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: which
Monday, June 11, 2012


Features Mike Terrell Wildwood Rush lives up to its name

Perched on the edge of a platform 40-some feet in the air wrapped around a sturdy pine tree, my 69-year-old knees were quivering as much as nearby aspen trees.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Death in the Forest

Features Robert Downes Killing 80 pig sows and their piglets in cold blood this spring to comply with a controversial order from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources was the toughest thing Dave Tuxbury has ever had to do.
Monday, August 6, 2012

Here Come the Drones


Features Erin Crowell Under the Wikipedia entry for “drone,” you will find such words as “chemical,” “warfare,” “target” and “humanoid” – words that send a chill down one’s spine when considering their recent presence in the media. Drones, or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) as they are technically referred to, are being heavily manufactured and put to use by the U.S. government, and in countries throughout the world.
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, January 21, 2013

New Directions at the Detroit Auto Show

Features Jim Motavalli

After back-to-back trips to the Detroit Auto Show and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, I’ve put together a pretty good picture of where the auto industry is headed in 2013.

The big news at CES was cars bristling with electronics to both allow them to drive themselves and to do just about anything you could possibly want with infotainment, including access the cloud. CES isn’t an auto show, but it may as well be these days—Lexus, Ford, Audi and many more were there.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Strum City: Return of the Great Indoor Folk Festival

Returning oldies but goodies will include stars of the local acoustic music scene, including Adair Correll with Kurt Westie and Friends, Song of the Lakes, Sister Wilene, Wild Sullys, Sour Mash, New Third Coast and many others. (See the full line-up and times in the ad on page 25.
Monday, February 25, 2013

Splash Zone

Winter paddling has both risks and rewards

Features Mike Terrell Northern Michigan, despite recent warmer winters, isn’t going to be thought of as a tropical zone anytime soon, but some who love to paddle don’t necessarily put their passion on hold until spring.

Those who like winter paddling seek the solitude and quiet beauty of area rivers adorned with a mantle of snow. They find the rewards are worth the risk and cold.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Letters 03-18-2013


Sugar buzz in our schools: Too much sugar is bad. Too much of the alternative is worse.

Because my kid’s public school (Glen Lake) doesn’t allow sodas, I naively thought most schools followed that trend. Unfortunately, while attending a district finals basketball game at Traverse City Central I was a bit surprised to find a bank of soda machines in the school cafeteria. Surprise turned to concern when I noticed they contained only diet sodas, water and sports drinks. Pepsi Next, which boasts 60% less sugar, quickly caught my attention. Guess what’s in it...

Wolves & free-thinkers: Your article (“Confessions of a Save the Wolves Petitioner”) hit home about the lack of citizenship in America where apathy, selfishness, frustration and lack of care is rampant in a government that serves the people...

New war on marijuana: We pride ourselves on how we take care of the sick in this country. We have the best hospitals in the world, as well as the finest doctors. You would think that America totally supports people getting better with whatever resources are available.

But wait just one minute. If you choose to medicate with cannabis, (aka: marijuana), not only are you NOT supported by most of the medical industry (which won’t treat you if you have THC in your system), but you may find yourself in a jail cell for growing and using it...

Scott Weiland rocked: I have been a big fan of Northern Express for many years. I have never felt compelled to write a letter to the Express or any other publication in the past. However, the recent article by Rick Coates where he trashes Scott Weiland’s performance at Ground Zero leaves me so compelled...

Ordinance clears way for demolishing junk building: On February 19, the Benzie County Board of Commissioners approved Ordinance number 2013-001, adopting the International Property Maintenance Code, provided by the International Code Council.

Approved, adopted and provided by who? The people of Benzie County didn’t know anything about this until it became enforceable law on February 27, when it was published in the Record-Patriot...

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Doc & The Cops

Features Patrick Sullivan Harwell, of Reed City, is charged with criminal conspiracy for allegedly certifying medical marijuana patients without a “bona fide doctor-patient relationship” and with putting false information in medical records. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.