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 · They‘re gunning for the...
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They‘re gunning for the Artprize

Al Parker - September 21st, 2009
They’re Gunning
for the ArtPrize

Two dozen local artists seek their fortune in Grand Rapids contest

By Al Parker 9/21/09

Traverse City artist Eric Daigh shoves the last of 23,625 push pins into place, then stands back to examine his four x six-foot portrait with a critical eye.
“I’m entering three portraits,” he tells a visitor. “Each will be made in five colors of pushpins – white, black, red, blue and yellow. Once completed, they will be tied (with each other) for the “Largest Pushpin Mosaic in the World” in the Guinness Book of World Records. I currently hold that record, but will be beating my own record.”
Daigh is one of some two dozen Northern Michigan artists entered in ArtPrize, an unprecedented competition that will award nearly $500,000 to prize winners, including $250,000 to the artist who receives the most public votes.
The event begins Sept. 23 and runs through Oct. 10 in Grand Rapids. ArtPrize will have no formal jury, curator or judge. The viewing public will decide who wins the prizes by voting, using mobile devices and the web. ArtPrize has attracted 1,262 artists from almost every state and many countries, including Italy, Sweden, England, Israel, Mexico and Canada. It’s expected to draw art enthusiasts from across the globe.

Working in a rare medium, Daigh creates stunningly-realistic faces that greet viewers and challenge their perceptions. It’s only upon closer inspection that onlookers see the works of thousands of pushpins strategically placed to capture the shadows and shimmers that form the lifelike portraitures.
“It’s been my experience that my work plays well on the pedestrian,” says Daigh, who recently sold three push pin portraits to Ripley’s Believe It or Not Entertainment for their permanent collection. “The average passer-by seems drawn into my portraits, and I thought that might play well in this sort of contest…If I can get someone to spend two minutes looking at a photo of a human being, I’m happy. If I can pay off my house to boot, well…”
Another Traverse City artist, Tim Sebright, is entering “Sometimes I Act Like Myself,” a watercolor painting of a girl dancing to the sounds of a victrola as birds spin gently on their strings.
“Midway through this particular painting, I felt that I was finally able to get the ‘look’ I’d been after for the last few years, and that I’d reached a new level in my painting,” explains Sebright, who’s been painting for four years. “It was this painting that gave me the confidence to go ‘public’ with my work. I felt, therefore, that it was appropriate that I enter this piece in ArtPrize.”
Leland artist Brenda J. Clark’s entry is “DH Day’s Awe,” a large-scale landscape acrylic on canvas of the DH Day farm, located across from the dune climb in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
“It was painted predominately on location over many sessions outside, on-site,” explains Clark, who operates her own gallery in Leland. “The painting itself offers a foreboding presence when viewed. The painting is as much about the paint as the location. It demands your attention, interaction and emotion.”

Kalkaska artist Brad Davis sees ArtPrize as a great opportunity to showcase his art – and possibly win some cash while doing so.
“My entry is titled ‘Faces of Controversy’ and is made up of four portraits painted in oils and one done in water color,” says Davis, a full-time freelance illustrator who graduated from the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. “The subjects include Michael Jackson, Eminem, Kim Jong Il, a face constructed of war imagery and a close-up of a man’s face with the reflection of the World Trade Centers in his eyes.”
Holly Mellinger, of Traverse City, submitted “Drink,” an oil painting that she created in January of this year. Currently a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Mellinger sees all of her art work as an overflow of her relationship with Jesus.
“I was singing the song “The More I Seek You” one day and I had a vision of a girl drinking from a bowl of light,” she says. “The verse that correlates with the image is ‘I want to sit at your feet and drink from the cup in your hands.’ It is symbolic of being fed by God himself.”
Onekama sculptor Les Scruggs is offering “Dervish,” a huge entry for the competition. It’s a piece of black walnut (approximately 12-feet long by five-feet high by three-feet deep) sitting on a painted base.
“The sculpture is from one piece of wood although no one believes it,” he says. “It is basically abstract expressionism presenting an alternative to the rectilinear grids of our lives.”
Scruggs usually doesn’t enter contests, but friends near Grand Rapids told him about ArtPrize and he was intrigued. “My greed got the better part of my good sense, I guess,” he adds with a chuckle.

“It’s time to reboot the conversation between artists and the public. ArtPrize will be a celebration of art, design, and innovation that will bring artists and the public together like never before,” said the event’s creator Rick DeVos.
Grand Rapids will become an art gallery with ArtPrize art works and performances exhibited at hundreds of venues, all within a three-square mile area in the city’s downtown riverfront district. The city has offered up parks and bridges for outdoor venue displays. Scores of businesses will provide lobbies and public space for displays.
“It is increasingly important to find new ways to engage people, especially young people, in the arts,” said Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. “ArtPrize is a dynamic and creative way to use technology to engage people of all ages.”

For more information about ArtPrize, go to artprize.org.

Northern Michigan Artists at

Anna Browning, Sault St. Marie
J. Cattani, Frankfort
Brenda J. Clark, Leland
Sam Cronkhite, Cadillac
Eric Daigh, Traverse City
Brad Davis, Kalkaska
Morgan Fisher, Glen Arbor
Larry Fox, Omena
Michael Fry, Big Rapids
Larry Gilbert, Sault St. Marie
Douglas Gruizenga, Interlochen
Dan Heffron, Traverse City
Matthew Paul Isaacson, Traverse City
Sarah Mann, Petoskey
Holly Mellinger, Traverse City
Karen Mendes, Mackinac Island
Karen Mitchell, Sault St. Marie
Leslie Scruggs, Onekema
Tim Sebright, Traverse City
Charles St. Charles, Cadillac
Shelley Newman Stevens, Mt. Pleasant
Kevin Summer, Traverse City
Robert Thomas, Frankfort
Beth Thompson, Cadillac
Charles Thompson, Cadillac
Dave Vande Vusse, Manistee
Al Wildey, Mt. Pleasant

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