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Letters 04-21-2014

An Exercise of Power

Many brave men and women have worn and do wear the military uniform of the United States of America. They put their lives at risk and have lost their lives to protect our freedom, our loved ones and our right to vote...


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Monday, July 18, 2011

With all my hate: Paul Nepote

Features Patrick Sullivan ‘With All My Hate’: Family values crusader has problems in his own family
By Patrick Sullivan
Paul Nepote holds himself out to be something of an arbiter of morality when it comes to gay issues in TC politics. He opposes a nondiscrimination ordinance that offers some civil rights protections for homosexuals and he attacks gay rights activists as enemies of families and Christian values.
He campaigns against gay causes on his Facebook page and seeks to ridicule and shame gay activists.
On Facebook, he writes things like, “When sodomy fills the national cup of man’s abominations to overflowing, God earmarks that nation for destruction.”
In his own life, however, Nepote is not a spotless supporter of family.
He filed for divorce from his wife of over 30 years in 2006 shortly after his wife and sister-in-law sought personal protection orders against him, alleging that Nepote attempted to break down a door as his wife dressed, threatened to shoot her, and had been emotionally abusive toward both women.
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

World‘s apart: Honduras

Features Andy Manthei Worlds Apart : My crash course in Honduras, gangs & humanitarian work
By Andy Manthei
There are some things that I will never understand about this culture, I thought to myself as I was dragged from the shower after a long day’s work in the blistering heat of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
At first, I thought the kids were seeking vengeance for my having chased them around the job site (with a live tarantula in hand) earlier that day while laughing incessantly. I quickly learned, however, that the kids were trying to protect me from myself.
They began to explain to me, through a translator, that if I were to take a shower after being in the heat of the sun all day, my bones would become brittle and fracture which would clearly lead to paralysis. After an hour of debating the absurdity of their claim, which was unanimously taken for fact by all the Hondurans, I went to bed showerless and bewildered.
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Angel ambassadors

Features Rick Coates Angel Ambassadors get in the swing for veterans in need
By Rick Coates
Many people believe angels live among us. If that is true, two of them
have to be Marcie Newton and Margie Krussell of Petoskey.
Last year they formed Angel Ambassadors to assist veterans in Northern
Michigan with a variety of financial and personal needs. This weekend they
will host their first BBQ/Blues Golf Scramble at Dunmaglas Golf Course
near Charlevoix, featuring the Red, White & Blues Band. 
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Public Safety

Features Patrick Sullivan Public Safety: Regional Eye on Crime
Fatal Traffic Crash
An 18-year-old Benzie County woman died after she crashed her car on Mud
Lake Road near Interlochen.
Allyson Kaye Mayer struck a tree around 4:30 a.m. on July 8, Grand
Traverse Sheriff Lt. Bryan Marrow said. Mayer, who had an Interlochen
address, was not wearing a seatbelt.
The crash was discovered on the remote dirt road by a passing motorist who
called 911. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene at 8:13 a.m.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Model citizen or monster.

Features Patrick Sullivan There are two portraits of Jere Clark to choose from: a solid citizen who
takes care of troubled children in Bellaire or a monster who preys on
them.
The gulf between them is wider than the Jordan River Valley.
At the end of a preliminary hearing in April to determine if there was
enough evidence to prove Clark molested a foster child in the care of his
family, lawyers argued over whether Clark should be freed on bail while
the case wound its way through 86th District Court.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Calling All Zombies: Walking dead extras needed for Wade in Cheboygan

Features Rick Coates During recent road construction on US 23 heading into Cheboygan, the electronic road signs flashed: “Warning Zombies Ahead!... Don’t Worry It Is Just Wade.”
The sign was referencing the filming of the action horror film Wade.
“My parents called me when they saw the sign thinking I had something do with it, but we didn’t know anything about it,” said Mike Julliet one of the producers of Wade. “We are just so excited that the community has embraced this film project.”
The excitement continues for Wade, which was originally filmed in 2009 as a 20-minute short to be entered in film festival competitions. After winning several awards at various film festivals, interest in Wade has reached Hollywood.
“We have interest now for this film to becoming a full length feature,” said Haynze Whitmore, who wrote the screenplay. “Now we are making what is called a financial trailer, that will be about seven minutes in length. This trailer is what investors or productions houses such as Lions Gate will use to decide if they are interested in backing the film.”
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Train derailed?

