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, October 24, 2015

Choosing the Right Pet

Features Ross Boissoneau “Most people don’t spend enough time researching what the breed was bred for. They’ve seen a picture and have a mental image they’re attracted to,” he said. “Having a hunting dog in an apartment, in a crate for eight hours a day while you’re at work, is not a good situation.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Be a Part of Broadway’s Next H!T Musical

Features Kristi Kates The native New Yorker graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and now performs regularly with the same show that first inspired her. In addition to her work there and on shows like Conan O’Brien, she became involved with “Broadway’s Next H!T Musical” (BNHM) in 2009.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ukuleles for Everyone!

Features Kristi Kates Three ukulele performances in particular have entered recent popular culture: the quirky singer Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” in the ‘60s, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s 1993 version of “What a Wonderful World” and Jake Shimabukuro’s 2006 YouTube version of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Meet Northern Michigan's Climate Change Activists

Features Patrick Sullivan A never-aired television show changed Bill Latka’s life. The producer and director worked on a Discovery Channel program in the early 2000s called The Final Hour, a show intended to chronicle how scientists would confront climate change. He said he was not an activist before that show, but he became one after.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

ACT-GT: New Name, Renewed Commitment to People With Disabilities

Features Clark Miller Artists Creating Together–Grand Traverse (ACT-GT), an organization that provides artistic opportunities for children and adults with physical and mental disabilities, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in a unique way — by expanding the services it provides.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Beautiful by the Alphabet

Features Kristi Kates From A to Z, we’ve got it all. It would be easy to use the entire alphabet to describe great things to do, see and appreciate in our region, but for the sake of this particular issue, we’ll stick with what’s SO BEAUTIFUL about northern Michigan..
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Top Board Games for Fall Fun!

Features None Amazon’s top-selling table games include Monopoly, Battleship, The Game of Life and Trivial Pursuit. Then there’s Scrabble, the classic word-building game that just won’t die; it’s said that one-third of American homes have a Scrabble set. The game is produced in 29 languages and sold in 121 countries.
Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Life in Rugby: An Interview With Phillip Thiel

Features Phillip Thiel grew up in northern Michigan and graduated from Traverse City West Senior High School. He played rugby for the first time his senior year (for Traverse City Alliance) and today he plays at the sport’s top level. He now lives in Atlanta and is a member of the Eagles, the U.
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Raising The Stanley Cup, Now Raising Men In Kalkaska

Features Al Parker Former National Hockey League player Krzysztof Oliwa keeps up a hectic schedule as the owner, general manager and head coach of the Kalkaska Rhinos of the U.S. Premier Hockey League. The team, made up of 16-20 year olds, just began its 2015– 16 season that runs through February.
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Star Wars Fever Engulfs

Features Jacob Wheeler George Lucas’ epic space opera captivated the world with episodes IV–VI (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Lucas released a prequel trilogy, episodes I–III, between 1999 and 2005.
Saturday, October 10, 2015

The War Room

Features Kristi Kates Onaway, Mich., native Wayne Berry moved to Traverse City in 1999 to open TC Paintball, a center for the faux-combat game where participants use air guns to shoot capsules of paint at each other, usually at complex outdoor terrain fields that help enhance the illusion of an actual battle.
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Videogame Ventures

Features Kristi Kates While California’s Silicon Valley is still the hub for most videogame developers, including Activision, Sega, Eidos Interactive, Capcom and Blizzard, other regions of the U.S. are beginning to develop games, too — from Oregon to New Jersey to Michigan.
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Traverse Bay Blues

Features Patrick Sullivan Here’s a notable fact. One of the biggest sporting events in the world — the Rugby World Cup — is happening right now in England and two players from Traverse City made the Team USA roster. One of them, Phillip Thiel, has played in World Cup matches watched by millions.
Friday, October 2, 2015

Climb a Tree With Bo

Features Kristi Kates Burke hosts climbs all year round and helps roughly 300 people climb trees every year. Each person is individually instructed and equipment is provided. If you have a specific tree you’d like to climb, Burke can even arrange to come to you in order to make that goal a reality.
Friday, October 2, 2015

All About Arborists

Features Kristi Kates Bo Burke is a certified consulting arborist and treeworker/climbing specialist from Cedar. Ben Veling is also a certified arborist and owner of Timberwolf Tree Care in Harbor Springs. As they’re both experts on this very topic, we got the scoop from them.