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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Monday, November 2, 2009

From sex to glass ceilings

Books Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli From Sex to Glass Ceilings
The Shriver Report Updates Women’s Progress

A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything
By Maria Shriver, edited by Heather Boushey
Available as an ebook or as a free PDF download at www.americanprogress.org/issues

By Elizabeth Buzzelli 11/2/09

Women have come a long way, according to a new study on women published this month as The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything.
The report, available only as an e-book or as a free online download, was authored by Maria Shriver and edited by Heather Boushey (a senior economist with The Center for American progress), and Ann O’Leary (Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Health, Economic, and Family Security).
Monday, October 19, 2009

Bob Seger Turns a Page

Books Rick Coates Bob Seger
Turns a Page

Travelin’ Man On The Road and Behind The Scenes With Bob Seger
By Thomas Weschler & Gary Graff
Wayne State University Press

By Rick Coates 10/19/09

Rock stars have an inner circle and those that are a part of it live by a code: “What happens on the road stays on the road.” Because of that code, at times it is hard to get the real story and some musicians have tighter inner circles than others. Bob Seger is one of them. For his fans, little is really known about Seger except what can be deciphered through his lyrics.
Sure, there have been articles and interviews, but Seger really has only bared his soul on stage. Those closest to him have shared memories in casual conversations. But the man responsible for forging the Midwestern singer/songwriter sound has remained more of a “mystery man” than a “travelin’ man.”
Now, the silence that has surrounded Seger over his 45-year musical career might be changing. A new book by photographer and former Seger road manager Thomas Weschler and music journalist Gary Graff opens the shades of secrecy on Detroit’s favorite son, although only slightly.
Monday, October 19, 2009

Isadora‘s Secret by Mardi Link

Books Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli A Nun Meets a Tragic End in Isadore’s Secret
Isadore’s Secret
Mardi Link
U of M Press

By Elizabeth Buzzelli 10/19/09

In 1907 a young nun was murdered and buried beneath Holy Rosary Church in the Leelanau County village of Isadore. Isadore’s Secret, by true-crime writer, Mardi Link, captures the despicable crime, and extends the fascination, disgust, and sadness to yet another generation.
It was the summer of 1907. Sister Janina, 33, disappeared from the convent in the bucolic village of Isadore, a town of Polish immigrants devoted to family, priest, and their church. At that time the clergy held sway over people who were superstitious, uneducated, and—like small towns everywhere—inundated with gossip. Rumors ran through town. It was said the nun had run off, leaving the convent because she was unhappy with her life there. Soon it was rumored that she was pregnant.
Monday, October 5, 2009

Books: When angels intervene ... Spirit of the badge

Books Erin Crowell When Angels Intervene
Detective Ingrid Dean delves into the paranormal in Spirit of the Badge

By Erin Crowell 10/5/09

It’s hard to argue that police work is not the usual nine-to-five job. It’s a career of long, lonely hours, dealing with unique situations and people. We hear about them in the news – the routine traffic stop gone wrong, the burglar who got away, the standoff lasting hours. But, what we rarely hear about are the personal stories of those officers, the good stories – the ordinary, the extraordinary, and for some, the unexplainable.
Ingrid Dean, a 20-year veteran of the Michigan State Police, gathered some of those stories and wrote a book: Spirit of the Badge: 60 True Police Stories of Divine Guidance, Miracles, & Intuition. Released on October 1, the book is a collection of first-hand, written accounts by police officers from around the country. While some stories may be interpreted in the realm of the paranormal and the divine, all show a side of law enforcement we rarely get to see.
Dean – who has served as a field detective for there years, was a polygraph examiner for 12 years and worked the road for six – is currently a detective sergeant and forensic artist for the Seventh District Michigan State Police Post in Traverse City.
Monday, August 31, 2009

Lost in Detroit

Books Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli Lost in Detroit
Short stories dust up urban grit

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli 8/31/09

The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit
By Michael Zadoorian
WSU Press - $18.95

