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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Region Watch

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tent worms & Gypsy moths/TC‘s new art form/Forrum to discuss future of print/ guns in our parks/Michael Moore‘s new film/new museum opens

Region Watch Robert Downes No fix for a plague of tent worms & gypsy moths
By Robert Downes 6/1/09

A devastating onslaught of tent worms is stripping forests of their leaves across Northern Michigan, with a similar invasion of gypsy moths expected in the weeks ahead and no remedy in sight.
“They are especially bad this year,“ says Cindy Rutherford, coordinator for gypsy moth control in the Grand Traverse Conservation District.
The two pests are often thought to be one and the same, but Rutherford notes that tent worms are actually a separate species known as the Eastern tent caterpillar, while gypsy moths hatch in the early summer and occupy the canopy of trees.
Monday, April 13, 2009

Region Watch: Hollywood shines on Doug Stanton & The Horse Soldiers‘/ New parklands/ Better drug disposal

Region Watch Best-selling author Doug Stanton of Traverse City was in Hollywood’s spotlight last week.
Variety Magazine, a trade magazine of the entertainment industry, announced in a front-page story that Disney and uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer acquired the screen rights for his soon-to-be-published book, Horse Soldiers.
There was more good news.
An exclusive excerpt of his book will run in the upcoming May issue of Men’s Journal, which boasts a 3.5 million national circulation. Stanton is a contributing editor for the magazine.
Bruckheimer, who will produce the movie, is famous for high-action films such as Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Horse Soldiers gives him a lot of material to work with. The nearly 400-page book chronicles the journey of a handful of Special Forces, from the time they first hear about 9/11 on their living room TV sets to riding horses along skinny mountain trails in Afghanistan, The Americans gaze down black precipices as they ride side-by-side with three warlords and their troops (the Northern Alliance) to defeat the Taliban.
Monday, March 9, 2009

Take a hike/Electrifying news/restoring the Great Lakes/your name here

Region Watch Hiking 350 miles through northern Spain is the goal of three local men who will walk in the ancient footprints of pilgrims.
From March 11 to April 10, Gray Hoensheid of Suttons Bay, Greg Wright, of Frankfort, and Pat Nestor, of the Traverse City area will trek across the Camino de Santiago Ancient Pilgrim Trail. The three friends will be joined by Joe Bottenhorn of Lake Leelanau for the final two weeks of their hike.
“El Camino de Santiago” is Spanish for The Road of St. James. The trail spans 500 miles from the border of France and heads west across Northern Spain, ending near the Atlantic Ocean at Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the burial place of the apostle St. James. It‘s said that St. James established the trail during his missionary work following the death of Jesus Christ.
“The Pilgrim Trail for me, at 57, represents an opportunity for reflection and spiritual renewal,“ says Hoensheid. “The tradition on a pilgrimage is to carry a rock, representing your transgressions in life. I will carry my rock throughout my trek and I will throw my rock in the Ocean at the end of the trail and begin with a fresh start,”
The hikers will pick up the trail at Burgo, Spain and walk the remaining 350 miles to the trail’s end at the Atlantic Ocean.
Monday, June 9, 2008

Vet must share disablility with ex-wife

Region Watch Anne Stanton A Manistee County judge ruled recently that a portion of a Vietnam veteran’s disability benefits can be considered when determining the amount of alimony paid to an ex-spouse.
Veteran Calvin Murphy had argued in court that his disability benefits should be off limits to his ex-wife, but 19th Circuit Judge James Batzer disagreed.
Murphy, 61, testified in the trial that he served a harrowing 5 1/2 months in Vietnam and mistakenly believed for decades that he had killed a fellow soldier during a North Vietnamese attack. He was wracked by guilt that his entire squadron had been ambushed, shot in the head, and found with cards in their mouths that said “Yankee go home.” He was not with his squadron at the time of the ambush.
Monday, May 26, 2008

What to do when the oil runs out/Madonna alert/Algae action/Wind energy for Charlevoix

