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 · Welcome to SOBO
. . . .

Welcome to SOBO

Kristi Kates - August 9th, 2010
Welcome to SOBO: Northern Michigan’s hip new destination
By Kristi Kates
Barrios, quarters, districts, arrondissements, neighborhoods. No
matter what you call them or what geographic location you’re in,
chances are if you’re reading this, you’re part of a neighborhood in
your own community.
While some neighborhoods are planned far in advance and others simply
evolve, others are crafted as an answer to a community’s need. Such is
the new SoBo locale in Boyne City.

Lake Street Market’s Liz Glass and Cindi Malin of CindiFranco’s Cool
Stuff are considered the founders of SoBo, which at first was
conceived as a marketing idea to put focus on the south end of Boyne’s
downtown area and give the area its own identity.
“The original concept was SoBo Transition (a play on the word
“Transit”),” Cindi Malin explains, “helping people to make the
transition from Water Street onto Lake Street in downtown Boyne, to
show that there is more to Boyne City than previously thought.”
As the region quickly grew, Freshwater Studio, Lake Street Market, 220
Lake Street, a range of new galleries that sprung up in 2009, and the
BAC (Boyne Arts Collective) helped SoBo grow, too, as Freshwater
Studio’s Robin Lee Berry points out.
“We officially became ‘SoBo The Arts District’,” says Berry, who runs
Freshwater Studio with her husband, artist Anthony Williams.
All that remained was a logo for the new neighborhood - which ended up
being an adaptation of the New York subway station logo, perhaps
befitting the additional “borrowing” of New York’s SoHo neighborhood
name. Malin - who briefly lived in New York - says that the SoBo name
is also partially cribbed from a West Coast community.
“It was Liz (Glass) who conceptualized the logo,” she explains, “but
it can also be a takeoff of SoDo in Seattle, which stands for ‘south
of downtown.’ Boyne has a great downtown, and SoBo has successfully
expanded it - as for the logo itself - well, it just worked, and gave
us more of an urban feeling. The colors are great too.”

While the concept of SoBo may at first sound exclusive or cliquey,
Malin and Berry say that it’s precisely the opposite. They - along
with Glass - explain that there’s no “official membership” to SoBo;
instead, they want the artsy SoBo region to be just as much a part of
Boyne City as any other part, a blending of neighborhoods as opposed
to a segregation.
“We aren’t trying to segregate anyone,” Malin emphasizes, “Boyne’s
downtown is bigger than most people realize. SoBo exists to bring
attention to the off-the-beaten-path part of downtown Boyne. For
years, there was a long, dark stretch of empty facades on Lake Street,
but with the opening of Freshwater Studios and the BAC, we have seen
increased traffic in this area. Again this year, I have had dozens of
people through my shop asking how long we had been open - and they
were surprised when I answered eleven years!”
“Our hope,” Berry adds, “is to highlight a district of focused art,
entertainment, dining, and shopping that has historically not gained
attention - but we do not wish to separate this area from our friendly
“People have been really supportive,” Malin says, “if we grow
downtown, then everyone benefits - it’s the ‘if you build it, they
will come’ concept.”

As Boyne City continues to enjoy an upswing, the SoBo strategy is
being credited for helping revitalize the town as more shops and
artistic ventures fill up the previously empty spaces.
“We have gotten a lot of media coverage throughout the state,” Malin
says, “so people are excited to visit. We have several new businesses
in town this year, too; the B.B.Q. (formerly Lester’s) re-opened,
Imagine Music and Art Supply has joined Sweetgrass Framing, the BAC
has expanded their hours, and Freshwater Studios filled a formerly
vacant building after 30 years and brought over 95 local artists’
works into the mix. CindiFranco’s and Lake Street Market freshened
their exteriors, and we even have a Pocket Park.”
Music is part of the SoBo mix, too, most notably via the first SoBo
Arts Festival (July 25-26 2010) which featured the likes of Chris
Bickley’s Bay Area Big Band alongside an art fair, author signings,
mimes, and even more music on the streets. SoBo plans to continue that
momentum this winter with more live music events.
“The addition of a concert venue at Freshwater was particularly
enjoyed during the winter months last year as an edifying experience,”
Berry says. “And it also created a comfortable social gathering in
SoBo. The plan is to feature six concerts in the winter of 2010-2011.”

Things are looking good for both Boyne City and SoBo as 2010 passes
the halfway mark and SoBo itself heads towards the end of its first
year. The combined enthusiasms of Malin, Glass, Berry, and Williams -
along with the many other people that have been working towards
publicizing and sharing the word about SoBo - are perhaps the biggest
part of SoBo’s success, and their dedication ensures that SoBo will
continue to grow and support the rest of downtown Boyne City.
“The press that Sobo has gained in it’s first year of promotions has
turned the lights on for businesses in other communities that Boyne is
a very desirable and lucrative business opportunity,” Berry says. “We
offer extended shopping hours, small town appeal, a shoreline that’s
available to the public for comfortable walking and sunset viewing,
plus great hiking and biking and camping as well as the largest inner
city park in the whole state of Michigan.”
A plethora of restaurants and the new One Water complex also add to
downtown Boyne’s appeal, as do SoBo’s own plans for the rest of the
year, which will kick off by saying goodbye to summer.
“We have our Dancin’ in the Streets event scheduled for the last
Thursday of August,” Malin says, “The SunDogs are a popular crowd
favorite and will be playing a wide range of dancing tunes; we’ll
grill corn, and some shops will set up tents to bring their shop into
the party.”
Freshwater Studios, as mentioned above, plans to expand their concert
offerings as well, and many of the other participating businesses have
their own artsy agendas - but for the most part, Berry explains, the
residents of SoBo plan to focus mostly on one specific factor of what
the SoBo revitalization has brought to the downtown area.
“We’ll just be here enjoying the traffic!” Berry says

The SoBo Arts District is located in downtown Boyne City near Lake
Charlevoix on the south end of town on South Lake Street between Water
and Pine Streets. For more info, visit www.soboartsdistrict.org

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