It’s exciting to read something truly new, passionate stories woven as if from the web of the writer’s being. That’s what is found in Michael Zadoorian’s The Lost Tiki Palaces of Detroit.
These newly envisioned stories of Detroit come at you without apology for the gritty language of the city, the racism, the madness of everyday life. The whiff of ‘presence,’ of being there, grabs at your throat. I was compelled to read on by an author who knows how to involve readers with his implied promise: Stay with me here. I’ve got something new to show you.
In ‘The World of Things’ the son of a recently-dead mother has been tantalized for years by the kitschy detritus of her life, kept in a locked basement. My mother put a lock on our basement door when she decided I was after everything she owned, her son says. He is a collector of all things from the early ‘60s, that era when my parents were in their prime, living in a good white middle-class Detroit neighborhood.
He collects his mother’s memories, in the guise of Danish Modern and limned-oak furniture; things ludicrously self-serious with their commitment to the well-living of the American dream as if collecting her -- in bits and pieces. What he finds in that basement, kept from him for so long, is a rebuke for trifling with other people’s lives, and a slap at his need to collect what his mother once valued -- the bits and pieces that defined her, for reasons having nothing to do with family memory but having much to do with separating himself from his heritage.
Monday, August 24, 2009

Living the Great Lakes by Jerry Dennis

Books Robert Downes The One to Read this Summer
The Living Great Lakes by Jerry Dennis
By Robert Downes 8/24/09

Informative, wise, funny -- and an adventure story to boot -- The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas by Jerry Dennis is a page-turner that reads like a novel while informing you on par with a college education on the history, geology and biology of our region’s greatest resource.
Published in 2003 to widespread acclaim, The Living Great Lakes is this summer’s selection by TC Reads, a community book club sponsored by the Friends of the Traverse Area District Library that takes a crack at a different title each year from April-October, followed by a public event with the author.
The book delves Michener-style into the natural history of the Great Lakes, taking you back 600 million years or so to a time when Northern Michigan lay beneath a saltwater sea, filled with critters whose exoskeletons would someday become our Petoskey stones.
But before you can grow bored with the Paleozic Era, Dennis skips to the recent past and his adventures getting seasick on his first tack with the Chicago-Mackinac Race; or the fun of crewing on the Malabar on its cruise along the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Monday, August 10, 2009

Unlocking the secret of Gloria Whelan

Books Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli Unlocking the World of Writer Gloria Whelan

By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli 8/10/09

The Locked Garden
By Gloria Whelan
Harper Collins - $15.99

I met up with writer Gloria Whelan at Horizon Books in Traverse City where she had come to do a book signing for her newest young adult novel, The Locked Garden. Gloria and I have a history that goes back a few years. I’d interviewed her often while sitting on the deck of her lovely home overlooking Oxbow Lake in Mancelona, watching deer come to drink on the shore and loons gliding past; and talking of literature, writing and writers through the afternoon hours.
I missed those afternoon teas we’d shared and, now that’s she’s moved to southern Michigan after the death of her husband, Joseph, I couldn’t help but ask if she missed Northern Michigan.
“I miss Oxbow Lake and the woods every day of my life,” she said. “I’ve never really left it. We travel, you know, with all kinds of worlds in our heads.”
One of the worlds inside Whelan’s head is one other fiction writers might only dream of. A couple of years ago her book, Homeless Bird, won a National Book Award, one of the most prestigious prizes in American Literature. She and her husband were in New York City for the presentations. “All the other winners went off for a night of partying and drinking,” she said at the time. “Joe and I went back to our hotel room.”
Evidently, life back in the woods outside of Mancelona doesn’t prepare one for dissipation and the high life.
Monday, August 10, 2009

Inside the heads of Generation X

Books Kelsey Lauer Inside the Heads of Generation X

By Kelsey Lauer 8/10/09

backpocket e-pistles
By Mike Darigan
Skellum Imaginations, Inc.
264 pages — $11

“It’s about getting off the track and onto something different, maybe not a road,” writes Josh Meritz, one of four young men in backpocket e-pistles.
And that is exactly what the four close friends — Mike Darigan, Josh Meritz, Cleveland Winfield and Perry Panzarella—proceed to do over the course of a year as they study at four different universities—step off the beaten path and onto one of their own making to escape the pressures of modern society and learn who they truly are.
Monday, July 27, 2009

Ripping the Lid Off the Writing Racket

Books Robert Downes Ripping the Lid Off the Writing Racket

By Robert Downes

How I Became a Famous Novelist
By Steve Hely
Black Cat Books
322 pages - $14

“When my career as a novelist began, my ambitions were simple: to learn
the con, make money, impress women, and get out.”
Monday, July 6, 2009

The world peace diet

Books Anne Stanton The World Peace Diet
Author: animal cruelty, waste & illness make our eating habits all wrong

By Anne Stanton 7/6/09

When Will Tuttle was still in high school some 35 years ago, he read a
book, Cosmic Consciousness, written in 1901. The book examined historic
figures such as Jesus and Buddha, who were able to attain unusual empathy
and compassion for all mankind. The author proposed that these powers of
transcendence could be achieved by others.
Monday, June 29, 2009