Region Watch What to do when
the oil runs out?
As many as 1,000 participants are expected to attend “The Sustainability Conference on Peak Oil and Climate Change” this weekend in Grand Rapids.
The coming crisis in the oil supply is one of three key topics to be covered at a conference bringing together national experts on “peak oil,” climate change and an environmentally-friendly and sustainable economy.
The conference is scheduled for Friday, May 30, through Sunday, June 1, at the Calvin College Fine Arts Center.
Many experts believe that the worldwide production of oil has “peaked” and that the coming decades will bring a decline in the amount of available oil, leading to a global economic crisis unless steps are taken to promote conservation and sustainable local economies.
Monday, March 17, 2008

New Museum/Lights, Camera/New Heritage Route

Region Watch Anne Stanton Look for a major new museum in Northern Michigan this summer when the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians opens the Eyaawing Museum & Cultural Center in Leelanau County.
“The creation of a Museum & Cultural Center has been a long-time vision of the Grand Traverse Band,” said Pat Putney, GTB Elders and cultural department manager.
The emphasis of the new museum will be on education and increasing the understanding and respect for the Grand Traverse Band’s vibrant culture, art, and history. Although the specific date when Eyaawing will be open to the public has not been set, construction is slated to be completed at the end of May.
The name Eyaawing was selected by tribal members. It translates as “Who we are” in Anishinaabemowin, the native language of the Grand Traverse Band and Michigan’s Anishinaabek.
In addition to telling the story of the Grand Traverse Band through various exhibits, the Eyaawing Museum will be a place where the traditions and language of the tribe will be kept, taught, and celebrated. Eyaawing’s programming will be twofold, with some programs designed specifically for tribal members and others designed to share the culture, language and spirit of the Grand Traverse Band with the public.
Eyaawing will focus on both the traditional and contemporary culture and history of the Grand Traverse Band and Michigan’s Anishinaabek. Critical to that saga is the long path that leads to the Grand Traverse Band’s recognition as a Native Sovereign Nation on May 27, 1980.
Monday, March 10, 2008

Love Kayaking/Vote do over/Third Level

Region Watch Anne Stanton For the love of kayaking...
...don’t miss the documentary, Pacific Horizons, directed and produced by Traverse City native Bryan Smith.
The action-packed travelogue takes you to some of the world’s coolest sea kayaking destinations in the Pacific Northwest.
You can meet director Bryan Smith, an avid kayaker, at the Traverse City premiere showing on Thursday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m., at Timber Ridge, 4050 Hammond Rd.
Be sure to ask him about his first movie, 49 Megawatts, which just won the award for best environmental film at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. That movie captured how privatization is damaging rivers in British Columbia, where Smith lives with his French-Canadian wife.
Monday, February 25, 2008

Reggie‘s Boxed Set/Opying out/New players

Region Watch When Reggie Box died in 1995 from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the popular general manager of WKLT-FM left behind 28 boxes of rock memorabilia.
Those hundreds of items will be auctioned online in early April through backstageauctions.com, based in Houston.
“Reggie was a great collector and when he passed away, all of his rock and roll memorabilia was boxed up and stored in my basement,“ says Katherine Ryder Purcell, who was married to Box for more than 10 years. Their marriage encompassed the same years that Box worked at KLT, from 1985-‘95, first in radio sales and then as station manager. Many give credit to Box for his leadership in taking the station from a small signal in Kalkaska to a radio powerhouse that is heard across Northern Michigan.
Monday, February 18, 2008

The search for affordable housing

Region Watch Robert Downes Can you afford to live in the town where you work? Or, are you forced to live far out of town where housing is more affordable?
That‘s one of the issues to be addressed at an upcoming conference on “Creating Housing Choices“ in northwest Michigan.
Monday, February 4, 2008

Vision thing/recycle/on a spin

Region Watch The Vision Thing
Backers of an urban planning workshop series called The Grand Vision are thrilled with the turnout they had in late January to discuss the future direction of the Grand Traverse area.
“We were overjoyed with the turnout and the creativity of the participants,” said Bob Otwell in a release. Otwell is chair of TC-TALUS, the organization that initiated The Grand Vision. “Over a thousand people have now participated in The Grand Vision.”
Monday, January 28, 2008

Wonderfest/Petoskey, something new/Wilderness crossing/Leelanau snowmobiling/GT Commons/Michigan walk of fame

Region Watch Kristi Kates Sculpture & snowshoes: what a concept!

