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 · Features · The modern wedding reception
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The modern wedding reception

Rick Coates - January 25th, 2010
The Modern Wedding ReceptionKeep it personal
By Rick Coates
In the quest to find out “what’s in,” the modern bride may be shocked to
learn that just about “everything” and “anything” goes for today’s wedding
reception. It is important to remember that this is your day and your
guests are coming to honor and celebrate with you. So the secret to a
successful wedding reception in 2010 and beyond is to “personalize” it.
Make it about you and your significant other and the reception will be
Here are a few tips and trends to personalize your wedding reception

1)  Keep it Local: Okay the “local” thing is in everyone’s vocabulary by
now but going local is definitely in for weddings on all fronts.
One couple recently had the Taco House in TC cater their rehearsal dinner
(it is one of their favorite places to eat). If you have a favorite
restaurant seek them out and see if they cater. Keeping it local is more
than just the food, it is about seeking a destination within Northern
Michigan to have your wedding.
Destination weddings are hot but why not showcase the region you live in
and have your ceremony and reception in your own backyard? There are so
many cool places from the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes to Mackinac Island to a
vineyard or even a castle.
Speaking of backyards, the backyard wedding ceremony and reception is
definitely in as brides and grooms try to cut expenses. So if you, your
parents or friends have great backyards, do it all there. Incorporate
local events into your special day.
Also, check with local visitors bureaus or plan activities at points of
interest in the region such as a winery tour, canoe or tubing trip. Use a
local band: live music is great and Northern Michigan is loaded with
versatile and talented musicians. Consider a singer-songwriter for
cocktail hour and then a DJ for the dance.
2)  Why Not Friday: Who said weddings have to be on Saturdays? Caterers in
the region have reported more wedding receptions on non-traditional days
like Friday. As reception and banquet halls fill up on Saturday’s, seeking
out other days might even lead to better pricing.
3)  Foodie Stations: Go for more of the classic cocktail party feel not
only with the drinks but with food stations versus a sit down dinner. Food
stations create more of a conversational atmosphere versus the traditional
sit-down-talk-to-the-same-people-you-talk-to-everyday-reception. Be
creative here: have chef-attended stations with flambéing, sautéing and
even stir-fry stations where guests select their own ingredients or a
grill station where guests choose their beef, poultry or seafood option.
4)   Entrée or Buffet: Unless you are going with the food station concept
go “plated” versus buffet. Food stations are a relaxed go-at
-your-own-pace with appetizer plates. Buffets tend to be like herding
cattle with people lined up while other guests look them up and down, and
then there is always the “Uncle Frank” who piles four plates of food onto
one plate. Buffets result in so much waste.
If you go plated do not ask your guests to check a box to determine their
entrée three months ahead of time. It never works -- who really knows
what they want to eat that far in advance? Instead be creative by
selecting a “Duets” plate such as Sky & Surf (duck and salmon) or the
traditional Surf & Turf modernized by offering a “whitefish cake” and
marinated sliced buffalo flank steak (both local). Remember, trying to
keep your spouse happy for the rest of your life is going to be challenge
enough, you will never please every single guest regardless of what you
do, so choose a menu you like.
5) Late Night Eats: If you go the sit-down-plated dinner and serve small
portions offering a late night menu about an hour before the reception
ends with American comfort foods such as a hot pretzel bar or a make your
own nacho bar helps take the hunger edge off. Come on, everyone has hit a
late night drive-through after wedding reception or night on the town.
6)  Get Your “Greens” On: Going “green” is for wedding receptions as well.
Do what you can and ask your caterer or reception hall to go as green as
possible. It is not just about the visible items but it is about aspects
of the reception your guests won’t see. So just using recycled paper for
your invitations doesn’t make your wedding green.
This also goes for the food. No longer is there just that one wacky cousin
looking for a vegetarian option. Vegan and vegetarian offerings are
important and today’s chefs and caterers have become very creative in
their vegetarian offerings. They are able to please even the “meagans” or
non-vegetarian guests. So consider smaller portions of beef and go with
more greens on the plate.
7) Cake, Cookies & Candy: What about the traditional wedding cake? Rumor
has it that it is making its way to the endangered list as wedding
receptions move to dessert tables. Do both: have a wedding cake and an
assorted dessert table. There is never such a thing as too many desserts.
Again be creative: make your own sundae bar or better yet, hire the ice
cream truck to come by your reception. Okay, don’t put out those Andes
mints or wrap those chalky after dinner mints in some lace and put on the
table for a favor. Favors are back in and they are your way of letting
your guests know that you appreciate them coming, so make the favors
special, use locally made chocolates or other local items.
8) Booze, Brews and Bordeaux: This is always one of the toughest aspects
of any wedding reception. Because all other costs of a wedding are fixed,
the open bar is always the wild card. Consider a limited open bar during a
one-hour period. Have the venue alert guests (or do it on the invitation)
that the bride and groom are hosting the bar for the first hour and the
rest of the evening will be a cash bar.
A popular concept is offering beer and wine with mixed drinks being a cash
bar. Why should you spend a down payment on a house so everyone can drink
top shelf cocktails on you? Going local is definitely in with your drink
offerings, use local wines, beers and yes even locally (Michigan made)
9) Does Size Really Matter?: Don’t fall for this myth, “size really does
matter.” Large weddings are expensive and for most no longer a reality.
Consider the small wedding ceremony and reception for immediate family and
a few close friends and then a party to celebrate at a later date for
everyone. This concept is gaining momentum and keeps that special day
affordable and memorable.
That “party at a later date” may be very inexpensive, a backyard cookout,
a tubing trip where everyone brings their own beverages or even a potluck
at a township park or hall. Consider a pig roast with everyone bringing a
dish to pass and their favorite drink and favorite outdoor activity
(badminton, bocce ball, volleyball). This may sound hokey but would you
rather be a little hokey and have a memorable time or spend thousands to
do what everyone else is doing?
10)  Wedding Planner or Aunt Betty: Wedding planners were the craze of the
’90s and continued into the new millennium and will remain popular in the
new decade. So as you look to cut costs do not opt for “Aunt Betty” to be
your wedding planner. Having a professional wedding planner will
ultimately save you money and will result in the wedding you want and not
the wedding Aunt Betty wants you to have. Thank that family member for
offering but tell them you want them to enjoy your wedding, not work it.
Northern Michigan has several talented wedding planners: seek one out and
eliminate much of the stress from that special day. 

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