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: people
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, January 30, 2012

From Farm to Table to… Poor House

Features Patrick Sullivan It is a struggle to make any money as an organic farmer in Northern Michigan, he says, as entrepreneurs in the industry face a bewildering patchwork of township and county regulation. Add in taxes and consumers who may talk up organic food, but who are unwilling to pay a premium for it, and organic farming begins to look like a recipe for bankruptcy.
Monday, March 26, 2012

Best Broadcast Journalist

Shuffle off to Buffalo

Best of NM 2012 Despite announcing her move over a month earlier, Fairbanks was voted “Best Broadcast Journalist,” receiving an overwhelming number of votes. Along with hundreds of emails, Facebook posts and phone calls, Northern Michigan wanted to show the former evening news anchor of TV 7&4 just how much they would miss her.
Monday, March 26, 2012

Best Barista

Master Barista at Roast & Toast

Best of NM 2012 “I grew up in Alanson, but always hung out in Petoskey, and one day I walked into Roast & Toast and felt at home,” said Thompson. “The staff was really friendly, all the other people in the place seemed cool and the coffee drinks were delicious, so it became my hangout.
Monday, March 26, 2012

Story you’d like us to do?

Best of NM 2012 • 10 Curious ways to enjoy winter • A feature on the good work of county administrator, Dennis Aloia • A green issue to promote contractors trying to create positive change • A piece called “remember when” for all of the peeps who grew up here • A...
Monday, April 23, 2012

Hemingway Up North

Features Patrick Sullivan

The last time Ernest Hemingway came to Northern Michigan, as far as anyone knows, was in 1947, when he visited a friend in Petoskey and checked on his cottage on Walloon Lake, on his way from Florida to Idaho.

That visit was commemorated in a small news item in the Sept. 27 edition of the Petoskey Evening News, which was reprinted in Michael Federspiel’s book, Picturing Hemingway’s Michigan.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Letters 05-14-2012


Tuttle right on Time

That article was 100 percent spot-on!

My uniquely effective high school English composition instructor directed his students, with each assignment of a paper that required citations of source material, “If you decide to include Time Magazine in your bibliography, please save me the trouble and go ahead and put a red ‘F’ at the top of your paper.”

His disdain for their editorial standards was total, and appropriately so.

I have my personal nominee for “Time Magazine Nonsensical Cover Hyperbole”...
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Adams Fly Festival Celebrates the World’s Most Famous Fly

Features Rick Coates

Most towns wouldn’t want to be famous for their flies, but the Village of Kingsley is so proud of theirs that they are hosting a festival to celebrate.

That’s because this isn’t a housefly or a deerfly, but the Adams, the most famous and important fly among trout fishermen in North America.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pro Bono Need Keeps Growing

Features Patrick Sullivan Attorney John Racine recognized for helping clients who can’t pay

Over the years, Legal Services of Northern Michigan has tried to plug holes when they’ve spotted them. Take divorce cases. Some less well-off people found themselves going through that ordeal without a lawyer at their side.