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 · The Glass Master
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The Glass Master

Glass mosaic artist Brian Strickland bucks all kinds of trends. He doesn’t own a computer … or a car.

Al Parker - April 21st, 2014  

And in nearly 50 years of creating glass mosaics, he has never sliced a finger open.

“I just love working with glass,” he said.

“And I love sharing that passion with people who come to visit the Glass Mosaic Gallery at my home.”

Strickland’s works include colorful, intricate framed pieces. The topics include bicycles (his favorite mode of transportation), landscapes, portraits, animals, religious symbols and more.

Strickland’s current project is an imposing five-foot-high portable wall whose panels feature the four seasons. He’s finished two seasons and is now focused on getting winter done.

His most popular works are vivid candleholders, which come in two styles: round and triangular.

“You’d think that making candleholders would get old, but it never does,” said the Tra verse City native, who takes about 10 hours to make a round candleholder. “I do five at a time, kind of like an arty assembly line, but I love it.”


My first glass mosaic was done while I was a junior in high school. I owe it all to Mrs. Potts, my art teacher. It was in 1965 and I dedicated the piece to my parents, Ray and Caremen Strickland.

After college came a stint in the Army, and traveling around Europe for a year. Then I returned home to T.C. and worked passionately on my art. It is always a work in progress.


My art form of glass mosaics originates from a desire and commitment to transform a ‘concept’ into a ‘tangible reality.’ Frequently my inspiration stems from a particular subject or theme, and on other occasions my imagination is fueled by the scale of a project or dominant color scheme. All of these components influence the direction each piece takes, and all of them make a mosaic.


That would have to be a piece I did for a local church, Faith Reformed Church. It was a picture of a very large cross. Everybody in the congregation helped with the picture by bringing in a piece of glass and gluing it on the piece. When the cross was filled in, I finished the background and completed/framed the mosaic so they could hang it up in the window.


That after all of these years creating glass mosaics, I still love what I do. Some of my favorite bicycle pieces were done for the late John F. Kennedy Jr., who sent me a nice letter thanking me for the gift. I’m curious whatever happened to that piece and where it is now. I’ve also done bicycle works for Lance Armstrong and Greg Lemond, for his restaurant in Wisconsin.


I have no particular favorite but I enjoy and am inspired by all glass artists. Whether it is hand-blown, fused, beadwork, sculpture, or other mosaics, they all inspire me.


Be passionate about your art no matter what medium you choose. Work on it every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. It will keep you thinking about your art. That way you will stay excited about the artwork…the colors to use, the design, and the completion.

I have found that it helps to have all the materials you are going to use out and ready at all times, whether it’s in an extra room or on a table. That way you won’t lose interest. When you are inspired you just want to keep going.


I have participated in many shows and have done several commissioned pieces as well, which can be seen at the Old Town Playhouse, Faith Reformed Church, and several restaurants. Locally my work can be seen at The Candle Factory, Cogs Creek Gallery, at my Glass Mosaic Gallery or visit www.glassmosaicgallery.com.

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