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 · Anna Farrell & Tyler Bier
. . . .

Anna Farrell & Tyler Bier

Al Parker - August 1st, 2011
A high school project has turned into a creative, popular line of detailed
ceramic guitars produced by Charlevoix artisans Anna Farrell and Tyler
“I made one that was about two-feet high, a Fender, for a class project
years ago,” recalls the 24-year-old Bier, who has seven real guitars of
his own. “After that I just started making them, though smaller.”
For about two years, both Bier and Farrell constructed the guitars, but
now she specializes in the axes, while Bier has moved on to more
functional ceramics like dishes, mugs, piggy banks and serving bowls.
“Anna’s guitars are a lot neater (than mine),” says Bier with a smile.
“She’s incredibly talented and precise. I stick to the wheel now.”
Farrell’s 12-inch guitars have been well received by music fans and art
collectors across the country. In just the past year she’s sold more than
60 of them. They range in price from $125 to $285.
“I just sent an order to a guy in Chicago,” says Farrell. “He doesn’t play
at all, but just really likes guitars. I do sell some to guitarists or
family members of musicians. I get a lot of repeat customers”
Each guitar is crafted from clay slabs for the hollowed body and the
foundation for the guitar’s unique characteristics such as pick guards,
knobs and pickups. Then each instrument is fired for three hours in the
kiln at 1,900 degrees, custom glazed for two hours and fired again for up
to two hours at 2,250 degrees. The final stage includes stringing with
wires and applying tags.

About 20 different guitar body templates are used as guides, including
Stratocaster, Les Paul, Telecaster, Gibson SG and Hofner bass. “They’re a
lot of fun to make,” says Farrell, who isn’t a guitarist at all, but does
play the violin. “I get a lot of custom orders.”
She also gets asked to fashion other musical instruments, including pianos
and trumpets. “I may try some of those over the winter. I’m working on
designing a cello. And I do make some violins.”
Bier and Farrell have had a busy summer with art shows almost every
weekend. On Aug. 6-7 they’ll be at the Portside Arts Fair in East Jordan.
The Labor Day weekend will find them downstate at Franklin’s Art in the
Village on Sept. 6.
In addition to Farrell’s guitars, at shows the pair offers a variety of
Bier’s functional, yet beautiful, creations. Unlike some artists who use
commercial glazes, all of Bier’s items feature custom glazes created by
hand in his studio. “I think making our glaze is part of the art,” he
says. “A lot of it is trial and error. Even when you have an idea of what
will happen, you might be completely wrong.”
Farrell and Bier met at Charlevoix High School and have been together
for about six years. Bier’s parents – Ray and Tami – are talented
ceramic artists in their own rights and operate the Bier Gallery, about
six miles south of Charlevoix. “I grew up around clay,” Bier laughs. “I
can’t draw, can’t paint.”
After high school, Bier and Farrell went to Grand Valley State University
where he majored in finance and she in communications. Then they began
working as serious artists.
“It was always a dream of mine to be involved with art,” says 22-year-old
Farrell. “Some day I’d like to try painting landscapes. I’ve tried oils
and acrylics, but never done water colors.”

For more information, go to
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5