Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Brownfield Dollars

Features Patrick Sullivan There’s never been a time when so many large-scale developments were proposed, or in progress, in Traverse City. The incredible number of projects that could develop in the next year — and the requests for Brownfield funding expected to accompany them — means development and public incentives are slated to be a hot topic.
Friday, July 17, 2015

Catching Up with Local Filmmakers

Features ON GETTING STARTED: Crouse has been broadcasting since he was 16, when he co-hosted a weekend radio program in his hometown of Lima, Ohio. “Then, in 1987, when I was 35, I had a chance encounter in NYC with Norman Vincent Peale,” Crouse said. “He was at the end of his career and spoke a sermon at the church he’d preached at for 52 years.
Friday, July 10, 2015

Michigan Roadside Oddities!

Features Kristi Kates Part of the charm of a road trip is the wacky, pure Americana things you see along the way. Some of them are quaint, some are eyebrow-raising, some are cause for immediate laughter — and many are simply downright strange. All of them make for great summer memories and there are plenty to start with right here in Michigan.
Friday, July 10, 2015

Licensed To Perform

Permits No Longer Required to Sing and Play in TC

Features Patrick Sullivan Maayingan and Kewayden Brauker’s grandmother had enough one day last June. She told the teenagers to get out of the house and do something. The brothers took acoustic guitars to the Jay Smith Walkway on Front Street in Traverse City. Maayingan played while Kewayden listened. They didn’t have a guitar case open on the ground to collect money; they were just hanging out.
Friday, July 10, 2015

Jim Gillespie

A Beatnik’s Love Affair with Blissfest


For folk music fans looking to tour the past, a must-stop on the northern Michigan scene is 421 Howard Street in downtown Petoskey.

Today, that address houses the Julienne Tomatoes cafe, where you can snag a great sandwich. But back in the mid-’80s, it was the Spectrum Center artist collective and coffeehouse — where Blissfest was born. It’s also where Bliss Executive Director and festival guru found his calling.

Gillespie and his crew wrapped up another successful Blissfest this past weekend, the event’s 35th happening. We talked to him about how the whole thing began.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Need For Northern Speed

Features Clark Miller The scene at either of northern Michigan’s two racetracks on a summer night can cause sensory overload. The scream of tunedup engines, the sweet smell of burning rubber mixed with the occasional waft of beer, gasoline or sweat. And the sights? Some of the most colorful, creative — and very, very fast — cars and trucks around.
Friday, July 10, 2015

2015 Charlevoix Venetian Festival

Features Kristi Kates The glittering Boat Parade (Saturday, July 25 at dusk) is the major highlight of Venetian Fest. The parade on Round Lake features all kinds of boats and lights, with great viewing along Charlevoix’s waterfront. Awards go to the most creative entries. The theme this year is Mardi Gras, so expect lots of masks and beads in shades of purple and orange.
Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Fundays!

Features Kristi Kates This Friday series of events in downtown Petoskey is complemented by familyfriendly late-night Movies in the Park, one of the most popular outdoor movieviewing events in northern Michigan; all movies start around sunset.
Friday, July 3, 2015

A Centennial at Bay View

Features Kristi Kates Bay View’s John M. Hall Auditorium is celebrating 100 years this summer. The renowned local venue that sits alongside Bay View’s legendary Victorian cottages and campus buildings, many of which have hosted notable and famous guests, has certainly enjoyed a storied past.
Friday, July 3, 2015

Cherry Fest Rocks!

Features Kristi Kates Actually, Cherry Fest more than just rocks. With a diverse slate of performers covering everything from alt-pop to country, comedy parodies to funk and vintage hairband jams, there’s something for every variety of music fan during festival week (including your chance to be a Cherry Festival musical idol).
Friday, July 3, 2015

A Piece of the Pie

Features Patrick Sullivan The tin used to bake a one-time world record pie sits proudly on the southern edge of Traverse City, just as the tin used to bake Charlevoix’s record-setting pie sits at its border, but these records are no more.
Friday, July 3, 2015

Presidential Pie, The Original World Record?

Features A newspaper explained, “The two men reported that they were held up in Canada by a police officer for traveling at high speed, but they were permitted to proceed when they explained their mission and urged consideration of international comity.”.
Monday, June 29, 2015

Top Cherries

Features Only five people have been served as executive directors of the National Cherry Festival since its beginnings 89 years ago. It’s a job that comes with parades and smiles and crowds – but also with lots of logistics and high expectations.
Saturday, June 27, 2015


Features Patrick Sullivan The Michigan Land Use Institute celebrated its 20th birthday in an unconventional way: by changing its name. Now called Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Executive Director Hans Voss said he hopes to continue the same nonprofit advocacy work the organization focused on during its first two decades.
Saturday, June 27, 2015

Celebration in the Skies

Features Bridgette Steele The Cherry Blossom Festival emerged in 1925, later to become the National Cherry Festival. Almost ninety years later, this celebration recorded more than half a million visitors, many of whom arrived early for a thrilling display of aerobatic prowess by the renowned U.S. Navy Blue Angels.