Women interested in getting warmed-up for this weekend‘s 10th Annual Women‘s Winter Tour may wish to consider a new event: The Snowshoe de Art tour through the Michigan Legacy Art Park at Crystal Mountain in Benzie County.
Participants will snowshoe along the 1.6-mile trail through the Art Park, past 40 sculptures created by Michigan artists to fit the wooded, hilly terrain of the site.
Tour founder and artist Kaye Krapohl of Active Women Now says the $10 donation for the snowshoe tour will be split to support both the Art Park and domestic abuse centers to help women escape from unhealthy relationships.
The event takes place Saturday, Feb. 2, with registration at noon. Guided tours of the park will be offered at 12:30, 1 and 1:30 p.m. Snowshoe rentals will be available at Crystal Mountain‘s Adventure Center, located near the ski resort‘s conference center.
Monday, January 14, 2008

CMTV@Crystal Mtn./Protected Farmlands/Winter Festivals/Charlevoix says goodbye/Oryana Soyworks/Food Network in Honor

Brand new this season at Crystal Mountain’s website (www.crystalmountain.com) is CMTV, a live look at the Crystal Mountain slopes and a weekly video Mountain Report that will air each Wednesday with host Nick Nerbonne. The Mountain Report is only one facet of CMTV’s offerings, as CMTV is also slated to feature videos providing skiing and snowboarding tips, recaps of special events, a photo
gallery, and opportunities for snowboarders and freestyle skiers to submit their own videos to sister website www.ridecrystal.com’s Fame Page.
Monday, December 31, 2007

Gingerbread/Cuppa Joe/Great Music/Petoskey Pointe/TC‘s downtown/Alert Cab

The Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce’s Gingerbread contest, hosted at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in downtown Harbor Springs, was a rousing success this year, with a record 26 entries in six categories. Winners were asked to choose a charity of choice that would benefit from donations connected to the success of their gingerbread creation; this twist in the event raised $2,489 for local, national, and international non-profit groups. The R.F.C. Fire Rescue Team won the People’s Choice Award. The Chamber hopes that the contest will contine to grow in following years.
Thursday, December 20, 2007

Largest terrain/Snowshoes/Windmill/Raven Hill/Art Center/Petoskey Plans

Boyne Mountain became home to the largest skiable terrain in the Midwest this month, with seven chairlifts and one Magic Carpet conveyor lift making a projected 35 runs available to skiers and snowboarders. Boyne Mountain, already beneficiaries of a plethora of natural snowfall early this year, have also made a $350,000 investment in snowmaking to increase snow output and grooming. Boyne’s cross-country trails are open, as well, with 10-15 kilometers of trails already groomed.
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Drive Dennos/Up North The Best/Interlochen Holiday/Otsego Club/Munson Med/GT Resort Aquatics

Cars, cars, cars are currently on display at the Dennos Museum in an exhibit that will appeal to those who appreciate beautiful design just as much as auto aficionados. The “Romancing the Automobile” exhibit is running at the Dennos all the way until January 6, and includes Buick concept cars on display as well as automobile artworks from the likes of Craig Brigham, Tom Hale, and Robert Rauschenberg, plus Ron Gianola’s designs for concept cars. And don’t forget that the Dennos’ great Inuit Art Gallery and Discovery Gallery are also both open.

Detroit Home Magazine’s most recent issue - their “The Best of the Good Life” issue - named Harbor Springs, Petoskey, and Charlevoix (in a statistical tie) as the “Best Area For A Vacation Home.” Amenities and attractions such as beaches, galleries, dining, golf, and shops were cited as key factors.