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 · Features · Keeping it local
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Keeping it local

Rick Coates - November 24th, 2008
Media headlines are predicting this year as one of the worst for holiday retail sales. But several Northern Michigan businesses are showing growth and success despite the downturn in the economy. So as you search for gifts this season, consider buying local to help the Northern Michigan economy. Here are a few homegrown gifts from around the region.

Board games are making a big comeback. As families seek more quality time together, “old-fashioned” board games are regaining their popularity. So are new ones, and one of the hottest in North America is Camp. What is cool is that Camp was developed by Education Outdoors Inc, in Eastport (between Elk Rapids and Charlevoix).
Both children and adults learn fun facts about the great outdoors by playing Camp. The game is designed to grow with the player, starting at Level One questions, which primarily involve the identification of animals. As the players increase their knowledge of the outdoors, they grow into the higher level questions. Parents and children can play against each other to see who gets to “Camp first.”
Created and developed by outdoor Tim Paczensy, Education Outdoors Inc. is showing tremendous growth since opening in 2005.
“As young professionals my wife and I almost moved back downstate a few years ago to look for greener financial pastures,” said Jesse DenHerder, vice president of marketing and product design. “Then Education Outdoors came along and we stayed. The growth has been phenomenal and we are having an amazing fourth quarter.”
Their board game is sold all over North America (available in Northern Michigan at toy stores and most outdoor shops). For more information about Camp, locations to purchase or Education Outdoors Inc. check out campboardgame.com

Make It Take It
The shops in Cedar Michigan know that they are off the beaten path. The community that is best known for Pleva Sausage and its annual Polish Festival has been aggressive in its approach to attract visitors. This year, some of the shops in the village are offering an event called “Make It Take It.”
On Friday, November 28 from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday, November 29 from 10-5 p.m. (with a lunch break at noon) you will have the opportunity to make a gift for that special someone.
“People love getting homemade gifts,” said Liz Saile of L. Saile Designer Jewelry. “We are also offering free gift wrapping on completed projects.”
Those projects include a strand of pearls from L. Saile, sock monkeys at Duck to Swan, and sachet bags from Inish Knits. At Liberty Bell Quilts, projects include book covers, wine bags and eyeglass cases. All shops will be offering free instruction and assistance in making your project.  For information call Liz Saile at 231- 409-0321 or just show up in Cedar. Be sure to stop in at the Tavern for lunch and the Cedar Market for local wines.

Bay Bucks
A great way to support the local economy is with Bay Bucks. A scrip substitute for currency, Bay Bucks were created a few years ago by the non-profit Traverse Area Community Currency Corporation. Bay Bucks is about keeping the local economy vibrant. They also make a great gift for those who are “impossible to buy for.”
Several businesses in the region take Bay Bucks and the list keeps growing. Yes, this is real legal tender for participating businesses. To learn more, or to find locations that accept Bay Bucks, check out baybucks.org

Santa Goes Green
A few years ago, author Anne Margaret Lewis has a national bestseller with her book “Has Anyone Seen Christmas.” Lewis, who lives on the Old Mission Peninsula, is back with a new book for this season “Santa Goes Green.”
The book is a story of “Finn, a red haired boy who lives on Elm Street, who enlists the help of Santa on a journey to save a polar bear and his home -- the melting glaciers. Along the way they encounter a walrus and a pod of beluga whales.”
It is now available in bookstores throughout the country. So is Lewis planning any book signings in the region?
“No,” said one of the elves from her Mackinac Island Press. “Santa has agreed to sit in the window of Horizon Books in Traverse City every Saturday and sign copies. Somehow, we think kids of all ages would enjoy that at little more.”
Lewis is active in the Northern Michigan community and will gladly sign copies. To learn more or to contact her, go to: mackinacislandpress.com

Cherry Republic Pyramid Gift Box
Speaking of “going green,” that is exactly what Cherry Republic has been doing with their operation in Glen Arbor. “In the spring of 2008, Cherry Republic began an initiative,” states company literature. “It was the company’s commitment to become Green.”
Sending a gift box from Cherry Republic is perfect for that person who already has everything. An employee of the company was overheard saying they would probably send out over 20,000 packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Regardless of the number, they will be sending out a lot.
Consider the Cherry Pyramid Gift Box with 1 lb. bags of Michigan Fruit Mix, Cherry Nut Mix, Milk Choc. Covered Dried Cherries and Dried Cherries; 12 oz. bottle of Cherry Italiana Salad Dressing; 8 oz. bags of Dark Choc. Covered Dried Cherries, Cherry Ambassador Mix, and Choc. Covered Cherry Nut Mix; 9 oz. jars of Cherry Jam, Mild Cherry Salsa and Cherry Fudge Sauce; topped with an 8.5 oz. can of Rain Orchard Crunch Caramel Corn and a cherry red bow.
Cherry Republic has locations in Glen Arbor and Front Street in Traverse City. You may even order gift boxes online. Check them out at cherryrepublic.com
And be sure that you make your gifts this holiday season as local as possible.
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