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, November 30, 2009

An old ice house makes history as Stafford‘s Gallery

Art Kristi Kates An Old Ice House
Makes History as Stafford’s Gallery
By Kristi Kates
Getting creative with an historic building was a challenge at first for Stafford’s Hospitality in Petoskey.
Stafford’s purchased the former Longton Hall Antiques building in the fall of 2007, as a “natural addition” to its Perry Hotel, according to Stafford’s Lisa Wilbur. Located adjacent to the Perry’s parking lot, ideas on what to do with the building were many, but a decision had yet to be made.
Monday, November 9, 2009

The treasure hunter: Fred Hiebert

Art Anne Stanton The treasure hunter: Fred Hiebert
Anne Stanton 11/9/09
The Treasure Hunter
Fred Hiebert rediscovered 21,000 pieces of lost
gold in Afghanistan

By Anne Stanton

As an archaeologist, Fred Hiebert has been under house arrest in Turkmenistan and narrowly escaped a chemical fire in Moscow. On his last visit to Afghanistan, his hotel windows cracked and broke from a bomb going off nearby. But one of his scariest moments was right here in Michigan, working along the I-75 freeway near Saginaw.
He and Kate Moore, who later became his wife, were University of Michigan students hired to determine if there were any buried artifacts that might prevent a highway from getting built across farmland.
Monday, October 26, 2009

The Lord of the Gourd/Pat Harrison

Art Rick Coates The Lord of the Gourd
Pat Harrison is a professional pumpkin sculptor

By Rick Coates 10/26/09

Carver Pat Harrison from Cedar is nicknamed “The Lord of the Gourd.” This time of the year he finds himself in high demand. But Harrison is more than just a pumpkin carver; hence his nickname. He is now known all over the state and travels to all parts giving carving demonstrations. He took time from his busy schedule to answer questions about life as a professional pumpkin sculptor.

NE: How did you get started?
Harrison: By accident. I was attempting to carve a pumpkin late at night back in the mid ’90s and I slipped with a knife and cut a hunk off the pumpkin. I thought it was ruined until I started hacking more chunks off it and realized I was onto something.”
Monday, October 26, 2009

Vincent Pernicano

Art Kristi Kates Boyne Falls Artist Goes International Vincent Pernicano
By Kristi Kates 10/26/09

“I can’t really say what people like best about my work,” Boyne Falls artist Vincent Pernicano says, “I’m just happy that some find it interesting and tell me that they enjoy it.”
“Some” finding it interesting is an understatement, given the rapidly-growing popularity and acclaim of this skillful artisan’s creations.
Originally from Detroit - primarily the Ferndale area - Pernicano began traveling Up North in his early 20s for skiing trips, and eventually bought a house with two good friends who left the state and sold their shares to Pernicano, who has lived in that same house with his family for the past 27 years.
Monday, October 12, 2009

Challenged artists find A New Dimension

Art Challenged artists find A New Dimension
Artists coping with physical, emotional and cognitive challenges will have their moment of glory this Sunday with a chance to participate in an art exhibit entitled “A New Dimension” at the BATA Transfer Station in downtown Traverse City.
“The exhibit is an opportunity to unify artists who live day-to-day with challenges, along with a chance for the public to meet them and celebrate their abilities and talents,” said organizer Michelle St. Amant.
The event will feature an artists’ reception from 12:30-3:30 p.m. with a performance by jazz guitarist Ron Getz. A donation of $5 will be accepted at the door.
Monday, September 28, 2009

Images of the Watershed

Art Kristi Kates Images of the Watershed
Photographers challenged in 2010 Juried Exhibition

By Kristi Kates 9/28/09

Northern Michigan waters truly define the character of our region and our residents’ way of life – and that, despite their beauty, these waters are actually quite fragile, points out Gail DeMeyere, Crooked Tree Arts Center Visual Arts Director.
“The future of our waters depends on what we do today to protect and restore them,” DeMeyere says.
“Watershed awareness” is the theme for the Crooked Tree Art Center’s 29th Annual Photography Exhibition, showing January through April 2010 in Petoskey.
As DeMeyere explains it, a watershed is “the area of the land’s surface that drains to a particular water body“
Monday, September 21, 2009

