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, January 28, 2008

Russell Chatham

Art Glen D. Young Artist Russell Chatham may not have been able to attend the opening gala for his retrospective exhibition in Traverse City, but 23 of his most notable paintings certainly showed up. The paintings represent the collection of Ann Arbor area health care executive Randall Pittman and his wife Mary.
Gene Jenneman, director of the
Dennos Museum Center, where the paintings are featured, credits Harry and Piper Goldson with securing the display. The Goldsons, owners of Suttons Bay
Galleries, have worked with both
Monday, December 31, 2007

The artistic life of Chuck Forman

Art Priscilla Miller Chuck Forman’s interest in art was initially sparked by a seventh grade art teacher. She got him interested in oil painting, and after that, he was “hooked.” While attending Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan, he took courses in engineering and drafting, yet he also managed to get in three hours a day of art classes.
He began his career as an artist at the age of 17. When visiting his grandparents’ farm in the Traverse City area, he saw an ad in the local paper for an apprentice artist. He decided to answer the ad, and of the 72 applicants, Chuck was one of two selected for the job.
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Schooner Sails Again

Art Carina Hume In 2004, Petoskey’s Little Traverse Civic Theatre (LTCT) first presented The Christmas Schooner, a turn–of–the–century story of the Stossels, who sailed Lake Michigan in November to bring Christmas trees to families in fire–ravaged Chicago. The musical is based on a book by John Reeger, with music and lyrics by Julie Shannon.
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Allen Brown Art

Art Priscilla Miller When Allen Brown of Rapid City laid down his dental drill ten years ago and retired from his downstate dental practice, he was looking for something to do that would give him a sense of fulfillment. He knew he possessed artistic abilities, because dentistry requires skill and precision. But what to do?
Thursday, November 8, 2007

Jerry Gates

Art Rick Coates Artist Jerry Gates grew up in Bay City, where he drew on his passion for art by having the opportunity to take four years of art classes while in high school. As he prepares for an exhibition and an artist’s reception November 15th at Gallery Fifty that will include more than 80 works he has created over the past 20 years, he reflects on the state of art in the schools and the community.

“I was fortunate to be in school at a time when taking art classes and music classes was encouraged and valued,” said Gates. “In general, today we don’t look upon visual artists with the same esteem other countries do. I think this has somewhat to do with the dummying down of our appreciation for art.”
Gates isn’t angry and he doesn’t want to appear too cynical, yet his observations over the years have led him to believe that to a certain extent, the arts are headed in the wrong direction.
“Visual art takes concentration by the participant, unlike going to a concert or listening to pop music; no thought is really required for those things,” said Gates. “Most people today are unwilling to stand in front of a painting and spend the necessary time appreciating it and understanding what the artist has captured. This appreciation for art is not being taught like it used to be when I was growing up.”
He chuckles at the attention that pop musicians and actors on the big screen are given by society while many other great artists practically go unnoticed. However, he feels fortunate to be working as an artist in Northern Michigan, an area that he feels is one of the pockets in the country that does have an “appreciation and willingness to celebrate its artists.”
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Women in Art

Art Kristi Kates Friday, November 2 is the day for the Women In Art lecture, as put on by artcenter Traverse City - and if you’re at all interested in art, artists, or art education, you’ll want to be there. The event is part of artcenter’s lecture series, designed to introduce artists, art historians, and lecturers to the community to encourage conversation and collaboration.
“Last month, we hosted Joe DeLuca, who had a retrospective showing at Gallery 50 throughout October, and next month, in addition to Women in Art, we will be welcoming Ed Wong-Ligda to speak on the importance of public art,” Amy Packard, artcenter educational coordinator, explains. “The Women in Art lecture is the result of lecturer Patty Pelizzari’s passion for art and an interest in women artists specifically. Our hope is that, if interest warrants, we could continue this exploration on a monthly basis, like a book club or salon with art and artists as the focus.”
Thursday, August 9, 2007

The art of the guitar

Art Carina Hume Clay piggy bank artist Tyler Bier and girlfriend Anna Farrell have collaborated to offer a line of colorful, handmade, clay guitars at the Bier Art Gallery and Pottery Studio. A variety of mini guitar replicas are available for purchase, and a demonstration of the artists’ creative process will take place on Saturday, Aug. 11 at the gallery, located six miles south of Charlevoix.
Thursday, July 26, 2007

