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, July 30, 2012

Susan Sarandon's star shines in TC Film Festival

Features Rick Coates Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon granted Rick Coates an exclusive pre- Traverse City Film Festival interview. The interview may be heard in its entirety on the Omelette & Friends Show Tuesday, July 31 at 7:30 am and again on Wednesday August 1 at 9 am.
Monday, August 20, 2012

Letters 08-20-2012


Irony & Oklahoma

A lady from Oklahoma sent in a pronatural gas/fracking response letter in your August 13th issue. I wonder, do they have something called irony in Oklahoma?

I ask this because it makes perfect sense that someone from a dry, flat, hot, nearly treeless place like Oklahoma would want to vacation in a land of verdant forests, rolling hills and immense stretches of clean water like our Michigan. The irony comes in when she lectures us on how wonderful natural gas drilling/fracking is, and that those of us who are rightly terrified of it are “unenlightened.”

Lady, the only way we can keep this area a vacation/everyday living paradise is to stop fracking cold...
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, November 19, 2012

Taste Makers

Dining Rick Coates are a lot of schools of thought when it comes to preparing the Thanksgiving turkey. Many food experts suggest preparing two medium size birds (10 to 12 lbs) versus one large 20-plus pound turkey. Then there is the great stuffing in the bird versus not stuffing the bird debate.
Monday, November 26, 2012

Raise a glass to Old Town's new Brewery Ferment

Dining Ross Boissoneau But if it’s all about the beer at a neighborhood bar, then maybe Brewery Ferment is on to something. The owners of Traverse City’s newest nightspot are hoping that the beers, plus the tavern’s location on Union Street south of Eighth, will make it both a neighborhood success and a draw for those navigating the downtown scene.
Monday, November 26, 2012

Letters 11-26-2012


Disapproves of model ... Tough on local biz... Protect school districts

"There are elections, and there are elections..."

Monday, December 3, 2012

Letters 12-03-2012

Letters Agony in Gaza "After viewing just a part of the carnage where civilians were deliberately targeted, I felt sick and angry..."  Respect other religions "...we are surprised, disappointed, and shocked. This decision did not convey Christian love and respect for others’ views..." Excuses, excuses... "We have been waiting way too long for Congressional action on the fiscal crisis..."
Monday, December 10, 2012

No Place for Pedestrians

A walking tour of Lafranier Road shows the outskirts of TC need a lot of improvement

Features Patrick Sullivan

When Gary Howe learned the Grand Traverse County Road Commission planned to spend some money to improve Lafranier Road, he decided he wanted to have some input.  Howe proposed a walking tour of Lafranier with local planners, transportation specialists and a couple members of the road commission. The Northern Express tagged along on the snowy morning of Nov. 28.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Comedian Roundtable

A discussion with Winter Comedy Arts Festival’s Dick Gregory, Robert Wuhl and Festival Co-Founder Jeff Garlin

Features Rick Coates

We caught up with a few of the headliners of this week’s Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival and got their thoughts on comedy, coming to Traverse City and some of their future projects.