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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Thursday, June 14, 2007

You gotta have art

Art Carina Hume You can visit at least one arts & crafts fair every weekend all summer long in Northern Michigan, many of which feature scores of talented local artists as well as those who travel all season long from across the country. Here’s the rundown on an art fair near you:

15 & 16: Cheboygan’s Annual Summer Arts & Crafts Show, 6/15, 4-9 p.m., 6/16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Washington Park.
23 & 24: Summer Solstice Art Show, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., East Park, Charlevoix
24: Old Towne Arts & Crafts Fair, Union Street, TC,10 a.m.-5 p.m.
30: Art Rapids! A juried fine arts fair with live music and kids’ events in Memorial Park, Elk Rapids. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. www.artrapids.org
30: Mackinaw City Juried Arts & Crafts Show, 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Conkling Heritage Waterfront Park
Thursday, May 3, 2007

Inner Vision: Mike Sincic

Art Tim Madison Mike Sincic’s paintings are remarkably realistic for a blind man’s. He paints...shockingly well. The paintings are idyllic: beaches, sunsets and other nature scenes. After seeing his work, it seems impossible at first that a man who gets around with a cane and the help of a friend’s elbow could have created these works of art. As I watch him -- sweeping his cane in a wide swath at the crosswalk outside the coffee shop where I am meeting him for an interview -- I can’t help but doubt. Are there many naysayers?
Thursday, April 26, 2007

Art Appeal: Gallery on Main

Art Carina Hume Northern Michigan plays host to a hotbed of talented artists, and Bay Harbor’s Gallery on Main is no exception. The gallery, open since Memorial Weekend 2005, boasts a tremendous variety of work – from pottery to prints to furniture to paintings – certain to please local residents and vacationers alike.
“We can hold about 25 artists,” says Larissa Flynn, gallery manager and artist herself. “About half are from the area, here year-round. The other half are kind of scattered around Michigan or spend their summers here.”
Large windows create a welcoming entry and the compact space is neatly arranged with groupings of artists’ work spread throughout the gallery.
“I try to have a wide range of things to appeal to many different tastes,” says Flynn. “We have abstracts, we’ve got bronze wildlife sculpture; we try to keep it Northern Michigan.”
Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Art of Africa comes to Dennos

Art The classic African masks, sculpture and jewelry at a new exhibit at the Dennos Museum Center may have the look of artifacts that could be hundreds or even thousands of years old, but their timeless quality continues to influence the creation of art in our own time and culture.
European encounters with the arts of the African peoples south of the Sahara desert profoundly influenced 20th century Western art, contributing to the styles of many noted artists, such as Picasso, who was known for using African mask forms in his paintings.
Thursday, January 25, 2007

Art as therapy

Art Danielle Horvath “The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place; from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

By Danielle Horvath

Self-expression has long been used to “unlock” emotions, resolve conflict, reduce stress, increase self-awareness and gain personal insight. In Benzie County, self-expression and the healing power of art are themes of a new show focusing on mental health.
Art as therapy is used to help children deal with grief; it is used in hospitals to aid patients in the healing process; in prisons to help inmates see another side of themselves; as a treatment in halfway houses and homeless shelters.
Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ice, Spice & more at Bay Harbor

Art Kristi Kates Ice sculptures are one of those art forms that are sometimes taken for granted, perhaps because they can just as easily show up on a cruise-ship buffet table or a wedding reception as at an art-specific event. But they are just as worthy of acclaim as art done in other mediums, and perhaps more difficult logistically than most of the others. 
Even for the creatively-inclined,  the av-erage person can’t just pick up a chunk of ice and start sculpting in order to get the kind of clear, sharply defined, beautiful results that are most desired. There are a wide variety of variables that go into ice sculpting, from temperature to the kind of ice used.
Thursday, January 11, 2007

He‘s a Magic Man

Art Carina Hume There’s been a lot of magic in Harry Colestock’s life: He helped put John Glenn Jr. into space, enabled surgeons to efficiently melt a knot at the end of a suture, and puts smiles on the faces of many with his magic act.
A resident of Walloon Lake, Harry’s magical beginnings go back to his childhood. Born in 1923, Colestock was a child of the Great Depression who quickly learned the value of work. When his father lost his job, the family sold their house, purchased a five-acre piece of property just west of Birmingham, and lived in a tent.
Thursday, December 28, 2006

C2 Gallery

Art Kristi Kates The C2 Gallery story actually starts with the Koucky Gallery, a gallery that was popular in Charlevoix from the late ‘80s up until 2005. 
Cheryl Carey had been working for the Kouckys since 2003 when they called her from their Florida location and told her to pack everything up and put it on sale as they had decided to close the gallery;  the Kouckys - Chuck and Nancy - had grown tired of the trek between their Charlevoix gallery and their Florida gallery every year, and they wanted to concentrate on their Florida location.  Cheryl Carey, along with her husband, Mike, whose family are good friends of the Kouckys - then saw an opportunity they couldn’t refuse.  “Yes,” Mike Carey confirms, “it just seemed like a great opportunity for us to do something we love.”
Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bug Art