They‘re gunning for the Artprize

Art Al Parker They’re Gunning
for the ArtPrize

Two dozen local artists seek their fortune in Grand Rapids contest

By Al Parker 9/21/09

Traverse City artist Eric Daigh shoves the last of 23,625 push pins into place, then stands back to examine his four x six-foot portrait with a critical eye.
“I’m entering three portraits,” he tells a visitor. “Each will be made in five colors of pushpins – white, black, red, blue and yellow. Once completed, they will be tied (with each other) for the “Largest Pushpin Mosaic in the World” in the Guinness Book of World Records. I currently hold that record, but will be beating my own record.”
Daigh is one of some two dozen Northern Michigan artists entered in ArtPrize, an unprecedented competition that will award nearly $500,000 to prize winners, including $250,000 to the artist who receives the most public votes.
The event begins Sept. 23 and runs through Oct. 10 in Grand Rapids. ArtPrize will have no formal jury, curator or judge. The viewing public will decide who wins the prizes by voting, using mobile devices and the web. ArtPrize has attracted 1,262 artists from almost every state and many countries, including Italy, Sweden, England, Israel, Mexico and Canada. It’s expected to draw art enthusiasts from across the globe.
Monday, September 14, 2009

The hopeful photography of Chip Duncan

Art Kristi Kates The Hopeful Photography
of Chip Duncan
Photojournalist’s humanitarian images featured at Crooked Tree
By Kristi Kates 9/14/09

Photographer and photojournalist Chip Duncan spent the early ‘80s garnering experience as a TV news reporter at an NBC affiliate, a job that he says helped him “understand the range of experience and challenges facing journalists and photographers.”
Monday, September 7, 2009

Kuhlhaus means cool art

Art Kristi Kates Kuhlhaus means Cool Art
By Kristi Kates 9/7/09

Located in one of the few industrial-warehouse looking buildings in quaint Harbor Springs, the Kuhlhaus Gallery draws plenty of attention, even as the business is adjusting to its new and enthusiastic owners.
Helen and Timothy Coon are the ambitious couple who took over the space from the previous owner, Jen Buday, who reluctantly decided that she didn’t have the time any more to properly run the business. The Coons had just returned from a long visit to Australia (Helen is an Australian-American), and spotted Buday’s “Business For Sale” sign on the gallery’s door just at the right time.
“We saw the sign because I have been in love with this space for at least two decades,” Tim Coon explains, “and so i regularly drove down Third Street just to check it out.”
Monday, August 31, 2009

Boyne artists build a dream with art auction

Art Melissa Fruge Boyne Artists Build
a Dream With Art Auction

By Melissa Fruge’ 8/31/09

A vibrant arts community is growing along the shores of Lake Charlevoix, and though it may have happened by chance, all can agree it was destiny. You’ve never heard of the Boyne Arts Collective? Well pay attention, because you’re in for a pleasant surprise. What started as an informal gathering of local artists in the Boyne City area two years ago has exploded into a community-wide organization with more than 100 members.
Organizer and artist Martina Hahn has lived in the area for more than 15 years and says she had heard about all the fabulously talented local artists, but had yet to meet any. So in the fall of 2007 she began circulating a flyer asking anyone interested in the arts to attend a small informal gathering to discuss how to strengthen their presence in Boyne City. Hahn says about a dozen people showed up to the initial meeting and the numbers and organization have grown from there. However, providing artists an outlet to showcase and sell their work is not the main mission of the Boyne Arts Collective (B.A.C.) Their goal is to encourage local artists and promote art education and appreciation in the community.
“What’s great about the Boyne Art Collective is that not only do artists now have a place to display their work, but now we have a place to gather and can learn from each other and share resources,” says artist Jerry Douglas.
It’s also been a plus for the community. Jim Baumann, executive director of the Boyne City Chamber of Commerce, believes it gives the town a real sense of pride and hopes the arts and culture can become an economic contributor to the area.
“We’re not just some strip town on the highway, people have to want to come to Boyne City and I think this gives them an extra reason,” says Baumann.
Monday, August 10, 2009

