Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Features · The Very Best People
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The Very Best People

Express Staff - March 7th, 2002
When it comes to people, we‘ve got plenty. Hundreds of surveys for our annual Reader‘s Choice awards gave us thousands of names to choose from for everything from Best Waitperson to Top Cop. Just like the “Cheers“ song claims, Northern Michigan is a place where everybody seems to know your name, although often it‘s just a first name. Sometimes readers also like to pull our leg on the survey, voting for people who‘ve been controversial in their communities during the course of the year. Whatever, it‘s all good, so here‘s our readers‘ choices for the Best People of 2002:

Best Local Hero:
The year of the 911 Attack was a reflective one for readers who aptly chose local Firefighters and Postal Workers as Best Local Heroes. Look for stories on pages 10 and 20 on the reaction to 911 by firefighters in Petoskey and postal workers in Traverse City.
Other local heroes who received an above average number of votes included:
-- Marty Moody, Boyne City School Board Trustee and community service volunteer
-- Coach Larry Sellers of TC, who faced trial for a road rage incident
-- Ray Minervini, redeveloper of Building 50
-- Margaret Dodd, Mayor of Traverse City

Best Environmentalist:
*By region*
-- John Richter of East Jordan
-- Bob Russell and Sally Van Vleck of Neahtawanta Inn
-- Keith Schneider of Benzie County
-- Stephanie Mills of Maple City
-- Steve Largent of Traverse City
-- honorable mention: Reg Bird of the Dickie Bird News

Best Disc Jockey:
Michael O‘Shea of WCCW drew top honors this year for a broadcast career that dates back to 1967. See his story on page 14.

Best TV news anchor:
Once again, Dave Walker of TV 7&4 weighs in as the dean of local newscasters. A new sideline for Dave is serving as a volunteer jazz disc jockey on WNMC public radio each Sunday from 1-2 p.m. His show concentrates on jazz from the ‘20s through the ‘40s, and his interest in jazz goes back to his childhood. “As a kid growing up in Ludington, I listened to Chicago‘s great, 50,000-watt, clear channel giants in the middle of the night,“ he recalls. “WGN, WBBM and WMAQ hosted overnight shows on jazz and big band music and I loved it.“

Best Michigan Pro Athlete:
Got to be Steve Yzerman, center for the Detroit Red Wings. Coincidentally, the ‘Wings were picked as best Michigan Pro Sports team by Express readers. Who‘da‘ figgered?

Best Artist:
Gwen Frostic put Benzie County on the map of the artworld over five decades of printmaking and observations on nature. Although she died in 2001, readers gave her a posthumus award for “Best Artist.“ See her story on page 18.
Other artists who received high marks from readers included:
-- Glenn Wolff
-- Terry Haughen
-- Mary Guntzwiller
-- Pat Tinney
-- Bill Hoxie
-- Charles Murphy
-- Colleen Kolarick
-- Justin Toomey

Best Bartenders:
-- Tammy Meadows of the Tannery, Boyne City
-- Dave Brownell and Ed Havens of the U&I Lounge, TC
-- Kelley LaSalle of Boone‘s, Suttons Bay
-- Bobby Knechgtes of Dinghy‘s, Frankfort
-- Johnny Walker of Bear River Brewery, Petoskey

Best Mailpersons:
-- John Kostrzewa, TC
-- Bill Gulvas, TC
-- Sandy Dorman, Elk Rapids
-- Jan Leist, Boyne City
-- Virginia Raz, Benzie/Interlochen
-- Adam Kennedy, Petoskey/Boyne
-- Rick Swiderek, Cheboygan
-- Bob Jones, Elk Rapids

Best Firefighters:
-- Dennis Amesbury, Boyne City
-- Marie Steffel, Petoskey
-- Jeremy Ball, Elk Rapids
-- Dave Duffield, Gaylord
-- Bob English, Topinopee
-- Dave Tokie, Elmwood Twp.
-- Casey Hollenbeck, Frankfort
-- Ryan Deering, Empire

Top Cop:
Traverse City Police Chief Ralph Soffredine is retiring next year, but not without the honor of being named “Top Cop“ several years in a row by readers of Northern Express. Check out a story on the chief on page 16.
*Other top vote-getters:*
-- Brian Heffner, TC
-- Corey Gunther, Benzie
-- Victor Patrick, East Jordan
-- Auggie Stout, Boyne City
-- Chuck Vondra, Boyne City
-- Todd Reeves, Petoskey
-- Joe McCarthy, TC
-- Mike Miles, Elk Rapids
-- Ed Bowan, Leelanau
-- George Lassiter, Charlevoix
-- Tim Halverson, TC
-- George Anthony, Elk Rapids
-- Dan Frasier, Cheboygan
-- Doug Carrow, Gaylord
-- Robert Bank, Benzie

Best Doctor:
An interesting twist this year for our “Best Doctor“ voting: Nurse practitioner Annelle Kaspor of West Front Primary Care, Traverse City was one of the top vote-getters, even though she is not an M.D. or D.O. Be sure to congratulate “Dr.“ Kaspor on her achievement.
*Other Top Docs:*
-- Kathy Wonski, Boyne City
-- James Lawrence, Elk Rapids
-- Gary Ruoff, TC
-- Fred Lamb, Suttons Bay
-- Wendy Walker, Petoskey

Best Waitpersons:
So many votes here, many of which were first names only. But those who received the most votes (and presumably the best tips) included:
-- Daphne Barnett of Darlene‘s, East Jordan
-- Denise Hughey of the Tannery, Boyne City
-- Patty Loomsbury of Red Mesa Grill, Boyne City
-- Mary McDonald of the Early Bird, Leland
-- Aisha of Reflections, TC

Best Nurses:
Again, so many votes...
-- Penny Kolarik
-- Dagmar Cunningham
-- Deb Samuel
-- Debbie Cragenbrink
-- Dixie Fisher
-- Lyn Ufer
-- Sue Gum
-- Cynthia Simmon
-- Kathy Smith
-- Tommy Swit
-- Phyllis Kashazta
-- Erin Peck
-- Cynthia Simmons
-- Anita Wells
-- Kathy Primo
-- Jan Sorenson
-- Sandra Busz
-- Lisa Schaub
-- Cindy Lawson
-- Sue Beral
-- Gloria Duffing
-- Joan LaFranier

Best of the Express:
• Best Story of the Past Year: Readers gave thumbs up to our six-part Migrant series, written primarily by Jane Louise-Boursaw. Look for the conclusion of that series in an upcoming issue. Other top stories were those relating to the War on Drugs, TC Mayor Margaret Dodd, the Rainbow Bumper Sticker controversy, and our opinions relating to the War on Terrorism.
• Best reason to read the Express: “The other point of view“ seemed to state what readers like most about us, along with our entertainment coverage, “interesting stories,“ humor, horoscope, Random Thoughts and Amy Alkon‘s Advice Goddess columns.
• Best reason to trash the Express: Most readers responded “never,“ ‘none“ or “recycle“ in this category. A few readers said they thought the paper had a “liberal bias,“ but several of the same said that‘s why they like reading the Express. And as in the past, Real Astrology was hated by some readers who “don‘t get it,“ just as it is also one of our most popular features.
So, thank you readers, for all your hard work and thought which went into this issue. A lot of you noted that you enjoy filling out the “Best of Northern Michigan“ survey each year; if nothing else, the survey offers a whimsical glimpse at what‘s on your mysterious minds.

-- Your friends at Northern Express

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