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..

Home · Articles · News · Features · The 231 Project Photographer...
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The 231 Project Photographer captures women of the 231 area code

Rick Coates - September 5th, 2011
The 231 Project: Photographer captures women of the 231 area code
By Rick Coates
Sarah Armstrong hurries home after work and grabs her camera bag and heads
out the door for her next shoot. A media consultant by day and
photographer by night, Armstrong is on a mission to photograph 231 women
from Northern Michigan for a new book and social media project.
Armstrong is not looking for societal supermodels for her project, just
women who who want to express their beauty regardless of size, shape or
“I believe pictures have a way of capturing one’s beauty that a mirror or
societal expectations can’t,” said Armstrong. “That is my goal with this
project -- to let women be beautiful for who they are not what they are
told they need to be.”
At 24, Armstrong has been fascinated with photography for years. A friend
of hers launched a similar project in Battle Creek that was a huge
success. There is no cost to participate and Armstrong hopes the project
will introduce people to her newly launched photography business.
“I agree to provide a photo shoot and all the photos to everyone who
participates at no cost to them. For me it is an opportunity to network
and introduce myself as photographer to the Northern Michigan community.”

The concept seems to be working as word has been spreading quickly with
Armstrong booked almost every night and most weekends.
“Right now most of the women that have heard about this project are in my
immediate circle and from Traverse City or the surrounding area. But I
want to reach out to the rest of the 231 area code.”
She also wants to expand her age demographic as well with the final
product reflecting the wide-ranging body styles of the region.
“The 30 women I have photographed so far are between the ages of 21-35 and
I want to expand that to include all ages; this project is about
reflecting all the women of the 231 area code,” said Armstrong. “The same
goes for size. I just photographed a bigger-boned woman and it was one of
my best shoots. She opened up during the shoot she let her inhibitions go
and it was a lot of fun.”
For Armstrong, seeing women let their inhibitions go is an important part
of the project.
“It is so rewarding when I show them the pictures and sometimes they tear
up and say ‘I am beautiful.’ See, they have have let magazines and movies
define their beauty,” said Armstrong. “I ask them what they are
self-conscious about and I steer clear of those features. I love to see
their reactions when I show them the photos as I take them, and they are
like, ‘wow that is me-- how did you do that?’ I chuckle and say it’s not a
magic wand, this is how you look.”

Armstrong grew up in Battle Creek and had visited Traverse City. She saved
some money and moved here figuring she could work as a server until she
got on her feet.
“I have always been a go-getter, so I got a media sales job and that has
been going well. But becoming a photographer has always been on the back
burner for me until my mother passed away last year of leukemia. She was
55, I just knew it was time for me to pick up a camera and learn how to
use it. Since that time I have just fallen in love with photography, my
camera is always at my hip.”
As for including only women, Armstrong says they are just easier to
photograph than guys.
“Funny thing, people in general don’t want to look at photos of guys,”
said Armstrong. “But both men and women like looking at pictures of
Armstrong uses a Sony SLT -- a single lens translucent which enables her
to have a live view of each shot before taking it. Her goal is to have the
book out next year with supporting photos of each subject on her Facebook
page. Anyone interested in participating in the 231 Project may contact
her at 231-360-8702 or messaging her on Facebook.
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