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 · Art · The Contender
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The Contender

Robert Downes - August 4th, 2005
Whoever dreamed that poetry would get to be a competitive art form?
At events such as poetry slams, Russell Simmons’ “Def Poetry” show on HBO, and even Eminem’s rhymin’ rap flick, “8 Mile,” there’s a spirit of competition among wordsmiths these days to become the top poet on the pile.
And while Eva Tytar of Mesick doesn’t appear to be the super competitive type, it is true that she’s a contender for a prestigious prize: she’s been nominated as “Poet of the Year” for the fourth year in a row by the International Poetics Society based in Owings Mills, Maryland.
In fact, Eva earned the “Editor’s Choice” award from the organization for the past two years in a row and hopes to attend the Society’s annual convention this Aug. 19-21 in Washington D.C. where the top prize will be presented.
“I’ve written all kinds of stuff for 20 years now but never tried to get published until four years ago,” Tytar says. “Somebody told me there was a poetry contest and that they put a book together every year, so I entered and they liked what I wrote. This year, there will be poets from 70 countries represented at the convention, including some Pulitzer Prize-winning writers. It’s a pretty big thing they put on.”

A cashier at Oryana Food Co-op in Traverse City, Tytar, 42, has been working in health food stores off and on for the past 20 years. A resident of Mesick, she is also a tie-dye clothing artist who has assisted Tye-Dye Tim of Kaleva for many years. Tim’s line of clothing can be seen at arts, crafts and music festivals across Northern Michigan throughout the summer.
“I started out doing batik on my own and then began working with Tim,” she recalls. “I’ve been working with tie-dye for about 20 years now. Last year we went to Kansas to a place where all the cowboys buy their tie-dye overalls. They’ll buy two or three pair at a time.”
She grew up in the Flint/Fenton area and was encouraged by her teachers to consider a career as a writer. She earned an associates degree in English at the same college in St. Petersburg, Florida that Jim Morrison attended before joining The Doors in the mid-’60s.
“I did some writing in the same library that Jim Morrison used to write in,” she notes. “I thought that was cool, but I don’t know if he was an inspiration because I was a writer before that.”
Nonetheless, she says she enjoys the poems Morrison wrote, as well as the lyrics of songwriters such as Janis Joplin. “I guess I was influenced mostly by the older hippies; not that the young ones don’t have anything good to say.”

Tytar finds most of her poetic inspiration in personal experiences.
A serenade by coyotes, for instance, became a poem celebrating the approval of a mortgage loan. “I heard the coyotes calling one night and took it as a sign that they were happy and letting me know I was going to get my place,” she says.
When her stepfather, artist Dave Holsworth, became terminally ill, she took on his hospice care. While easing her stepfather’s transition, she was also inspired to write about his experience in the poem, “Heaven Sent,” which is included here. “He passed away last July, but he got to stay at home until the end, which is what he wanted,” she recalls.
Being a poet of note isn’t a path to riches, so Tytar is looking for sponsors interested in helping her with the $1,000 or so it will take to attend the Poetic Society’s convention in Washington (she can be reached at Oryana).
She’d also like to publish a book of her own in additon to being in the compilation the Society prints each year. “I have more than enough poems for several volumes, including some that are still in my head,” she says. “The words just come to me -- whatever it takes to get what I express out.”

-- by Robert Downes


By Eva Michelle Tytar

thousands swaying in the win
laughing at what can’t be heard
even the ones that can’t be seen
yipping in rejoice
they’re happy as can be
the howling of the coyotes

Heaven Sent

By Eva Michelle Tytar

as I watched the story unfold
I was told in advance of the events
that would enhance
as bold as a lightning strike
with as much precision and power
magical and mysteriously correct
sometimes a comfort to know
often times relentlessly painful
for reasons unknown
a path once traveled
revealed a quantum leap
from a place of knowing
to a place of trusting
with no choice but to go with
the voice
I have been given the chance
to see the process of the dance
not just the blur of the event
coming from a place beyond
telling of people who will soon
be there
from the weight of the world to
that of a feather
they were heaven sent.

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