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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Odom‘s salvage celebration

Robert Downes - March 31st, 2008
In a world that is increasingly looking for ‘green’ solutions, the recyclers of Odom Reusable Building Materials provide a great role model.
In fact, since its establishment in Traverse City in 1998, Odom has salvaged and sold three million pounds of recycled building materials -- everything from windows, doors, light fixtures and plumbing to entire walls.
“Recycling gets in your blood and we’ve been very well received in this community,” says Bruce Odom, who launched the business 10 years ago after having success with a similar outfit on the West Coast.
Things have gone so well that Odom is planning a 10th anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 19 at the store in Grawn, south of Traverse City, along with its Fifth Annual Used Materials Building Tour.
With a background in restoration carpentry, Bruce Odom got his start in the salvage business in 1993 in Bellingham, Washington, where he managed a non-profit building supplies recycling business called the ReStore.
“The State of Washington had offered a proposal to create a non-profit organization that would serve as a building supplies exchange facility,” he recalls. “So, I was hired as manager and told that if I could figure out a way to make the business sustain itself, I could keep my job.”
Odom mentored with Urban One in Berkeley, CA, a non-profit which had crafted a successful role model for salvaging and reusing building materials. Back in Washington State, the ReStore proved to be a hit; today it has 30 employees and has moved to bigger quarters to accommodate the demand for recycled materials.

Odom met his wife-to-be, Cathy Clark, in Seattle. A family crisis brought her home to Traverse City, where Odom decided to launch his own salvage store. That first effort was near the intersection of Garfield and South Airport Road, a business which quickly gained an enthusiastic following.
“Everyone in the building line of work has leftover materials in their garage that they don’t want to throw away,” Odom says. As such, his business is often the recipient of perfectly good building supplies which can be reused on other projects.
“Some customers take such care to bring stuff here, and we also have 6,000 sales per year.”
Anything that is in good enough condition to be reused is fair game. Customers receive a credit of one-quarter of the resale value of their items, good for the purchase of other items in the store.
Speaking of which, Odom is a browser’s paradise, chock full of kitchen cabinets, unusual fixtures, chandeliers, bath tubs, hardware, lumber, kitchen equipment and more. Sometimes you’ll even find antique items, such as clawfoot bathtubs or wood-burning stoves.
A recent acquisition was the salvage of Holy Childhood School in Harbor Springs. Some 30 maple doors were salvaged along with the school, with 100 head-casings for doors and mirrors and all of the school’s maple flooring. “We were there for five weeks, working all day and filling up a truck to bring all of the materials back to the store.”
Check out this treasure trove for yourself at the upcoming event:

10th Anniversary
The main event will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the store located at 5555 Brentwood Avenue in Grawn, near the intersection of West Silver Lake Rd. and U.S. 31 south.
The celebration will include door prizes, the construction of a geodesic dome and a display of entries to our Used Material Design/Build contest. Also, table top displays from local businesses; a chance to help build a construction waste sculpture; and join in the debut of off-road bowling. Kids welcome.

5th Annual Used Materials
Building Tour

Includes a tour of a business in downtown Traverse City that has employed a majority of reused materials into its remodel, and then to The Village at the Grand Traverse Commons where builder Ray Minervini and crew will provide a tour of the old and the new at the former state hospital grounds. A reception will follow.
Call 231-276-6330 to register for the tour, or for more information.

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