Deer Season

Books Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli DEER SEASON
By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli 6/29/09

Deer Season
By Aaron Stander
Writers & Editors, LLC

It is deer season in Northern Michigan and the area is caught (as if in amber) under an unusual blanket of snow. The roads are dangerous. Things are hidden in the snow — clues to attempted murder, then murder. Also hidden beneath the snow -- beneath the years in Cedar County, Michigan, beneath family facades -- are the old secrets and simmering hatreds about to explode during this hunting season.
In this new mystery from Traverse City writer, Aaron Stander, Sheriff Ray Elkins is recuperating from past injuries while confronting a group of suspects ranging from super-wealthy, international businessmen to your everyday saloon habitués; from barmaid and drunks to condescending lawyers.
Elkins has his work cut out for him: while returning from her morning yoga class, local anchorwoman Lynne Boyd is shot and wounded in front of her twin daughters and their French au pair.
Monday, June 22, 2009

At least in the city someone would hear me scream By Wade Rouse

Books Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli A Gay Green Acres
Set in Saugatuck
At Least in the City Someone Would Hear
Me Scream
By Wade Rouse
Harmony Books

By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli 6/22/09

You take comedian Stephen Colbert, throw in a generous dash of the guys from Queer Eye, and what you get is Wade Rouse’s hilarious new memoir, At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream - Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life.
Wade, and his partner, Gary, leave St. Louis to come live their dream life in the Michigan woods outside of Saugatuck, where they innocently run smack up against themselves, the culture of the north woods, and the problem of getting what they asked for and maybe not wanting it at all.
Monday, June 22, 2009

Like father, like son/ Elmore & Peter Leonard

Books Rick Coates Like Father,
Like Son
Elmore & Peter Leonard share a passion for writing

By Rick Coates 6/22/09

At the age of 83, crime novelist and pulp fiction master Elmore Leonard remains at the top of his game. Last month he released his 43rd novel, Road Dogs, that is currently on the New York Times Best Seller list. Leonard has built his 56-year writing career around his ability to let his characters “tell the story.”
Elmore Leonard will come to Northern Michigan on Sunday, June 28 as part of the new “Traverse City National Writers Series” created by author Doug Stanton and Traverse City attorney Grant Parsons. Leonard will be joined by his son Peter, who is following in his father’s footsteps. Both authors are currently touring in support of their latest novels. The evening of conversation will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the City Opera House. Proceeds will benefit the college-bound writing students in the Traverse City Area Public Schools and the Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools.
Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer‘s best beach reads

Books Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli Summer’s Best Beach Reads

By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli 6/15/09

A soft, summer day; a comfortable chaise lounge; a cold drink beside you, and a good book in your hands. It’s the stuff of winter dreams, but nothing can bring a bigger letdown than the wrong book; or one not perfect for a summer mood.
When I asked people about favorite beach reads, or when I spoke to Lois Orth at Horizon Books, or Deb Bull at the Kalkaska County Library, everyone felt strongly about their picks. Still, it is a matter of personal taste—some people want to be instructed, some want to catch up on books they’ve heard about all winter, some want to wallow in things they don’t usually read, and some want to simply slide into a book the way they might a warm pool on a sun-ridden day. The following books are among the most entertaining, memorable, or just plain fun, that have come out in the last couple of years.
Monday, June 1, 2009

Annie‘s Ghosts

Books Elizabeth Buzzelli A Family Secret Reveals Mental Illness and Death in
Annie’s Ghosts
Elizabeth Buzzelli 6/1/09

By Steve Luxenberg
Hyperion, $24.99

As family secrets go, maybe Steve Luxenberg’s isn’t the biggest. As obsessions go, maybe it is. Annie’s Ghosts, his investigative memoir, covers a lot of bases, from family secret to family secret; from family tragedy to tragedy, while along the way he raises as many questions as he answers. The biggest of these questions being why he wrote the book at all?
Before his mother, Beth Cohen, died, her long guarded secret came to light. She wasn’t the only child she’d always claimed to be. There was a sister, Annie Cohen, who died in a mental hospital. Beth told her children she didn’t remember the sister. After all, she’d only been four years old when Annie entered Eloise, near Detroit, an asylum for the insane.
When that proved to be a lie too, Luxenberg, began to delve into the reasons behind his mother’s now obvious subterfuge. He took a leave of absence from his job at the Washington Post and began this very personal trek which would take him from Depression era Detroit to the Holocaust in the Ukraine, and even more disturbing, to the mental facilities of the time, to the forced incarcerations, to moves to other facilities without as much as an announcement, let alone agreement.