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: had
Monday, December 24, 2012

Letters 12-24-2012

Irresponsible NRA  The NRA and its members must be in a total adrenalin rush with the murdering of 26 children and teachers along with the mother of the shooter...

The role of mental illness
I seem to have a little different take on the Newtown tragedy than most. What I notice is that on the same day, halfway around the world, a disaffected Chinese worker went to a local elementary school and stabbed 22 kids.

No such thing...
How stupid are the American public? And how disingenuous is the left-wing press? Those poor children’s bodies were still inside the school building and the freekin’ liberals were all talking about gun control.

Extremists in charge
Our Republican dominated State Legislature has passed legislation that allows religiously affiliated hospitals and physicians to deny emergency room care to anyone who is a member of a group they consider immoral.

An answer to ignorance
But what feeds that confusion is exemplified in last week’s letter by Joel Weberman, titled: “An ignorant letter.”

The concert controversy
Regarding the Veterans Day concert at First Congregational Church ... As a Christian, FCC member, and veteran, I attended the concert and commend all who participated.

Lame duck outrage
One hundred eighty-two bills were passed in Michigan’s lame duck session, many in the middle of the night with no discussion. Guns & the Constitution There were no bullets as we know them today. To fire the gun the frontiersmen had to first pour a measured load of gun powder down the barrel.

Monday, December 31, 2012

A Flaming Success at the Shelby Gem Factory

Features Kristi Kates “I read in Popular Science that ruby was made from aluminum oxide and chrome oxide,” he explains, “And I had noticed that the sandpaper my father used was covered with aluminum oxide. So I scraped some of it from the sandpaper and put a small piece of chrome from a car bumper in with it, and put it on a firebrick. I used an acetylene/ oxygen torch to melt it, and presto! At the age of 12, I had made my very first red colored ruby. It wasn’t clear like good ruby - but it was ruby.”
Monday, January 14, 2013

Key to the City

Master key to TC parking meters nets thief a jackpot up to $41,000

Features Patrick Sullivan Douglas Charles Hastings has never received a “key to the city” from Traverse City leaders, but he did get his hands on a key that’s arguably much more valuable.

Hastings managed to get a copy of a key that unlocks any of the city’s parking meters, sturdy steel containers that can be laden with change. A single meter can hold up to $300; a double, up to $600.

Monday, February 4, 2013

‘You had to be young and tough’

A Q&A with John C. Mitchell, author of “Grand Traverse The Civil War Era”

Features Patrick Sullivan

There’s been a steady interest in John C. Mitchell’s book, “Grand Traverse The Civil War Era,” since it was published in 2011 but that interest has only picked up with the popularity of the movie “Lincoln” and renewed interest in the Civil War as events from that era celebrate 150 year anniversaries.

Mitchell sat down with the Express to talk about his book and his lifelong friendship with Peter Leonard, son of Detroit crime author Elmore Leonard.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Online Detective

In these, McGahey said, she saw evidence she believed showed that her daughter was not being treated well in her new home. She said she saw in the pictures what appeared to be bruises on Hayden’s face and body. She said she also thought her daughter looked too thin.
Monday, March 4, 2013

'Hare - Brained'

One stupid night, years and years in prison

Features Patrick Sullivan It was a hare-brained plan, and it failed in almost every way it could, except that no one got shot or killed.

There were six involved, and five went to the trailer that night, Feb. 28, 2012, a rundown, dingy-looking thing on a dead-end street across from a cemetery in the village of Wellston in Manistee County.

The plan was to rob the place to get a backpack that belonged to the woman. She was a medical marijuana patient, and they figured there was pot and cash in the bag.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mystery of the Missing Money

Accusations fly in $26,000 Keno shortfall at VFW post

Features Patrick Sullivan Ten months after Keno was installed in the bar at VFW Cherryland Post 2780 in April, 2010, an audit discovered that $26,000 in gambling revenue was missing. The person who conducted that audit, Richard Thibeau, was then just a rank-and-file member, but he had an accounting degree and almost two decades of criminal investigation experience in the Army...
Monday, April 8, 2013

Clergy Confession

Man charged with molesting boy wants the evidence thrown out

Features Patrick Sullivan

After something unthinkable happened in a restroom during a service at Immanuel Baptist Church in January, one of the church-goers had something urgent to say to his pastor. Steven William Richard, 28, had just locked a six-year-old boy (who was attending church with his grandfather) in a toilet stall and molested him, and now he wanted to make things right, at least as far as he could see it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Crime & Punishment (and Reward)

Stories from several weeks of sitting in at mental health court

Features Patrick Sullivan The older one is taking vocational training and doing well. He is making all of his therapy sessions and when he meets with his probation officer, he brings proof that he’s completed his required drug and alcohol testing and has been to the AA meetings he’s supposed to attend.
Monday, May 6, 2013

Eisenhower’s Secret War

Producer George A. Colburn reveals a warrior for peace

Features Robert Downes He was once considered to be one of America’s blandest presidents -- even the butt of jokes in the ‘hipper’ times that came after the 1950s. But revisionist histories of Dwight D. Eisenhower are casting our 34th president in a new role as a wise warrior for peace who may well have saved our skins from nuclear annihilation.