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, October 27, 2014

The Lord of the Gourd

Art Kristi Kates Sometimes artistic success arrives with time, patience and focus. Other times, it shows up almost by accident. Pat Harrison of Leelanau County shares the story of his coincidental journey from graphic designer to pumpkin-carving expert.
Monday, October 27, 2014

Taking the Wheel

Art Al Parker After graduation, Bechler landed a job teaching art in Onsted, Michigan before moving to Benzie County in 2000, where he now teaches art at Benzie Central Middle School. During his non-teaching hours, Bechler and his wife Stacey team up to create colorful, creative clay pieces.
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Twisted Vines and Hanging Vessels

Art Ross Boissoneau A spin-off from last year’s Manistee Arts Institute’s multi-media exhibition, Twisted Vines and Hanging Vessels runs Oct. 24 through Nov. 2. The 2013 exhibit included glass, pottery, fiber arts and photography.
Monday, October 6, 2014

Galleries Host Tour During Color Season

Art Ross Boissoneau On Sunday, a closing reception is held at 3pm at Lake Street Studios in Glen Arbor. At that reception, those who have visited each of the participating shops are eligible for a drawing. Each gallery donates a piece of art, with as many winners as there are participating galleries.
Monday, September 29, 2014


Artist’s Creative Journey Continues with Exploration of Aquatic Landscapes

Art Al Parker Using maps as her templates, Brown weaves, sews and paints cotton and other fabrics to display aerial views of the Betsie, Manistee and Boardman rivers as they meander over the northern Michigan landscape. She has also captured the shapes of Big and Little Glen lakes.
Monday, September 22, 2014

No Judging These Books’ Covers

Art Al Parker To Pam Yee, books are more than what’s printed in them. The Benzie County artist uses old books as an art medium to collage, glue, paint, burn and fold.
Monday, September 1, 2014

Art That’s Worth the Wait

Art Al Parker What has also been a profound inspiration is painting with others. My husband and I spend time in San Miguel, Mexico every year where opportunities abound in our community to gather in an artist’s studio, with five or six other artists to paint and provide support, input, and inspiration.
Monday, August 25, 2014

Driftwood Art Fools Mother Nature

Art Al Parker Using white cedar, poplar or choke cherry, Rollings carves, sands and paints three to five pieces at a time. He has a huge pile of driftwood drying outside his shop. Common subjects are blue herons, salmon, geese, sandhill cranes, ducks and other waterfowl.
Monday, August 18, 2014

Winging It

Six years ago, a trained potter dropped everything and flocked to a different sort of artistic expression.

Art Al Parker

Now, Leelanau County artist Van Wilson has truly gone to the birds. Over the past six or seven years, Wilson has created dozens of multi-media pieces featuring crows, magpies, and ravens. Many are whimsical, but all reflect his wit, wisdom and love of the American Southwest.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Painting With Yarn

Art Al Parker

An encounter with a yarn rug in Leland hooked artist Michelle Mueller on an entirely new – and old – kind of needlecraft. Now, the punch needle rug-hooking enthusiast has her own studio and is teaching others how to make their own.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Catching Light With Pastels

Art Al Parker I began in oil, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, and found I couldn’t stop. I had to try everything. I was fortunate to be able to study under some of the most wonderfully talented and supportive fine art instructors, several from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
Monday, July 7, 2014

Drawn to Nature

Art Al Parker As a child, landscape painter Sue Bowerman marinated in myriad art forms. “My mother and grandmother were both artists so I grew up around woodcarvings, portraits and landscape paintings,” said the Traverse City painter, who grew up in Buffalo, N.Y.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tiny Town - An Artists’ Mecca

Tucked in tiny Cross Village is a gem of an arts studio where color and imagination reign supreme.

Art Ross & Cathy Boissoneau Fabric arts workshops include open studio woodblock sessions, which are held every Wednesday in July and August. These offer insights and instruction on how to use a wide variety of woodblocks and textile paints on cotton. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the studio offers instruction for Shibori-Indigo and Batik-Indigo during dropin studio time.
Monday, June 23, 2014

“The Land of Delight”

Art Al Parker Sorensen’s newest specialty is a series of eye-catching masks. Using mannequin faces as templates, they are created in her former garage-turned-studio that now houses two working looms. Her work schedule has been interrupted lately by her caring for ill friends, but she tries to keep a steady fl ow of projects underway.
Monday, June 16, 2014

Third Career. Limitless Perspective.

Frankfort painter Ellie Harold never intended to become an artist for her third career.

Art Al Parker She started her working life as a registered nurse, caring for patients in an intensive care unit. Later she became an ordained Unity minister, leading a church she pioneered in Atlanta. About a dozen years ago, Harold picked up a paint brush and began creating landscapes and still lifes that vibrate with color.