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 · Music · Island 4/11/11
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Island 4/11/11

Kristi Kates - April 11th, 2011
Benefit for an Environmental ISLAND
By Kristi Kates
 Founded by Brad Kik and his wife Amanda six years ago, Bellaire non-profit
organization ISLAND - aka the Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and
Natural Design - began, essentially, on a date… or several, according to
Brad Kik himself.
“While we courted each other, we talked about art, food, and ecology - and
it worked!” he laughs. “We were engaged, and filed ISLAND’s paperwork
right around the same time.”
With a mission to “connect people with nature, art and community,” ISLAND
holds dozens of events each year teaching people old and new skills of
self-reliance, everything from alternative building to beekeeping and wild
food foraging to their Hill House artist residencies.
“We’re interested in helping people to do useful things,” Kik says, “not
just be passive spectators and consumers.”

 Two of the most interesting ISLAND programs may be the CRAFT program
(Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) and the SOUP
program, two series that, individually, focus on our food from where it
starts to where it ends up, with a little artist support along the way.
“CRAFT is a simple and free program for area farms and their apprentices,
farm workers, or just the individual farmer to tour each others’ farms,
learn different farming techniques and management styles, participate in a
workshop, and then meet for a community potluck to get to know each other
and deepen the network,” Kik explains.
“Our brand new Sunday SOUP program is a partnership with Porterhouse
Productions in their new Good Works Collective space at 417 Union Street
(TC),” he continues. “Folks gather to share a meal of local food cooked by
Jen and Eric at the Cooks’ House, paying a donation to get a bowl and
spoon. After the meal, they’ll watch several presentations from area
artists about new arts projects that need funding; then, everyone votes on
the most compelling presentation by putting their spoon in one of the
artists’ buckets. The winner takes home all of the money from the door.
The first SOUP event will be on May 22”
And one of the bigger things that ISLAND has been doing is their benefit
concert that’s another partnership, this time with Short’s Brewing Company
and Earthwork Music. Now in its fifth year, proceeds from the concert go
to benefit ISLAND programs, with a special focus on the residency and
farming programs.
“It’s a great chance to support our work and celebrate the arrival of
Spring,” Kik says.
It’s also a great chance to hear some good local music, with the doors
opening at 4 p.m. and music beginning at 5 p.m.
“We’ve got a killer lineup this year,” Kik enthuses, “Samantha Robbins,
Joshua Davis of Steppin’ In It, Mike Shimmin who drums with Starlight Six,
Red Sea Pedestrians and Millish. We’ve also got Seth Bernard and May
Erlewine, Gifts or Creatures (a folk duo out of Lansing), and Airborne or
Aquatic headlining.”
The event, reportedly one of Short’s busiest days of the year, also
donates a percentage of every beer sale to ISLAND; a silent auction that
includes food, art, handcrafted goods, and business donations is also on
the schedule, to help contribute even more monies to ISLAND’s good works.
“I think this is going to be one of the highest-energy benefit concerts
we’ve ever had,” Kik says, “plus, for people who know me, the highlight
will be that I’ll be back in full handlebar mustache mode - a rare thing,”
he laughs.

For all of Kik’s jovial nature and joking around, he and his wife’s
enthusiasm, along with all of their co-ISLANDers, focuses quite seriously
on making the most of Northern Michigan’s natural resources.
“We want to help grow our rural economy by supporting small farms,” Kik
begins, “we want to bolster the culture of our region by supporting
world-class artists - both those in our region and from around the world.
And we want to help people become native to place - that means rebuilding
a culture that is fully connected to the ecology, history and culture of
here. It takes generations to make that happen, but it’s the only useful
response to climate change, environmental destruction and declining energy
The best ways to get involved with ISLAND, Kik explains, are to, first of
all, attend the benefit concert as a means of musical (and fun)
introduction. Volunteers are also welcome to help with ISLAND projects,
and plenty of workshops are available via their events calendar (online at
www.artmeetsearth.org.) And, of course, donations are always welcome for
this tiny but determined non-profit.
“Every dollar gets squeezed to make this ambitious slate of programs
work,” Kik smiles, “we live in one of the greatest places in the world,
and we want to give back to the community here.”

For tix/info on the ISLAND Benefit Concert, set to take place on April 16
at Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, visit www.artmeetsearth.org,
telephone them at 231-480-4515, or follow them on Twitter @art_earth.

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