Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Dates 11-26-2016

Dates Jamie Kauffold May Erlewine is traveling this weekend for the release of her EP, “The Little Things.” Enjoy soul/groove inspired music on Fri., Dec. 2 at Red Sky Stage, Petoskey at 8:30pm. Tickets: $20 members, $25 non-members. blissfest.org; & at The Cathedral Barn at Historic Barns Park, TC on Sat.
Saturday, November 26, 2016

Letters 11-28-2016


Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...


A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ride the Rails With Santa Claus at Castle Farms

Features Kristi Kates Santa Claus has been visiting Castle Fams every Christmas season since 2009. But over the past several years, ol’ Saint Nick has been taking something of a backseat to his train collection, which has been drawing a big crowd of adult model train aficionados right alongside the kids.
Saturday, November 26, 2016

Millions of Donors' Dollars Flow Through Northern Michigan

Features Patrick Sullivan “We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign; there are an amazing number of campaigns going on,” said Phil Ellis, executive director of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. “I think some of them are potentially transformational for our region.
Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Past, Present and Future of ‘A Christmas Carol in Prose’

Features Kristi Kates She’s referring, of course, to Parallel 45’s upcoming production, “A Christmas Carol in Prose,” known to most as simply “A Christmas Carol,” the classic Victorian-era morality tale of a bitter old London-dwelling miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghostly holiday experience that.
Saturday, November 26, 2016

New Ballet Awakens At Interlochen: ‘ The Sleeping Beauty ’

Features Kristi Kates “The Nutcracker” is known worldwide as the traditional Christmas ballet and a must-see for many. But this year, Interlochen Center for the Arts has decided to do something a little different for the holiday season and will be telling the story of “The Sleeping Beauty” in a way that’s at once elegant and unexpected.
Saturday, November 26, 2016

Behind the Bells

Features Beth Milligan The donation pots — typically placed in front of well-trafficked local businesses and accompanied by an volunteer or paid bellringer — have become such a familiar sight that the reaction from passersby is often automatic. Hear a bell, reach for loose pocket change or a dollar from the billfold to put in the kettle.
Saturday, November 26, 2016

Beneficial Backpacks: Two Local Programs Help Children

Features Kristi Kates The first three are the food bank; the food rescue program, in which Manna rescued and redistributed a half-million pounds of useable food last year; and the food pantry that serves 100 families every week, functioning much like a grocery store where families can shop for food but with no bill at the end.
Saturday, November 26, 2016

‘The Nutcracker’ Times Two

Features Kristi Kates At Traverse City’s Dance Arts Academy, Company Dance Traverse is readying its production of the ballet in a traditional format, with choreography from former ballet mistress Melinda Baker, direction from new ballet faculty member Catrina Choate, and poster art by local talent Glenn Wolff.
Saturday, November 19, 2016

Grand Traverse Commons To Expand By 40 Acres

Other Opinions Beth Milligan In their conveyance application, township officials noted “the property is already home to, and the best location for, a number of freeride mountain biking trails. Riders from all over the state come to this property to enjoy these trails.” The annual Conquer the Village Mountain Bike Race depends on the State 40 for its route, officials said.
Saturday, November 19, 2016

Trump Benchmarks

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Immigration and Customs Enforcement says there are currently about 11 million illegal aliens in the country. The Obama administration has deported 2.5 million people here illegally, more than any administration in history. Another half million have self-deported.
Saturday, November 19, 2016

What will it take to make America great again?

Crossed: A Local Pastor And A Local Atheist Debate

Other Opinions Rev. Dr. William C. Myers, Gary Singer “Go ahead and hate your neighbor/ Go ahead and cheat a friend/ Do it in the name of heaven/ You can justify it in the end/ There won’t be any trumpets blowing/ Come the judgment day/ On the bloody morning after/ One tin soldier rides away.”

The answer to that question presupposes that there was a time when the U.S. was “great.” How do you define greatness? In the past, it meant we were pummeling other countries with technologically superior weapons. Today we engage in the process of destroying the Earth’s environment with under-regulated fossil fuel consumption. We have generally defined equality as pertaining specifically to white heterosexual men. Prescription medications “made in the USA” cost more here than they do anywhere else in the world. All in all, not so great.
Saturday, November 19, 2016

Dates 19-11-2016

Dates Jamie Kauffold Santa is making the rounds in northern Michigan, including Stafford’s Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade on Sat., Nov. 26 from 10am-noon. There will be performances by the Petoskey High School Marching Band, & collections for Toys for Tots & the Harvest Food & Supply Drive for the Women’s Resource Center.
Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Fillmore

Dining Kristi Kates Last year, entrepreneur Nicole Knapp moved to Manistee from Traverse City, seeking a different kind of living environment. “I wanted to move to a smaller town with more opportunity for me to do anything I wanted,” she said.
Saturday, November 19, 2016

Letters 11-21-2016


Delighted by a juice box One morning last week, a little boy climbed the steps of my school bus. He seemed sad. A kindergartner sitting next to the window watching the world go by. In the afternoon, I opened the bus doors for the kids to board. The little boy bounded up the steps and got right into his seat smiling and cheerful. He set his backpack on the seat next to him and patted it protectively. Then he did something that struck the center of my being...

World will be watching Trump “He’s not a career politician, and he’ll make America great again!” Those hopeful words have been heard, often in recent days, by supporters of President-elect Donald Trump...

Democracy diminished by money Of course I’m upset. Disappointed. Democrats need to accept the facts: We let people down. We need to find a better way forward. I hoped that voters would agree that we needed to choose a president who would nominate Supreme Court judges who would help get the Big Dark Money out of politics, and a president who would accept the reality of climate change and act accordingly...

A unifying wake-up call In the wake of the shockwave that has hit our nation and rippled across the world, I have been awakened to a deeper truth. The twisted knot that exists deep within my soul; the one that has kept me awake, shaking with fear of the unknown, has finally been brought to light. It is the feeling that makes one ask themselves: Why am I here? What is my purpose...

Hold police to higher standards In 1863, the Confederate Congress adopted a flag designed by William T. Thompson, which he made specifically to convey for the “heaven-ordained supremacy” of the white man over other groups (see George H. Preble, 1872)...

Speak out on climate change Our president-elect denies climate science and proposes policies that would undo years of progress made toward a livable planet for our children. Emotions ranging from dismay to extreme anxiety are understandable, but before despair sets in, consider the following: 70 percent of Americans now believe that man-made climate change is real, and 64 percent express worry about its effects...

A story in last week’s edition about a concert series at Cathedral Barn misstated the year the barn was built. It was erected in 1932. Express regrets the error.