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, September 15, 2008

The Bellstone revisits Gallery 544

Art Robert Downes Marcia Bellinger will be bringing back some familiar faces for the Sept. 19 Art Walk in downtown Traverse City. Dan Oberschulte, former owner of Gallery 544, and many of the artists he used to feature there, will be the focus of Bellinger’s show at her Belstone Gallery.
“The Art Walk is a wonderful event, with all the downtown art galleries,” Bellinger said. “I do a show every Artwalk. Most are up two weeks to a month. This display will run through the end of October.”
In addition to Oberschulte, the “Gallery 544 Revisited” show will feature Mary Fuscaldo, Joe De Luca, Jerry Gates, Dorothy Grow, Dan Heron, Joe Stearns, Angela Saxon, Flora Stuck, Nancy Hoffman, Billie Hoxie and Julie Pearson.
Monday, September 1, 2008

Richard Schemm

Art Robert Downes Walk into Richard Schemm’s studio in a cool forest valley west of Traverse City and you’ll be pleasantly overwhelmed by color and creative energy. Dozens of small paintings hang on the wall, surrounded by larger works in colors as vibrant and alive as the neon of butterfly wings.
Schemm’s paintings have a distinct sense of depth. They contain veils, swirls, canyons and fissures that lead your eye ever deeper into the work. You get the sense that there is a ‘story’ within each painting, and if you go deep enough, your imagination will be fired with visions of what’s around the next bend in the canvas. There is a sublime power here -- and energy -- that goes far beyond other examples of abstract art in Northern Michigan.
“There’s a lot of storytelling in my work,” says Schemm, 56, whose personal intensity is as vibrant as his work. “In a way, these are not ‘abstract’ paintings. They’re abstract compared to realism, but they aren’t without content that informs.”
Monday, September 1, 2008

Tale of the Totem

Art Priscilla Miller For as long as Al McShane can remember, he has had a fascination with totem poles.
Al retired as a plumbing inspector from the city of Detroit several years ago and moved to Rapid City. He then took a part-time job as a plumbing inspector for Antrim County. During the summer months he enjoyed working in his perennial gardens, but when winter arrived, he was left looking for something to do in his spare time.
Although he had never carved anything in his life, McShane thought that someday he would like to make a totem pole. He began to research the subject. He learned that since the Indians of the Pacific Northwest and lower Alaska had no written language, they carved their family history and tribal legends into tall poles made of native red cedar.
Monday, September 1, 2008

The Push-Pin Man

Art Al Parker Traverse City artist Eric Daigh is not only passionate about his creative works, he’s also intent on earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
While other artists typically work in oils, watercolors or charcoal, Daigh has chosen to express his abilities through a very unusual medium – push pins, those run-of-the-mill, plastic colored pins that are jabbed into bulletin boards in offices around the world.
“We’ve applied to the Guinness book for ‘The Most Push Pins Applied by an Individual,’” says Daigh, an affable, energetic artisan whose lifelike character portraits are catching eyes at the
InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City.
Monday, August 18, 2008

A certain irony for jeweler Alice Landis

Art Priscilla Miller How does one choose a direction in art? For Alice Armstrong Landis, it came down to filling a need.
Alice was living in Biggerville, Pennsylvania, and had been teaching art for 10 years, when a friend invited her to “come along” to a meeting of artists in the area. During the meeting each person in attendance was asked to introduce themselves and tell what their media was. “When it was my turn I told them I wasn’t sure -- that it might be pottery, weaving, or jewelry,” Landis says. “When I learned there were 12 potters, 13 weavers and no jewelers in the group, the choice was easy.”
Monday, August 4, 2008

Charlevoix Art Fair

Art Carina Hume Fine art treasures and a lakefront setting make Charlevoix’s Waterfront Art Fair a summer crowd-pleaser. Returning to the newly-completed downtown East Park on the shores of Charlevoix’s Round Lake, the art fair is celebrating its 50th anniversary on August 9.
Nearly 130 artists from as far away as Florida and New York offer visitors one-of-a-kind pieces. “The artists juried into the show present a range of art that is affordable to the first time art buyer and also includes pieces that are desired by the experienced art collector,” says Mary Beth McGraw, director of the art fair and president of the Charlevoix Council for the Arts.
Monday, July 28, 2008

Tom & Carole Bowker

Art Rick Coates Sculptor Tom Bowker fell in love with the Leelanau Peninsula the first time he visited in the early ’70s. He knew someday this would be his home and the place that he and his wife Carole would further their artistic endeavors. That day finally arrived 13 years ago.
“I remember that day in the early ’70s. I had come to visit our good friends the Leinbachs who owned and operated Camp Innisfree near Pyramid Point,” said Tom Bowker. “I immediately called Carole and said: ‘You wouldn’t believe the beauty up here.’ We took baby steps towards creating a living environment here that would house not only us, but our studio and gallery.”
The Bowkers will play host this Saturday, August 2 at 6 p.m. to an “Unveiling Party” at their By The Bight Art Gallery and Studio near Northport.
By The Bight Studio opened five years ago, though the Bowker’s originally owned a gallery in Northport for eight years. They currently rent the gallery to another artist, who is taking a similar path as the Bowkers.
Both Tom and Carole are artists. They see themselves as explorers, travelers and communicators with their works. The Bowkers both work in multiple mediums. Tom’s primary focus, however, has been sculpting, and this weekend’s “Unveiling Party” will showcase his talent.
Monday, July 14, 2008

