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, November 7, 2015

The USO’s Mobile Message

Features Kristi Kates United Service Organizations Inc.— popularly known as the USO — laid its foundation during World War II, beginning a tradition of entertaining the troops to support the war effort, supplying food, drink, music and dancing as a much-needed break from the terrifying realities of war.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

Traverse City’s Unsung World War II Hero

Features Nick Beadleston Citizens of Traverse City often point to the region’s history as a source of local pride. However, many are completely unaware that one of northern Michigan’s own sons received the United States’ highest military honor during one of the nation’s most trying times.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

Re Entry

Features Ross Boissoneau Playwrights Emily Ackerman and KJ Sanchez boiled down the interviews into a stage play featuring the stories of U.S. Marines and members of their families. The docudrama explores the challenges of re-entering family, community and country with honesty and occasional humor.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

WNMC House Concerts Focus on the Music

Features Kristi Kates FROM IDEA TO REALITY Walker grew up in the Detroit area and moved north around 2007. He was at Traverse City’s InsideOut Gallery a few years ago with WNMC Station Manager Eric Hines. He mentioned he might be interested in “doing the house concert thing” and Hines said the radio station would definitely get behind it.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

Michigan Women Who Rock

Features Kristi Kates While the majority of Michigan’s well-known musical success stories are men (think Stevie Wonder, Jack White, Iggy Pop, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis, Kid Rock, Eminem, techno producer Carl Craig, most of Motown), the ladies are slowly but surely catching up.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sex Trafficking Slowly Spreading Into Northern Michigan

Features Nick Beadleston Northern Michigan has long been a haven for tourists, transplants and locals to escape big city life, but despite our beautiful beaches and small town character, we are not immune to some of the world’s ugliest problems, including a practice that has been defined by many as “modern slavery.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

Potential Indicators of Trafficking Victims

Features 1. Not free to leave or come and go as he/ she pleases 2. Works excessively long hours, paid through tips 3. Owes large debt and is unable to pay it off 4. Recruited through false pretenses concerning the nature and condition of work 5. High security exists including opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, security cameras 6.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

Emerging Wunderkind

Features Kristi Kates Two kids joining forces to help another kid in need. That’s the basic premise behind an upcoming concert by two unique and youthful musicians, Milo Birch and Nik Carman; they are the featured performers at a benefit concert to help support brain cancer treatment for 9-year-old Traverse City resident, Evan Matusik.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

First Responders: Northern Michigan Women on the Front Lines

Features Beth Milligan Every day across northern Michigan, women in life-saving positions — including firefighters, EMTs, 911 dispatchers and other first responders — respond to the call of duty to provide aid and assistance to fellow citizens in need. The Northern Express profiles four women serving their communities on the front lines.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

First Lady of Yoga

Features Patrick Sullivan Yoga is many things to many people: a workout, a spiritual discipline, a mental and physical challenge and — for some — a legacy. No one has been teaching yoga in northern Michigan, or perhaps even the entire state, for as long as Sandra Carden.
Saturday, October 24, 2015

Got Pets?

Features Kristi Kates Named after the owners’ two late beloved dogs, Daisy and Oscar (the bakery’s name is an acronym for Daisy and Oscar’s Gourmet), D.O.G. opened in May 2004. “My husband and I saw an opportunity to combine our love for our dogs with the chance to do something together,” Karry Barolo explained.
Saturday, October 24, 2015

2015 Halloween Costume Trends

Features Kristi Kates With an election year fast approaching, you’re sure to see plenty of President Obamas, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bushes and toupeewearing Donald Trumps wandering around this Halloween, but there are lots of other costumes filling up the shops this October, inspired by movies, TV, comics and outer space.
Saturday, October 24, 2015

Making a Difference

Features Kristi Kates Something wonderful sometimes springs from a difficult situation. Such was the case for Topinabee author Chris Wright (writer of the popular “Michigan Chillers” and “American Chillers” series for kids, plus several novels for adults) and his wife, Boots Wright.
Saturday, October 24, 2015

Eerie Evenings

Features Kristi Kates Ready to get scared? It’s time to pick this year’s ghostly Halloween destination, so get ready to compare your own personal Scream Scale to ours. Here’s our roundup of this year’s haunted houses (and forests and mountains…) rated from 1 to 10 (10 being the scariest).
Saturday, October 24, 2015

Dogs Get Their Day, Sometimes More Than One a Week

Features Ross Boissoneau For many people, their dogs are part of their family, but doggie daycare takes that sentiment to a whole new level. For some, it’s a way to make sure their dog is taken care of while they’re working, but others take their dog just so Rover can have some fun with pals.