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 · The planting of Yoga Roots...
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The planting of Yoga Roots 3/28/11

Kristi Kates - March 28th, 2011
The Planting of Yoga Roots: Tiffany Lenau has a lifelong commitment to yoga
By Kristi Kates                       
 The story of how Tiffany Lenau’s Yoga Roots studio began, Lenau says, is a
“magical and miraculous story” that has its own roots early in her life.
It’s also part of the path that led her to being named “Best Yoga
Instructor” for Emmet County/Petoskey by Express readers.
Lenau, who began practicing yoga 19 years ago when she was a student at
The Leelanau School in Glen Arbor, says her first yoga class was “it” - an
experience that left her with a sense of peacefulness unlike anything
she’d ever experienced.
“I felt like I was floating in a yoga bubble, and nothing or no one could
burst the sense of joy and love that I was encapsulated in,” she explains.
“At that moment, I knew I would be practicing yoga for the rest of my
In the following years, Lenau sought out opportunities to practice with
instructors of many different yoga traditions as she traveled the world.
While studying in New Zealand, she discovered Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (also
known as “power yoga”) and says she fell in love instantly. She completed
college, attended a 200-hour training session in California, and became
certified to teach Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. She returned to Northern
Michigan and began teaching in the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area.
Today, she has spent half of her life “deepening her love” of the yoga
practice. “I feel very blessed to wake up every day and share the gift of
yoga,” she says.
Training new yoga teachers, which Lenau will soon also be certified for,
is the next step in what she calls a “ripple effect of creating conscious
change” in her community and the world.
“Empowering others to teach will be my great accomplishment,” Lenau smiles.
While being part of her community and sharing her yoga knowledge with
others are two of the things that are most important in Lenau’s life, she
says that opening Yoga Roots was not a conscious decision that she made;
she didn’t have a business plan, for starters, nor did she even plan on
opening the studio at all.
Lenau had just finished a nine-day intensive training session in
meditation and pranayama (breath work) when she returned home to Northern
Michigan with a new goal in mind - ending a relationship that she didn’t
feel was right for her. Her search for a new place to live proved
challenging; the only place she found was right above a pilates studio.
The landlord had previously suggested that Lenau use the space as a yoga
studio, but Lenau, in the middle of so many life changes, in school and
working, politely declined.
She ended up taking the apartment, and became friends with the landlord,
finding out that she’d worked with his wife at college and had tutored his
daughter - “one of many coincidences that I ignored,” she says - and even
more pieces were about to fall into place.
“I had a client who was also a yoga teacher downstate,” she says.
“Unfortunately her husband got into a ski accident, and she had to be his
caretaker. She showed up at class one day and said she had to close her
studio as she was no longer planning to teach yoga, and she walked me to
the back of her car. ‘I want to give you these things,’ she said. She
opened her trunk, and there were mats, bolsters, blocks, tables, candle
holders - about everything I needed to start a yoga studio. I was
Lenau took her fellow yoga teacher’s offerings, but still wasn’t
financially able to start a studio; she was still in school, was waiting
tables, and ‘didn’t know the first thing’ about business. The final
pieces, unbeknownst to Lenau, were still on the way.
“I got a call from the man I had separated from, telling me I’d left
behind a box. It was an old metal lunch box I used to stash tips
in – the box had $480 in it. A couple of days later, my landlord called
me,” she says, “he had been thinking about the studio and wanted me to
start my business. He explained that his mother was a poor single mom and
that someone had once given her the chance to start a small business, and
that he wanted to do the same for me.” He offered the space for free for
the first couple of months, putting Lenau on a graduated payment schedule
that would grow with her business. He even offered to help pay to have the
place painted and the carpets cleaned.
Lenau clearly saw where she was supposed to go. She used the $480 to open
an account, called on friends to help paint the space, and used a doodle
of her own (“the same tree with curly roots I’d been drawing since I was a
child,” she says) as the Yoga Roots studio logo.
“By the time everything was ready, the studio was opened for business on
November 13, 2007 -- my 30th birthday,” she says. “I never took out a loan
for the studio - it has been debt free since day one. For the first two
and a half years it was open I waited tables on weekends to support
myself. In May of last year, when Yoga Roots (the business) could afford
to pay me, I quit, and I am now a full-time yoga instructor and business
Good news indeed for the many people who have adopted Lenau as their yoga
instructor. Lenau’s focus, dedication, and community interest are just a
few of the likely reasons why she was named “Best Yoga Instructor” by
Express readers. The studio has expanded, and offers a variety of
additional experiences and workshops from Acupuncture to Qi Gong.
“Yoga Roots is a sacred space where people of all ages and abilities can
gain healing, peace, and presence,” Lenau says. “My vision with Yoga Roots
was community; creating community and giving back to community is
important to me. I wanted it to be a place where people felt at home and
could come to heal. Today, Yoga Roots and Healing Arts is a talented crew
of instructors, therapists, and practitioners, a supportive and talented
group of women who love what they do.
“I love what I do, too,” she continues, “and I feel so blessed that I have
an abundance of what I have to share. For me, leaving a legacy of peace
and presence is my purpose in life.”

Yoga Roots is located at 413 Howard St., Petoskey, MI, telephone
231-838-8992; more information about the studio, Lenau, and her team may
be found at
www.yogarootspetoskey.com. Yoga Roots will also expand to a new location
this summer to accommodate their increasing clientele; that space will be
announced soon.

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