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 · Exhibit with a Story
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Exhibit with a Story

- December 26th, 2011  

Artist Douglas Hoagg ties the present to the past

Like many artists, Douglas Hoagg discovered a common thread through his work.

“I’ve always worked in the geometric realm,” said the Traverse City artist whose exhibition ‘Formations’ is currently on display at KALEIDOSCOPE, located in the Tru-Fit Trouser Building off Woodmere Avenue. KALEIDOSCOPE, which serves as a visual arts education center, is owned by Hoagg and his wife, Kathleen.

Even when he was an undergraduate student at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Hoagg was producing work with geometric qualities that would reappear throughout his career, particularly in ‘Formations.’ “This work comes out of the Liberation Project that my friend Joseph Schuetzenhofer has been working on for almost eight years now,” Hoagg said about his classmate at the Maryland Institute College of Art.


While living in Norfolk, Virginia, Schuetzenhofer learned there was a German U-boat that sank off the coast of North Carolina during WWII. The dead German soldiers were buried in Arlington National Cemetery next to American soldiers.

“That made a big impression on him,” said Hoagg, “the fact that these soldiers were buried with dignity, even though they were the enemy.”

When the Austrian citizen went back to his home country in 1997, his memory was jogged after he heard about a group of four U.S. Air Force B24 aircraft that crashed near the town of Poellau, Austria during WWII.

Despite the town’s war memorials to the local heroes of WWI and WWII, there was no mention of the countless allied soldiers who lost their lives in the area during the war to liberate Europe.

From that discovery, Schuetzenhoefer and Hoagg — along with artists William Contino and Emily Hines — set out to create a memorial honoring the 10 soldiers who died in that field.

Erected in 10 days and temporarily installed at a public park, the memorial was designed to mimic the shape of a rudder of a B24 WWII aircraft. The four painted images represent each plan that crashed in the area during the war, along with two silk screen images; one, an American Air Force division; the other, a Russian division that fought at the end of the war near Poellau.


For Hoagg, the project struck a personal chord as his father was a B24 bomber pilot during WWII, having flown several missions over Austria.

Using his father’s flight manifests, his squadron name and other flight information, Hoagg created an etching representing a blueprint with the outline of four B24 bombers.

The piece hangs on the exhibit wall at six feet tall because, “that’s how tall my father was,” Hoagg noted.

Other pieces in ‘Formations’ continued from The Liberation Project include four wall-hanging sculptures, which use actual metal sheets from the wing of one of the bombers. Each piece contains 10 golden rectangles — “which is the shape most pleasing to the eye,” Hoagg added — representing each of the men who lost their lives in the crash.

On the exhibit’s opposite wall, several framed, colorful sketches contain the same 10 golden rectangles assembled in various positions and relationships to each other.

While ‘Formations’ may stand alone as its own exhibit, it is best enjoyed when Hoagg is in the room, describing his thought process, his father and The Liberation Project as a whole…each one tied to the other so tightly, yet unintentionally.

‘Formations’ will be on display at KA- LEIDOSCOPE through Jan. 2. It is located at 1129 Woodmore Ave. Suite E. For appointment, call 944-4913.

Traverse City artist Douglas Hoagg holds a photo of his father’s WWII Air Force division in front of an etching used in his exhibit ‘Formations.’ The exhibit was inspired by a memorial for a group of

U.S. pilots who crashed near Poellau, Austria during WWII.

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