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: could
Monday, September 23, 2013

A Billion Gallons of Water

A project planned on a private hunting property in Kalkaska could push water use for Encana wells to over a billion gallons

Features Patrick Sullivan For decades, the mission of the corporation remained committed to conservation and stewardship of hundreds of acres that the association’s membership could use for hunting and fishing, according to a review of Black River’s articles of incorporation..
Monday, December 16, 2013

Letters 12-13-13

Letters Michigan's kleptocracy

As one of his first official acts, Governor Snyder picked the pockets of Michigan retirees by taxing their pensions and retirement savings. He then lined the pockets of his corporate backers by reducing business taxes...

Food stamp cuts

Yes, that would be the real “Hunger Games” (I’ll credit the movie for my title to avoid a Rand Paul plagiarism charge)...

Racetrack woes

The Indian River Racetrack issue has unfortunately very much divided our community, literally pitting neighbor against neighbor...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Motocross Showdown in Indian River

Opponents propose an alternative track

Features Patrick Sullivan “What I would like to say is, we finally have our hearing, there was a lot of work that’s gone into our proposal, and we’re hoping to present it on the eighth of January,” Hall said. “Come to the meeting on Jan. 8 with an open mind and listen to what’s proposed.
Monday, February 3, 2014

MDOT, Others Gamble on Casino Train

Passenger trains could rumble through Traverse City for short hauls

Features Patrick Sullivan “Each map, at each forum, included connecting Traverse City to a southern part of the state in some fashion,” the report said. “The southern connection points varied between Grand Rapids and the Ann Arbor area depending on where the forum was held.”.
Monday, March 17, 2014

Letters 3-17-14



We are fortunate to live in America. We are required to act responsibly. Contribute to the SOLUTION...


The past president of Monster Beverage Company has stated publicly on several occasions that he wants to build a racetrack on Griswold Mountain in order to “give back” to Indian River...


Since the 1970s the income earned by the top fifth of Americans has risen from 40 percent to 47 percent of total income. It is difficult to say that this level of inequality is a bad thing; many of the reasons are clear...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

'Tourist Train' Could Be Just a Few Years Away

For $1.7 million, a tourist train could once again chuff back and forth from Traverse City to Williamsburg.

Features Patrick Sullivan LOTS OF WORK AHEAD The 11-mile stretch of track in question is seldom used and is barely in good enough condition to carry freight. The tracks are maintained at the lowest standard allowed by the Federal Railroad Administration and trains are forbidden to carry passengers or travel more than 10 miles per hour.
Sunday, November 2, 2014

From Autos to Art

Art Al Parker During her 30 years as an assembly line worker at the Ford Motor Company plant in Wixom, Mich., Margie Guyot took on every task except spray painting and welding.
Monday, November 10, 2014

VA on the Verge of Change

National Scandal Leads to Changes in Healthcare for Northern Michigan Veterans

Features Patrick Sullivan Outrage following reports of excessive healthcare delays at the VA hospital in Phoenix led Congress to pass the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 in August, a law that provides billions in funding for better veteran care and also demands reform at the VA.
Monday, December 8, 2014

Without A Trace

Features Patrick Sullivan QUIET DESPERATION Richardson believes Lepsy could be Cooper, the infamous skyjacker who jumped from a commercial airliner on Nov. 24, 1971 into the dark Oregon night with $200,000 in ransom money. No trace of Cooper or his parachute has ever been found.
Monday, May 11, 2015

Letters 05-11-2015


Religious Freedom Challenge Stephen Tuttle wrote (May 4) concerning state “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” (RFRAs) in his “Not Actually Legislating” column: “It is repugnant overreaction to a social change some people are unable to accept. Apparently their strongly held religious belief is they don’t like ‘gay’ people.”

A New Marriage Definition In regards to the gay marriage debate, as an American citizen and as a gay man, I do not support any declaration that defines marriage.

Let Cars Park Downtown Downtown TC merchants and property owners...where are your voices?

Takeaways From The GT Board All the dynamics we are seeing at the GT County Board level are due to years of pentup frustration with past county boards not following a specific results-based budgetary (RBB) process.