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: traverse
Monday, April 22, 2013


Northern Michigan transplant Andy Gale made recycling his life

Features Patrick Sullivan

After 17 years as a sales rep for a California engineered wood products company, Andy Gale and his wife Cindy took a year off, hopped in an RV and toured the country. In Southern California he missed the seasons. In Northern Michigan, he found them, and he and his wife fell in love with Traverse City and decided to settle here.

In 2008, he decided to look for a green career. He decided he wanted to start a nonprofit that would encourage recycling and donate proceeds from the sale of collected material to charity.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Adventures of the Compost Kid

Features Erin Crowell

Today’s industry trends aren’t lost on Carter Schmidt.

“Selling lemonade? You just don’t make much doing that; and, well, the newspaper boy may have disappeared,” the eight-year-old tells me, a journalist, on the logistics of childhood employment. The third grader at Eastern Elementary School in Traverse City is an entrepreneur, having just completed the milestone of one year in business with his company, Carter’s Compost. The bike-powered, kid-driven kitchen scrap pick-up service has been turning dirt since last April, charging its Traverse City neighborhood customers $5 a month for fresh compost.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Drivers Wanted

Disabled Vets could use some helping hands behind the wheel

Features Patrick Sullivan

A couple of volunteers are looking for more volunteers to help get veterans in need of medical treatment to their destinations.

In January, the Grand Traverse Area Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 38 took over a program that provides vets free transportation to Veterans Administration hospitals in Saginaw, Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hot Dates

Dates By Erin Crowell Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham brings his cast of cranky and off-color puppets to Kewadin Casino's DreamMakers Theater, in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday, Aug. 1. Dunham currently has three of the top five most-viewed programs on Comedy Central. There will be two opportunities to catch his act, 7 p.
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, August 26, 2013

The Fireworks over Fireworks

Lots of noise, but little trouble thanks to a patchwork of local ordinances

Features Patrick Sullivan Instead, despite a patchwork of local laws that make the discharge of exploding or flying fireworks okay one place but against a local ordinance elsewhere, fireworks have generated noise complaints, but apparently not a lot of other trouble in Northern Michihan.
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hot Dates

Dates Erin Crowell Join the 'Camunity' to help six-year-old, Cam Deering--who was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis at the age of 10 months--with a fundraiser at Moomer's Ice Cream on Sunday, Sept. 15 from 1-6 p.m.
Monday, September 16, 2013

‘A Community Responsibility’

Features Patrick Sullivan If you’ve driven into Traverse City on Silver Lake Road this summer, you’ve seen the site of the new YMCA transformed from a hole in the ground into a sprawling complex, soon to be home to an aquatics center, health and fitness center, tennis courts and lounges.
Monday, September 23, 2013

A Gargen Grows in TC

Volunteers bring an old farm back to life within the city limits

Features Robert Downes “We’ve got 30 full garden plots now and most are pretty active,” says gardener Mike Haynes, adding that many of these are divided into half-plots of 12 by 30 feet -- more than enough for a family garden. “I think we have about 40 gardeners here now.”.
Monday, September 30, 2013

Letters 9-30-13

Letters Too many festivals

Rick Coates hit the nail on the head with his recent article on the increasing number of festivals and events up north, particularly the Traverse City area. Personally, I am “festivaled out” and no longer attend any of them, no matter what the theme...

Living Badly in Eden

Born and raised in Michigan, I moved away 33 years ago to pursue an education and career. Now, at age 60, after living in Boston, Dallas, Calgary, and earning a PhD in Brisbane, Australia, I chose to come back to Michigan because of its breathtaking beauty, its localized economy, and its commitment to community and culture. Indeed, sitting at the epicenter of the world’s fresh water supply, Michigan is second to none...

Just a stoners’ convention?

The logo for the medical marijuana convention does NOT instill faith that this is a viable form of medicine for the suffering. The conference also starts at 4:20 - another reference to going against societal norm...

Circadian Rhythms Influence Organs

The biological clock that regulates day and night cycles is called the circadian rhythm. Besides color, the healing of congestion is rhythm. It is a tremendous healing factor...

No yard signs for mayor

As mayor, documentation of my city service is public information that is recorded on public TV and commented on by the media on a regular basis. As such, my campaign for re-election will have no expenditures and will not include the display of yard signs...

Improvements not for us

It seems some of the Traverse City locals are confused about a few things. The improvements to the Open Space, the waste-of-money Splash Pad, and the new Marina, were not made for us that live here year round. We are already here, and most were here for years before...