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, August 25, 2014

From Chants to Muzak: Work Music Through the Ages

Music Kristi Kates Work songs have been documented since people started keeping track of history itself. From domestic trades to agricultural work, sea shanties to cowboy songs, chain gang chants to paperboys hawking their wares, tunes have long been utilized for a range of productive reasons.
Monday, October 6, 2014

Here and There, But Not Everywhere

Features Patrick Sullivan Cooney is no marijuana booster, however. He believes pot’s wider acceptance has led to an increase in use among high school students. And he notes that most people with medical marijuana cards are under 40 (the average age is 27) — indicators, he believes, of abuse of the law.
Monday, November 24, 2014

Four Questions About Record Collecting Up North

Music Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Rush’s 2112 and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. “Dark Side of the Moon, I can’t keep in stock. And I don’t get many of them, so I’d probably sell as many of those as Fleetwood Mac, but I don’t get them,” said RPM Records Owner Greg Walton.
Monday, January 12, 2015

Cancer Survivors

Features Ross Boissoneau “He asked me if there was anything else I wanted to talk about,” said Lanham. Rather than discuss her sadness at the loss of her husband, “I said, ‘the only thing is I’m still having shortness of breath.’ He said, ‘You know, we might want to do a pulmonary study.
Monday, January 19, 2015

Summer of Detentions

Features Patrick Sullivan “Can I swear it in front of a judge? Well, I can swear that that’s what I was told,” Dziekan said. “From what witnesses have told me, in most cases, people were stopped by immigration just because they looked Hispanic and then, when they were found not to have valid identification, then they were taken,” he said.
Monday, February 23, 2015

Inside Northern Michigan’s Chef-Making Machine

Features Patrick Sullivan “That whole system was kind of outmoded,” Laughlin said. “I think in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, more things were processed. The trend was — with a lot of restaurants, except your very high-end ones — that you had a kitchen manager that scheduled lowskilled line cooks that were basically preparing almost prepackaged stuff, heating things up.
Monday, April 6, 2015

It’s Profane and Anonymous and It’s Come to NMC

Features Patrick Sullivan There is round-the-clock, semi-secret, anonymous commentary running every day on the Northwestern Michigan College campus. The social media app Yik Yak has landed at NMC and, throughout the day, students post to a live feed about everything from sex to the weather to classes.
Monday, April 20, 2015

Food Sovereignty for the Odawa

Features Kristi Kates TROUBLING TREATIES “Before the land session treaties of 1836 and 1855, the Odawa tribe was self-sufficient, growing our own food, supporting and maintaining ourselves,” explained John Keshick III, Odawa Tribal Council member and also a member of the LTBB’s ad hoc Agricultural Workgroup crew.
Monday, May 4, 2015

Foster Family Odyssey

Features Patrick Sullivan Melissa and David West wanted to expand their family of four. With two biological children already, they decided to embark on the adoption process through the foster care system. They had one caveat: they didn’t want to become a revolving door for foster kids.
Monday, May 18, 2015

Up North Memories

Features Kristi Kates “There are a thousand little cabin things that make my heart ache to go back whenever I think about them,” she said. “The cottage experience is something completely removed from the hectic routine of day in and day out. It’s a place where I don’t have to be anything at all but myself — soggy and sandy and dirty and happy.