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 Very Best People
. . . .

The Very Best People

Robert Downes - March 4th, 2004
The People page is our favorite feature each year in the “Best of Northern Michigan“ survey, because it‘s here that readers honor those who are at the top of their game in a wide range of professions.

Most Influential Northern Michiganian: Gov. William G. Milliken
Raised on Washington Street in Traverse City, Bill Milliken was the longest-serving governor in the state‘s history, occupying the office from 1969 to 1983.
Gov. Milliken is an honest-to-gosh war hero: He flew 50 combat missions in WWII as a waist-gunner in a B-24. He survived two crash landings; received a flak stomach wound on one mission; and once had to bail out in Italy when his plane ran out of fuel 50 miles from its base. He received seven medals for his service, according to “The Milliken Years“ by Joyce Braithwaite and George Weeks.
Still considered one of the leaders of the moderate wing of the Republican Party, Governor Milliken‘s administration saw many advancements in civil rights and environmental protections. The governor signed Michigan‘s landmark bottle deposit law into effect in 1976 and it was during his tenure that the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore was created by an act of Congress in 1970. Although he hailed from Northern Michigan, Gov. Milliken recognized the importance of preserving the viability of the City of Detroit and refused to play into the “us vs. them“ mentality of outstate politicians. As governor, he lobbied against members of his own party in the late ‘70s for the Detroit People Mover, which was ultimately approved in a drastically limited form.
Since leaving the office, Gov. Milliken has sometimes served as the conscience of the Republican Party. He blasted Rush Limbaugh in the early ‘90s as a dangerous influence on the GOP, making national headlines. Most recently, he took Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick Posthumus to task for race-baiting comments in the last election, calling them “morally wrong and politically stupid.“ He disparaged urban sprawl in a much-reprinted speech in recent years and has been an outspoken supporter of Affirmative Action in editorials and interviews over the past year.
Little known fact: The governor‘s middle initial stands for Grawn, the family namesake of the crossroads between TC and Interlochen. Look for more on the Gov in an upcoming issue of the Express.

Best Local Heroes: Drs. Jim Mudgett and John Van Dalson
Pillars of Northern Michigan‘s fitness community for more than 20 years, the unexpected deaths of Drs. Mudgett and Van Dalson within a month or so of each other sent shock waves of disbelief through the hearts of hundreds of friends and patients this winter.
The family practitioners were in partnership together for two decades, delivering hundreds of babies in the region and always urging a regimen of good nutrition and fitness for their patients. Dr. Van Dalson was also a top triathlon competitor in the ‘80s, while Dr. Mudgett held similar status as a road racer. In recent years, Jim Mudgett retired to pursue a love of photograhy, while John Van Dalson saw patients nearly to end, even while afflicted with terminal cancer.

Best Environmentalist: Jim Olson
Attorney Jim Olson of the TC-based Olson, Bzdok & Howard law firm, is practically the Moses of Northern Michigan‘s environmental movement, leading his people to the promised land of pristine lakes and forests.
Over the past 20 years, Olson has been involved in just about every major environmental battle in the north, from the Petoskey bypass and Hartman-Hammond Bridge in TC to the Crystal River controversy in Glen Arbor and many others.
He was prescient in recognizing the importance of water-diversion issues in the Great Lakes well before it became a popular public cause and has represented Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation in their suit against Nestle Waters (Ice Mountain). Olson‘s depth of knowledge on environmental issues and persuasive legal arguements led to a victory this year in the Mecosta County Circuit Court of Judge Lawrence Root who agreed that pumping water in the area damaged the local watershed, and ultimately, the Great Lakes. The Ice Mountain bottling plant has been shut down and last week, Judge Root denied Nestle‘s motion for a new trial.

