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..

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Wonderfest/Petoskey, something new/Wilderness crossing/Leelanau snowmobiling/GT Commons/Michigan walk of fame

Kristi Kates - January 28th, 2008
NEW: Snowshoe de Art

Sculpture & snowshoes: what a concept!

Women interested in getting warmed-up for this weekend‘s 10th Annual Women‘s Winter Tour may wish to consider a new event: The Snowshoe de Art tour through the Michigan Legacy Art Park at Crystal Mountain in Benzie County.
Participants will snowshoe along the 1.6-mile trail through the Art Park, past 40 sculptures created by Michigan artists to fit the wooded, hilly terrain of the site.
Tour founder and artist Kaye Krapohl of Active Women Now says the $10 donation for the snowshoe tour will be split to support both the Art Park and domestic abuse centers to help women escape from unhealthy relationships.
The event takes place Saturday, Feb. 2, with registration at noon. Guided tours of the park will be offered at 12:30, 1 and 1:30 p.m. Snowshoe rentals will be available at Crystal Mountain‘s Adventure Center, located near the ski resort‘s conference center.
Other events on Saturday will include an Art of Chocolate Clinic from 3-4 p.m. wtih Fred Laughlin of the Northwestern Culinary School; and a “Sex Education“ class with winemaker Larry Mawby discussing sparkling wines from 5-6 p.m. The evening‘s offerings include a Luna Film Festival and silent auction from 6-8 p.m., and the Fabulous Horndogs dance party from 8-11 p.m. ($15).
The weekend‘s main event is the Huntington Women‘s Winter Tour on Sunday, Feb. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring a cross-country ski tour on Crystal Mountain‘s trails. The entry fee of $35 includes a $5 donation to the women‘s shelter, Madeleine‘s House, and the Women‘s Resource Center in Traverse City.
Last year, 700 women braved a blizzard and frigid conditions to participate in the tour, which features refreshments and surprises along the route. To register, check out www.womenswintertour.com.

March 2-4 will mark the second year for the Annual Cherry Capital Winter Wonderfest in the Grand Traverse area, a four-day event with a goal of “curing the effects of cabin fever.” Attendees can attend most Winter WonderFest activities via the purchase of a $10 official event button (proceeds go to Special Olympics of Michigan); and those activities, for this year, are set to include a mini film festival, a chili cookoff, frozen fish toss, sleigh and hot air balloon rides, fireworks, a 5K race, a broomball tourney, and live music that will include a concert by ’80s retro-novelty band Loverboy.

Rumors abound concerning potential new businesses said to be arriving soon in Petoskey. US 131 South may get a new McDonald’s to join their sister fast-food restaurant on 31 North; Quiznos Subs, “Home of the $2 Flatbread Sammies,” is looking for space near Lowe’s; and a national sports bar and grill chain, Buffalo Wild Wings, is also said to be considering the area near Lowe’s for their business. The long-vacant space on the corner of Petoskey’s US-31 and M-119 is the subject of rumbles, too, regarding a new, as-yet-unnamed restaurant or coffeeshop that may fill that spot.

Under new regulations from the Michigan Secretary of State‘s office, you must now prove you have a “permanent presence“ in the United States in order to get a driver‘s license in the state. The measure is designed to help curb illegal immigration.

The Chum’s Corner area near TC, just off US 131, is now host to the new Wilderness Crossing complex, which is currently being worked on with an expected February open date. The main complex is set to include a bowling alley, laser tag, pool/billiards, a restaurant, indoor miniature golf, a bar, and meeting rooms. Another part of the complex will include an indoor archery and gun range with an NRA classroom; dubbed “Zeroed IN,” the shooting area has chosen April for their projected opening date.

The only official Leelanau County snowmobile trail, which runs from Empire Airport to Maple City, is said to be in extra good shape this year. Riders can now reportedly travel by snowmobile from Maple City all the way to Manistee; with some careful planning, determined riders can trek their sleds all the way to Grayling.

Located across from the Trattoria Stella restaurant in Grand Traverse Commons, buildings 28 and 40 and their connecting cafeteria are being transformed, via $20 million, into an 84-room boutique hotel, a full-service restaurant, and a large banquet hall. With the hotel scheduled to open in the spring of 2009, work is expected to get underway this spring, headed up by summer resident John Weeman, who is also head of Dallas, Texas-based Partners in Development.

The sidewalks of Lansing, are being embedded with bronze plaques in a project that’s being called the Michigan Walk of Fame. Inductees from 2006 included Henry Ford, W.K. Kellogg, Stevie Wonder, and actor/filmmaker Jeff Daniels. This year’s 2007 inductees will include boxer Joe Louis, scientist Jonas Salk, Andrew J. Blackbird (who helped gain Michigan citizenship for Native Americans under the 1850 Constitution), and local TC favorite Gordie Howe.

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