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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Go Fish: New Studio Recycles a Warehouse for Live/Work Concept

Amy Yee - March 10th, 2005
Fish Studios, the newest concept for live/work spaces in Traverse City, is making a bit of a splash. Nestled between two railroad tracks just south of Old Town on Boardman Lake, this remodeled loft-style warehouse is now home to four creative businesses -- Priceless Photography, Sound/Design, Glenn Wolff Studio, and my own Amy Yee Design.
Located at 230 E. 14th Street, the studios were developed for artists and creative people. Using alternative materials such as corrugated metal, raw concrete flooring, rough stone countertops, translucent bathroom ceilings, and storefront window walls, the refurbished look fits in with the historic logger-railroad area. Spinning off the Soho art district in New York City, the new inhabitants have dubbed Fish Studios “the little Coho district.”
Breaking new ground with the vision of a live/work studio, architect Ken Richmond was ecstatic to find support from the city planning board which favored the idea of mixed-use cohabitation.
Zoned by the city especially for this type of use, the benefits of reusing an existing building along with environmental-friendly planning made good sense to city officials. The parking lot, made of green pervious material, allows storm water to filter back to the soil instead of stagnating. The studio use also curtails traffic and gasoline consumption, and helps build a collaborative community. Given the historic appeal of the renovated building and its central location, the tenants are excited to be part of the project.
To celebrate the building’s completion and opening to the public, Fish Studios will host an Open House on Saturday, March 12 from 4-8 p.m. for a bite of hors d’ouvres, a splash of drinks, and a four-studio tour.

STUDIO A -- Sound / Design
David Elmgren, the force behind Sound/ Design, grew up loving music and electronics as much as his father did. Seemingly always either building something or tearing something apart, he got his rudimentary education in electronic circuits when he was 16, helping his father build a Heathkit stereo system. Listening to Steppenwolf and Ten Years After on that stereo sowed the seeds of what was to become a life-long passion for music.
After a 20-year career as an artist and part-time architect’s draftsman and designer, Elmgren found an unlikely opening to fulfill his love of music and electronics. An architect he was working with needed a whole-house sound system for one of his clients and asked if it was something Elmgren would be interested in putting together. It opened the door for him to start what is now Sound / Design.
Elmgren offers audio/video products, design and installation and can be reached at (231) 947-4755 or soundesign@charter.net.

STUDIO B -- Priceless Photography
Born and raised in Traverse City, Elizabeth Price attended Michigan State University for three years before heading west to the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. There, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in photography and honed her skills as a photographer.
An adventurous spirit led Price to go on a BIP sponsored trip to the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. She, along with 20 other students and a professor, spread out and spent three and a half months documenting the people and life along the Mekong. Each student had a focus, and Price chose to explore the human impact on a river shared by seven countries.
Relocating back to Michigan from California in 2003, Price brings a fresh style and professional, photographic experience to northern Michigan with Priceless Photography, Inc. She also works freelance for Grand Traverse Woman magazine and was published in the spring 2005 edition of Modern Bride Michigan. She plans to continue her environmental photography on a freelance basis. She can be contacted at 231-883-9384 or Elizabeth@pricelessphotography.com.

STUDIO C -- Amy Yee Design
With 23 years in advertising and 10 years as an entrepreneurial graphic designer, Amy Yee realizes the value in enjoying what she does for a living. Her new studio space at Fish Studios allows her to work -- and live -- creatively, efficiently, and doing what she loves. Yee produces designs for corporate identity packages, marketing and promotional material, publications, packaging, and signage. Local clients include the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, the Grand Traverse Pavilions, the City Opera House, Ravenwood Aromatherapy Products, and the Healing Garden Journal.
Starting in the trenches as a mailclerk at the corporate advertising agency, D’Arcy McManus Masius, Yee got a closeup look at the creativity that goes into great advertising design. Her creative endeavors fueled, she worked in typesetting and art production for agencies and studios in metro Detroit. After moving to Traverse City in 1990, she completed the Visual Communications program at Northwestern Michigan College.
For inquiries about Amy Yee Design, call 231-933-5366 or email amyyee@traverse.net.

STUDIO D -- Glenn Wolff Studio
Glenn Wolff grew up in Traverse City, studied printmaking at Northwestern Michigan College, and received his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1975. His career path as an illustrator led him to New York City in the 1980s where his clients included the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, The Village Voice, The Central Park Conservancy, The New York Zoological Society and numerous book publishers.
In the 17 years since he returned to Northern Michigan he has been a much sought-after illustrator, collaborating with author Jerry Dennis and others including Robert Sullivan, John Gierach, and Stephanie Mills. His career has also grown to include fine art represented by the Tamarack Gallery, artist-in-residencies for the North American Prairie Conference, The Great Lakes Bioneers Conference, the Watershed Suite Project, Wings of Wonder, and music -- as upright bassist for the Neptune Quartet.
Open by appointment, the Glenn Wolff Studio will serve as a show room, and working studio for his private commission work, limited edition prints, and illustration studio. Call 231-941-0077, visit www.glennwolff.com or email GlennWolff@sbcglobal.net

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