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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Monday, July 23, 2012

Loose Pistol

Suspect in gun thefts a troubled man

Features Patrick Sullivan

It didn’t take long for police to make an arrest after someone broke into a shooting range in May and made off with five semiautomatic handguns.

Break-ins that involve stolen handguns tend to get a lot of police attention, and this one was no exception.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Letters 07-23-2012


'Get off my lawn'

After reading the Letters to the Editors in the July 16th issue I am very curious - how old are the readers of The Express?!

This publication has had an edge to it since its inception and has never been afraid to ask some very hard questions or to tip-toe the line between aggressive and conservative. I’ve read it for years (I’m 30) and so have my friends and perhaps I was assuming something untrue in that the readers tended to be under the age of 80.

The letters people have written take on this point of view of an old man sitting on his porch yelling at kids to get off of his lawn. It doesn’t fit!

For instance - the letter about fireworks is unreasonable. Really? Your neighbors were using expensive professional-grade fireworks? The kind the Cherry Fest can’t even afford to use...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Susan Sarandon's star shines in TC Film Festival

Features Rick Coates Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon granted Rick Coates an exclusive pre- Traverse City Film Festival interview. The interview may be heard in its entirety on the Omelette & Friends Show Tuesday, July 31 at 7:30 am and again on Wednesday August 1 at 9 am.
Monday, August 6, 2012

Letters 08-06-2012


Fireworks out of control

In response to “Get off my Lawn” by George Nemetz (Letters 7/23). First, I assure you that I am well under the age of 80, if that even matters. Also, the Express is not solely read by your age group of 30 and under.

Michigan has lifted a ban on some of the higher grades of fireworks and you can now obtain a permit to use the more powerful grade.

I also had problems with my dogs climbing the walls when a neighbor was setting off professional grade fireworks for several nights in my neighborhood. These are not just bottle rockets and firecrackers, they are the ones that are shot high in the air and are so loud they shake your house. The police were called by many in my neighborhood about this.

With the fire danger being so high, I was very concerned about my home and my neighbors’ homes catching on fire...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Letters 08-27-2012


Time to split atoms

Across the country, slick sales pitches are being made for wind power. The irony is that those salesmen are working for the natural gas industry. When the wind dies down, something else has to power up; that something is usually a gas turbine burning natural gas, which is the only sort of power plant being built these days.

All those Ontario wind farms are backed up by a gas-burning plant you don’t see; gas burners mean gas buyers and gas buyers mean fracking. Salesmen know which side their bread is buttered on.

If we want to stop burning things to make electricity, our best option is also the most-vilified and least-understood: nuclear energy...

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Voice for Freedom

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has risked her life many times to speak out for women

Features Robert Downes Her 2006 book, “Infidel,” detailed her childhood in the self-destructing nation of Somalia and her subsequent flight to the Netherlands at the age of 21 to escape an arranged marriage to an older man she despised.
Monday, October 29, 2012

Letters 10-29-2012


No action on climate ... Has medical know-how ... Options for Division St. ... Biomass disinformation ... Republicans & rape ... The obvious differences ... TC Chamber blues ... Stanton brings experience ... Keilitz cares ... Stephen Tuttle's Proposition Picks

Monday, November 5, 2012

Letters 11-05-2012


Women's rights ... Life & death choices ... Negative attitude ...
Two Americas at stake ...
Defending worker's rights  ... Liar on the run...

Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com 

Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page).

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Amazing Billy Strings

Bluegrass phenom takes Northern Michigan music scene by storm

Features Robert Downes

Billy Strings was practically born into bluegrass: his mother’s water broke while she was attending a birthday party packed with musicians and baby Billy was born with the echo of guitars and banjos in his ears.

Either that or Billy made a deal with a dark stranger at a lonely crossroads at midnight… Whatever the case, he has an almost supernatural ability on guitar, banjo and mandolin that has set the region’s bluegrass and folk scene on fire.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Raise a glass to Old Town's new Brewery Ferment

Dining Ross Boissoneau But if it’s all about the beer at a neighborhood bar, then maybe Brewery Ferment is on to something. The owners of Traverse City’s newest nightspot are hoping that the beers, plus the tavern’s location on Union Street south of Eighth, will make it both a neighborhood success and a draw for those navigating the downtown scene.