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: it’s
Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meeting History in Petoskey

Little Traverse Museum exhibit tells Hemingway’s Story

Features Kristi Kates

While paying homage to the man considered to be Michigan’s greatest writer, it’s worth noting that the organization behind the Little Traverse History Museum has been around longer than Ernest Hemingway himself.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Simple Life?

Couple tries scaled-back living in a one-room cabin off the grid

Features Patrick Sullivan A 2,000-square-foot home in a subdivision outside of Traverse City and full-time jobs at nonprofit organizations didn’t add up to a satisfying life for Rolf and Mari von Walthausen.
Monday, October 8, 2012

A Voice for Freedom

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has risked her life many times to speak out for women

Features Robert Downes Her 2006 book, “Infidel,” detailed her childhood in the self-destructing nation of Somalia and her subsequent flight to the Netherlands at the age of 21 to escape an arranged marriage to an older man she despised.
Monday, October 29, 2012

Observations of a Dog Park ‘Parent’

Spending time with Charley off the leash

Features Erin Crowell Like (and unlike) many people my age, I don’t have children. I have a dog. And even though Charley, my four-year-old border collie/lab mix, doesn’t serve to supplement my lack of offspring, she does, however, take the form of a quasi child.

Both require discipline, time, love and poop duty.

Monday, December 24, 2012

All Aboard!

FESTIVAL OF TRAINS celebrates a decade of mini locomotives

Erin Crowell Ah, yes. The steamy shrill of a train whistle. It’s not something we hear often in Traverse City these days, except when it’s time for the annual Festival of Trains. Presented by the Northern Michigan Railroad Club (NMRC) at the History Center of Traverse City, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the miniature models and is open now through New Years Day.
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.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Letters 02-04-2013


True meaning of MLK Day... Something about Paul J. Nepote’s letter lamenting the “hijacking” of Martin Luther King Day by the gay community seems a little disingenuous. It’s hard to tell if he’s attacking the gay community, the use of public funds for the celebration, or the holiday itself, but I did not find it to be in the spirit Dr. King’s life...

Racist rant... It’s too bad that Paul Nepote considers himself a viable voice for the African- American community, when it’s clear by his racist rant (Letters, 1-28-13) that nothing could be further from the truth. It’s too bad that anyone with a brain will see through his weak claim that “the majority of the black community do not support homosexuality...”

Sick of it... Is it just me or is everyone sick of hearing about Paul Nepote’s anti-Homosexual diatribes? And now he claims that the LGB&T movement has hijacked MLK day. Really? Ludicrous at best. Yes Mr. Nepote, you are entitled to your opinion, and I to mine...

Watch out for meddlers... While Barack Obama won the state of Michigan in November, Republicans successfully invested millions of dollars in local elections to impact policy decisions. Proposal 2, designed to guarantee collective bargaining rights, was defeated by a well-financed campaign...

Christian values violated... I found a copy of your publication on the break room table at work today. I was instantly upset and ashamed that you are proudly telling the story of the two homosexual men in Traverse City...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Embracing the Pink

Abbey Kaufman is Legally Blonde

Features Erin Crowell Traverse City Central High School senior Abbey Kaufman takes center stage as Elle Woods, the sweet, bubbly, sorority heroine of “Legally Blonde, The Musical,” a stage adaptation of the Broadway hit and film starring Reese Witherspoon.

The 17-year-old Kaufman beat out dozens of other young actresses to capture the lead role.The Express chatted with Kaufman—a sweet, soft-spoken girl, herself—to find out what it’s like to don pink and perform with an older cast.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Dining Ross Boissoneau Another favorite is the Echo’s Bend pizza. It includes fresh offerings from Echo Bend farm in Arcadia, brought in by server Charla Kramer, who owns and runs the farm with her husband Tom. It’s topped with goat cheese, toasted nuts, and chef’s choice of sauce.
Monday, August 19, 2013


53-year-old Craig Webb captures race titles by wheel, water & road

Features Erin Crowell When it comes to endurance sports, it’s all about the individual. Runners, cyclists and triathletes train and compete against other individuals looking to push their physical limits. Of course, many athletes compete and train on endurance teams.