidence of any type of sales. They found nothing out of the ordinary, except a few immature plants over my limit and a few pills with no prescription attached.

The medical marijuana laws are “milky.”

Although there is a limited number of plants allowed, what really constitutes as a plant? The few that were removed from my house were small immature plants that contain no THC.

The point to my letter is why did the police feel justified in raiding my house...
Monday, October 29, 2012

Letters 10-29-2012


No action on climate ... Has medical know-how ... Options for Division St. ... Biomass disinformation ... Republicans & rape ... The obvious differences ... TC Chamber blues ... Stanton brings experience ... Keilitz cares ... Stephen Tuttle's Proposition Picks

Monday, December 3, 2012

What It’s Like Out There

The alleged rape of a homeless woman offers view of life on TC’s streets

Features Patrick Sullivan Warning -- This story contains graphic sexual content.
The 25-year-old woman had been slipping into homelessness for some time. In the past eight years she’d racked up a record of misdemeanor convictions -- a couple of cases of minor in possession of alcohol, a drunk driving, a domestic violence case, and a false pretenses case.

She cared a lot about her boyfriend, she later testified at his preliminary hearing on sex assault charges in August. At least when he was sober.

Monday, February 4, 2013

‘You had to be young and tough’

A Q&A with John C. Mitchell, author of “Grand Traverse The Civil War Era”

Features Patrick Sullivan

There’s been a steady interest in John C. Mitchell’s book, “Grand Traverse The Civil War Era,” since it was published in 2011 but that interest has only picked up with the popularity of the movie “Lincoln” and renewed interest in the Civil War as events from that era celebrate 150 year anniversaries.

Mitchell sat down with the Express to talk about his book and his lifelong friendship with Peter Leonard, son of Detroit crime author Elmore Leonard.