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, November 21, 2011

Letters 11/21/2011


Buy ‘Made in USA’

I love buying products made in the U.S.A. In a second-hand store the other day, I realized my generation missed out on the good feeling of holding something of great quality, turning it over, and seeing, “Made in U.S.A.”

But there is a brilliant and bold loophole, second-hand stores. They are proliferating here in Traverse City! Brilliant because it is more cost effective to buy quality used products. Bold because buying something made 50 years ago in the U.S.A., that still works better than something made at present, in country X, or shall I just say it, China, is a bold statement in itself...

Monday, December 5, 2011



Fracking dangerous

T. Boone Pickens and Big Oil and Coal are working overtime and spending millions of dollars on advertising to convince us that natural gas is the best thing to happen to Michigan since fudge. But if unconventional slick-water fracturing (fracking) is so great, why does it need all the exemptions from law? Fracking is exempt from...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Keep It Moving

Features Michael Moore These are excerpts from a talk Michael Moore gave to Occupy Traverse City at the group's Dec. 22 general assembly meeting held in the basement of Horizon Books on Front Street. The speech was transcribed and abridged by Patrick Sullivan.
Monday, January 23, 2012

Letters 1-23-2012


Move to Amend

If you weren’t at the Milliken Auditorium on January 11, you won’t believe it. If you were there, you probably still can’t believe it! More than 500 people - to include folks from the UP to the north and Manistee and beyond to the south - crammed into Milliken to hear a riveting presentation by David Cobb, founder and spokesman for the national Move to Amend movement (www. movetoamend.org).

One thing making this evening so incredible was that 500 Northern Michiganders came out, not so much for a speaker most had never heard of, but because we know that corporations are not people. We know that legislators too often are accountable to the huge moneyed interests that get and keep them elected, not to us. We know that WE the people are what make democracy work. And we also know that our democracy isn’t working for 99% of the people in this country – and we aren't going to take it anymore...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Letters 02-20-2012


Robo Fracking Letters

It seems like the “anti fracking” propaganda gets distributed on a regular basis similar to the Robo politico calls we will most certainly have to endure this coming fall. The message is more or less the same but the names are changed so the letters are not interrupted.

And like Robo calls after you heard the first one well you get the picture. There is no “opinion” just negative propaganda begged from what one can glean from the internet and like-minded blogs or in the name of saving the environment.

At what point can we have a meaningful discussion when it comes to energy...
Monday, March 12, 2012

Letters 03-12-2012


Academic performance

One teacher in Troy recently went before the board of education to explain the 20 percent increase in scores across all of her students for the first half of the year. Her innovative ideas involve three areas: classroom structure, embedded writing in her curriculum and student nutrition.

As part of a three-year longitudinal study it turns out that she has been able to simulate same gender effect in a mixed student class room by original vertical and horizontal placement of students in the classroom...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Letters 04-23-2012


Jesters insulted

As a peace-loving jester, I am insulted by Stephen Tuttle, who wrote, “Jesters have taken over the court.” For in the past, the jester was the only one who wouldn’t die if insulting the King about stupid wars, payoffs, corrupt policies, and poor leadership.

Today it is money that buys everyone off, even the courts, for judges and lawyers (our last resort) are needy too, and pass the buck to get in on being an elitist or rich. The rich now run everything and peasants can only dream of being an elitist/rich...

Monday, April 23, 2012

In It for the Long Haul

Features Erin Crowell Dean Karnazes has a lot of numbers in his life.  In 2006, he ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days (that’s 26.2 miles per run). In 2011, he ran from California to New York City, or approximately 3,000 miles, averaging 40 to 50 miles per day.
Monday, April 30, 2012

Letters 4-30-2012


Give Gitmo back

In last week’s issue Mr. Tuttle called for ending our fruitless blockade of Cuba. This is laudable and sensible.

The blockade has been an abject failure. Fidel Castro has outlasted now nine presidents. More importantly, had our blockade been ended decades ago, communism in Cuba would have been long gone and Cuba would now be a major trading partner and American vacation destination.

It was disappointing, however, that an editorial calling for an end to the blockade didn’t have a word about “Gitmo.” You know, the prison nickname for our Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba...