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 17, 2011

Digital Art at the Dennos

Art Robert Downes Digital Art at the Dennos: Korean artist Lee nam Lee brings classic paintings to life 1/17/11
Blending digital technology with classic paintings of the East and West is the challenge of Lee nam Lee, whose exhibition “A Conversation Between Monet and Sochi” will run at the Dennos Museum Center through March 27.
A sculptor by background and a master of digital technology, Lee nam Lee brings wall-sized paintings to life, even to the point of interacting with other paintings.
In the exhibit’s main work, a waterscape painting by French impressionist Claude Monet (1840-1926) is projected side-by-side with a water scene by Korean artist Sochi (1803-1893) on a 40-foot-wide wall. Other than their shared use of water, the paintings are completely different in style. Yet by using digital technology, Lee nam induces the paintings to move and interact.
Monday, November 29, 2010

Cogs Creek Collective

Art Al Parker Cog’s Creek Collective : Offers New Art Gallery & Café
By Al Parker
Kim Bazemore smiles widely, wipes her hands on a rag and talks about her latest project of turning a neglected building into a home for creative art and artists. “It’s been a lot of work over a long time, but it’s coming together,” she says, her voice rising with excitement.
“It” is the Cog’s Creek Collective, a 6,000-square-foot building in Traverse City’s “Little Bohemia” neighborhood, tucked behind the popular Lil Bo Pub & Grille on North Maple Street.
The former home of Coddington Cleaners, the building now houses an art gallery for Bazemore’s gold and silver jewelry creations, an eatery, a clothing designer, a knife sharpening workshop and room for more artisans.
A grand opening celebration is set for Friday, Dec. 3 at the century-old building that took about a year to renovate. About 10 artists are expected to display their creations – paintings, photography, furniture, modern art quilts, ornaments and more. It’ll be catered by their neighbor, Lil Bo Pub & Grille.
Monday, November 15, 2010

Jill‘s Gallery

Art Erin Cowell Five Friends in Art: Jill’s Gallery offers a fall open house
By Erin Crowell
Unlike most art sales that bring the work of several strangers
together, the Second Annual Fall Open House & Art Sale combines the
work of five sisters and friends. Expect lots of color and variety
when these five Northern Michigan female artists present their work in
support of a local cause at the Second Annual Fall Open House & Art
Sale at Jill’s Studio, in Traverse City, on Saturday, Nov. 20, from 9
a.m.-5 p.m.
Monday, October 25, 2010

Sutton Foster

Art Kristi Kates Sutton Foster Brings Broadway to TC
By Kristi Kates
Actress, singer, dancer, and Broadway conqueress Sutton Foster may have been raised in Troy, Michigan, but it didn’t take long for this ambitious talent to find her way to Broadway.
She actually left Troy High School early (snagging her degree via correspondence courses) to join a national musical tour - and it was goodbye, Michigan, and all about the big stage and the Great White Way from that point on.
After a few false starts in the form of auditioning for The Mickey Mouse Club and as a contestant on the Ed McMahon-helmed American Idol talent show precursor Star Search, Foster found herself in her first Broadway role, as the lead role of Sandy in the musical Grease in 1996. She quickly followed with a trio of other well-known Broadway plays - The Scarlet Pimpernel, Annie, and Les Miserables, in which she alternated between lead and support spots.
In her first “big” Broadway role - which she took over from former lead Erin Dilly in Thoroughly Modern Millie - the New York Post called her “cutely agreeable”; Newsday compared her to a young Carol Burnett; and Time Magazine said that she had “Broadway brass” and the lungs to go with it. Small wonder, then, that Foster would win the 2002 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical - but that was only the beginning.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dancing to documents

Art Gretchen Eichenberger Dancing to Documents : An American Heritage
By Gretchen Eichberger
What do you know about your heritage? Many Americans begin their answer with their place of family origin, recalling some handed-down lore, wondering at what they don’t know and perhaps even recall some local history—their own as far as they know. They will leave it at that. When you cast your vote in this upcoming election, will you reflect on your American heritage? Does your vote keep up with the legacy that your ancestors intended, or has it changed? How does dance relate to these questions? Can it? I submit to you that attending American Document a dance–drama inspired by the legendary choreographer and dancer, Martha Graham, might give you pause to re-evaluate the value and meaning of our American heritage and citizenship.
Monday, October 4, 2010

David Grath

Art Robert Downes David Grath captures the Spirit of the Land
By Robert Downes
Painter David Grath has a funny story about his earliest days in
Leelanau County.
“I came up to Leland in 1957 and was wandering around Fishtown Harbor
with no place to stay,” he recalls. “Then I found this big
hollowed-out log on the beach just south of the harbor and I crawled
in with my sleeping bag and spent the night there.
Monday, October 4, 2010

