Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

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Book round-up

Robert Downes - November 9th, 2009
Book Round-Up
What’s new from local authors
By Robert Downes 11/9/09

Books about Northern Michigan topped the mailbag at the Express this fall as a number of authors explored fictional territory that is ‘close to home.’ Here’s a round-up of what’s new on bookstore shelves:

Echoes of L’Arbre Croche by Donald A. Johnston is a re-write of a 1917 mystery novel called The Indian Drum.
L’Arbre Croche is French for Cross Village -- once a large town of Ottawa Indians, as well as Pottawatomies and the Chippewa. As the book notes, every time someone dies out on Lake Michigan, an Indian drum sounds in the village to mark their passage.
The book takes place in 1915, some 20 years after the Indian drum sounded for the lost souls of a ship called the Miwaka. As luck would have it, a shipping magnate from Chicago goes missing, embroiling friends and coworkers in the mystery of his disappearance. Then another ship sinks off Beaver Island, uniting the book’s characters in a 20-year mystery.
Author Johnston spent 40 years in the insurance industry in Detroit. He served as a naval officer in World War II and is an ardent sailor of the Great Lakes.
Published by the University of Michigan Press, the book sells for $16.95.

Who We Were, What We Did: Fresh Perspectives on Grand Traverse History by Richard Fidler offers a slice of life from a century ago in 15 chapters that cover life in Traverse City during its emergence from the lumber era.
This is Fidler’s second book, on the heels of Glimpses of Grand Traverse Past. “Like my previous book, it takes on controversial topics: racism, dissent, attitudes towards the poor, and the pillaging of the natural world,” he notes in the introduction.
Here, Fidler describes life among the poor in Grand Traverse County and how they fared as homeless vagrants or as guests of poor houses. Criminal records are probed in a who’s-who of the county jail from 1870-1906. He discusses hospital care at the turn of the century and what a doctor’s visit entailed. We learn of the lives and treatment of mental patients at the Northern Michigan Asylum, along with the views of Dr. James Decker Munson on treating insanity in a humane fashion. There are stories of soldiers returning from the Spanish-American War and World War I.
Readers will also find a wealth of fascinating details on virtually every page. Did you know, for instance, that bears once preyed on the livestock of Old Mission Peninsula?
Illustrated with vintage photos, Fidler’s book breathes life into the dusty past, allowing us to see our distant counterparts through fresh eyes. A ninth-grade biology teacher for 31 years in Traverse City, Fidler does his community a great service, telling us the “stories of the past that need to be told.”

Good Harbor Bay by Barry Marsh is a children’s book about an 11-year-old boy whose mother is killed by a drunk driver. Josh and his dad move from their comfortable home in a Detroit suburb to live with his eccentric Grandpa Oggy in an old rustic cabin on Good Harbor Bay up in Northern Michigan. As his old life of computer games and text messaging fades away, Josh learns how to be a country kid, working with horses, ice fishing, logging, and studying the workings of nature on Lake Michigan’s coast.
Author Marsh is a graduate of Wayne State University who lives in Suttons Bay. His book for kids ages 8-12 is published by Crofton Creek Press and sells for $14.95.

Soul Sounds: Reflections on Life by Rabbi Albert Micah Lewis is a collection of thoughts on the spiritual side of life drawn from more than 300 columns written for The Grand Rapids Press.
Rabbi Lewis blends personal anecdotes with his views on “life, love, loss and the desire of all people to profoundly connect with one another and with God.”
A graduate of Wayne State University with degrees in psychology and creative writing, Rabbi Lewis began writing his column on spirituality in 2001. He frequently writes on issues facing those in middle age and older and has been active in the fields of gerontology and hospice. Published by Commongood Publishing, his paperback book sells for $14.95.

The Hideout by Micheline A. DeCaire is an adventure tale for children set in the author’s native France.
“After the death of his sole relative, his grandfather, a 10-year-old boy must choose quickly between two paths, the orphanage or escape. His choice to run and hide in the deep wilderness of Provence decides his entire future.”
The boy discovers a mysterious cave, filled with secrets, along with a homeless dog that becomes his friend and companion in his adventures.
Author DeCaire is an expert in fashion and skin care who spent four years improving her craft with the Long Ridge Writers Group. Her book is published by Author House and is available as a paperback from their website at $9.30. Look for her book-signing at Pavlova salon in TC on December 10 at 7 p.m.

The Lollipop Murder by Harley Sachs is a comic mystery from the long-time contributor to the Technology column at Northern Express.
A former professor at the Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Sachs divides his time between the U.P. and his winter home in Portland, Oregon. He has written numerous mystery and science fiction novels in addition to thousands of newspaper and magazine articles.
Sachs has a satirical outlook that suffuses his fiction. The Lollipop Murder, for instance, serves as a “warning to wannabe novelists!” The story involves a group of disgruntled novelists who are invited along for a cruise on their miserly publisher’s yacht at the Miami Book Fair, “only to find that they have no hope of ever earning a dime of royalties for their books.” With Hurricane Gerta blowing in, it’s a set-up for murder.
With an interest in technology as well as writing, Sachs was an early convert to e-books and print-on-demand publishing. Check his book out at www.lulu.com, ID: 7498760.

Ghosts and Legends of Michigan’s West Coast by Amberrose Hammond offers just that with 19 stories of haunted houses, doomed ships, monsters and spooks.
The author says she’s been investigating paranormal activities in Michigan since 2000. She formed the Great Lakes Paranormal Research Organization in 2003 and currently offers a website on similar topics at www.michigansotherside.com .
Her book rehashes many well-known local legends, such as the ghost at Bowers Harbor Inn and “The Dog Man” created by DJ Steve Cook, but also breaks new ground on local haunts such as the Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Northport, or the old State Hospital, now known as the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. And did you know that the popular “shoe trees” scattered around the U.S. -- including the one on M-131 north of Kalkaska -- have a “sinister origin” linked to the so-called “Walled Lake Child-killer” of the ‘70s?
It’s often spurious stuff, but some chapters include the author’s own journeys to spooky cemeteries and the like. Published by Haunted America, the paperback sells for $19.99.

In Her Prime by Glenn Puitt is the fourth true-crime nonfiction book by the former Las Vegas police reporter who currently resides in Northern Michigan.
The book “chronicles the poisoning murder of Nevada politician Kathy Augustine by her fourth husband, Chaz Higgs. The book is the definitive account of Kathy’s high-profile life and the disturbing criminality that led to her death.”
Augustine’s husband was a critical care nurse. Her murder was caused by an injection of succinlycholine -- “a drug largely considered in the medical profession to be the perfect murder weapon.”
Complicating matters, Augustine’s husband Higgs was also a suspect in the murder of her third husband, Chuck, who died in a Las Vegas hospital while under Higgs’ care.
A writer who investigates environmental issues with the Michigan Land Use Institute, Puitt has written three prior books: Witch, Fire in the Desert and Father of the Year. His new book is published by Berkley; Puitt will be on hand for a book signing at Horizon Books in TC on December 5 from 2-4 p.m.

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