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 · Books · Summer‘s best beach reads
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Summer‘s best beach reads

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli - June 15th, 2009
Summer’s Best Beach Reads

By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli 6/15/09

A soft, summer day; a comfortable chaise lounge; a cold drink beside you, and a good book in your hands. It’s the stuff of winter dreams, but nothing can bring a bigger letdown than the wrong book; or one not perfect for a summer mood.
When I asked people about favorite beach reads, or when I spoke to Lois Orth at Horizon Books, or Deb Bull at the Kalkaska County Library, everyone felt strongly about their picks. Still, it is a matter of personal taste—some people want to be instructed, some want to catch up on books they’ve heard about all winter, some want to wallow in things they don’t usually read, and some want to simply slide into a book the way they might a warm pool on a sun-ridden day. The following books are among the most entertaining, memorable, or just plain fun, that have come out in the last couple of years.

1. Sima’s Undergarments for Women by Ilana Stanger-Ross. In the comfort of her Brooklyn basement bra shop, Sima Goldner teaches women to appreciate their bodies while feeling betrayed by her own. After giving up on happiness, Sima surrendered to a bitter marriage. Yet, through a well endowed young seamstress, Sima learns to waken to adventure and romance.
2. Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead. “A warm and funny novel. Benji Cooper, a black student at an elite prep school in Manhattan messes up his reputation at school but finds relief in Sag Harbor where he is tested by state-of-the-art profanity and a bad haircut. This is a very funny, coming-of-age novel which probes the nature of identity.
3. Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear (a Maisie Dobbs novel), a Depression era mystery which begins on Christmas Eve, 1931. Set in London, “Maisie Dobbs witnesses a man commit suicide on a busy London street. She eventually gets involved in a race against time to find a man who proves he has the knowledge and will to inflict death and destruction on the people of London.” A good page-turner.
4. Borderline by Nevada Barr. Anna Pigeon, Park Service Ranger, is at it again. Each of Barr’s mysteries is set in a different national park. This time it is Big Bend National Park where Anna goes rafting on the Rio Grande after a devastating time on Michigan’s Isle Royale. While getting lost in the rapids, Anna makes the grisly discovery of an almost dead woman caught in swirling water. The mystery goes from the river to the Mexican desert to the steps of the governor’s mansion in Austin.
5. Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult. This poignant novel confronts the ever-present question: What constitutes a valuable life? When Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe have a baby girl, the expectation is she will be healthy, like all other babies. She isn’t. Then begins the soul-searching of a family ‘bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love.’ Jodi Picoult offers an unforgettable story ‘about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.’
6. Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith. Another in the popular No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels. In this one, the proprietor of a local football team enlists the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency to help explain its dreadful losing streak. “It can’t just be a case of unskilled players.” As usual, a wonderful cast of characters solve cases by dint of knowing others.
7. Bright Hair About the Bone by Barbara Cleverly. “In Burgundy, France, in 1926, a famed archeologist dies a terrible death in a country not his own . . .” thus begins this new mystery. Soon an aspiring archeologist will find herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy centuries in the making.
8. Mark of the Lion by Suzanne Arruda; a Jade del Cameron mystery set in 1919, after the First World War. The dying request of Jade’s ambulance driver fiancé sends her to British East Africa where she becomes involved in a murder. A compelling series.
9. The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith. Based on a real event that Gorbachev acknowledged in 2007, this was the first courageous step away from Stalin’s brutal totalitarian reign. An excellent Soviet historical police procedural.
10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This novel, written in letters, takes place in 1946, just after the war had ended. The woman, a Londoner, writes to a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey. He is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, born as a spur-of-the moment alibi when members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying the island. Lois Orth calls this a charming book with a funny and deeply human cast of characters: from pig farmers to phrenologists—literature lovers all.
11. Assegai by Wilbur Smith. This long-time writer of the Courtney 3 Series, puts Leon Courtney, an ex-soldier turned professional big game hunter in Africa, firmly in the eye of trouble when he becomes a British spy during the build up to World War I. It is a novel of betrayal and conspiracy.
12. Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland. The story follows August Renoir on the day he begins to paint one of the most famous of his paintings. The novel tells the story behind the story, delving into the minds of the Impressionists around Renoir, of Paris, and the people of the times.
13. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. A coming of age book, it is set during World War II, giving a glimpse of the collateral damage caused by war—the cold, cruel damage to the hearts and humanity of individual people. It is about a Chinese/American boy in war-time Seattle, who falls in love with a Japanese/American girl destined for the internment camps. Called an emotional and satisfying book.
14. Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell. Kirkus Reviews called it ‘a remarkably vivid account of a woman’s accidental witness to history as she encounters Churchill and T. E. Lawrence in Cairo, where in 1921, they redrew the map of the Middle East.’ An inspired fictional study of a political folly, Lois Orth, says of it “This is a special book. One that will stay with you.”
15. (A plug for my own mystery novels:) Dead Dancing Women and Dead Floating Lovers (out July 1). Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli. Northern Michigan mysteries involving Emily Kincaid, a newly divorced, failed writer from Ann Arbor trying to make it alone in the Michigan woods, and Deputy Dolly Wakowski, a member of the two-person Leetsville Police Department, who get drawn into murders that tangle their lives into webs they can’t escape until the murderers are caught.

16. The Living Great Lakes by Jerry Dennis. The Living Great Lakes has been called “the most complete book ever written about the history, nature, and science of these remarkable lakes at the heart of North America.” A personal journey, this is the story of a six-week voyage as a crew member on a tall masted schooner.
17. George by Peter Golenbock. About George Steinbrenner, “The poor little rich boy who built the Yankee empire amid the swirl of scandals, feuds, firings, banishments, bad trades, and even a felony conviction. He revived baseball’s most storied franchise, won ten pennants, and six World Series.”
18. Paul Newman: A Life by Sharon Levy. If you’re still a sucker for those blue eyes of his, Newman’s biography is a must read. One of the few super-stars who cared about the art of acting, Newman went on to work for political causes, including Civil rights and anti nuclear proliferation. He founded a food company, raising $250 million for charity, and raced cars. In this behind the scenes look we see his romance with Joanne Woodward, and the loss of a son from a drug overdose.
19. Horse Soldiers by Traverse City’s Doug Stanton. A within the scenes look at American Special Forces going into Afghanistan on horseback, over steep mountain roads, to get to Taliban strongholds and root them out. A fascinating look at the men and the maneuvers. Already on the New York Times Best Seller List, “Horse Soldiers” has been lauded from Traverse City to New York, and around the world.
20. When Evil Came to Good Hart by Mardi Link. A well-researched investigation into the murders of the Robinson family at Good Hart, an old Michigan cold case. Link is a good investigative journalist. Her story sticks to the murders and the one who was probably responsible.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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