Breakout artists

Art Vance Hancock Breakout Artists
Prison art exhibit debuts at Manistee Art Institute

By Vince Hancock 8/10/09

From tiny territorial prisons across the country, to behemoths like Leavenworth, prison art has existed as long as people have been incarcerated. Inmates, with time as their most plentiful resource, have used bits of soap, trash and other social residue to produce stunning and surprising works.
Some prison art is as notorious as its creators. Serial killer John Wayne Gacy painted images of Disney characters and clowns. Family members of his victims purchased many of them so they could be pitched onto a bonfire. Other art remains locked inside, scratched directly onto walls and only seen by the next inmate.
For many, the closest contact with prison art is the Clint Eastwood flick, Escape From Alcatraz, in which the character of Doc is punished for his portrait of the warden.
For those who’ve never seen prison art directly, the Manistee Art Institute’s upcoming show at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee will be a mandatory sentence. Tudie Rulison, an MAI board member and organizer of the show, has herself put in several years of labor. “It’s isn’t something you do overnight,” she says. “A show doesn’t normally take three years to put together.”
After battling red tape and uncertain timelines, Rulison is about ready to open the doors. But even with contributions from the University of Michigan’s Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP), the Manistee County Jail and Manistee’s Oaks Correctional Facility, the exhibit is just a small sampling of available artwork.
Monday, July 20, 2009

An American Century visits Petoskey

Art Kristi Kates An American Century
Visits Petoskey

By Kristi Kates 7/20/09

“As far as how long it will take to tour the collection, I have had people
return over and over again - because they say they cannot take it all in
at one time,” says exhibit curator Gail DeMeyere.
Monday, July 20, 2009

Enter Sandman

Art Jeffray N. Kessler Enter Sandman
Bellaire sculptor Ray Villafane
makes mark in Italy

By Jeffray N. Kessler 7/20/09

In June, the resort town of Jesolo, Italy hosted 18 of the world’s most
highly-respected sand sculptors to participate in their annual summer
sculpting event. Bellaire’s Ray Villifane was one of the invitees.
Monday, July 20, 2009

The Ellair Gallery

Art Kristi Kates Art‘s a Breeze at The Ellair Gallery

By Kristi Kates 7/20/09

Multi-media artist Edith Pair grew up in Charlevoix, and followed a direct route to her current artistic career, starting at five years old painting with oils.
In high school, Edith served a summer internship at Parsons School of Design (New York). From there she attended the Art Institute of Chicago, “which was ranked second-best art school in the country,” she says proudly.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (she also majored in fashion design), Pair freelanced in Chicago for 15 years doing work for various corporations and businesses; but she decided to move back to Charlevoix to pursue her lifelong goal of opening her own gallery in 2008.
Monday, June 29, 2009

Japanese Woodblocks: Mary Brodbeck

Art Kristi Kates Japanese Woodblock
Mary Brodbeck teaches the printmaking art of Japan
By Kristi Kates 6/29/09

Mary Brodbeck grew up on a dairy farm in southern Michigan, and felt “a magnetic pull” to the ground her family farmed. As a young adult, she wanted to expand her world away from that country life - studying industrial design at Michigan State University and subsequently moving to Los Angeles to work at an architectural firm. But the way she felt about the land and waters of Michigan remained unchanged, and she decided to return.
“After a few months in L.A., I realized that I would have to make a radical change in myself in order to survive there. In essence, I would have to leave the country girl behind. I decided to move back to Michigan - in part because I had never been to Traverse City - I’m not making this up! - and partly because I liked who I was and didn’t want to give up being that country girl.”