Murphy‘s Law

Art Rick Coates As artist Charles Murphy puts the final brush strokes on his latest work, “Dockside July,” he sits back and reflects on his 30 years of life and work in the Traverse City area.
Murphy is an artist of international acclaim and his work will be celebrated in a 30th anniversary exhibition titled “Full Circle” at the Twisted Fish Gallery in Elk Rapids. A collection of Murphy’s works will be exhibited starting July 27 with an artist reception from 6 to 8 p.m. and the show continuing through August 19.
Thursday, July 26, 2007

The art of the latte

Art Katie Huston “Coffee?” Noel Trapp offers before I’ve even pulled out my notepad. He looks like a beatnik poet in a shirt that says “Viva Barrista” over a skull and... crossbones? What are those, I ask?
“Portafilters,” he tells me. Portafilters? I don’t know this lingo; I only began drinking coffee a few months ago. And what is a barrista?
Portafilters hold the coffee grounds in an espresso machine. And a barrista is an expert at preparing espresso-based coffee drinks, I find out, as Trapp pours the frothy milk into my latte in a way that creates a foamy white heart on top.
Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mehndi Madness

Art Kristi Kates In the U.S., it’s typically called “henna tattooing” (although this term is quite incorrect–we’ll ex-plain in a minute) and it can be found everywhere from upscale galleries and cultural events to amusement parks, county fairs, and sidewalk vendors. But exactly what is it?
Well, the simplest ex-planation for Westerners is that it’s a trendy and beautiful form of body art that is most popular in the summer months, especially in resort areas like Northern Michigan. But henna’s history reaches much farther than a mere seasonal fad.
Thursday, July 19, 2007

Art rides a painted horse in Northport

Art Jolynn Paige Many would say that the village of Northport at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula has been in a bit of a slump over the past several years. Businesses have closed, including the town’s major employer, Leelanau Memorial Hospital. Families have been forced to move away due to lack of work, and the town’s school has seen a drop in enrollment.
But a renaissance is on the horizon, in the form of a declaration by the prolific and populous art community of Northport shouting out, “We are here. We love this place and we’re not going anywhere. Come join us!”
Woody Palmer, for example, is undaunted by stories of doom and gloom.
Thursday, July 5, 2007

Photographic fundraiser clicks for Holly Nelson

Art Katie Hudson Local photographer Holly Nelson loves to capture the light. “I always look for the right lighting, which is what photography is all about,” she says.
The 27-year-old Honor native has recently come out of a dark time in her life. Last December, she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on her pancreas.
It was an islet cell tumor, a rare form of cancer that affects about one in a million people, doctors told her. It usually strikes men and older people, and it doesn’t run in Nelson’s family, which made her case even more unusual.
Thursday, July 5, 2007

Benjamin Maier Ceramics

Art Robert Downes Peer beyond the elegant storefront windows of Benjamin Maier’s gallery in downtown Leland and you’ll find a contemporary landscape of swirling colors, captured in clay.
The gallery walls are filled with Maier’s creations, ranging from Oriental teapots to vases, cups, dishware and stoneware pots, all imbued with a dreamy sense of style and color. It’s clear at a glance that Maier, 29, has a singular vision that brings out the best of what clay has to offer, draped in a sublime range of glazes and colors.
Maier’s celebration of the earth happened by chance. After graduating from Traverse City Central High School in 1996, he attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, completing a degree in political science with a minor in economics.
Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Ripple Effect

Art The glory of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore is revealed with maximum impact at the new Ripple Effect Studio and Gallery in the Village of Empire.
The gallery provides a summer worksite and exhibit space for acclaimed large format photogra-pher Jeff Ripple. A resident of Naples, Florida, the photographer has exhibited in more than a dozen solo and group museum exhibits, won numerous awards nationwide, and has authored nine books of natural history.
Thursday, June 14, 2007

Echoes of the past:Artists North

Art Carina Hume t’s 88 degrees out and glass blower, Lynn Dinning, is standing in front of a 2,100 degree furnace. Talk about suffering for her craft...
A former member of Artists North, the once-vibrant group which got its start in the 1970s, Dinning, as well as Northern Michigan’s arts community, has learned to evolve.
Formed in 1975, Artists North was the most widely known artist group in Northern Michigan at the time, promoting artists from Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet counties.