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, January 23, 2016

2016 Wedding Trends

Features Alicia Caldecott Weddings are constantly changing — with shifting styles, budgets, trends, and technology — virtually guaranteeing celebrations only a few years apart will have completely different and exciting flavors.
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Wall-To-Wall Harleys

Local has incredible, if hidden, collection

Features Alexa Hughes We’ve all heard the expression, “You never know what goes on behind closed doors.” Truer words couldn’t be said of longtime Wexford County resident Gene Payne and what lies behind the doors of his garage. That’s assuming you could even find his home; if you’re lucky enough to be invited.
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hagerty Cycling Team Sets the Pace for Local Endurance Athletes

Features Clark Miller Elite level bicycle road racing is a team sport — one that requires cyclists to train together and use carefully-planned strategies so that their strongest teammate has a better chance to win. To compete nationally, it also takes some funding. The reality of a northern Michigan–based competitive road racing team became possible in 2007 when two things happened.
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Elio Motors Says the Future is Now

Features Kristi Kates Super-compact cars and electric vehicles are the stuff of the future, as everything from trade magazines to sci-fi movies would attest. They’ve had a slow start in the U.S., although they’re already commonplace in much of Western Europe. However, a new, innovative American car company has their GPS pointed in the direction of change.
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Winter Astronomy

What to See in Northern Michigan's Night Skies

Features Kristi Kates Skygazing is a frequent pursuit in the summer months, when the weather’s warm and it’s easy to sit outdoors well past midnight. In the winter, it takes a little more effort to get out there and see what the night sky has to offer. Is it worth it? Our two experts definitely think so.
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Clip N’ Keep: 2016 Car Shows Guide

Features Kristi Kates There are car shows aplenty all summer long in northern Michigan, as soon as the weather gets mild and car owners feel brave enough to bring their prized vehicles out of winter storage. Want something automotive to look forward to? Clip and keep this guide to plan your route to some of the biggest car shows in the region for 2016!.
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Go Fighting Whities!

Is the use of Native American imagery in Petoskey sports teams offensive?

Features Patrick Sullivan

What would happen if a high school football team decided to call themselves the “Fighting Whities” and used a Caucasian stereotype as a mascot?

Fred Harrington said it wouldn’t fly — neither would mascots portraying Jewish, African American, Italian, Asian or any other racial identity. So why, he asks, are Native American mascots, like the one used by the Petoskey Northmen, acceptable?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Crossfit Gyms: Training That Tests Your Mettle

Features Clark Miller This is about short, intense workouts. In fact, franchises like TC Total CrossFit and ColdFront CrossFit in Traverse City and CrossFit Petoskey aren’t even called gyms at all. They are known as “boxes,” a corporate designation that makes one thing clear: this is a place for people who are dead serious about getting in shape.
Saturday, January 9, 2016

From Jurassic Park to Hemingway: Northern Michigan’s Skiable Feast

Features Kristi Kates IT ALL STARTS WITH SKIS Developed by Treetops’ General Manager Barry Owens, the creator of several fun culinary jaunts for Treetops guests, the Skiable Feast (name borrowed from the Hemingway novel “A Moveable Feast”) covers six kilometers of...
Saturday, January 9, 2016

Cancer Center to Welcome Patients Next Month

Features Ross Boissoneau Cancer attacks people in numerous ways, from tumors that eat away bone or muscle to weakening immune systems, as well as leaving patients with little appetite or drive to fight. That’s why cancer specialists often work in tandem with specialists in other areas, such as nutrition, psychology and pain relief.
Saturday, January 9, 2016

Cancer Coping

Features Sheri McWhirter Susan Ruoff closed her high-end cosmetics store, Venus, in downtown Traverse City near the end of 2015, but that doesn’t mean the extensively trained stylist won’t still be helping women feel beautiful. Ruoff simply has a new focus: women living with cancer.
Saturday, January 9, 2016

In Pursuit Of A Cure: Cancer Research In Northern Michigan

Features Beth Milligan For most, the term “cancer research” conjures up images of university laboratories, scientific institutes and metropolitan medical centers. Yet local community hospitals across northern Michigan are also playing a crucial part in the search to find a cure.
Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sitting, Sugar, Sun


Features Patrick Sullivan Sitting too often, eating too much sugar or spending too much time unprotected from the sun can have harmful or deadly effects equal to more obvious dangers. The Northern Express talked to experts about how we can redefine these behaviors as vices in order to live healthier lives.
Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Place in the World

Cadillac’s After 26 Depot Helps Connect Disabled Adults to Their Community

Features Patrick Sullivan Forty-four-year-old Keith is finally in touch with the world. As he washed dishes, he thought about why he loves his job at After 26 Depot restaurant in Cadillac. Keith, who is cognitively disabled, once worked at a sheltered factory that employs disabled adults.
Saturday, January 2, 2016

Spring Things Up at the Chili Cook-Off

Features Kristi Kates COMMUNITY BENEFITS Tickets for the Chili Cook-Off are $10 per person, which gets you eight 4-ounce samples of chili (and you can buy extras if you’d like.) To bolster the DTCA’s limited budget, the proceeds from this event help support other downtown events that are offered to the community at no cost, from Friday Night Live to Santa’s Arrival.