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 · Art · A Life of Fiber
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A Life of Fiber

Insurance was a less than perfect fit for Marcia Koppa, who left her job when the urge to get creative struck her.

Al Parker - March 31st, 2014  

“About 15 years ago, I felt a real need to do something artistic,” said Koppa, who lives just outside of Grayling. “I tried sketching and found out I couldn’t sketch. So if I couldn’t sketch, how could I possibly paint?” Koppa turned to weaving, turning out hundreds of scarves, vibrant table runners and wall hangings. Using silk, cotton, rayon chenille or linen, Koppa spends many hours each week at her 42-inch wide custom red oak floor loom.

Weaving can be a solitary art, so Koppa keeps in touch with other artists through the AuSable-Manistee Fiber Arts Guild. About a dozen guild members meet every month to share ideas, and catch up on news and trends in weaving.


While traveling out east with a friend who weaves, the notion took root as we stayed with her mother, who also weaves. Plus we shopped at one of the larger weaving supply stores in the country so that must have ‘pushed me over the edge; so to speak. Eventually I took a class and that was it. I also went to The Sievers School of Fiber Arts in Washington Island, Wis. I mistakenly signed up for an advanced class and quickly learned I didn’t know what I was doing. So I took a beginning class and everything was fine after that.


The planning can be fun. I’m a little more free form than those who strictly fol low a pattern. This winter I had a problem with a particular weave, but other than that everything usually goes smoothly.

I like the process of weaving as much as the results. There are so many variables in designing a piece, from type and size of yarn to the density, or sett, and the weave structure itself. Much of my inspiration comes from nature, traveling and even family photos.


Sharing my work with family and friends. There’s nothing like giving a piece of yourself to another person for them to appreciate and wear.


One of the biggest surprises for people, and myself in the beginning is how much time there is in getting the loom prepared before the actual weaving begins. It can take days to design on paper, wind the warp, the yarn that goes on the loom, wind the warp on to the loom and then thread it through and tie it on. The actual weaving step is usually the fastest and easiest part of the process.


No one artist in particular but those whose work is well-crafted, understated and speaks with simplicity.


Beginners should realize that weaving takes a bit of patience. There’s a lot to learn, a steep learning curve. But then play and enjoy the process. Be true to yourself and let the work speak to you.


I don’t display at a lot of galleries, contests or shows. I just like to play with my loom. Others enter competitions, but I just like to play. All of my work can be found in Grayling at the Main Branch Gallery or online at mainbranchgallery.com.

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