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 · Goodbye, Tattoo
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Goodbye, Tattoo

Improved lasers zap tats that have outlived their welcome

Patrick Sullivan - December 9th, 2013  

Turns out that Balinese dancing girl tattooed across your chest might not have to be forever, after all.

Advances in laser technology have made tattoo removal faster, less painful and more effective. And the treatment is now available in Northern Michigan.

Cosmetic Skin & Laser Center, which has offices in Traverse City, Petoskey and Gaylord, recently started offering tattoo removal because of advances in the technology, said Kelly Bolton, office manager.

“I have been pushing for tattoo removal for quite a while. It’s the one phone call that we got and we didn’t offer the service,” Bolton said.

Now that they do offer the service, it appears there’s lots of demand. And more importantly, Bolton believes the procedure looks promising.

“We’re seeing results right after the first couple of treatments,” she said.


There is a particular type of person who most often inquires about tattoo removal -- it’s someone whose 30- or 40- or 50-year-old self doesn’t agree with the aesthetic tastes or the judgment of their 20-year-old self.

Bolton falls in that category. While on spring break with friends back in college she got a tattoo of a flower on her hip. She recently decided that the tat would have to go.

“A lot of times, people were young and made a decision that they didn’t realize they wouldn’t appreciate as much later on as they did at the time they were getting it,” Bolton said.

She said it’s common for people who become professionals to want to get rid of tattoos, especially if the tattoos are somewhere that is visible while they are at work.

“We had one gentleman who got one on college spring break and now he is a professional,” she said. “It’s on his arm so he feels like he has to hide it.”

Others interested in removal want to change or refresh a tattoo they already have. In order to do so, in some cases it’s easier to wipe part of it away so there is a clean slate for a tattoo artist to work.


Just because tattoos can be removed more effectively and with less pain than was previously the case, that doesn’t mean a decision to get a tattoo should be approached lightly, however.

“I would never, ever, ever go into getting a tattoo thinking, ‘Whatever, if I don’t like it, I’ll just get rid of it in five years,’” said Lee Middleton, R.N. B.S.N., a tattoo removal specialist at Cosmetic Skin & Laser Center.

In addition to the cost of getting a tattoo removed, there is the pain or discomfort, which, as with getting a tattoo, varies depending on where on the body the tattoo is located.

Middleton said lidocaine, an anesthetic applied as a topical cream, is used at her clinic to ease the pain. Nonetheless, it’s a medical procedure, and there are risks, such as infection.

Middleton said the biggest issue she raises with potential clients is that they need to keep their expectations in check. There are many variables that go into how difficult it will be to remove a tattoo and they are not always evident on the first office visit. Removal could take three visits, or it could take a dozen visits.


Black ink tattoos are typically the easiest to remove, but sometimes a black ink tattoo might not be what it appears.

Middleton was recently at a conference on advanced tattoo removal in Denver and she learned of a case of a man who expected a fairly easy removal, who actually required many more treatments than was expected.

Once clinicians removed a layer of black ink, they discovered a splotch of green ink, a pigment that is much harder for the laser to remove.

In other cases, people have discovered their tattoos are much easier to remove than was expected.

“People need to understand that it’s a work in progress, but the results that we have seen have been very promising,” Middleton said.

How heavy a hand the tattoo artist uses when applying the tattoo changes the difficulty of removal, also. Deep tattoos are harder to remove than those where the ink is closer to the surface.


Middleton is also planning to undergo tattoo removal herself.

She has a tattoo of a feather on her ankle that she no longer wants.

“It changed over time,” she said. “I’ve had it for 23 years. At the time it seemed to make a lot of sense to me.”

She was on a trip with a group of friends and they decided to get tattoos together.

“It eventually no longer looked like what it was supposed to look like,” she said.

Middleton said she never considered tattoo removal until the latest generation of laser removal recently became available. Older tattoo removal processes were too invasive and could leave behind skin that looked scarred.


Treatments start at around $150 and are not covered by insurance.

What’s left after a tattoo is removed with a laser isn’t a clean slate, though it’s closer to that than early generations of tattoo removal.

The treatments can as take a little as a minute for a small tattoo. The artwork should disappear after three to 10 treatments.

A mark on the skin will remain. Middleton said it’s like creating a little wound in the skin, and once the tattoo is gone, that blemish will be there in its place. It’s less noticeable than an unwanted tattoo, however. “Most people would rather have that than an ex-girlfriend’s name,” she said.

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