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, December 10, 2012

Letters 12-10-2012

Letters Don’t mess with Texas ... Tuttle said that “more than 100,000 people” signed a petition on the White House website. Let’s pretend that all of those people signed one time only, and that they are all, in fact, from Texas (not one of those “18 other states”). I am disappointed that you neglected to mention what 100,000 means compared to the population of Texas.
Fire alarm ... The City would contract with or join the Grand Traverse Metro Emergency Services Authority. The Traverse City Fire Department would be dissolved and all firefighters laid off.
Monday, December 10, 2012

No Place for Pedestrians

A walking tour of Lafranier Road shows the outskirts of TC need a lot of improvement

Features Patrick Sullivan

When Gary Howe learned the Grand Traverse County Road Commission planned to spend some money to improve Lafranier Road, he decided he wanted to have some input.  Howe proposed a walking tour of Lafranier with local planners, transportation specialists and a couple members of the road commission. The Northern Express tagged along on the snowy morning of Nov. 28.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Letters 01-14-2013


Ending gun violence... Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people. It’s the relationship that’s lethal. While preserving our right to own guns the following suggestions would decrease the likelihood of future gun violence and mass murders.

Our plant allies... As the song goes: “from a distance the world looks blue and green and the snow capped mountains white.” It reminds me of Michigan’s sales pitch to tourists “Pure Michigan.” From a distance it is a stunning view, but if we take a closer look there are some serious problems now and more to come.

Hair & there... Re: T.J. Tracey’s letter, 1/7: According to the line item in the December 24 My Style, one had to assume that I seek out $96 haircuts. Yikes! My haircuts at Shear Pleasure are actually $22. The $96 “hair” was my recent bi-annual splurge on a frost/shampoo/cut.

Occupy TC pitch... Remember the Brown Shirts ? (With apologies to Pastor Martin Niemoller)

First they came for the poor, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not poor.
Next they came for the immigrants, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not an immigrant.

ALEC’s bad influence... Congratulations fellow Michiganders! Our once proud state is receiving national media attention thanks to our governor and state legislature. We are evolving into a ruling oligarchy. I speak of the evils of the DeVos family, the Koch brothers, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Monday, February 25, 2013

Letters 02-25-2013


Republican mischief... I have taken pride in the past of being a fiercely independent voter, casting my ballot for example, for Carter (once), Reagan (twice), both Bushes and Obama (twice).

I am not a fan of the social agenda of the Democratic Party, as I view some of their policies as morally repugnant and counterproductive to a healthy society. That being said, I find myself in a sad position of giving up my status as an independent and becoming a member of the Democratic Party. Here are the reasons why...

Seniors mugged by GOP... Just had my 2012 taxes completed; I suspect most people would agree that it is a relief to have it out of the way. What is not a relief however, is losing the over-65 age exemption, and due to the evaluation of my home, losing my property tax credit. The two biggest breaks seniors previously have enjoyed...

Hypocritical Democrats... I have to agree with Bob Ross’s letter in the Feb. 11-17 issue of your paper about the Catholic churches shielding priests guilty of sex crimes against children. His statement that the church should show the same care for postnatals as they do to pre-natals could apply to the Democratic Party in general as well...

Frog for dinner, anyone?... If you put a frog in a pan of cool water, then put the pan over a fire and heat it to boiling, the frog will set in the pan until it is cooked and never try to escape the hot water. If we continue to burn fossil fuel...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Embracing the Pink

Abbey Kaufman is Legally Blonde

Features Erin Crowell Traverse City Central High School senior Abbey Kaufman takes center stage as Elle Woods, the sweet, bubbly, sorority heroine of “Legally Blonde, The Musical,” a stage adaptation of the Broadway hit and film starring Reese Witherspoon.

The 17-year-old Kaufman beat out dozens of other young actresses to capture the lead role.The Express chatted with Kaufman—a sweet, soft-spoken girl, herself—to find out what it’s like to don pink and perform with an older cast.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Breaking News & Popping the Question

TV news anchors found love off-the-air

Features Erin Crowell “We took a walk through the vineyards--and this sounds corny but it’s true--I picked up a dandy-lion and blew it,” said Fox. “Brody asked what I wished for and I said that we would spend our lives together...When I turned around he was down on his knee, with a box in hand!”
Monday, April 15, 2013

Reciprocating Threads

Local clothing brand, AFRNT, inspires fashion and talent

Features Erin Crowell “Whether I didn’t have capital, a business partner, a network of people that could help me along, I just had all these barriers and I got to a point where I couldn’t get it out of my system,” said the 29-year-old Cadillac area native. “I would stay up late at night just ultimately depressed that I wasn’t pursuing it.
Monday, May 6, 2013

The Lost Boys

Author probes dark days of child abuse in Boyne City

Features Patrick Sullivan Just outside of Boyne City, early last century, stood a formidable square building, home to 100 or so wayward boys. Some of them were orphans. Some came from families that got too large, or lost a father to drink or death. Some came to Boyne City because of trouble they’d gotten into on the streets.
Monday, June 3, 2013

From Rocker to Doctor

Queen guitarist Brian May visits TC

Features Rick Coates

Legendary Queen guitarist Brian May is coming to Traverse City this weekend. Unfortunately he will be leaving his guitars behind. “I will be in town to speak at the National Stereoscopic Association (3-D photography),” said May. “It has been a passion of mine for years.”

May, who is now known as Dr. Brian May after obtaining his Ph.D in Astrophysics in 2006, will speak about his new book he coauthored “Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell.” May also coauthored “Bang! The Complete History of the Universe.”

Monday, July 1, 2013

Letters 07-01-2013


Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com

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

Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification.

Indian River motocross Count me as one of the “whine asses” who is very concerned about the consequences of a large motocross racetrack (think 30-40 two-cycle dirt bikes, trucks, or snowmobiles per race), with races from Friday to Sunday, not counting practice times. Add camping sites for thousands of RVs or tents, and day parking accommodating 20,000-plus fans...

Boozers a bummer A recent letter bemoaned the fact that one can’t imbibe on restaurant patios in Boyne City. Good for Boyne City...

Preaching discrimination In response to the letter, “Yahweh’s view on gays” from Gordon Lee Dean from Troop 10 (6/24), I do believe you have a right to your views and religious beliefs. However you need to understand not everyone who attends Boy Scouts is affiliated with Christianity...

Boy Scouts & Christians Yahweh did NOT write the Bible - fallible humans did (re: “Yahweh’s view on gays.”) Scouting doesn’t teach “Christian morals” it teaches citizenship, leadership, sharing, healthy conservation and outdoorsmanship, and hopefully, morals are a by-product...

Fracking or nuclear? I’m sympathetic to Peggy Case’s letter (“Time to ban fracking,” June 17), but the current move to ban coal and push wind means more gas-burning turbines to pick up the load in the lulls. More gas turbines means more fracking, not less...