Art One of the most bizarre things you’re likely to see this year (or any year) is the new installation of bug art at the Dennos Museum Center: “A Terrible Beauty: Compulsion and Repulsion,” which runs December 10-March 4.
The installation by artist Jennifer Angus features 5,500 exotic insects collected from around the world and arranged in compelling patterns.
Thursday, November 16, 2006

Art Guides, Docent Program

Art Carina Hume Twenty excited third-graders gather near the stairs in the Crooked Tree Arts Center’s lower level.
“Do you know what you’re going to see today?” asks Susan Sheets, a six-year veteran of the art center’s docent program and current co-chair.
Five hands shoot into the air. “Paintings,” says one student.
“Drawings,” says another.
Thursday, October 5, 2006

Fall for Art in Leelanau

Art Rick Coates  The Leelanau Peninsula is loaded with artistic talent and numerous galleries. Michigan’s little finger plans to showcase in two art events this weekend. Galleries and shops in Suttons Bay will host the first annual Suttons Bay Art Stroll on Friday, October 6. Several galleries throughout the Peninsula will participate in the second annual Fall for Art Friday through Sunday.
The Suttons Bay Art Stroll was born out of a reception planned by Michigan Artists Gallery owner Sue Ann Round.
Thursday, September 28, 2006

Art on the west wind

Art Kristi Kates The afternoon light in West Wind Atelier is a perfect complement to Elizabeth Pollie’s work.  Her paintings - which range in subject matter from horses to evocative scenery to detailed renditions of foreign shop windows - are hung at comfortable spacings on the pale gray walls, with white molding offsetting the artwork and objets d’art from Pollie’s travels adding interest to the room. 
It’s an environment that is as elegant and interesting as Pollie herself.  But that’s not to say the artist doesn’t have a sense of fun: friends, several of whom have been her painting subjects, pop in and out to say hello and laugh over shared stories and planned get-togethers almost as often as the never-ending stream of tourists who stop by to admire Pollie’s work.  And this entire Harbor Springs tableau may not have happened had Pollie not, as she puts it, “fallen in love with a great local guy.”
Thursday, September 7, 2006

A fish out of water...Rufus Snoddy

Art Anne Stanton As a black artist whose trademark work is a little edgy and urban, Rufus Snoddy is feeling out of place in Traverse City.
He warmly greeted me at his bi-level home nestled in a Williamsburg subdivision. It was a hot summer day and his little girl Maya and a friend were running in and out of the backyard sprinkler. It’s comfortable, to be sure, but a heck of a change for a guy who is used to living in a huge Los Angeles artist loft complex.
“I like it here, but originally, I didn’t want to move. I was used to L.A. I had quite a reputation there as a premie, up-and-coming West Coast artist. If I had stayed there, a lot of things would have happened. But L.A. was getting too big for me.”
Snoddy was introduced to the area by his wife, Robynn James, whose mother lives in Suttons Bay. He met James, a fundraising consultant, about 12 years ago at an art auction in Venice, CA.
“It was just magic — we talk about it all the time,” he said.
Thursday, September 7, 2006

An inventor/artist‘s career unfolds

Art Krista Hirr “I try to make my pieces unassuming to the viewer at first glance, then evolve the concept with further observation,” states John O’Hearn, a local artist specializing in kinetic art, metal and woodwork. O’Hearn’s style of art is unconventional, but functional. It’s postmodern, but comfortingly simple. It’s unexpected, but marked by a feeling of familiar excitement. Maybe like that of the day you got your first erector set.
As a child, O’Hearn always knew he wanted to create some sort of art, but it wasn’t until he enrolled at Kendall College of Art and Design that he began to hone in on his specialty. A recent graduate, he has moved back to his hometown of Traverse City to begin a promising career.
“I started young and I guess I had a thing for beds,” states O’Hearn of a few childhood creations. “My favorite design was inspired from the bouncing horse I had in my room at the time. It just made sense to attach large coiled springs to each corner of the mattress.” He also built a swinging bed that hung from the ceiling and a base for a bed that filled the entire room and was covered with twin-sized mattresses.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Masters of Glass

Art Kristi Kates From, as owner/artist Penny Kristo puts it, “one table, a little glass, and a lot of optimism,” Shadetree Studios in Petoskey has carved out a well-respected niche in the stained-glass industry that is still going strong 31 years into the business.
Shadetree’s work is stunning - a quick browse through the gallery on their website turns into a 20-minute visit as you marvel at the detail that Kristo and crew put into their work. Lifesized trees and flowers, animals, motifs that echo architectural details, symmetrical designs, abstract shapes, and influences spanning everything from the Great Northwoods to the Great American Southwest - are all rendered with plenty of care and talent in colored glass, lead, and other unusual materials. Kristo has an artistic eye, for sure, and applies those design sensibilities to her glasswork.