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 · Region Watch · Rock Star Paleo Joe brings...
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Rock Star Paleo Joe brings trilobite tour to Petoskey

- April 28th, 2005
Paleo Joe lives in the past with a passion. A paleontologist, his “Trilobite Treasures -- Arthropods of the Ancient Seas” debuts at the Little Traverse Historical Society Museum on Petoskey’s bayfront this week, bringing 250 specimens and artifacts from the good old days of 250 million years ago.
It’s a fitting exhibit for the heart of Petoskey Stone country.

“This whole area was under water millions of years ago,” says Joseph J. “Paleo Joe” Kchodl. “Petoskey Stones are made of the coral which lived in the ancient seas of those times.”
And amidst that coral scuttled strange little creatures called trilobites, also known as “ancient marine arthropods with hard chitenous exeskeletons.” They were small, wiggly creatures on the ocean floor; the largest was just two-and-a-half feet long.
What’s an arthropod?

Crawly creatures with segmented bodies and jointed appendages like crabs, crustaceans and spiders. There are one million known species of arthropods still living on earth today.
But not so for the ancient trilobites, whose heyday was in the long-ago Cambrian Period, hundreds of millions of years ago. They died off in a period of mass extinctions in the Permian Period, a quarter of a billion years ago.

Paleo Joe was bitten by the trilobite bug (so to speak) as a youngster.
“I’m originally from New York State which is a fossil rich area,” he recalls. “Michigan is also very rich in fossils. If you went out in the woods here or in New York, you couldn’t kick over a rock without finding a fossil.”
At the age of 10, he discovered a book on paleontology which led to a lifelong fascination with probing the secrets of the earth. Although he earned his degree in education, he studied paleontology on his own and completed a course at Caspar College in Wyoming, which is deep in the heart of dinosaur fossil land.
Paleo Joe is revved with enthusiasm for fossils and fires the listener’s imagination with images of creepy-crawlies on the floor of long-dead seas. In that regard, he’s perfect for school tours and presentations. In fact, 124 schools and 12,000 students have been introduced to his work over the past two years, and after he wraps up his exhibit in Petoskey he’ll be pushing on to Big Rapids, Bay City and Muskegon. He’s also writing a book, “The Common Guide to Michigan Fossils” for Petoskey Publishing.

So, just what happened to those luckless trilobites?
“They were wiped out by several mass extinctions,” says Paleo Joe. “And there were also changes in the climate. They’re a creature that liked warm water and they couldn’t live once the earth’s climate got colder.”
He adds that 90% of all life on earth was wiped out at the end of the Permian Period.
“It was probably a killer meteor that caused a mass extinction, throwing up clouds of dust and causing earthquakes and volcanos to erupt,” he says. “But I don’t profess to say that it was just one thing that killed everything off. It’s the same as the dinosaurs -- there were probably a number of events.”

If you were calling the shots on how to fund federal programs, how would you spend our tax dollars?
That was the point of a Penny Poll held April 15 (“Tax Day“) outside the Post Office in downtown Traverse City. Members of the local Green Party handed participants five pennies each and asked them to allocate the money in a series of cups.
Karen Comella of the Green Party says that 274 participants made the following choices with their “taxes“:
• 40% education
• 27% the environment
• 16% military
• 11% international affairs
• 6% running the government
Comella says this is the third time the Penny Poll has been conducted over the past five years as an exercise in how our tax dollars are spent.

Downtown Petoskey is seeing a changing of the guard. Dave and Ruth Skop have purchased the old Chemist Shop pharmacy building on Mitchell Street. Owners of the Ben Franklin Crafts store in town, the Skops plan to open a new framing/print shop at the new location.
Of note, the old pharmacy building was built in the 1880s and the Skops plan to restore its facade to its original glory. They hope to open their store by Memorial Day.

Work is winding up on Boyne Mountain‘s new Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa, with plans to open by Memorial Day.
The Lodge will be Michigan’s newest luxury hotel, accompanied by the Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark. This will be the third waterpark for Northern Michigan on the heels of those established in Traverse City and Mackinaw City. A ribbon cutting is planed for May 25.

Blissfest is hosting a Warmup Party to celebrate its 25th year. On Sunday, May 29, they‘ll host Donna and the Buffalo at the Holiday Inn in Traverse City.
Donna and the Buffalo is a popular folk-rock jam & dance band from New York State with several albums to the credit and a passionate following across the country.
“They are one of the most mentioned ‘best of Blissfest bands‘ ever,“ says Jim Gillespie, executive director of the folk organization. Tickets are available in advance for $15 or $20 reserved, or $20 at the door. See www.blissfest.org for

Sacred Sparks in East Jordan has an innovative idea in mind to benefit the Women‘s Resource Center (WRC) in Petoskey. On Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m. they will host Project Bright Fire.
“Project Bright Fire is a Public Ceremony intended to create HEALING ENERGY WAVES to encircle the earth, benefiting all beings and creatures,“ states a news release.
The ceremony is a tribute to a feminine deity honored by the British, the Celts, the Welsh, and the Romans. “She was known as the midwife for the birth of Jesus, and honored in the February 2nd holiday known as Candlemas, or Imbolc.“
Donations by attendees will benefit the WRC. The event takes place at Sacred Sparks, 5070 Mt. Bliss Road, East Jordan. See
www.sacredsparks.com for info.

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