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 · A PRESSING Engagement
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A PRESSING Engagement

Al Parker - October 3rd, 2011  
Chad Postatnik creates books that are stunning works of art

Driving west and north out of Mancelona, it’s not too long before you’re surrounded by a lush green forest where you find the gurgling waters of the under-rated Cedar River.

It’s a place you’d expect to find anglers seeking trout, not where you’d first look for an artist who specializes in producing handcrafted printed items, bindings and books.

With a solid background in both fine art and printing, Chad Postatnik established Deep Wood Press in 1992 on 3.5 wooded acres that hug the Cedar. Now almost 20 years later, he continues to produce publications that are both stunning works of art and elegant vehicles for information and enjoyment.

“Our books are printed via letterpress on fine papers and illustrated with quality artwork from original wood engravings, lino cuts and intaglio prints,” explains Postatnik, who grew up in Cadillac. “These sheets are then bound by hand in traditional and contemporary book structures to please the eye as well as the mind – which we endeavor to impress as carefully as our papers.”


Deep Wood Press publishes hand-bound books in limited edition runs, usually 100 to 150 or so.

Postatnik focuses on the works of past and contemporary artists and writers in original book designs using traditional and modern binding styles.

Some of the publications he has produced include

: • “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

• “Winter Walks” by Jerry Dennis

• “Along With Youth” by Ernest Hemingway

• “The Chesapeake Voyages of Captain John Smith”

• “The Changeling’s Exile” by Gerard Wozek

• “The Frogs Who Wished a King” by Aesop

Producing Conrad’s classic short story was interesting and challenging, according to Postatnik. “The guy loved m-dashes, colons and semi-colons, so editing was a nightmare” he says with a laugh. “But it came out beautifully.”

In fact, his publication of “Heart of Darkness” won him the prestigious 2010 Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design. That award prompted an invitation to make a speaking tour to Northern England where he spoke at venerable Manchester University.

There’s something about the classic lead fonts, durable old presses (Deep Wood Press has six, along with a linotype and a binder) and hand-made cotton papers that resonates with Postatnik.

“Every time I roll a piece of cotton paper over the type face, it just blows me away,” he says with a smile.

Postatnik is a staunch supporter of environmental causes, devoting both his time and treasure to local efforts.

“We’re a ‘green business’ he says proudly.

“Our cotton paper is recycled from cotton rags and our inks are linseed oil based. We primarily make our own inks for blacks and earth tones. It’s basically adding powder to oil, but a little more complex. We do things the traditional way – we don’t cut corners.”


Like a lot of fine press artists, Postatnik is a student of history and has real appreciation for the printer’s patron saint – Johannes Gutenberg, a German blacksmith whose invention of moveable type printing around the middle of the 15th century is widely regarded as the most important event over past centuries.

Gutenberg was recognized by the A&E Network as the most influential person of the second millennium and in 1997 Time Magazine named his invention as the most important of the same era.

“It brought on the Reformation,” explains Postatnik. “It was the beginning of the Information Age. And his technology didn’t really change for years, until the 1960s and ’70s.”

Currently Postatnik is working on six separate publications, but he didn’t always have the luxury of working only on projects he felt strongly about.

“We did a lot of wedding invitations and job work to keep the money coming in,” he says. “It’s a business. Any kind of art is a business. It has every element that any other small business has. You have your supplies, your marketing, working with other people. But I enjoy it, especially now that I can do what I really enjoy.”

As a youngster, Postanik always had an artistic bent and always had his nose in a book. “In high school, a teacher gave me a back supply room to use for studio space,” he recalls. “I knew then that art was what I wanted to do. Then I was offered an art scholarship to Grand Valley.”

After earning a BFA in printmaking from Grand Valley State University in 1991, Postatnik spent a short time “living in the urban world” before returning to Northern Michigan. He feels lucky to have found the spot on the Cedar River where he and his wife Kathryn are raising two children.

“Summer is full of fly fishing, kayaking, gardening and music making,” he says. “Our long winters allow for plenty of fun skiing, snowshoes and that’s the time to really enjoy the sauna. While there are plenty of distractions, work in the studio is never work and being able to raise a family in such a wonderful environment is something we’re thankful for every day.”

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