Best Bartenders
Just about every bartender at every watering hole in Northern Michigan got a vote from the arm-benders at the rail, but the following were those who got an extra splash of attention from Express readers:
• Ron Hancock -- Red Mesa Grill, Boyne City
• Brent Riemersma -- Friendly Tavern, Empire
• Tammy Meadows -- The Tannery, Boyne City
• Ed Havens -- The U&I Lounge, TC
• Laurie Jewell -- Pearl‘s, Elk Rapids
• Vince Fotchman -- Union Street Station, TC
• Johnny Walker -- Leo‘s, Petoskey

Best Veterinarian: Daniel Aja, DVM
Dr. Dan Aja of the Cherry Bend Animal Hospital in Traverse City got three times as many votes as other vets chosen by Express readers. Perhaps that confidence in his abilities is why he was appointed by Governor Engler as one of three vets heading up the Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Aja and his wife Rhonda established the Cherry Bend Animal Hospital in 1987. Besides caring for hundreds of area pets, the couple are ardent animal lovers who have five dogs, three cats and a horse as part of their family.
When he‘s not caring for animals, Dr. Aja enjoys the fitness lifestyle, including competing in marathons.

Best Michigan Pro Athlete: Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings
Worst Michigan Pro Athlete: Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington

Best Massage Therapists
• Lisa Wamsley -- Maternity Massage
• Tina Putman -- Massage Wellness
• Ellen Wetherholt
• K.B. Sutton, Leelanau
• Theresa Cavanaugh, Impres
Honorable Mentions to:
• Sigrid Hanson, Petoskey
• Merri Crawford, manton
• Sylvia Knoll, Elk Rapids
• Eric Petersen
• Doug McGrew
• Matt Dyer
• Aaron Markel
• Sara Bobowski
• Ryan Planck, Petoskey
• Autumn Nancarrow
• Heidi Kaufmann, Bellaire
• Jody Mazon, Gaylord
• Tammy Proctor
• Kristin White, Petoskey
• Stephen Popp
• Kevin Rist
• Sam Sharp, Petosky
• Christine Berg
• Cindy Sniff, Acme
• Marla Steinhoff, East Jordan
• Diane Senter
• Christina Ballard
• Janet Stutzman

Best Personal Trainers
• Sue Cole -- The Sweatshop, TC
• Mary Hancock -- Curves, Boyne City
• Doug Petersen -- Fitness Center, TC
• Teresa Powers -- Powerhouse Gym, Gaylord
• Rob Moats -- Bentley‘s, Petoskey

Best Radio Station:
Here‘s how readers ran this one down:
1. Interlochen Public Radio, 91.5
2. WTCM, AM 580
3. The Fox, 94.5
4. Modern Rock, WKLT. 97.5
5. The Zone, 95.5
6. The Bear, 98.1
7. KHQ, 106
8. The Peak, 107

Best Waitpersons
Whoa boy! -- usually we get dozens of responses for “best waitstaff“ which list only one name, such as Danielle at North Peak or Amy at Shooters. Following are some of the many waitstaff personnel who Express readers mentioned in full as their choice for “the best“:
-- Eric Wood, Outback
-- Joe Tylutki, Minerva‘s
-- Christine Mueller, U&I
-- Chrissy O‘Rourke, U&I
-- Lori Kuipers, Brady‘s
-- Martha Conklin, Red Mesa Grill
-- Mark Bears, Red Mesa Grill
-- Dawn McGeorge
-- Glen Rau, North Peak
-- Randal Kamps, Cracker Barrel
-- Becky Clapp, Cabbage Shed
-- Mende De Vinney, 310
-- Jennifer Schultz, Minerva‘s
-- Mike Gauthier, Poppycock‘s
-- Tracy Smart
-- Kim Getz, Pearl‘s
-- Sheri Gibbons, Red Mesa Grill
-- Jessica Sherry, Friendly‘s Tavern
-- Deb Stephens, Cracker Barrel
-- Traci Williams, Cracker Barrel
-- Bea LeJeune, Chianti‘s
-- Amy Smith, Lulu‘s
-- Dietta Wester, Sugar Bowl
-- Stacy Young, Lulu‘s
-- Melissa Colby, Red Mesa Grill
-- Margaret Brief, U&I
-- Lynn Guba, Union Street
-- Jen Hall, U&I
-- Michael Kemler, Travino‘s
-- Libby Patterson, Union Street
-- Ben Cole, Applebee‘s
-- Julie Whiting, Sleder‘s
-- Sue Louiselle, Harbor Cafe.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5