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..

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Trout Unlimited Fly Fishing School

Features Sheri McWhirter The couple from Caledonia, Mich., makes for an allround outdoorsy pair; they canoe and kayak, cross-country ski and snowshoe, hike and travel. They even own a cottage on the Clam River out of Lake Cadillac.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Old School Golf on the Upswing

Features Ross Boissoneau Golfers are always looking to improve their game, but Howard Vogel and Tom Thornton don’t believe that means 300-yard drives down the fairway — quite the opposite, in fact. The pair has traded the dream of crushing the ball with oversize club heads and graphite shafts for the feel of hitting it just right with hickory shaft golf clubs.
Saturday, April 16, 2016


Features Kristi Kates Developed by trail riders in the early ‘60s with the help of Michigan Sen. William Milliken, the subdued Michigan Shore-to-Shore Trail (officially established in 1962) is perfect for those who want to see both northern Michigan legendary shorelines.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

2016 Spring, Summer And Fall Races

Features Here’s a look at upcoming races in the Northern Express readership area through October. We hope it encompasses most public races, but please forgive us if we’ve missed a few!.
Saturday, April 9, 2016

Sweet Earth Arts and Music Festival

Features Kristi Kates 3 Predictions from that first Earth Day in 1970 included impending mass starvation and widespread famine, the reduction of sunlight to Earth by half by 1985, the looming disappearance of crude oil and an 11-degree decrease in planet temperature by the year 2000.
Saturday, April 9, 2016

Summer Road Projects Ahead

Features Ross Boissoneau Everyone knows there are two seasons in Michigan: winter and road construction — an old joke, but one that residents acknowledge has more than a little truth to it. Weather ravages and the steady erosion of pavement from cars and trucks mean detours, flag persons, and signs bearing the dreaded words “One Lane Road Ahead.
Saturday, April 9, 2016

All of These T-shirts Were Born in Northern Michigan

(But Not All of Them Were Made in America)

Features Patrick Sullivan Go anywhere in the country and you can find a quirky T-shirt shop that celebrates that particular place. Go to a tourist town and there will be several. Look at Traverse City; it’s got M-22, High Five Threads, the Roth Shirt Co., Tee See Tee, not to mention shops, wineries and breweries that create their own designs.
Saturday, April 9, 2016

Your “It” Items For Spring 2016

Features This light cotton voile dress from Star Mela ($228) is embellished with both lace and striking Mexican embroidery, with a low elastic waist for an easy fit in warmer temperatures, and it’s available in a wide spectrum of color combinations, whether you’re out at the beach or strolling the local farmers market.
Saturday, April 9, 2016

Runway Report: Six Stylish Must-Haves

Features Kristi Kates What was shown on the runways last fall is finally ready to trickle down — or Up North, rather — to our local fashionistas. So let’s take a look at a few of the new style trends you’ll see heading your way for spring 2016.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Retreating to Calm

Features Kristi Kates With 800 acres of pristine Pigeon River State Forest and 15 miles of trails at their disposal, Song of the Morning Yoga Retreat is in exactly the kind of place you would expect a yoga retreat to be.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Foods from the Wild

Features Kristi Kates Winter foraged foods are pretty scarce in northern Michigan, relying primarily on things like pine needles (check the variety of pine first, as several are poisonous) and cattails, as most others are buried under the snow, but spring, summer and fall are prime for an eclectic list of wild foods found across our region.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Opiates Manage Pain Yet Present Dangers

Features Clark Miller For healthcare providers across northern Michigan and elsewhere, the second message is more urgent: we want to control the pain — right away. As author C.S. Lewis put it, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

What’s Happening in Greilickville?

Turns Out...A Lot.

Features Patrick Sullivan

As traffic volume nears a level suggesting M-22 become a five-lane highway, township planners hope to turn the village into a tourist destination with small-town appeal. Here are two visions for Greilickville’s future.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Northern Michigan Outdoor Expo

Features Kristi Kates Already digging out your camping gear and cleaning your tackle box? If so, you’ll love the second annual Northern Michigan Outdoor Expo, an event to help you make that yearly transition from winter to spring with a host of vehicles, products and activities all aimed at making the most of the great outdoors.
Saturday, April 2, 2016

Meet The Founders

Features A quarter century ago, the Northern Express burst on the northern Michigan scene, its first issue declaring it was “exploring the world of recreation.” Through the years the paper has never shied away from controversy, has broken news, helped launch local music acts, and helped millions of people over the years find something to do. Today, 1,300 issues later, the paper remains a vital source for news, entertainment, and “the world of recreation.”