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 · Northern Michigan ArtPrize?
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Northern Michigan ArtPrize?

New event in the works to ‘create a major buzz’ for local art

Rick Coates - October 14th, 2013  

Paul LaPorte is known as the Art Guy; every Monday he appears on the Ron Jolly Radio Show (weekdays 7 am -10 am on WTCM Newstalk 580 AM) at 8:30 am. Last week during the show, LaPorte pointed out that with Frankfort artist Ann Loveless winning ArtPrize and the $200,000 cash prize, that all eyes were on the Northern Michigan art community.

“I really believe that this is the kind of story that a New York or Paris radio station expected to be covering about an artist or art competition in their backyard,” said La- Porte. “Certainly this is huge for Ann, but it is equally important for the art community here in Northern Michigan. We find ourselves in the center of the biggest art competition in the world with the spotlight on us and the question is, now what?

LaPorte, who was recently named president of the Artcenter in Traverse City, is among other art-lovers in Northern Michigan who hope to create their own version of ArtPrize. While ArtPrize takes place just down the expressway in Grand Rapids each fall, several in the region’s arts community believe there is an opportunity to create something up north.


“Certainly there is this huge spotlight on our region right now but in time that will go away unless we act,” said LaPorte. “While we don’t want to duplicate ArtPrize, we feel that we have all the pieces to put together an art event that will create a major buzz for our region. We have a group from the area working on some ideas.”

In the works is a new regional arts organization. On October 1, representatives from 18 arts organizations in Northwest Michigan gathered at Crystal Mountain to form the Northwest Michigan Arts Coalition.

“A person who prefers to remain anonymous approached us and other arts organizations in Northern Michigan last year and pointed out that one of the missing pieces to our region is a collaborated effort to promote all of the world class artists we have in the region,” said LaPorte. “He pointed out that the wineries, golf courses, restaurants and others are collaborating to promote the region why isn’t the art community?”

LaPorte says the idea took off. “We at the Artcenter talked about it, agreed and reached out to the other art centers in Northern Michigan from Mackinac Island to Manistee. What we found was everyone agreed,” said LaPorte. “Our first meeting (a small steering committee began planning last fall) on October 1 was very energizing. A lot was accomplished and I am confident that moving forward Northern Michigan will be getting the attention it deserves to be recognized as a world class arts destination.”

Gallery owner and Artcenter board member Bob Striet, who participated in the October 1 gathering, agrees.

“There’s no reason to go to Santa Fe or Carmel or New York to find good art.” said Streit, owner of The Twisted Fish Gallery in Elk Rapids. “Here in northwest Michigan, we are blessed with great natural beauty and hundreds of talented artists and great arts organizations.”


More than 40 art leaders participated in the study session. According to LaPorte, several ideas were developed and the next step is the steering committee will meet in the coming months.

“We expect over the course of the next year that this new arts organization will be formed,” said LaPorte. “We expect to have some sort of major event and a plan in place to market our area as an arts destination.”

But up first for LaPorte is finding a home for the Artcenter Traverse City. Founded in 1951 the 400 members, the organization was established to provide opportunities in the areas of arts education, exhibits, shows, art fairs, and other cultural events. But for the past couple of years the Artcenter has found itself essentially homeless.

“After we lost our location at the former All Faiths Chapel (at the Grand Traverse Commons) we have been without a place to host monthly exhibitions, art classes, lectures and other events,” said LaPorte. “Fortunately, we have several people who feel that Traverse City needs to have the Artcenter and that it is a vital component to the culture of our community. We are working on a couple of options and hope to have a major announcement soon.”

Anyone interested in being a part of the new Northwest Michigan Arts Coalition or assisting in helping the Artcenter Traverse City is encouraged to contact Paul LaPorte at artcentertraversecity.com or 231-941-9488.

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