Devo this

Art Rick Coates Devo This: The Art of Mark Mothersbaugh
By Rick Coates
While Mark Mothersbaugh might not be a household name, his work
certainly is. From his work as the lead singer of Devo (“Whip It,
“Through Being Cool,” “Jocko Homo,”) to producing the jingles from
hundreds of commercials (Hawaiian Punch, Hershey’s, Coca-Cola,
McDonald’s, Nike, and Toyota) and several movie and TV soundtracks and
theme songs (Rugrats, PeeWee’s Playhouse), Mothersbaugh is near the
front of every Rolodex in Hollywood.
Monday, August 30, 2010

Mike Curths

Art Kristi Kates Mike Curths: Art’s InsideOut Man Warehouse District gallery renovated & ready
By Kristi Kates
It’s been five years in April since Mike Curths “hung a shingle,” as
he simply puts it, and began what is now one of Traverse City’s
must-see, most eclectic art galleries.
Monday, August 9, 2010

Welcome to SOBO

Art Kristi Kates Welcome to SOBO: Northern Michigan’s hip new destination
By Kristi Kates
Barrios, quarters, districts, arrondissements, neighborhoods. No
matter what you call them or what geographic location you’re in,
chances are if you’re reading this, you’re part of a neighborhood in
your own community.
Monday, July 19, 2010


Art Kristi Kates Niagara Brings ‘Dangerous’ Art from Detroit
By Kristi Kates
Detroit performer Niagara isn’t one to pull punches. When asked how she feels about beating Lady Gaga to the scene - Niagara was doing avant garde performance art long before Gaga was even born - she bluntly replied, “I’m not about to jump on the Gaga bandwagon. She’s doing fine without me promoting her anyway.”
Niagara isn’t known for her subtlety. And that seems to be part of the flamboyant persona she’s fashioned for herself.
Monday, June 14, 2010

The Art Crowd Gets Serious

Art Robert Downes The Art Crowd Gets Serious: ArtisanDesign Network offers a bold new venture in TC
By Robert Downes
Walk into the new ArtisanDesign Network Cooperative Gallery on Front Street in downtown Traverse City and it’s not hard to imagine that you’re in an upscale gallery in New York City or Chicago.
The new gallery is a bold yet thoughtful venture embarked upon by more than 40 of the region’s top artists and artisans. Committed to the exhibition of fine art, the gallery aims to elevate Northern Michigan’s art scene into the rare air of national significance.
In other words, don’t expect to find Petoskey stone knick-knacks, paintings of old barns, faux impressionist harbor scenes and other staples of the Northern Michigan art scene. The gang at the ArtisanDesign Network are gunning for glory with serious art, and are laying serious cash on the line to see that their work reaches the public.
Monday, May 24, 2010


Art Erin Crowell ConTEXTure: Dennos offers a marriage of poetry & sculpture
By Erin Crowell
At first glance, the ConTEXTure sculptures currently on display at the Dennos Museum Center look like a mess, thrown together by a five-year-old with way too much glue and freedom. They are convoluted works of art, colorful pieces held together by strands of wire, paint and other (sometimes unidentifiable) household objects.
Chaos, you could say.
But look closer and you will understand the amount of thought and work that went into each piece; how the web of strands seem to suspend, hold and balance each work. Every sculpture is accompanied by a poem, words that hold that same intricacy and consideration.
Sculptor Bill Allen and poet Fleda Brown combined their arts to create ConTEXTure: A Conversation Between Artists in Two Forms. Now on display through June 13 at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, the exhibit is a marriage – one medium giving voice to the other.
Monday, May 3, 2010

Chalice of Fire

Art Jeffray N. Kessler Chalice of fire
In his convictions and his art, John T. Unger is a man of steel
By Jeffray N. Kessler
As he discusses art on the porch of his home outside of Mancelona, a
roofline shadow cast by the high afternoon sun splits sculptor John
Unger in half. The image is emblematic of a man whose talents are
bringing him success on two fronts. He is an internationally renowned
metal sculptor as well as a custom website consultant.
Monday, April 26, 2010

Lewis and Clark

Art Kristi Kates Lewis and Clark make the trek to Petoskey
By Kristi Kates
During the first few years of the 1800s, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark embarked on the first serious overland expedition taken across the United States. Now, those intrepid explorers are making a trip to Petoskey with an exhibit at the public library.
With help from Sacajawea (a Shoshone woman who acted as interpreter and guide) and her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, Lewis and Clark helped set the groundwork for the westward expansion of the U.S., and traveled through many sovereign Indian nations along the way.
They weren’t the first to explore the American West; but they were the first scientific expedition that did so in an official capacity. Their voyage of discovery and the culture of Native America will be celebrated at the Petoskey exhibit.
Monday, January 11, 2010

Robert Frost Stops by the Woods at Crooked Tree

Art Glen Young Robert Frost ‘Stops by the Woods’ at Crooked Tree
By Glen Young
Gail DeMeyere could not be more excited about her upcoming exhibition.
DeMeyere, curator at Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center, has
put together “Stopping by Woods on a
Snowy Evening,” a mixed media presen-tation that takes the Robert Frost
poem of the same name as its unifying theme, combining the literature with
the art work of 16 Northern Michigan artists.