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, April 29, 2013

Criminal or Conscientious Businessman?

Murky med marijuana law puts Christopher Gee at risk

Features Patrick Sullivan Wexford County Circuit Court Judge William Fagerman agreed with Williams that Gee could be considered a primary caregiver, even though he was not a registered caregiver, who was able to hand out reasonable amounts of medical marijuana to patients under the law.
Monday, May 13, 2013

Felonies Way Up

Is it because there’s a new hard-charging prosecutor in town?

Features Patrick Sullivan

Blue and orange-clad Pugsley Correctional Facility inmates were once a rare sight inside the circuit courtroom in Traverse City. Defense attorney Paul Jarboe, who started practicing law in 1982 and who handles retained cases and is on the court’s roster for indigent defendants, said over the years he rarely saw the inmates in court.

Monday, June 10, 2013

My 90 Days in Prison Boot Camp

Features Mike Morey But for real, telling me I’m weak and a bad worker has the same effect as being called a retard and a princess by some of the other corporals. It makes me smile, but only on the inside. Smiling with your face is a rule violation and could result in demerits which could lead to a hearing before the board and theoretically eventually being kicked out.
Monday, September 9, 2013

Harvest Moon on the Manistee

Features Kim Steffes It had been a year in our thoughts, the opportunity to paddle the whole Manistee River. In the fall of 2011, my sister Dana, brother Jan and I had a very successful three-day paddle on the AuSable River. Jan paddled his inflatable boat and Dana and I took my Bell North Wind red canoe.
Monday, September 9, 2013

Pot Doctor Convicted, But Avoids Jail

Features Patrick Sullivan A doctor who came out of retirement to run three medical marijuana clinics around Michigan -- including one in Cadillac -- pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges after police and prosecutors said he ran the clinics as forprofit certification mills.
Monday, September 9, 2013

Letters 09-09-13

Letters Booze & fireworks

Northern Express Weekly and reporter Patrick Sullivan have written a scandal sheet story that does not paint a true picture in the fireworks case against James Goodyear (Express, Aug. 26). It seems that they have cherrypicked the official police report leaving out pertinent information and timelines to sensationalize the story...

Cycling & cell phones

As a past cyclist and a current driver, I see the need for both groups to co-exist on the road for everyone’s safety. Some of the issues with motorists stem from a road selection by cyclists, choosing a road that has minimal shoulder room to allow safe passage past cyclists...

Ditch all traffic signs

Tear down ALL TRAFFIC signs inside Traverse City. I mean it. Every single one. Every traffic light, every speed limit sign, every stop sign...

No bombs for Syria

An open letter to our senators, members of Congress, and President Obama. I urge you to do everything you can to reject bombing of Syria...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pirates of the Great Lakes

Features Kristi Kates And you can even ‘celebrate’ pirates this September 19, which nerd-cred confirms is the official International Talk Like a Pirate Day - but you’d best go online to brush up on your pirate-speak, else you might get sent to walk the plank for your landlubber accent.
Monday, November 18, 2013

Court Tester

Why did Ryan Gubbins throw his business (and maybe his freedom) away?

Features Patrick Sullivan At first, when people at the court learned that the woman, who had pled guilty to impaired driving in 2011, had missed daily PBTs, they didn’t suspect wrongdoing on Gubbins’ part, according to testimony and court filings.
Monday, November 25, 2013

House of Abuse

Investigators say adopted boys lived under hellish conditions

Features Patrick Sullivan “For punishment the children were required to eat a bowl of ‘mush,’ consisting of corn, peas, and vinegar,” an investigator wrote. “When the children vomited into the bowl of mush, they were then required to eat the vomit mixture as further punishment.