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 · Robert Frost Stops by the Woods at...
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Robert Frost Stops by the Woods at Crooked Tree

Glen Young - January 11th, 2010
Robert Frost ‘Stops by the Woods’ at Crooked Tree
By Glen Young
Gail DeMeyere could not be more excited about her upcoming exhibition.
DeMeyere, curator at Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center, has
put together “Stopping by Woods on a
Snowy Evening,” a mixed media presen-tation that takes the Robert Frost
poem of the same name as its unifying theme, combining the literature with
the art work of 16 Northern Michigan artists.
Published in 1923, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” is one of
Frost’s most recognized poems. Told by a nameless narrator, the poem
radiates from a brief moment stopped with his horse near a neighbor’s
woodlot as night is falling. Frost, who wrote the poem in June,
considered it one of his best compositions.
Collaborating on the project are Northern Michigan artists including
Elizabeth Pollie, Doug Melvin, Penny Kristo, and others. The exhibition
will highlight different media, including painting, stained glass, even
“I have a great love of poetry,” DeMeyere says. “I have had all my life.”
As such, she says she’s always on the lookout for inspiration. “My job
here as curator is to come up with ideas and execute them.”
DeMeyere says she didn’t want to give the artists too many directives. She
was adamant about the size of each work, however. “I did say it had to be
at least 30 by 40 (inches) or larger in size. The interesting part for me
is how all these artists are interpreting it.”
The exhibition is by invitation. DeMeyere contacted the 16 artists last
summer, and says they were all enthusiastic about signing on. “It wasn’t a
problem finding artists. The challenge was to get the mixed media.”

Petoskey painter Doug Melvin, also a retired professor of art at North
Central Michigan College, jumped at the chance to participate in the
exhibition. “I thought it was a great idea.” Melvin, who has the line,
“To ask if there is some mistake,” says he had an idea immediately, but
soon fixed on something more convincing.
“We don’t know exactly who he is,” Melvin says of the poem’s narrator.
“But we have Robert Frost in mind. So since it’s narrated by the driver I
wanted the point of view to be from the driver’s seat.”
Melvin, who says he doesn’t ordinarily paint such large canvasses, called
on his rural neighbors for assistance. Using a sleigh the neighbors have
in their barn, and their horse Pepper, Melvin took several photos last
summer for reference. He says he typically paints on location, but says
for this he had to use photos, “It wasn’t practical any other way.”
Melvin’s perspective angles across the back of the driver. “Mine’s from
the driver’s head; you see his gloves and feet as if you were looking from
your own eyes, toward the horse.”
Melvin is excited to see the work of the other fifteen artists. “I have no
idea what other people are doing, which is going to be part of the
excitement of the show.”
“These are artists who would not normally show together,” DeMeyere says of
the eclectic collection of artists.

Penny Kristo, who has worked in stained glass for 35 years, says when she
got the call, “I just started thinking about what a snowy wood in Vermont
would look like in the early part of the (20th) century.”
Kristo, who says she once completed a similar project creating stained
glass windows based on favorite religious hymns, says for this project, “I
tried to use as many elements of the craft as possible.” She incorporated
natural agates, Petoskey stones, and fractured streamer glass into her 30
inch by 40-inch design. Her design has nearly 500 individual pieces. “I
enjoyed making the piece that size. It gave me more freedom, almost,” she
Kristo wasted no time after receiving the invitation. “I made it this
summer, as soon as I got the assignment.” She says the work took her most
of a month to complete. “I just threw myself into the idea and enjoyed
Harbor Springs painter Elizabeth Pollie, working with the line, “My little
horse must think it queer,” is familiar with using text together with
artwork. “I was a freelance illustrator for a number of years so I am
quite familiar with connecting image with text.”
Pollie says, “The most difficult part of my process as a painter is
transcribing my internal image to the canvas.” She says, “The underlying
mood is solitude bordering on isolation.”
As for the large size, Pollie, who once composed a series on the horses of
Mackinac Island, says, “I tend to spend a great deal of time applying the
paint and stepping back at least 20 feet. It is impossible to read the
piece well unless you have a good deal of distance between you and the
DeMeyere admits her objective for the exhibition is multi-faceted. “I hope
to educate, to influence, and to engage people. I hope people understand
how important the written word is.”
She says that while the artists saw only their own work while completing
the project, “In my head, I see the whole thing.”
In hopes of engaging area students, DeMeyere has scheduled a poetry slam
for February 20, to augment the Frost exhibition. “It’s a raw idea right
now,” she says. Her hope is to use the Frost display to inspire area young
people to turn to poetry for inspiration.

“Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” opens January 16, and runs through
April 8. For more information about the show or other events at Crooked
Tree, contact the arts center at 231-347-4337, or visit the website at

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