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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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 11, 2012

Letters 06-11-2012


Wetlands debatable

Patrick Sullivan proves here that there’s always ONE side to every story (re: “Upland Forest or Forested Wetlands?” 5/28/12). Actually, if you read through the sensationalism you see that there isn’t even a story here at all.

While the subtitle reads: “Environmentalist alleges Antrim County official looked the other way as wetlands were destroyed,” buried near the end we find this quote from the DEQ: “It is true that soil erosion officers don’t have any authority over wetlands, he said. It is up to the DEQ to issue Part 303 permits that allow the destruction of wetlands.”

So Heidi Shaffer (Antrim County soil erosion officer) did her job and is being persecuted because an environmentalist feels threatened and a couple from downstate has to share their “little piece of Northern Michigan” lakefront with a neighboring land owner? Shameful...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Letters 06-18-2012


Helmets & organs

I am one of those guys that thought it would be great to ride without a helmet, so in 2007 I rode from St Augustine FL to Daytona Beach with nothing but a dew rag on my bald paté.

On the way home we came upon a three-motorcycle collision at an intersection. We stopped to help, but found two of the bikers were DOA from head injuries, and the third biker had a serious head injury. I have never ridden without a helmet since...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Letters 06-25-2012


Panning the panhandlers

I have noticed a disturbing trend in downtown Traverse City. I have observed more and more public intoxication by street people, as well as blatant panhandling for spare change, and was even asked, no, told, to give one certain individual $2 one day, “for beer.”

Just yesterday afternoon, I was approached by three people within 10 minutes in the 200 block of E. Front St. for spare change, 50 cents, and one dollar. Another person has even begun to step out in front of passing motorists, and stop them to do his panhandling.

Where is law enforcement? Has anybody driven by Lay Park in the late mornings, and most of the afternoon lately? There’s a group of at least 10 persons consuming alcohol, and some appear to be passed out lying on the ground. Does this look good to folks who visit the region...

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Mortgage Monster

Family fights to keep their home

Features Patrick Sullivan

This is the second of two stories about a family in Elk Rapids who encountered a mortgage modification scam artist and wound up on the brink of losing their home. Last week, the Express looked at what happened to Pablo and Guadalupe Bocardo that caused their home to be foreclosed.

This week, we look at the efforts of their attorney to fight Fannie Mae to get their house back.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Drunk & Disorderly

When does having too much to drink become a crime?

Features Patrick Sullivan Dear Readers: For this story, investigative reporter Patrick Sullivan looked at 12 police reports for cases of disorderly conduct obtained from the Traverse City Police Department, the Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Office, and the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office through the Freedom of Information Act.

Since the cases were selected at random and would not normally become the subject of news feature stories, we are not identifying the suspects or witnesses by name.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lisa Christian set to celebrate Sleder's 130 Birthday

Features Rick Coates Sleder’s Family Tavern has been a Traverse City tradition for the past 130 years. Everything from “Kissing The Moose,” to their burgers, to great service and their music on the porch series have made them a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
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

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...'