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: michigan
Monday, June 11, 2012

A Boom in Bike Paths

Features Robert Downes The hottest new tourism trend in Northern Michigan comes on two wheels with a fanny pack.

You can see that trend yourself on any drive along the Lake Michigan shoreline north of Charlevoix, where dozens of cyclists pack the Wheelway Trail each day.

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, September 17, 2012

Tipping Point: Service Industry Revisited

Features Rick Coates Recently, I was asked what I thought about service in Northern Michigan and I responded, “it depends on the day.” One day I experience exceptional service, the next day I have a less than satisfactory experience. I wrote an article five years ago giving Northern Michigan a C-minus grade for its service industry.
Monday, October 1, 2012

Fracked Roads

Activists angered over flowback wastewater being sprayed on roads

Features Patrick Sullivan Some environmentalists are alarmed after it was learned that thousands of gallons of flowback wastewater from two high-volume, deep-shale hydraulic fracking wells in Kalkaska County was sprayed on roads throughout the region to control dust.
Monday, October 1, 2012

Letters 10-01-2012


Blowing in the wind

I am writing to support Proposition 3, which requires Michigan’s utilities to get 25% of their power from renewable sources by 2025. I don’t think that our utilities, in flatly rejecting Proposition 3, have fairly evaluated the considerable renewable resources that exist in our state.

Take wind, for example. If you look at a wind map of Michigan, (Google “Michigan 50 meter wind map”) you will see that just offshore Michigan is surrounded by winds that are classified as excellent to outstanding. Offshore wind power is rapidly being developed by Denmark, Germany and the U.K. The technology could readily be adapted to the coast of Michigan.

Very little will happen, however, unless we commit ourselves to a significant increase in the production of renewable electric power. There needs to be a market in order for investors and manufacturers to show interest. Proposition 3 will create that market...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Letters 10-08-2012


Climate change & Prop 3

Climate change is real. This year’s catastrophes are a mere preview of things to come, and a warning to quit procrastinating and demand action.

Scientific consensus states that anything above 350 ppm will permanently change our climate. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon are now over 392 ppm and rising.

Feed-back loops from methane releases are self-reinforcing. More methane means more heat, leading to more releases. Growing evidence indicates we have already triggered this disastrous pattern...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Benishek V. McDowell

An old-fashioned bar brawl of a congressional campaign

Features Patrick Sullivan The race for the Michigan’s 1st Congressional seat is one of the hardest fought in the nation this election cycle, and the result is that Michigan residents from Marquette to Manistee have been besieged with television advertisements from each of them and political organizations working on their behalf.
Monday, October 22, 2012

Expanded Election Issue Letters Section


Vote yes for clean energy ... 'Simple Life' not so simple ... Lessons of the past ... Climate action & Prop 3 ... Facts, not propaganda ... The propositions ... McDowell & business ... Republican tax hike  ... Greening of Detroit ... Vote for Kirsten Keilitz ...  Coffia's clean campaign ... Melanie Stanton the best ... Prop 2 protects our jobs ... 'Extra, Extra...'

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pure Michigan Then and Now

Recalling the age of tourism by rail and steamship

Features Erin Crowell

Did you know? Long before Tim Allen was promoting Michigan with his smooth, hypnotic-like voice, our state’s first Pure Michigan campaign was drawing visitors as early as the 1800s.

On Friday, Nov. 16, Michael Federspiel will discuss how local entrepreneurs teamed with railroad and steamship companies to market the Little Traverse Bay region over 100 years ago.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Dose of Reality for the Bihlman Brothers

TV pilot to be filmed in Northern Michigan

Features Rick Coates There’s a saying that “blood is thicker than water,” and the Bihlman Bros. plan to prove that with their new reality TV show “Blood Brothers.”