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 · Experience the Glow, The Bullfrog...
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Experience the Glow, The Bullfrog Light Company

Kristi Kates - June 8th, 2006
There’s a real art form to creating quality candles, and few people realize that there’s a company right here in Northern Michigan that crafts beautiful candles from scratch.
Bill Stewart, who was living near Saginaw at the time, started Bullfrog Light Company in 1981, after playing around with making candles as part of a school project he was doing with his kids.  His kids soon became distracted and moved on to other endeavors - but Bill, fascinated by the process, continued his pursuit of the perfect candle for several years.
Working with high-quality wax, he soon developed a method by which he could make candles that would glow from top to bottom, unlike most candles which primarily glow only where the top of the wick is located.  Succeeding at this twist on the traditional candle was all it took for Stewart to decide that his creations might make a great commercial venture. 
But, of course, a new candle company needed a standout name.
“Since it was spring, the bullfrogs in the nearby Shiawassee Flats Game Refuge were very loud,” chuckled Betsy Stewart, “so that seemed the natural name for the company.”
And so Bullfrog Light Company was born.  The company started off slow but within about four years, it was obvious that the original manufacturing site was too small, so Bullfrog Light Co. moved up north to Charlevoix.

Celebrating 25 years in business this summer, Bullfrog Light Co. has an outlet store at their factory in Charlevoix, and also have a website via which Bullfrog Candle fans can purchase candles right online.  They also wholesale their wares to gift and candle shops around the nation. 
So what makes Bullfrog Candles so sought after?
Well, once again, it’s that Bullfrog
“secret candle glow.”  But they can’t show you how they get it, or... well, you know the drill.  Although it’s definitely an appealing thought, especially for the crafty, customers aren’t allowed to tour the candle factory due to safety reasons, so you’ll just have to rely on Betsy Stewart and Jane West’s explanation - they call it “scientifically developed magic.” 
But while the science may be a trade secret, the beauty of the candles is obvious - they are quality-made, unequalled in “glow,” and come in a wide range of designs, something for just about anyone. 
“Some of the most popular designs are the holiday collections,” Betsy explains, “and the pineapple design is very popular as a hostess gift, as it is an early American symbol of hospitality. We are especially excited about our newest custom candles - the Great Lakes Lighthouse Collection and the School Emblems/Logos Collection.”
The School Emblems Collection is pretty nifty, whether you’re in high school, an alumni, or are simply a fan of a certain university.  Bullfrog Light Co. can customize one of their white candles with any school logo - and, in fact, can customize candles with just about any design by special order. 

But you’re just as likely to find something you like simply by browsing their already-available candle designs. Some of the standouts include the very unusual Marble Cubes, which glow with an artistic cracked-stone look;  the Botanical Garden Collection, which features handpicked pressed flowers; the Nautical Images Collection, which includes images of signal flags, fish, and the aforementioned Lighthouses; the elegant Classic Pillars, which are offered in Ivory and White versions as well as in various colors; the Wilderness Collection, which features intricate renderings of moose, pine trees, wolves, and more; and the Geometric “Suits,” perfect for a night of card-playing with friends. 
None of the candles are scented, both because of allergies and to improve burning quality - but you won’t miss it once you see how gorgeous these candles are.  They’re not your typical store-bought candles, that’s for sure - and you’ll also be surprised to find out that although the candles may be quite upscale in looks, their prices are wallet-friendly.
“The prices vary from around $11 to $35,” Jane West says, “and at their slow-burning rate, they are what we like to call affordable luxury.”
Check out Bullfrog Candle Company online at www.bullfrogcandles.com, give them a call at 800-499-3332, or stop by their great outlet shop on M-66, just off of US31 in Charlevoix, across from KMart.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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