Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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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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