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 · Drawn to Nature
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Drawn to Nature

Al Parker - July 7th, 2014  

As a child, landscape painter Sue Bowerman marinated in myriad art forms. “My mother and grandmother were both artists so I grew up around woodcarvings, portraits and landscape paintings,” said the Traverse City painter, who grew up in Buffalo, N.Y.

From that time, Bowerman took a less-than-traditional approach to her art career, which took off after her retirement from social work.

“I took only one art class in high school and I loved it,” she said. “My teacher wanted me to pursue art in college, but I was too practical.”

Bowerman works now most often in oils, but also enjoys painting with pastel, watercolors and acrylics. Her landscapes are full of blues and greens, refl ecting the vistas, valleys and shorelines of Northern Michigan landscapes.


Throughout my working years and while raising a family, I periodically took classes. In my social work career, I often drew with the kids during therapy as a way to lower their anxiety. They seemed to find it easier to talk when they were engaged this way.

In 2006, when I retired, I was able to devote more time to painting and started to take oil painting classes. I continue to take workshops regularly.


I love the creative process and the amazing feeling of being lost in painting. I can paint for long periods of time, but it only seems like minutes. This feels very much like what I imagine meditation must be like for others. I am particularly excited by color and texture. Oil paints intrigue me the most right now. I enjoy pastel and watercolor, as well as open acrylic paints that mimic the thickness of oils.

I also am excited by the idea of just starting a painting and going with it, without a preconceived plan. Often these turn out to be only exercises in color or texture - or a waste of a particularly good canvas, but sometimes I am really happy with the results. But always these times are pure joy!

Plein air painting is a love of mine because of the challenge and unpredictability of capturing what you see in nature, with the changing light and weather variables. Spending the whole afternoon outside in our amazing area is wonderful.

A large part of my satisfaction with painting has been finding a group of painters who also like to plein air paint. We call ourselves the Magic Thursday Artists because that is what we do each Thursday. During the warm months we are at a different site each week and during the winter we paint at the History Center.

These artists have been very influential and have helped me become more confident about my work. They encourage me to ‘stick my art neck out.’ This group has a show in July at the City Opera House.


I generally do not paint florals, but recently I painted a 24 x 20 close up of an iris, which is presently in the juried Art and the Garden Show at the Botanical Gardens. I enjoyed the process of capturing the subtle colors and I like this painting.

Last summer, after a glorious day of painting at the Glen Arbor Art Association Paintout, my plein air painting of Miller Hill won the People’s Choice Award. I was absolutely stunned and so appreciative.


It is difficult to pick a favorite, but if I have to pick only one, I pick Stephen Duren from Grand Rapids. I absolutely love his use of color in his abstract landscapes. I find his works awe-inspiring. They are rich, fluid and complex and draw you in.


Just start dabbling and then keep playing with creative endeavors. Art should be about satisfying yourself and having fun, not about what others think. Once you define your work by the opinion of others, your uniqueness is lost. Keep taking classes and find friends who share your love of art.


I have exhibited and sold work through shows with the Art Center TC, The Oliver Center, The Minervini Group, the Glen Arbor Art Association and the Dennos Museum. I may seek out gallery representation in the future, if I can get my neck comfortably out there far enough.

I really need to do this so I can make room for more paintings on our own walls. Fortunately my husband is supportive about having so many paintings around.

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