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 · Chary Hansen‘s Art Works...
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Chary Hansen‘s Art Works Alliance

Rick Coates - May 25th, 2006
 Last December Traverse City artist Charly Hansen convened a group of artist friends at his home.  Hansen, a long-time advocate of the local arts community, felt that there was disconnect among area visual artists and something needed to change. So a couple of dozen artist friends gathered at Hansen’s home studio, drank coffee, and discussed the importance of staying connected with each other, offering support and creating opportunities to exhibit works. Born out of that meeting was the Art Works Alliance.
“We really are a support group for area artists,” said Angela Saxon, an artist who maintains the group’s blog on the Internet. “Many of us spend our days in solitude in our studios so we need that human interaction from time to time.”
Art Works Alliance will introduce
themselves to the public with a juried
exhibition May 25 –31, entitled “One Week In May” at the Miniverni Group offices located on the first floor of Building 50.
Saxon said the community is blessed to have a wealth of talented artists. She and her fellow artists are particularly grateful for Charly Hansen’s leadership in getting this group organized.
“Charly has been a long time favorite in this community. Despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer he has shown real leadership,” said Saxon. “He is an inspiration to all who come in contact with him. This was his vision and it is wonderful to see it all coming together.”
A common link for all area artists is the desire to find for places to exhibit their works.  Especially since the role of the
Traverse Area Arts Council has changed.
“For years the Arts Council played a lead role in organizing the visual arts community and they sponsored several exhibitions,” said Saxon. “But in recent years their role has changed to a broader support of the arts. They now are a resource to the arts community versus an organization that coordinates exhibitions. This isn’t a criticism but instead an important improvement for
the council. So as artists we have to take it upon ourselves to create exhibition opportunities.”
Saxon said that Debra McKeon the new executive director of the Traverse Area Arts Council has been a tremendous supporter of the Art Works Alliance.
“She is a wonderful asset to this community, she has done so much in a short time to bring the arts community together,” said Saxon. “She is paid two days a week but gives 80 hours it seems.”
Saxon and several other artists continue to meet monthly at Charly Hansen’s, discussing possible future exhibitions and offering support and encouragement to each other. They are continuing with a loose knit approach by not collecting dues and keeping things casual and keeping their focus on their mission.
“Our mission is to advance the appreciation of and to increase the participation in the arts by arranging public art initiatives, exhibitions, demonstrations and other events which highlight the diverse talents of the region’s artists of all disciplines,” said Saxon.
Artists or others interested in helping or joining are encouraged to check
out the Art Works Alliance web-blog at
or contact the group through their Art Goddess (President) Melonie Steffes-Callaghan at frognoise@centurytel.net or (231) 275-1362.
Saxon and other members will also be at the “One Week In May” opening night reception on May 25 from 6 to 9 pm.

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