Letters 10-17-2016

Here’s The Truth The group Save our Downtown (SOD), which put Proposal 3 on the ballot, is ignoring the negative consequences that would result if the proposal passes. Despite the group’s name, the proposal impacts the entire city, not just downtown. Munson Medical Center, NMC, and the Grand Traverse Commons are also zoned for buildings over 60’ tall...

Keep TC As-Is In response to Lynda Prior’s letter, no one is asking the people to vote every time someone wants to build a building; Prop. 3 asks that people vote if a building is to be built over 60 feet. Traverse City will not die but will grow at a pace that keeps it the city people want to visit and/or reside; a place to raise a family. It seems people in high-density cities with tall buildings are the ones who flock to TC...

A Right To Vote I cannot understand how people living in a democracy would willingly give up the right to vote on an impactful and important issue. But that is exactly what the people who oppose Proposal 3 are advocating. They call the right to vote a “burden.” Really? Since when does voting on an important issue become a “burden?” The heart of any democracy is the right of the people to have their voice heard...

Reasons For NoI have great respect for the Prop. 3 proponents and consider them friends but in this case they’re wrong. A “yes” vote on Prop. 3 is really a “no” vote on..

Republican Observations When the Republican party sends its presidential candidates, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people with a lot of problems. They’re sending criminals, they’re sending deviate rapists. They’re sending drug addicts. They’re sending mentally ill. And some, I assume, are good people...

Stormy Vote Florida Governor Scott warns people on his coast to evacuate because “this storm will kill you! But in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Florida’s voter registration deadline be extended because a massive evacuation could compromise voter registration and turnout, Republican Governor Scott’s response was that this storm does not necessitate any such extension...

Third Party Benefits It has been proven over and over again that electing Democrat or Republican presidents and representatives only guarantees that dysfunction, corruption and greed will prevail throughout our government. It also I believe that a fair and democratic electoral process, a simple and fair tax structure, quality health care, good education, good paying jobs, adequate affordable housing, an abundance of healthy affordable food, a solid, well maintained infrastructure, a secure social, civil and public service system, an ecologically sustainable outlook for the future and much more is obtainable for all of us...

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Turning a Page at McLean & Eakin Booksellers

Rick Coates - November 25th, 2013  

It has been 21 years since Julie Norcross opened the doors to McLean & Eakin Booksellers in downtown Petoskey. Her son and daughter-in-law Matt and Jessilyn Norcross bought the store from her four years ago. Despite a changing marketplace in the book industry, the store continues to flourish.

“We have tried to follow my mother’s philosophy and that is not to go to war on price but to go to war on customer service,” said Matt Norcross. “She never chased discounts, she chased customer service.

“We received the best compliment to date from a customer through an email they recently sent when they complimented us on our service and stated, ‘Your staff made it feel like it was a life or death matter to find the right book for me.’ I think that sums up our approach.”

That service includes suggesting good books for the holidays.

“Books always make great gifts, especially for that hard-to-buy person. If you know what a person is interested in, we will find a book for them.”

Northern Michigan seems to have more independent bookstores per capita than anywhere else in the country. Norcross attributes that to the people who live and visit here.

“The reading culture of Northern Michigan is essential to all of us independents up here. We have very discerning readers which makes it fun for us, because we get to go beyond just the commercial stuff in our offerings.”


Another key to the success of McLean & Eakin is the quality of authors they bring to Petoskey.

“Bringing authors to town was a real important element to my mom when she started the store,” said Norcross. “We are successful in bringing top-notch authors by creating strong ties with New York publishing houses. We are known for giving them a lot of prepublication reviews and blurbs. It’s those kind of things that keep us in the loop with publishers. We have flown to New York with other Michigan booksellers to pitch our region for book tours.”

Recently, Norcross and his team helped to facilitate Booktopia, which brought nine bestselling authors in four days to Petoskey.

“Booktopia was phenomenal. There is this group called Books on the Nightstand who puts it together in three different communities around the country each year. They called us last fall and said they wanted to come to Petoskey. It usually takes a week to sell out, but the Petoskey event sold out in 56 minutes.”


With all the changes in technology and e-books some independent bookstores are facing extinction. At McLean & Eakin they have found ways to embrace the trends and serve the customers.

“Since customer service has been our motto and top priority, we have embraced the new technologies,” said Norcross. “We were very happy last year about this time that we were able to offer e-books to our customers. We have had a lot of support and in fact we are in the top five in e-book sales of all the independent booksellers in the country. It is neat to see a store like ours in a geographically isolated area outselling major independents in metropolitan areas.”

In the next few days McLean & Eakin will launch a digital audiobooks program. Customers will be able to download audiobooks from their website.

“Our website and the fact we update it daily is a big part of our success. Our staff all have their picks and little reviews on books on the website and people constantly tell us this helpful,” said Norcross. “We offer 99 cent shipping anywhere in the country so our summer residents stay loyal to us year round. Plus, locals ship books as gifts. Every Monday over 5,000 subscribers get the newsletter that my wife Jess puts together, so people who don’t live here year round still feel connected to our store.”

Norcross is also proud of the store’s commitment to the young readers in the community.

“Certainly my wife and others have worked hard to create a great children’s section,” said Norcross. “We also have annual book fairs at area schools and have raised $125,000 for those schools over the years.”

Here are Matt and Jessilynn Norcross picks for books to give as gifts this holiday season:

For Adults: Detroit, An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

No one tells the story of Detroit quite like Charlie LeDuff. A mixture of heartache and humor.

The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell

Sisters Marnie and Nell have a little secret they would like to keep buried; two actually. They’re hiding the fact their parents just died and they’ll need to work together to stay out of the orphanage.

For Kids: Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein

When a little dino hatches from his egg, one of the first things he sees is a kiss, but he can’t seem to figure out how to give one without BONKING, CHOMPING, or STOMPING. Fun for ages 4 and up.

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

After Flora rescues a squirrel from a terrifying vacuum accident, she takes him home and names him Ulysses. Then she discovers that he can write poetry. Ages 8 and up.

To learn more about McLean & Eakin Booksellers, store hours and location along with additional book suggestions for this holiday gift giving season, go to mcleanandeakin.com

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