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: case
Monday, December 17, 2012

Wrong ID in Attempted Abduction

Phone records clear a man accused of abduction

Features Patrick Sullivan When the victim saw the photo of Walter -- which is different than the booking photo that’s been released to the media -- she made an immediate ID. She broke down crying and repeatedly said, “It was him,” according to a brief filed by prosecutor Alan Schneider.
Monday, January 7, 2013

The Water Lord

One man’s monopoly on water in Walloon Lake leads to felony charges

Features Patrick Sullivan

There was one more thing to take care of after a man purchased a home on M-75 in the picturesque Village of Walloon in 2008. The new homeowner had to make sure that when he turned on his taps, water would come out.

Before that could happen, however, he was told by the local water utility that he would have to pay the previous owner’s water bill.

And he would also owe an administrative charge.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mystery of the Missing Money

Accusations fly in $26,000 Keno shortfall at VFW post

Features Patrick Sullivan Ten months after Keno was installed in the bar at VFW Cherryland Post 2780 in April, 2010, an audit discovered that $26,000 in gambling revenue was missing. The person who conducted that audit, Richard Thibeau, was then just a rank-and-file member, but he had an accounting degree and almost two decades of criminal investigation experience in the Army...
Monday, July 15, 2013

Remembering Kellyann Boyce Hurlbert

Parallel stories unfolded in Traverse City last Thursday afternoon.

Features Patrick Sullivan At F&M Park, under a gorgeous deep blue sky, a memorial service celebrated the life of Kellyann Boyce Hurlbert.
Monday, July 22, 2013

Intentional Act or Drunken Negligence?

Mystery still shrouds hit and run death of Kellyann Boyce Hurlbert

Features Patrick Sullivan Police reached over 400 tips in the case of the July 5 hit and run death of Kellyann (Boyce) Hurlbert, but all of that information from the public so far hasn’t helped investigators get any closer to solving the case.
Monday, January 6, 2014

A Year of Wrenching Crime

Tough first year for a young prosecutor

Features Patrick Sullivan Swanson and investigators depended on witnesses who were criminals or the associates of criminals to sort out what happened and bring charges. The case would eventually end in a no-contest plea and the defendant is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.
Monday, January 27, 2014

Ripped From the Headlines

Former Kalkaska prosecutor looks back at a domestic violence murder case

Features Patrick Sullivan It came on the heels of another famous Michigan case that involved a woman who killed her abusive husband by setting him on fire. That one spawned a nonfiction book that went on to become the 1984 hit made-for- TV movie “Burning Bed,” starring Farrah Fawcett.
Monday, December 2, 2013

Unsafe at 4 Miles per Hour?

DUI scooter charges thrown out of court

Features Patrick Sullivan After he reached Save-A-Lot, something happened and Lyon was asked to leave. He believes there is someone at Save-A-Lot who doesn’t like him and that person called the cops on him. Clark acknowledged in court that Lyon caused a disturbance at the store.
Monday, June 2, 2014

A One-Woman CSI Unit

Polly Penwell has autism – and the passion to solve cold missing persons cases

Features Patrick Sullivan “The pain that you see those families going through … I would always just be watching the show [“Disappeared” in the ID Network] and just be bawling,” she said. “I felt so much sadness for them. I’ve always been very sensitive – compassionate, I guess – even as a little kid.