Features Patrick Sullivan Opposition to the city’s plan to remove the Spirit of Traverse City from
Clinch Park is gaining steam.
In the meantime, while the mini train could be figuratively derailed by
the end of this summer, or otherwise moved someplace else, it literally
derailed and part of it tipped over on July 4. The train was back in
service Wednesday after repairs.
Michelle Hazard started the Facebook group Save the Spirit of Traverse
City after she discovered the train had been removed from the city’s
bayfront plan and was not expected to return in 2012.
The group has generated hundreds of comments and prompted nearly 1,500
people to hit the “like” button.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

A rally for Marker

Features Erin Crowell Even before he could drive, rally car racer Matthew Marker wanted a Subaru
sponsorship.
“It was his dream,” said Marker’s girlfriend, Jennifer Majszak of Traverse
City. “He loved Subaru.”
That dream fell short on April 30 when Marker, an Elk Rapids resident, and
his co-driver Chris Gordon crashed their rally car at the Olympus Rally in
Ocean Shores, Washington.
Just over three minutes into the race, the drivers were entering the sixth
stage—a hairpin right turn—when Marker lost control of his Subaru WRX STI,
driving over the edge of a 40-foot ravine and crashing into a tree.
“After the impact, Chris was like, ‘Woah that was one hell of a ride,
buddy!’” explained Majszk, “(Chris) turned to Marker and said, ‘Marker,
turn off the car. Marker, turn off the car,’ but Marker didn’t respond.”
The 31-year-old was killed on impact.
“Right before the race in Ocean Shores, Subaru’s marketing guy had called,
saying they wanted to sponsor (Marker),” Majszak added between fresh
tears.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Partners in the arts; Julie Kradel & Steve Kostyshyn

Features Rick Coates Combine two different artists with two distinctive styles and the result
is one dynamic farm-based studio that’s producing eye-grabbing artwork in
Leelanau County.
Julie Kradel and Steve Kostyshyn share the airy, well-lit studio at Blue
Crow Farm, their 20-acre home on a quiet road near Cedar. While they each
have their own individual methods and techniques, the result is artworks
that are gaining a legion of collectors.
 
Monday, July 4, 2011

Drained ... Brown Bridge Pond

Features Mike Terrell Brown Bridge Pond, the centerpiece for the Brown Bridge Quiet Area, has been with us for nearly a century, enjoyed by thousands of visitors over the years for paddling, fishing, and watching wildlife along its quiet hiking trails bordering the pond.
It was created when the dam was erected in 1921, but the dam is slated for deconstruction beginning next year. That will be the end of this delightful, scenic, wildlife area as we’ve known it. The pond is scheduled for a 13-foot interim drawdown beginning late this summer or early fall, which will expose nearly 100 acres of previously unexposed bottomlands.
I’m of mixed emotion. I will miss this wonderful natural area with its 191-acre pond and all the waterfowl and wildlife it plays host to. But, it will be exciting to see the river again flowing free through this valley both for fishing and paddling. The rapids created at the dam site will rival and may surpass the Beitner Rapids. This site had the greatest river fall of all the dam sites.
Steve Largent, head of Grand Traverse County’s Land Management Services, once said of the pond, “It’s like a little piece of northern Canada tucked away in northern Michigan.”
 
Monday, July 4, 2011

Clothes horse

Features Kristi Kurjan From polo shirts to riding boots, equestrian fashion is not just for the stables anymore. The sport of horse riding is becoming more fashion conscious. While the English inspired garb is still very traditional, what has evolved in recent years is the selection, technology and availability of stylish riding gear.
We all admire the stately equestrian look, but what exactly goes into a well-dressed rider?

