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, June 16, 2014

Shows, Walks & Fairs

Art Al Parker Art lovers on the prowl for a special painting, sculpture or pottery can find a high quality show almost every weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day across northern Michigan. Here are details on some of the most popular shows and art fairs across the region.
Monday, June 16, 2014

Art to be ‘Used and Abused’

Art Al Parker Growing up in Petoskey, Jason Thelen dreamed of being a surfer and riding the big saltwater waves. But fate kept him near fresh water, so he adapted accordingly and began building custom standup paddleboards that “take the big lake’s little waves,” he said.
Monday, May 19, 2014

Tackling MultiMedia in a New Way

Art Al Parker THE STORY BEHIND MY ART, MY INSPIRATION I hope people will see the connection between the use of things that might otherwise be discarded and the pollution of our waterways. An annual percentage of the sales from our fish help support environmental groups.
Monday, May 12, 2014

Small Things With Great Love

Art Al Parker Some of Liza Fillmore’s greatest works are no more than a half-inch square. The watercolor and acrylic artist paints her tiny naturescapes as a way to deal with the world’s suffering.
Monday, May 5, 2014

She’s a Natural

The works of Emmet County artist T.L. Baumhardt often include lush green plants, earthy mushrooms, colorful flowers and – almost always – fairies.

Art Al Parker “I’ve always been fond of fairies, but I must say that I did not consciously choose to paint fairies for a living,” she explains. “They seemed to somehow flutter into my life in a time of need, offering much healing and a fantastic channel for creative expression.
Monday, April 21, 2014

The Glass Master

Glass mosaic artist Brian Strickland bucks all kinds of trends. He doesn’t own a computer … or a car.

Art Al Parker My art form of glass mosaics originates from a desire and commitment to transform a ‘concept’ into a ‘tangible reality.’ Frequently my inspiration stems from a particular subject or theme, and on other occasions my imagination is fueled by the scale of a project or dominant color scheme.
Monday, April 14, 2014

Heavy Metal

As a Detroit-area sculpture student, David Petrakovitz sold his first piece to Mrs. Edsel Ford.

Art Al Parker Growing up in the Motor City during the heyday of the automotive industry, Petrakovitz developed an avid interest in industrial machinery. He says he sees the raw beauty in their functions and their forms. He features gears, wheels and levers prominently in his creations.
Monday, April 7, 2014

Divinely Inspired

As a Catholic schoolgirl in Dearborn, Michelle St. Amant would sit in church services, gazing on the beautiful alabaster figures of saints behind the altar.

Art Al Parker At the age of 10, a friend’s mother invited me to attend an art class at the civic center. We were each given a small lump of clay and told to create whatever we chose with it. I had been fixated on becoming a nun, so I placed my hands at work molding my shapeless mass of clay into a small version of one.
Monday, March 31, 2014

A Life of Fiber

Insurance was a less than perfect fit for Marcia Koppa, who left her job when the urge to get creative struck her.

Art Al Parker “About 15 years ago, I felt a real need to do something artistic,” said Koppa, who lives just outside of Grayling. “I tried sketching and found out I couldn’t sketch. So if I couldn’t sketch, how could I possibly paint?” Koppa turned to weaving, turning out hundreds of scarves, vibrant table runners and wall hangings.
Monday, August 29, 2011

Todd Warner's Zoo Charlevoix sculptor loves animals & 'sophisticated whimsey'

Art Al Parker In his downtown Charlevoix studio, sculptor Todd Warner puts flame to his first Dominican Excalibur cigar of the day, exhales a plume of fragrant smoke and recalls his early artistic efforts.
“I was always drawing stuff,” he says with a chuckle. “From the time I could pick up a pencil. My kindergarten teacher said ‘We need to foster this.’”
Decades later, Warner’s clay-and-wood works include life-size cowboys, Indians, butlers and fishermen. He has a special affinity for animals and crafts unique beasts from armadillos to zebras.
“I’ve always loved animals,” says Warner, who grew up in Farwell, near Clare. “And I really like the more interesting animals – wart hogs, rhinos – not the sleek one. I spent some time in Africa and really want to go back.”
Described as ‘sophisticated whimsy,’ his works can be found in lobbies, living rooms, zoos, museums, offices and airports across the nation. His creations are cornerstones of collections at the corporate headquarters of USA Today, McDonald’s, Gannett Publishing and Detroit Tigers and Little Caesar’s owner Mike Illitch.
Celebrities who own at least one of Warner’s works include Randy Travis, David Copperfield, Kelly McGillis, Charlie Gibson and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Monday, August 15, 2011

Photo Replay

Art Al Parker Steve Ballance says his interest in photographic processes is comparable
to the ancient practice of alchemy where the wizard attempted to turn base
metals into gold.
For decades, he’s been intrigued by how one’s perception is changed by the
processes that translate subject matter to the viewer.
Monday, August 8, 2011

Bird‘s eye view/Aerial photography

Art Glen Young Bird’s eye view: Aerial photography exhibit soars in Petoskey
By Glen Young
Robert Cameron always took the bird’s eye view. Cameron, whose works are
currently on display at Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center gallery,
popularized the aerial vantage point in his many “Above” books. His
first, “Above San Francisco,” was published in 1969. He went on to
publish 16 more in the series. There are more than three million “Above”
books in print.
Monday, August 1, 2011

Anna Farrell & Tyler Bier

Art Al Parker A high school project has turned into a creative, popular line of detailed
ceramic guitars produced by Charlevoix artisans Anna Farrell and Tyler
“I made one that was about two-feet high, a Fender, for a class project
years ago,” recalls the 24-year-old Bier, who has seven real guitars of
his own. “After that I just started making them, though smaller.”
For about two years, both Bier and Farrell constructed the guitars, but
now she specializes in the axes, while Bier has moved on to more
functional ceramics like dishes, mugs, piggy banks and serving bowls.
“Anna’s guitars are a lot neater (than mine),” says Bier with a smile.
“She’s incredibly talented and precise. I stick to the wheel now.”
Monday, August 1, 2011

Paul Van Heest

Art Kristi Kates Motivated by a couple of politely persistent emails and a recommendation
from a print company, Kuhlhaus Gallery owner Tim Coon remembers first
discovering the artwork of Paul VanHeest.
Monday, August 1, 2011

Cycling Salamander

Art Kristi Kates As a child in the ’70s, I used to spend hours looking for salamanders
along Lake Charlevoix, where my parents had a cottage on the south arm,”
says Rebecca Glotfelty, owner of the Cycling Salamander gallery in
Charlevoix. “The gallery’s name stems from my childhood love for
salamanders, and my love for mountain biking.”