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: what
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, January 30, 2012

Letters 01-30-2012


Gov't not a business

Candidate Romney claims that his qualification for President is that he is a successful businessman. What he does not seem to understand is that government is not a business. A business produces products or services for a profit for its shareholders. A government provides services paid for with taxes collected from the citizens and businesses.

If the government were a business it could privatize the Defense Department. Following the Romney business tactic, the Pentagon Corporation could sell our surplus aircraft carriers to China, as Russia did. We do not need seven nuclear aircraft carrier task forces when no other country has more than one. We could level the playing field, sell off some of our ships and pass on the profits to the shareholders. That’s what businesses do.

If that meant laying off a lot of sailors, taking away their pensions and medical benefits and dumping them onto the distressed labor market, so be it. What matters to business is dividends for the shareholders.

Business thinks in terms of short term gains and quick profits. Governments think long term. It takes years to plan a bridge, for instance, and no private corporation is going to take that long range view...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reinventing the Inside

Features Erin Crowell

For those of us who are completely lost when it comes to interior design, there are folks like Diane Kolak, design consultant and owner of Dwelement Home Design, who can help make our spaces more than just “livable.”

The Grand Traverse resident shares her tips on several common interior design topics in this year’s Home & Furnishings issue.

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, March 26, 2012

Best Yoga Instructor

Mantra of the Mat

Best of NM 2012 If ever you wanted to increase flexibility, strengthen your core, find inner balance or just find an activity that doesn’t murder your joints, then yoga is probably the best go-to activity. While there are numerous teachers, clinics and businesses all over the region to help you with all of the above, two instructors stand out as among the best.
Monday, March 26, 2012

Best Michigan Product

Best of NM 2012 When Short’s Brewing Company produced those first 178 barrels of beer in 2004, they must have known they were on to something special. Since then, production at their Bellaire brewpub and now the Elk Rapids brewery has grown exponentially, along with the popularity of the brand.
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

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, May 7, 2012

For Sale: One Family’s Life

Features Erin Crowell

Troy and Erin Curet are living the American dream. They own a four-bedroom home, have two cars, two children – a boy and a girl – and one chocolate Labrador. Both are employed: Troy, a manager at Red Mesa Grill, and Erin, a stylist at Epiphany Salon. It’s a good life, but they don’t want it.

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.