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 · Tom & Carole Bowker
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Tom & Carole Bowker

Rick Coates - July 28th, 2008
Sculptor Tom Bowker fell in love with the Leelanau Peninsula the first time he visited in the early ’70s. He knew someday this would be his home and the place that he and his wife Carole would further their artistic endeavors. That day finally arrived 13 years ago.
“I remember that day in the early ’70s. I had come to visit our good friends the Leinbachs who owned and operated Camp Innisfree near Pyramid Point,” said Tom Bowker. “I immediately called Carole and said: ‘You wouldn’t believe the beauty up here.’ We took baby steps towards creating a living environment here that would house not only us, but our studio and gallery.”
The Bowkers will play host this Saturday, August 2 at 6 p.m. to an “Unveiling Party” at their By The Bight Art Gallery and Studio near Northport.
By The Bight Studio opened five years ago, though the Bowker’s originally owned a gallery in Northport for eight years. They currently rent the gallery to another artist, who is taking a similar path as the Bowkers.
Both Tom and Carole are artists. They see themselves as explorers, travelers and communicators with their works. The Bowkers both work in multiple mediums. Tom’s primary focus, however, has been sculpting, and this weekend’s “Unveiling Party” will showcase his talent.

“I was blessed at an very early age to have people encourage me artistically,” said Bowker. “I started sculpting when I was three or four, as my mother gave me bars of soap and scrap materials. Then I had strong encouragement from art teachers throughout my schooling.”
One of those instructors was his high school art teacher who was also a successful sculptor.
“He definitely pointed me in the direction of sculpting and served as an inspiration,” said Bowker. “I became fascinated with three dimensional images.”
While Bowker has an appreciation for all forms of art, he is drawn to the complexities of creating three-dimensional artworks, especially the craft of carving stone.
“What is interesting about stone carving is that while with other types of art you add to them to create the piece, this form requires you to take away from it to create the final outcome,” said Bowker. “A painting, for example, has the artist creating a two-dimensional illusion. When you are carving, you have to constantly revolve around the work to view it from all perspectives.”

Bowker takes a couple of approaches when carving stone. He uses maquets (tiny models of the final work) and often takes an inspiration and lets his mind and hands lead.
“A lot of art is created by accident. This sculpture I am unveiling is part of a series themed around peace,” said Bowker. “The conflicts we (United States) are currently in have really resonated with me. So with that inspiration within me I was playing with other concepts but kept getting pulled towards the theme of peace.”
For Bowker, he finds peace in actually working and creating in front of his visitors at his studio.
“I think this is so important. As artists, we are typically hidden from public view when we create. Often artists are great at creating their work and not so great at talking about their work,” said Bowker. “I think it is important to connect with the audience. I love explaining the vision of my work both while creating it and after it is completed.”
His desire to “educate” the public is a result of his longtime work as an art educator.
“I was the chair of the art department at Ann Arbor Huron High School,” said Bowker. “I very much enjoyed working with students.”
One of his students, David Goyer, enjoys a successful career in Hollywood and as a comic book writer. Goyer penned the screenplay Batman Begins and is currently writing the screenplay for the Hollywood version of The Flash that he will direct in 2010, among numerous other projects.

The Bowkers keep their gallery open Wednesday through Sunday during the summer months and keep extended weekend hours in the fall. They love their secluded location and it has not hurt business at all.
“Before, when we were in town, we had a lot of casual foot traffic,” said Bowker. “Now we have a lot less traffic, but we are a destination for the traveler. Sales have been just as good because the customer seeking us out is looking for art, not just looking.”
This “destination traveler” is something the Bowkers would like to see marketed to more visitors. They feel the Leelanau Peninsula is perfect to be marketed as a cultural destination.
“It is obvious that the dynamics of the traveling public has changed and there is a real market for cultural destinations,” said Bowker. “Leelanau Peninsula is the perfect mix of cultural offerings and outdoor activities. What is great about this is that these types of attractions are available year round. I also like the fact that the Peninsula has no chain restaurants and stores and that all the shops and restaurants are locally owned. This is very appealing to many travelers.”
Bowker hopes that area tourism leaders will take a more active role in marketing the cultural aspects of the region. This weekend he and his wife will play their part with their “Unveiling Party.”

To view works from the Bowkers go to www.bythebight.com where information and directions to the gallery also exist. But to truly appreciate the sculptures of Tom Bowker and the work of Carole Bowker visit the gallery in person. On Saturday night they will host an “Unveiling Party” for Tom Bowker’s most recent stone sculpture. For details phone them at 231.218.9976.
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