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 · Rock stars for a day/ John...
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Rock stars for a day/ John Robert Williams

Anne Stanton - February 28th, 2011
Rock Star for a day: TC photographer makes you look like a million bucks
By Anne Stanton
Do you remember Glamour Shots, the national chain photography studio that
transformed an “ordinary” woman into a hussy with a red feather boa, sexy
lingerie, and black eyeliner as thick as tread marks? .
“An utter embarrassment,” said John Robert Williams. “No one saved those
pictures! I am all about having a wonderful image that you’ll keep for the
rest of your life—it’s you, only better. But it’s not as easy as just
showing up in front of the camera.”
That’s the goal behind Perfect Portrait, his new team approach for getting
a great picture. Williams shoots a “before” picture — a quick photo just
after you walk in off the street — and then gives you a rock star
treatment with a long massage and a beauty make-over. The client is so
relaxed, so happy, the photography session is nearly effortless—like
shooting a fish in a barrel, Williams said, mixing a metaphor or two.
Colleen Wares, a radio personality on the WTCM-FM morning team, said she
was wary of getting her photo taken.
“John, said, ‘Trust me, trust me,’ and I do trust him. But I’m in my 50s,
and at my age, I don’t like getting my picture taken. I can’t stand it, I
hate it.  So to get it purposely taken made me very uncomfortable. Yet
when I saw that ‘after’ picture, it was all good. I am very happy with it.
When John says, ‘Trust me,’ you can really trust him.”

Williams, a commercial photographer, has long specialized in formal
portraiture, while other area photography studios have branched off to
more offbeat approaches, such as posing high school students near a
stately tree or stream. Not Williams.  He’s a believer in gussying up for
a formal studio portrait.
He laments that many people have only had snapshots taken of themselves.
“That’s taking a picture, not making a picture,” said Williams, who tends
to stress his words. “As a photographer, I can chisel your features,
change the perspective  of your face. I can tell a story of you just the
same as an author can.”
To give an idea of how his new approach works, Williams offered me the
full team treatment, promising a photo to treasure for life. Williams said
that everyone needs a good photo. “Every day, you create your image, your
reputation, it’s something you’ve earned!”

I arrived wearing a round-necked, maroon shirt, but Williams said a dark
v-neck is really the most slimming. I smiled for the “before” shot, hoping
for the best, and then went to meet Heidi Mahler, who has a massage
therapy room right in the studio. The small, warm room is outfitted with
an electric fireplace, plush carpet, bamboo furniture and burgundy walls
with a subtle scent of incense. It couldn’t be more inviting.
The massage revealed decades of shoulder tension from typing at a
computer. I suffer from what my husband calls “grubs”—muscle knots—that
refuse to dislodge from my neck. Mahler explained that these knots are
adhesions, long fibers that are contracting all the time and ultimately
start catching and piling on top of each other—kind of like a lumped up
sheet that needs a strong hand to straighten out. By the end of the
session, I had let go most of the muscle and mind tension, and that’s the
“That tension, all of those thoughts, really affect our face, all that
holding and thinking,” Mahler explained.
Wares, who is much more of a veteran of massages than I am, said it was
the best massage she’d ever had.
“I didn’t expect that. Here’s a massage room set up in a photo studio, and
it seemed kind of strange. But it wasn’t. She was very good, the best, and
I was sad, I was heartbroken when I looked up and realized it was almost
time to be done. She gets an A-plus. I’m going back. I’m going back!”

After Mahler’s magic, I took my relaxed facial muscles into a make-up
room, where for another 30 minutes, Debra Plucker coached me on make-up
strategies, starting with foundation around my eyes (as opposed to heavy
concealer, which  doesn’t blend well into the eye wrinkles). The effect
was subtle—no thick eyeliner, no poofy hair—but I suddenly looked younger.
I told Plucker how great it would be if she showed up at my house every
morning with her make-up kit. She said that every single client tells her
that, but it’s easy enough to learn how.
Her general make-up advice: If you are in junior high, you probably don’t
need much make-up at all, but quite a few wear 10 times too much. If
you’re older and mascara runs down your face, skip the lower lashes. And
no one, of any age, should wear sparkly make-up.
“You should enhance your really great features. I have a friend who has a
beautiful smile with perfect white teeth and she always wears red
lipstick. So she plays up her smile. You can also downplay your worst
features. You can soften your jaw with make-up, and once you know how,
it’s really quite quick.”
Plucker said she sizes up a client when they walk in the door, going for a
natural effect for those who wear little make-up. At the end, she treated
me with a chocolate truffle, promising me the same sensation of falling in
love for the first time. If it were only true!

Next came the photo session, where Williams took shot after shot, while
Plucker occasionally primped and powdered.  He said that when it comes to
television or magazine photo shoots, the make-up preparation usually takes
up to two hours. Then the photo is usually Photoshopped. Bottom line, the
magazine pictures we are looking at are, well, a fairy tale with a
standard of beauty impossible to match.
As for my own photos, I was delighted. I looked like myself, only more
alive and prettier.  We picked out one together, and Williams kindly
touched up my eye wrinkles with a few movements of the Mouse.
Wares, also thrilled with her photo, told me that her “before” photograph
was so disconcerting, that she will likely never let anyone take a picture
of her for the rest of her life.
“But I’m very happy with the ‘after.’ When I look at it, seriously, there
wasn’t that much Photoshopping—it was a lot of both my hair and make-up.
It’s better than how I really look, but I was really happy with it. It’s
how I like to think of myself.”
For more information, call John Robert Williams Commerical Photography at
231-941-4020 or go to  www.jrwpix.com.

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