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 Laughs are Back
. . . .

The Laughs are Back

Festivals join forces for a weekend of laughter and fun

Rick Coates - February 4th, 2013  

After a one year hiatus, Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival is back and with a new partner, The National Cherry Festival.

“For all the right reasons, we’re taking our wintertime efforts that went into producing the Winter WOW!Fest over the past six years, and this year we’re putting them to great use by working together with the Traverse City Film Festival to make a world-class event that will benefit the entire community,” said Trevor Tkach, executive director of the National Cherry Festival. “We will be incorporating all of the popular events from past Winter WOW!Fests.”


Back also will be founders Michael Moore and Jeff Garlin who will serve as the hosts of the four-day festival that takes place February 14-17 in downtown Traverse City.

“The expanded comedy festival, which will make use of the Winter Wonderland we call Northern Michigan, will be presented and run by the Traverse City Film Festival, in partnership with the National Cherry Festival,” said Michael Moore in a recent press release. “It will run pretty much the same way as the summer festival, except for the tire chains.”

Operating under the slogan of “two dozen comedians, a bunch of movies, thousands of laughs -- and 200 inches of snow,” the festival will feature top nationally-renowned comedians in concert each night, the best up-andcoming comics in the U. S., an improv group or two, comedy films, family comedy, and comedy filmmakers -- including Mike Birbiglia, who is returning to Traverse City with his film “Sleepwalk With Me.”


One new aspect of the festivities will be part of Front Street, which will be turned into an ice rink to offer free skating. Organizers are also bringing in a ferris wheel, a big sledding hill, ice sculptures, a hot chocolate contest, outdoor light shows after dark, the return of the infamous Williams Bros. and lots more family events produced by the National Cherry Festival.

“The Sunday morning’s pancake breakfast will benefit the area’s food pantries, and it is hoped that the festival will pump revenue into the entire local economy,” said Moore. “In five years, planeloads of people, fruitlessly trying to escape global warming, will come to Traverse City, Michigan to enjoy comedy in the freezin’ cold.”

Venues for the festival include the State Theatre, the City Opera House, the Old Town Playhouse and the InsideOut Gallery. Organizers also have committed to pricing events so that all people will be able to attend -- and some of the events will be free.

Here is a partial listing of events:


Friday, February 15, 7:00- 8:30 pm Corner of State & Park Streets Hosted by Century 21 Northland and WKLT fm the evening with feature free s’mores and music around a bonfire.


Saturday, February 16, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm ECCO (121 W. Front St., across from Golden Shoes) Tickets: $8 for 8 samples. Like soup? Don’t miss the friendly neighborhood soup throwdown between a dozen Traverse City restaurants who’ll be serving up steaming hot soup samples.


Saturday, February 16, 7:45 & 9:00 pm Downtown Front St. near Cass St. Hosted by the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau. DayStar will be setting up the big lasers and this family friendly show is free.


Sunday, February 17, 9 – 11 am Hosted by the Park Place Hotel Tickets: $3 Kids, $6 Adults. Join us for a delicious very cherry breakfast to benefit area food pantries. We’ll have pancakes with all the trimmings, sausage, fruit, face painting, and balloon twirling. All proceeds go to benefit the Fresh Food Partnership.


Sunday, February 17, 1:00 – 4:00 pm Local hot-chocolatiers battle it out to see who has the tastiest cocoa on Sunday. Front Street merchants will be home to tastes of these delicious beverages, fill out your score card and have a chance to win a $100 downtown gift certificate. Participants include: Good Harbor, Kilwin’s, Old Mission Traders, Morsels, Grand Traverse Pie Co., Patisserie Amie at Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars, and Grocer’s Daughter at American Spoon Foods.

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