Equestrian Elements
There are a hand full of universal elements that create the “equestrian look” including; pants, boots, and fitted jacket. While in the saddle, a rider needs a good pair of breeches (pants), because if a rider’s pants don’t fit, they are not comfortable. Riding pants are slim in nature but not so tight that they limit a rider’s mobility on the horse.
“They need to be clean, well fitted, nothing flapping. Clothes that are very loose may get in the way, or get stuck in the stirrups,” said Jess Collins, owner of Red Hare Tack & Togs, an equestrian boutique located on Front Street in downtown Traverse City. “If you are competing in a horse show, clothes that are much too loose or way too tight will also be unsightly to the judge. Bottom line, you can really see a difference.”
 
Monday, July 4, 2011

Youth duck race

Features Friends of Youth Duck Race benefits charities for kids
Every year for the last 23 years, a flock of hundreds of ducks has raced down the mighty Boardman River during the National Cherry Festival to support a worthy cause.
This year The Optimist Youth Foundation Inc./ The Optimist Club of Traverse City are directing the race to support youth charities in the Grand Traverse Area.
The Friends of Youth Boardman River Duck Race will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 7 at the Union Street Bridge near Hannah Lay Park. The finish line is at the Cass Street Bridge near the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce building.
 
Monday, July 4, 2011

Murder of compassion: Sandra Gregory

Features Patrick Sullivan Charlevoix woman accused of killing her mother has lots of silent support
By Patrick Sullivan
The day Sandra Gregory killed her mother, the two women had just received some bad news.
Amelia “Meadie” Gregory was having trouble seeing.
A doctor thought the vision problem was neurological, which probably meant the 94-year-old would need to move from the home she shared with her daughter on US 31 just south of Charlevoix into an assisted living facility.
Amelia Gregory told her daughter she didn’t want to go into a nursing home; she wanted to be with her husband, who is deceased.
Sandra Gregory told police she granted her mother’s last wish on March 27. Now Sandra Gregory, 73, is in jail awaiting trial on a charge of open murder.
She used a walker to reach the podium at a recent court hearing where, through her attorney, Kraag Lieberman, she waived a preliminary hearing on the charges.
District Court Judge Richard May denied a request that Gregory be released on bail.
 
Monday, July 4, 2011

H.O.P.E. for pets and their owners

Features Erin Crowell These days, people can’t afford to keep their pets – a reality that happens in Northern Michigan and across the country every day due to a bad economy.
The Cherryland Humane Society managed to keep its doors open this June, thanks to a community effort of donations and fundraisers that helped counter a $20,000-per-month budget shortfall discovered by the organization in May.
While annual donations for the Traverse City shelter have been down, animal drop-off numbers are up – a record number due to job losses and foreclosures in the area, according to Jess Reed, CHS president.
According to the ASPCA, annual costs for a medium-size dog averages $695; a cat totals $670; even a small bird costs $200 per year.
Now consider a home with multiple pets.
While it’s responsible to drop off a pet at a shelter rather than denying its needs, the process is painful – heartbreaking for most owners who have found love, companionship and even a family member through pet ownership.
“I thought, ‘gosh, how terrible would it be having to give up a pet?’ My pets are like my children and I couldn’t think of not helping them,” said Susan Reabe, founder and president of Helping Owners With Pet Expenses (H.O.P.E.), a Traverse City-based non-profit that assists pet owners with food and vet expenses.
 
Monday, June 27, 2011

Dictatorship or Democracy? Push to repeal the emergency manager law goes local

Features Patrick Sullivan Over the past few months, there has been an uproar across the state over
Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to place emergency managers into school
districts and municipalities deemed to be under financial stress.
Emergency managers have broad powers to negate public union contracts and
to supersede local school boards, city managers and town councils. Local
communities that are under the kind of fiscal stress that could make them
targets include the Village of Elberta and Bellaire. Benton Harbor and the
Detroit School District have already been subject to emergency managers.
The Northern Express recently sat down with three of the locals behind a
petition drive to force a referendum to repeal Public Act 4, a law passed
in March at the request of Gov. Snyder to implement the emergency manager
program. We spoke to Amy Hardin, Betsy Coffia and Kevin Skarnulis. Francis
Cullen, the fourth member of the group, could not attend.
 
 
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