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..

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Leland Wine & Food Festival

Rick Coates - June 7th, 2010
Changing of the Guard: Leland Wine & Food Festival Celebrates 25 Years & new leadership
By Rick Coates
Kate Vitler, owner and innkeeper at the Riverside Inn and Restaurant in Leland, has big shoes to fill; two sets in fact, as she oversees the 25th anniversary of the Leland Wine & Food Festival. The Festival that takes place this Saturday at the harbor in Fishtown has been coordinated since its inception by Cris and Kathy Telgard. The couple decided last year to turn over the reins to Vitler.
“I don’t think the community of Leland, the wineries and restaurants, can thank the Telgards enough for their work over the past 25 years. They had a great crew of volunteers, many who are continuing to help with the festival, but they kept it all together and there is a lot of work to be done year round to get the Festival ready,” said Vitler. “We should put a couple of lifeguard chairs in the center of the activities and let the Telgards enjoy the event but they wouldn’t go for it. they will be volunteering their time.”
Vitler has been involved with the Leland Wine & Food Festival for the past 14 years and active in learning the ropes from the Telgard’s for the past four years.
“They started to hint they wanted to slow down a few years ago and I agreed to step up,” said Vitler. “This Festival is so important to Leland and the Peninsula, in many ways it has been taken for granted because it has been here for so long. But before the Festival, this was a slow weekend out here because of graduation and end of school activities.”

The Leland Wine Festival has for many been the official start of the summer celebration season. It attracts 5,000 plus who enjoy sampling wines from the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsula along with food from area restaurants. The backdrop of the Fishtown shanties along with Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands off in the distance has proven to be one of the reasons for the Festival’s success over the years.
“Definitely our location is one of the keys, there are a lot of wine festivals out there but we have one of the best locations in the state,” said Vitler. “Equally important is the quality of wines coming out of Leelanau and Old Mission. They are a major attraction along with the great food.”
Vitler says the transition of power has been smooth.
“The Telgards have been great; this is their baby as they, along with winemakers Bruce Simpson and Larry Mawby, started this,” said Vitler. “I can’t say enough about Good Harbor Vineyards and all they do; certainly Bruce Simpson will be in our thoughts (see Bottoms Up) but his family and staff will be out helping.”
There will be a few changes for this year’s Festival.
“The harbor went under a major facelift so we have more parking lot and we are going to have two large tents next to each other that will allow for more wineries, restaurants and more space for people to hangout,” said Vitler. “Another thing I am excited about is that we are going to be a zero waste event. With 5,000-plus we end up filling up three dumpsters and another dumpster with cardboard, so Bay Area Recycling Charities is coming to help us with this.”

So as Vitler and her team lead the Leland Wine & Food Festival into the next 25 years are there changes in the works for the future?
“The big thing will be to analyze how the new layout will work and see what we can do to improve on that. Next year more construction will take place that will increase parking so we have to take that into consideration,” said Vitler. “We are always looking at ways to make improvements, like adding Short’s Brewery for those who prefer beer. Another thing we are looking at is a juried art show to select the artwork for the official poster.”
The annual Festival poster was painted by Leland artist Maggie Revel Mielczarek and she will be on hand signing posters. Ron Getz & Friends will provide the music for the day. Festival tip: veterans of the Festival start lining the streets by 10 a.m. to get in, so arrive early and enjoy the morning shopping and eating in Leland.

The Leland Wine & Food Festival is Saturday June 12 from Noon to 6 p.m. at the harbor in Fishtown. There will be 17 wineries, 12 restaurants and Short’s Brewery on hand. Tickets are $12 and include a commemorative wine glass and two tasting tickets. Proceeds benefit beautification projects in Leland. For additional information visit www.lelandmi.com.

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