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 · Artful Energy
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Artful Energy

Kristi Kates - September 15th, 2005
Kevin Barton’s art accomplishments began as early as 9th grade, when he won the award for Best Artist of the Year at Harbor Springs High School. “I was surprised by that,” Barton laughs, “but that actually may have been what started me out.”
High school would hold more surprises for Barton, especially in his junior year, when he transferred to Florida for a short time to get a change of pace from Northern Michigan.
“The school in Florida was a lot more serious about art,” Barton remembers, “and I was again surprised to see that I was getting graded better than a lot of people who had been there for a while. That’s when it
kind of dawned on me that art was what I wanted to do.”
From trying a variety of different art mediums, including acrylics, to working primarily in oils (“I sometimes draw in pen and ink, as well,” Barton adds), Barton has, in a very short period of time, developed a style that has garnered him fans across Northern Michigan.
“I was lucky in that I started off selling my art right after high school,” he explains, “and it was always the oil paintings
that sold.”

Now 28, Barton’s works are showcased across the region - -including Petoskey’s Gaslight Gallery and Crooked Tree Art Center, Cedar Creek Interiors in Harbor Springs, and The Gallery On Main in Bay Harbor. Barton is sure to find that fan base widening even more. And he’s
already developed his own personal methods of painting that have definitely served him well so far.
“Well, I usually work outdoors, on location,” he says of his post-Impressionistic paintings, “and I like oils because they don’t dry quickly, and I like the richness of the colors. I enjoy working with oils, also, because I can push the paint around the image - they’re great to work with.”
Barton’s works definitely favor strong color and lines - his subject matter, usually landscapes, is perhaps the only thing he really has in common with other area artists. He works in bold strokes that give even his interpretations of the much-painted Little Traverse Bay a compelling energy and a different feel that’s even reminiscent, at times, of anime backgrounds.
“I’m not striving for realism in what I do,” Barton muses, “I don’t want my paintings to be like a captured moment, or a photo, but more like they’re alive and breathing and moving. I like to think I’m transforming what you see with paint into a more accented, more bold scene.”

And the critics, so far, seem to agree. Barton’s honors range from a First Place ranking in the 2001 Petoskey Art in the Park show to a First Place finish in the recent National Masterpiece Interpretations Contest, and he’s also been accepted to the National Impressionists Society through yet another juried show.
But he’s still a hometown boy at heart.
“One of the things I’m actually the most proud of to date is the Dining Guide,” he says with a laugh, referring to a Little Traverse area guidebook. “I did the cover art for the Northern Michigan summer edition of the Dining Guide, and I’m also doing the winter one. That’s pretty cool.”
Barton will be able to make use of that Dining Guide this winter - but only for part of the season, as he’s off to get inspired in different climates.
“I’ll most likely go somewhere to paint in the fall,” he says, “and, over the winter, I’ll continue painting from small studies I’ve done on site over the warmer months. I might do a few winter landscapes, though - I do have a special heater that helps keep my hands and the paints warm. I especially enjoyed painting in Sedona, Arizona - but I also like the diversity of Northern Michigan, even though I enjoy traveling.”
And, from the looks of things, Barton’s paintings might end up “traveling” a lot further than he ever expected.

Kevin Barton’s works can be viewed at the various art galleries listed in this
story, or by appointment at Barton’s Art Loft in downtown Petoskey by telephoning

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