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 · He‘s a Magic Man
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He‘s a Magic Man

Carina Hume - January 11th, 2007
There’s been a lot of magic in Harry Colestock’s life: He helped put John Glenn Jr. into space, enabled surgeons to efficiently melt a knot at the end of a suture, and puts smiles on the faces of many with his magic act.
A resident of Walloon Lake, Harry’s magical beginnings go back to his childhood. Born in 1923, Colestock was a child of the Great Depression who quickly learned the value of work. When his father lost his job, the family sold their house, purchased a five-acre piece of property just west of Birmingham, and lived in a tent.
“Some business in Detroit took pity on us and gave us a house that was on their property if we tore it down and moved it,” remembers Colestock.
The oldest boy out of five siblings, he and his two brothers and father worked hard to rebuild that house during the summer of 1933. “I think that taught us the purpose of work that year,” says Colestock who learned the basics of being an electrician from his father. “I consider that one of the best lessons I ever had.”

As a reward for his work on the house, Colestock received a ticket from his father to attend a magic show. Harry Blackstone, Sr. was performing at the local theater.
“Harry called me up on the stage during the show,” recalls Colestock, “and he was quite fascinated that I had the same name he did. He made a big deal out of that and he did a couple tricks where I was the participant in the tricks. Well, I was hooked!”
To earn extra money as a child, Colestock took care of 35 muskrat traps along with milking the family’s cows and feeding the chickens.
“I would send away (for tricks). There was no magic shop at that time in Ann Arbor,” says Colestock. “Then I had to start inventing… because I didn’t have the money to buy them.” He did some magic shows at school and began to develop a real hobby.
In 1990 at a magic convention, Colestock introduced an automaton (robot) that looked just like magician Jay Marshall who performed a 15-minute skit featuring a rabbit puppet named Lefty (Marshall’s hand in disguise) who bantered with the magician. Colestock’s efforts granted him a lifetime membership into the Society of American Magicians and a meeting with Marshall, who was in the audience that day.
“He couldn’t believe I had built the automaton of him,” recalls Colestock. “He came up on stage afterwards and we had a real good meeting.” The automaton has since been donated to the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan.
In 1992 Colestock was named Magician of the Year by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, of which he’s still a member. He spent nearly 15 years as president of the Ann Arbor Magic Club.

After Colestock graduated valedictorian of his high school class in 1941, he attended Michigan State University on scholarship for a year and a half before being called away to fight in World War II. After three years as a member of the Air Transport Command in the U.S. Air Force, Colestock returned to college on the GI Bill, with a wife and son in tow. The availability of married housing at Ann Arbor’s University of Michigan campus and a job as an electrician in the Willow Run/Ypsilanti area guided his decision.
Graduating with a degree in electrical engineering in 1949, Colestock began his career in Schenectady, N.Y. testing products at General Electric. His wife’s homesickness brought the family back to Michigan after only two years. During Colestock’s varied career he worked with Bendix Aerospace Systems, Ingersoll-Rand, Burroughs Corporation and in Australia for General Motors’ Holden division. He received an MBA in 1973 from Indiana Northern University, now known as Valparaiso.

The highlight of Colestock’s career was in the late 1950s when he was chief engineer at Burroughs Corporation. After a competition between the three largest computer manufacturers during that time – IBM, Burroughs and Remington-Rand – Burroughs was selected by NASA to design a computer that would not fail.
“How do you design something that will not fail?” recalls Colestock, after being taught all his life that at some point, everything fails. Turning his problem over to God – as Colestock still does for a tough one – he came up with a design that has been a pattern for super-reliable computers to this day. It was a design for the guidance computer for the Atlas missile used in 1962 to send John Glenn Jr. on the first manned U.S. orbital mission in space.
“People all over the world copied that design when they had to have a computer that was most resistant to failure,” says Colestock, proudly, pointing out that the Atlas missile guidance system was even used recently to send a missile to Saturn.
For a man who prides himself on his work ethic – one he’s instilled in both of his sons – it’s no surprise that Colestock has 42 patents credited to his name, most of them in circuit design. The most recent were awarded in the 1990s: a new type of heart pump designed with six surgeons from the University of Michigan Hospital and a product which melts a knot at the end of a suture, now manufactured in a Boston-area company.
After the passing of his first wife in 2000, Colestock married Marilyn Stockwell, a fellow watercolor artist, in 2001. Marilyn’s love for the Walloon Lake area led the couple north in 2003, where they built their self-designed dream home on a lot with a view of Walloon Lake. Both are members of the Michigan Water Color Society, the Northern Michigan Chorale and the choir at the First Presbyterian Church.
Since the move, Colestock has performed over 30 magic shows for area schools and scouting troops, taking with him a black wooden case which turns into a free-standing magic platform full of tricks. Silk colored handkerchiefs, colored pom-poms and various card tricks are hidden within.
In May of 2005, Colestock’s first technical book, “Industrial Robotics,” was published by McGraw-Hill. It teaches businesses how to achieve maximum productivity with robotics and answers any questions people may have. Another book called, “How to Design and Build Your Own Automaton,” and a children’s book on magic are in the works, to go along with Colestock’s self-published book of poems.
At the age of 83, most retirees would feel they’ve given enough back to the community, but Colestock doesn’t share that sentiment. In one of his home workshops are remnants of his latest project: the light strands to illuminate several two-dimensional silhouettes designed by at-risk youth from Lakeview Academy for their upcoming exhibit.
“I believe God expects us to do something special with the lives he has given us, to be enthusiastic with the gifts we’ve been given and joyful in the sharing them with others.”
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