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: michigan
Monday, June 3, 2013

Letters 06-03-2013


Conflict of interest? ...How ironic it is then that the chairman of LTC’s board, Neil Marzella, is leading the charge to develop a world-class motorsports complex in Indian River that, if built, will permanently scar, pollute and degrade an otherwise quiet and scenic community.

Busted at Sleeping Bear Let me give you all a warning. If you go to our National Lakeshore to hike or whatever, be very careful. Watch out for your friendly park ranger. I was alone, walking down a Lakeshore path in the rain, minding my own business when out of the blue, I’m mugged by this park ranger. I produce my drivers license and my Michigan Medical Marijuana card. I’m 65 years old and retired...

No meth epidemic here Re: “The Shadowland Bust,” 5/27) The fact is that meth is just one of many epidemics and I do not believe Michigan has a epidemic in this field. Also the pilots who accidently bombed Canadian troops in the Kosovo war were found to have been up on meth for many days...

Gunshots on the Platte I am sure that no resident of the Platte River Watershed neighborhood is unaware of the nearly daily event of gunshots ringing through our beautiful forest community. This is alarming for a number of reason...

More trail tips It is great that you rode the North Eastern State Trail (“One Wild Ride,” 5/20). As you noted, it is a very rural trail where you will see more wildlife than people. It is also great that you told readers to be prepared as there are limited services along the trail A few notes/corrections...

Don’t forget da U.P. I must say that your front page photo - “Spring Styles,” April 15, shows a nicely done flag misrepresentation of Michigan showing only the Lower Peninsula. Having also lived in the Copper Country (Houghton - Hancock) for 25 years previous to moving to the Lower Peninsula, I am totally aware that Michigan has two peninsulas, both very nice in their own way...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hot Dates Gather Round Stone Circle

Dates Erin Crowell Stone Circle will be commemorating its 30th Anniversary this summer with two special evenings of celebrations on August 10 and 17. The festivities will be free on those nights and open to the public. Regular gatherings will begin on June 22, and continue every Saturday through Labor Day weekend.
Monday, July 8, 2013

Letters 07-08-2013

Letters Medicaid disgrace

The decision of the Michigan Senate Republicans to abandon ship and go on vacation rather than vote on expanding Medicaid is both disgraceful and stupid...

Political hypocrites

I don’t understand some politicians who are pale, male, and stale claiming to be prolife Christians, yet at every chance, they pass legislation to cut health care, cut food stamps, cut nutrition programs, sabotage our public schools, cut access to college by doubling the interest on student loans...

 Bring racetrack to TC

There’s a lot of “I” in the opponents' statements (regarding a potential motocross racetrack in Indian River)...

Bible bunglers

Regarding the Bible and the admonition about homosexuality, I find it disquieting when Christians usurp the Hebrew Bible, call it the “Old” (and therefore superseded) Testament and then cherry pick the laws of Israel...

Don’t be a hater

In the last two weeks, Facebook has taught me that there is a Christian church where the folks who attend, and the pastor who preaches, are nude. A nudist church...

Crosswalk talk

Can we please get an explanation of what constitutes a pedestrian crosswalk here in Traverse City?


The National Cherry Festival is the host of the Meijer Festival of Races, and not the Traverse City Track Club as stated in last week’s Random Thoughts column. The Track Club’s primary fundraising race is the Bayshore Marathon and related events.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Letters 07-15-2013

Letters Monster track? Do it!

In response to the recent “Monster Motocross Track” article: The vision of Mark Hall and the concept of introducing a national motocross track into Northern Michigan is an outstanding idea. Honestly it’s a no-brainer, do it!

Planner off the mark

Your June 24 cover story about the proposed Indian River motocross track attributed to Cheboygan County’s community development director Steve Schnell is a mystifying description of the role of planning commissions in our society...

New art in Northport

Thanks for your article about the revitalization of Northport. At the end you mentioned art galleries will open. A number of new galleries have already opened this year. These include: Peninsula North Gallery owned by Carnie and Julian Bunker, carrying local art and jewelry; Charlottes Art, owned by Charlotte Seager, carrying visual and healing arts; and Red Mullein, owned by myself, which carries visual and fiber art, including work by reknowned local artist Judy Rantz, artisan jewelry, and silk jackets from Japan. We carry the only significant collection of Japanese silk in the Midwest...

Supreme upheaval

In his recent column, Stephen Tuttle stated that the U.S. Supreme Court in the past week “issued two decisions that could unravel generations of accepted law and practice.” He is correct, and if anything, too generous...


Porter Creek Fish House is located in Boyne City and not in Charlevoix as stated in a recent article.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Dining Ross Boissoneau Another favorite is the Echo’s Bend pizza. It includes fresh offerings from Echo Bend farm in Arcadia, brought in by server Charla Kramer, who owns and runs the farm with her husband Tom. It’s topped with goat cheese, toasted nuts, and chef’s choice of sauce.
Monday, August 5, 2013

Going Backpacking?

Jim DuFresne has some ideas on where you wanna’ go

Features Robert Downes Few backpackers know the trails of Northern Michigan as well as Jim DuFresne, who literally wrote the book on “Backpacking in Northern Michigan.”
Monday, August 26, 2013

Hot Dates

Dates Erin Crowell Pond Hill Farm in Harbor Springs says farewell to the season with a North Country Kids Summer Festival on Saturday, Aug. 31. Free entry includes access to the bounce house, cotton candy, games, dunk tank, farm animals and pig races, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The day also includes Zucchini Bowling and a 50/50 raffle.
Monday, September 16, 2013

Letters 09-16-13

Letters Protect the Manistee

In Manistee, a newly formed group of concerned citizens called the Manistee Water Guardians is working to advance the dialogue about horizontal hydraulic fracturing, known commonly as “fracking.”

Fracking’s blight

What do we picture when we think of a hydraulic fracturing (un) natural gas well? Not a large, 24/7, noisy, smelly, permanent scar on the natural landscape, I’ll bet. Or an assembly of huge pumps, pipes, storage tanks and collection ponds.

No to war in Syria

I generally do not agree with Stephen Tuttle’s articles but found “We Can’t Fix This” to be right on! We still have not learned that the Middle East will always be a no-win situation. If only our government could remember a little history-- if you don’t know it, you are bound to repeat it. Kudos Tuttle.

The risk of war

As we consider a military attack on Syria, I ask myself: is another war affordable? Spiritually? Financially? What are the risks? How long would it last? Are there alternatives?

Small house idea

Re your article “Not a Small World After All.” The subtext of this article would appear to be that there would be less environmental impact if Centerville Township allowed smaller houses to be built. I don’t think that this is the case, however, because the primary environmental impact of housing is created by where the house is located and to what degree that location then requires the people that live there to drive in order to work/show/recreate.

Great experience

I just had to share this with as wide of an audience as possible so Northern Express seemed like a good starting point! How many times do folks drive by Little Bohemia on Front St. in TC and dismiss it as “just another tavern”? I sure have been guilty of that numerous times!

Move to Amend

Remember going to a party where a loudmouth monopolizes the conversation with your girlfriend? Corporations, trade associations, superpacs, and multinational companies with big money are romancing our politicians and writing legislation through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that definitely does not favor you and me. It is not freedom if only rich people’s voices are heard. Congress will not change unless we speak out.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Taste Makers

Dining Rick Coates
One of my favorite things to do is traverse around Northern Michigan and take in the offerings of our many small towns. My family typically makes a dozen trips a year to Boyne City due in part to my son’s athletic events. We like to visit the several locally owned shops and every trip through town includes a stop at Cafe Santé.