Artists reach out to Guatemalan children

Art Area artists are lending their talents to help provide hope and opportunity to children of families who work and live at the Guatemala City garbage dump.
The dump is Central America’s largest land fill. The size of several football fields, the dump is in a deep ravine filled with everything from household trash to medical waste from Guatemala City’s two million residents. It oozes with toxic chemicals and methane gas. Vultures circle overhead creating a surreal scene of unimaginable poverty.
Last April, a number of local artists visited a virtual dump constructed at Higher Grounds Trading Company in Traverse City and viewed, “Recycled Life,” a documentary chronicling the lives of thousands of people who make their living scavenging at the dump.
Monday, July 14, 2008

Miracle Productions unveils a Phantom

Art Rick Coates Every town has its “best kept secrets,” and certainly Northern Michigan is no exception. One of these is Miracle Productions. This local production company is now in its fourth season of offering
off-Broadway productions here in Northern Michigan.
This week Traverse City-based Miracle Productions will present Yeston & Kopit’s “Phantom” at the Milliken Auditorium, located within the Dennos Museum on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College. “Phantom” will be performed July 17-19 and July 24-26.
Monday, June 9, 2008

Get your Art-Off

Art Rick Coates Seldom does one get to watch an artist in the creative process. Rather, the public typically only sees or hears the completed work. Creating a work of art is usually done in private without time constraints. Imagine telling Picasso that he would have only three hours to complete a painting.
But that is exactly what Sean Tobin and Skyler Nelles, organizers of the first ArtOff in Traverse City, will be doing this Saturday night.
Monday, June 9, 2008

Take a walk for art

Art Kristi Kates Put some of the best promotional minds of Petoskey together, add a little “gotta have art,” and what do you get? Petoskey’s annual Gallery Walk, now in its ninth year as one of downtown’s favored events for locals and tourists alike.
It only takes a quick stroll through Petoskey’s quaint downtown area to see that there’s a strong art presence, especially where landscape art (a big draw for visitors) is concerned; if you’ve ever wanted your walls to capture every single mood of the bay and the surrounding area, you could certainly do that by acquiring art from Petoskey’s extensive selection of galleries.
Monday, June 9, 2008

The Mackinac Seven

Art Glen Young Mackinac Island has long been a haven for artists. Photographers and painters have regularly found the Island’s rocky outlines inspiration for intense study. The surrounding waters and green spaces have lured artists since the 17th century.
So the development of the Mackinac Seven, a loose association of painters who depict the changing views of the historic island, is not hard to understand. Marta Olson, who has lived part of her year on Mackinac Island since the 1960s, describes the Mackinac Seven as a “group of friends who just started painting together and hanging out together.”
Monday, April 28, 2008

Del Michel‘s Abstract World

Art Rick Coates This weekend, Gallery Fifty will open its three-month exhibition titled “The Ways of Seeing: The Abstract Art of Jennifer Gardiner Lam, Delbert Michel and Debra Lanning.” The exhibition will kick off Saturday, May 3 with an artists’ reception from 6-9 p.m. in the Mercato (lower level) of Building 50 at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.
Artist Delbert Michel, who spent 39 years as a professor of art at Hope College in Holland, took time to answer a few questions and offer his reflections and observations on the world of art. Michel moved to Northern Michigan in 2003 and opened up a working studio/gallery in downtown Traverse City. While he doesn’t keep gallery hours, people do track him down in his somewhat hard-to-find studio located in the alley near Jack’s Market and The House of Doggs.
Monday, April 21, 2008

Kim Krumrey

Art Carina Hume Fun, funky and colorful is how Petoskey potter Kim Krumrey describes her art – a nearly accurate description of the artist herself. With her hair in ponytails, a cap on her head and a colorful, patterned self-made scarf around her neck, Krumrey appears to be the epitome of her work.
A Traverse City native since she was 10 years old, Krumrey still considers the area home. She attended Western Michigan University – with a stint at Northwestern Michigan College her sophomore year with classes in graphic design. Back at Western in her junior year, she realized commercial art wasn’t for her.
“I don’t really like to compromise when it comes to my artwork,” Krumrey says with a laugh. Her focus shifted to ceramics, and in 1993 she completed her Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in art, and settled in Petoskey, unsure of what to do with her life.
Monday, April 21, 2008

The Art Of Austin

Art Carina Hume When David K. Austin left Marquette in 1994 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Northern Michigan University in hand, he was searching for snow. An avid cross country skier, he wanted to live where he could pursue both of his passions. Petoskey was his compromise, and he’s built a career in art along the way.
“At the time, I was skiing heavily – cross country skiing,” says Austin, who ran the Boyne Highlands Cross Country Ski Program for five seasons. “It was the closest I could get to the sculptures I was doing in southern Michigan, but still ski.”