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: people
Monday, July 2, 2012

The Other Traverse City

Photographer Alan Newton captures the lives of the homeless

Features Erin Crowell From the time the leaves started to turn and drop to the rise in spring temperatures, Alan Newton sat down and spoke with 24 homeless people living in Traverse City. A few are on the street by choice; but all are there by circumstance. Some are drug addicts, others are alcoholics.
Monday, July 23, 2012

'Ticket, Please'

Volunteers keep TC Film Festival reels rolling

Features Erin Crowell

Last year at the Traverse City Film Festival, I volunteered at the State Theater. My shift, which consisted of taking tickets and counting occupants, had me working alongside a couple who were summering in the area.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Letters 07-30-2012


Penn State's punishment

“...the fundamental chapter of this horrific story should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down.”

-- Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee

A months-long coma would have been the only way to have escaped hearing of the tragic events at Penn State. At first, the sickening realization that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused at least eight underage boys on or near university property. Then the deep disappointment in learning an investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh found school officials, including the school president and vice president, head football coach Joe Paterno, and athletic director had known about the allegations of child abuse as early as 1998, but failed to disclose them.

Now the NCAA has handed down penalties that some say are close to a “death penalty” for the school’s football program, including a $60 million fine, four year bowl-ban, loss of some scholarships and withdrawal of wins dating back to 1998. The statue honoring Joe Paterno has been removed by the university. Sadly ironic, the statue’s inscription reads, “Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.”

These appalling events and revelations have shed light on behaviors most people would rather not examine. Yet it also creates awareness of deep-seated cultural attitudes and hopefully a willingness to learn more about ourselves, our society and what we value...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Booming in Benzie

A flood of new businesses give Benzie County a lift

Features Danielle Horvath Okay, it may not be a “boom,” but several new businesses have opened that have added an economic shot in the arm to mostly rural Benzie County. From a natural foods market to a sports outfitter to an alpaca farm store and many others, they have filled up empty spaces and brought new ideas to the area.
Monday, September 24, 2012

Letters 09-24-2012


Appalled by article

I am appalled that a guest opinion writer in the Northern Express would insinuate Kirsten Keilitz was not qualified for a probate judge job simply because she does not have children. The probate court does not only deal with children, but elder law, estates, etc.

Many of us who have children have not yet had to deal with aging parents as Kirsten has. (And let’s be honest, many judges with families are not involved with their own children.) She is both professionally and personally qualified for the job. She is smart, sensitive, rational, and trustworthy. She is the best candidate for judge.

Colleen Shannon • via email

Oil biz targeting Obama

Why are Republicans opposed to Obama’s plan to allow taxes on very high incomes to return to where they were during the Clinton years? Have they forgotten that when Clinton raised the top tax rate, what followed was arguably the best economy in American history...

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, 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..."