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: her
Monday, December 3, 2012

What It’s Like Out There

The alleged rape of a homeless woman offers view of life on TC’s streets

Features Patrick Sullivan Warning -- This story contains graphic sexual content.
The 25-year-old woman had been slipping into homelessness for some time. In the past eight years she’d racked up a record of misdemeanor convictions -- a couple of cases of minor in possession of alcohol, a drunk driving, a domestic violence case, and a false pretenses case.

She cared a lot about her boyfriend, she later testified at his preliminary hearing on sex assault charges in August. At least when he was sober.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wrong ID in Attempted Abduction

Phone records clear a man accused of abduction

Features Patrick Sullivan When the victim saw the photo of Walter -- which is different than the booking photo that’s been released to the media -- she made an immediate ID. She broke down crying and repeatedly said, “It was him,” according to a brief filed by prosecutor Alan Schneider.
Monday, December 17, 2012

The Deadly Consequences of Distracted Driving

Features Rick Coates It is a parent’s worst nightmare, that knock on the door, that phone call with the words: “your child has been in a serious car accident.”

That nightmare happened for my family a couple of weeks ago. As I rushed to the scene of the accident on a highway just south of Traverse City, my first sight was several flashing lights of emergency vehicles.
Monday, December 31, 2012

Letters 12-31-2012


Eyewitness errors... Two recent articles, “Distracted Driving” by Rick Coates and “Wrong ID in Attempted Abduction” by Patrick Sullivan had a serious and unrecognized common theme: that we cannot trust our presumed cognitive powers.

Arrogant & distracted... I think Rick Coates will find that, just like him, tragedy must be personal before distracted drivers wake up.

Union sunset... The Tuttle/Downes columns concerning the right-to-work legislation significantly misrepresent the effect of the legislation, and provide such a slanted picture of the facts of the issue as to severely undermine the credibility of both columnists.

A Chihuahua Christmas... Spirit. Something we carry in our hearts and minds, and sometimes in our hands. Her name was Tina Maria. A little spirit. A young girl who lived and died over 30 years ago. Her spirit carried in my heart and hand on a recent holiday shopping trip.

A bustle in the hedgerow?... Really, the Led Zeppelin classic, “Stairway to Heaven” is about shopping addiction (re: Random Thoughts, “The Songs Remain the Same”).
Monday, January 7, 2013


New salon offers glamour photos

Features Erin Crowell For one hair or wax appointment, clients at the Foiled Hair Lounge in downtown Traverse City are transported, for a moment, to the urban feel of a city landscape. With just the tops of buildings—including nearby businesses and churches—in view, the hair studio gives the impression of a city loft.
Monday, January 21, 2013

Letters 1-21-2013

Letters wim death mystery... I am concerned about the drowning death of Arianna Alieto in the Northern Michigan University swimming pool after the team worked out in the pool on November 30.

Right to Work myths... So called “right to work” (RTW) laws are best understood as state government interference with privately negotiated contracts to weaken and defund unions. A real “right to work” is not at stake anywhere in the USA. Since 1947, it has been unlawful for private employers and unions to require workers to join a union to obtain a job.

The debt debate... I was sorry to read that Stephen Tuttle hasn’t figured out the dynamic underlying the deficit battle. The purpose of that fight is to impose austerity and cut federal programs in an effort to balance the budget, a program that is clearly failing in the European Union.

Stop the violence... If “your” woman hits you, call the police. FIRST! You may have one chance to avoid going to jail.  Don’t imagine that you can handle it yourself. Don’t imagine that anyone will ever listen to your side of the story if you don’t take it to the law right away.

The value of whole foods... Thank you for the whole food story featuring Dr. Mary Clifton. As a certified instructor for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Food for Life programs, I can attest to the dramatic health improvements people gain from eating real food. I’ve had students get relief from arthritis pain and step away from their meds, elimination of migraines, diabetes reversal, significant drops in blood pressure and cholesterol, and that is just a start.

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, April 1, 2013

Pet Portraits

Shanny Schmidt has a doggone good time portraying pooches

Features Al Parker

Shanny Schmidt has found an art niche that offers something special for animal lovers.

She paints pet portraits, mostly dogs, which feature vibrant colors and unusual poses. Her growing collection of works ranges from Airedales to Wolfhounds and most breeds in between.

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.