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 · Petoskey Stone Festival
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Petoskey Stone Festival

Kristi Kates - May 23rd, 2011
Long ago during one or more of North America’s glacial intervals, sheets
of slowly-moving ice pulled fossilized coral pebbles from the bedrock and
deposited them in what is now Northern Michigan.
Today, those same fossilized coral pebbles, a mottled gray color with
 distinctive repeating hexagon patterns, are Michigan’s state stone, and
have been dubbed Petoskey stones. “They’re the stuff of local legend, the
collectible of many a summer, the region’s rockhound claim to fame, and
also the honoree of a dedicated springtime festival, taking place this
Saturday at Barnes Park in Eastport.
Christy Roman of the Antrim Conservation District is one of those now
running that fest, for which part of the appeal, she says, is the fact
that the Petoskey Stone is memorabilia as much as it is a collectible.
“I think that when you find a Petoskey Stone, you use it as a way to
identify back to the time or place when you found that particular stone,”
Roman says, “I also think they are captivating because they are unique,
and they represent a time in the history of our state.”

As far as the history of the Petoskey Stone Festival itself is concerned,
the idea for the event, Roman explains, was proposed by locals Linda
Gallagher and Eileen Wallick of Barnes Park as an opportunity to bring new
visitors to both the park and to Antrim County.
“Barnes Park is known as a great place to find Petoskey stones,” Roman
says, “so it seemed like a perfect fit to have a festival celebrating our
state stone.”
Now a program of the Antrim County’s Parks and Recreation Advisory
Commission, the fest takes place on a full day late in May, and is still
overseen by Wallick in addition to Roman’s contributions. It takes a
village - or, in this case, a committee - to put the event together.
“The festival is overseen by a committee of volunteers, with the festival
chair being Linda Gallagher, editor of the Antrim Review,” Roman explains,
“the committee meets on a monthly basis most of the year, but we go to
every other week between April and May, as there are many parts of the
festival to put together - that is why we take a team approach to
coordinating the event.”

Plenty of interesting activities make up this year’s festivities. Some of
the best-attended recurring events, according to Roman, involve fishing,
live entertainment, circus-worthy crafts, and, of course, plenty of
Petoskey Stones.
“Our popular festival events include the Commissioner’s Stone Skipping
contest, the Petoskey Stone hunt on the shores of East Grand Traverse Bay,
the trout fishing pond, the music of local entertainer Danny Bellenbaum,
and the balloon creations of Albo the Clown of East Jordan,” Roman says.
New to the festival this year is the inclusion of SEE-North’s North Wings
raptor rehabilitation program, which will bring in several of the large
birds from their nonprofit center in Harbor Springs.
“Among the raptors will be Chilli the Eastern Screech Owl and Lucy the
Red-Shouldered Hawk as well as other birds of prey that inhabit Northern
Michigan, including one of our largest raptors, the Golden Eagle,” Roman

While Roman enjoys all of the festival’s unique happenings, the best part
for her involves interacting with those who attend it.
“My favorite part is connecting with the people who attend the festival
and those who participate as vendors,” she says, “every year I learn more
about the Petoskey Stone, and because of my role with the festival, I am
able to take that knowledge back and share it with others.
“The other thing I enjoy is seeing all of the happy people. Our festival
is about creating moments, and there is nothing more rewarding than to see
people enjoy the day - it makes all of the work worth the effort.”

The 6th Annual Antrim County Petoskey Stone Festival will take place on
Saturday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 pm at Barnes Park in Eastport. For more
information, contact Christy Roman at the Antrim Conservation District,
telephone 231-533-8363, or visit the fest’s website,

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