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 · Divinely Inspired
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Divinely Inspired

As a Catholic schoolgirl in Dearborn, Michelle St. Amant would sit in church services, gazing on the beautiful alabaster figures of saints behind the altar.

Al Parker - April 7th, 2014  

“I would fantasize how wonderful it would be to have the ability to create such works of art,” she said.

That fascination with sculpture and the human condition continues to this very day.

Her works have been seen in 14 different galleries and the same number of juried exhibitions in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia.


At the age of 10, a friend’s mother invited me to attend an art class at the civic center. We were each given a small lump of clay and told to create whatever we chose with it. I had been fixated on becoming a nun, so I placed my hands at work molding my shapeless mass of clay into a small version of one.

The encouragement and praise I received from the instructor was exhilarating.

It was at that time that I first fell in love with the feel and texture of this fabulously tactile medium, though unfortunately it was the last of my experience with it until I was in my mid-30s.


My inspirations for my art have mainly been drawn from my life’s experiences and of those which I have observed. Unfortunately, these same experiences have served to interrupt my creative process and ability to work on my art for long periods of time. Social issues have always greatly interested me and I attribute this toward my upbringing.

I was adopted and was the eldest of eight children who were also adopted. At the age of 12, there had also been 35 foster children of various ages. I believe my interest in social issues was peaked due to my heightened sensitivity to my family situation.


The piece that is nearest to my heart is a ceramic bust entitled ‘Burial Blanket.’ I created it while living in Alpena. It was designed after a photo I found of a mother somewhere near India holding the body of her dead child swaddled head to toe in a blanket. I was so touched by the photo that I prayed often while working on it to do justice to this woman through my artwork. I strongly feel it was divinely inspired.

My son Andre was born with the rare genetic disorder Galactosemia and lived life with multiple challenges, scoliosis, autism and severe neurological complications. Andre had a white blanket he loved and often begged me to wrap him in it. This provided him with a source of comfort and eased his nerves.

At his death I had his body cremated and requested that they wrap his body in the blanket beforehand. Three years later I was observing ‘Burial Blanket.’ At that moment, like a flash of lightning whipped through my soul, I connected the significance of the piece to my own life with my son. And so I wept!


I was most impressed as an adolescent by the Mexican artist Rivera’s fresco paintings at the DIA which portrayed the industrial and technological era of Detroit. The masterful works of Michelangelo and Rodin and others played a great part in my desire to sculpt.

One of my favorite modern sculptures is Arturo Di Modica’s ‘Raging Bull,’ also known as the Wall Street Bull across from the New York Stock Exchange.


I would tell you to first learn to deal with non-constructive criticism. If you’re able, just choose to ignore it. Try not to compare your work with others. Our works are all unique and that’s so wonderful. Know that you will be making errors in your work, since it’s all a learning process and will continue to be for life.

Don’t misunderstand though: learning technical skill is very important. Passionately pursue the type of art you enjoy creating, but be brave and experiment with other subject matters and with various mediums.


At 223 State Street Boutique and Compassion Center in Traverse City. I am available for commissions at michellest.amant@yahoo.com.

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