Letters 10-12-2015

Replacing Pipeline Is Safe Bet On Sept. 25, Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, addressed members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. His message was, “I want to be clear. We wouldn’t be operating this line if we didn’t think it was safe.”

We pretty much have to take him for his word...

Know The Root Of Activism Author and rabbi Harold Kushner has said, “People become activists to overcome their childhood fear of insignificance.” The need to feel important drives them. They endeavor good works not to help the poor or sick or unfortunate but to fill the void in their own empty souls. Their various “causes” are simply a means to an end as they work to assuage their own broken hearts...

Climate’s Cost One of the arguments used to delay action on climate change is that it would be too expensive. Such proponents think leaving environmental problems alone would save us money. This viewpoint ignores the cost of extreme weather events that are related to global warming...

A Special Edition Cuckoo Clock The Republican National Committee should issue a special edition cuckoo clock commemorating the great (and lesser) debates and campaign 2016...

Problems On The Left Contrary to letters in the Oct 5th edition, Julie Racine’s letter is nothing but drivel, a mindless regurgitation of left-wing stuff, nonsense, and talking points. They are a litany of all that is wrong with the left: Never address an issue honestly, avoid all facts, blame instead of solving; and when all else fails, do it all over again...

Thanks, Jack It is so very difficult for the average American to understand the complex issues our country faces in far off places around the globe. (Columnist) Jack Segal’s career and his special ability to explain these issues in plain English in many forums make him a precious asset to all of us in northern Michigan...

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Robert Downes

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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Resolution Run

Get the New Year off on the right foot

Features Robert Downes “Our idea was to have a fun run on a holiday, and we noted that some of the most successful runs in town now have themes, like the Zombie Run at Halloween, the Turkey Trot, and the Cherry Festival races,” Lancaster says. “That’s when families tend to be together and there’s a celebration going on.
Monday, November 18, 2013

The Season of Giving

For most of us, disaster happens on a small scale

Features Robert Downes Consider that more than 15% of children in Michigan live in poverty -- this in the richest country in the world. According to the federal Department of Health & Human Services, poverty in America means getting by on $11,490 per year if you’re a single adult.
Monday, October 14, 2013

The Inner Beauty of Meditation

Meditation & yoga are a way of life for Amanda Rodasi Campbell

Features Robert Downes “I’ve had stars in my eyes since an early age and have always been a seeker,” she says of her days growing up in Frankfort. “I grew up in the Methodist church but started seeking early on and have always enjoyed comparing various religions and ideas,” Campbell, 36, took up yoga at the age of 12 after discovering an old, yellowed book on hatha yoga.
Monday, October 7, 2013

Obamacare: What’s in it for you?

Features Robert Downes Tea Party radicals in the Republican Congress -- who have no alternative plan for health care whatsoever -- have framed Obamacare as an unworkable mess, even treasonous. But the nuts & bolts of the plan were created by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney during his tenure as governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007.
Monday, September 23, 2013

A Gargen Grows in TC

Volunteers bring an old farm back to life within the city limits

Features Robert Downes “We’ve got 30 full garden plots now and most are pretty active,” says gardener Mike Haynes, adding that many of these are divided into half-plots of 12 by 30 feet -- more than enough for a family garden. “I think we have about 40 gardeners here now.”.
Monday, August 5, 2013

Going Backpacking?

Jim DuFresne has some ideas on where you wanna’ go

Features Robert Downes Few backpackers know the trails of Northern Michigan as well as Jim DuFresne, who literally wrote the book on “Backpacking in Northern Michigan.”
Monday, May 6, 2013

Eisenhower’s Secret War

Producer George A. Colburn reveals a warrior for peace

Features Robert Downes He was once considered to be one of America’s blandest presidents -- even the butt of jokes in the ‘hipper’ times that came after the 1950s. But revisionist histories of Dwight D. Eisenhower are casting our 34th president in a new role as a wise warrior for peace who may well have saved our skins from nuclear annihilation.
Monday, January 21, 2013

Time Lapse TC

Jason Hulet’s mind-blowing video of a city in progress

Features Robert Downes

What happens when you take more than 15,000 photos on a city street and spin them into a time lapse video?

For real estate photographer Jason Hulet, the result is a surrealistic portrait of a day in downtown Traverse City that has viewers on YouTube and Facebook awestruck over its psychedelic colors and dreamlike progression.

Scan the accompanying QR code with your smartphone or visit the Video Seen link at northernexpress.com to see for yourself.
Monday, January 14, 2013

The Peak of Fitness

XTERRA champion Josiah Middaugh on the benefit of winter training

Features Robert Downes

Once a week, professional endurance athlete Josiah Middaugh likes to strap on his snowshoes or crampons and charge up one of the Rocky Mountain ski runs in Vail, Colorado.

“Winter is a key training season for me,” says Middaugh, who grew up in East Jordan and has since become one of the top multisport athletes in the world.
Monday, November 19, 2012

Fauxgrass aims to bend bluegrass

Dates Robert Downes Local bluegrass and string-band lovers will have a chance to hear Northern Michigan's new Fauxgrass band this Friday, Nov. 23 when they perform at the InsideOut Gallery in TC.The band has local roots,
Monday, November 19, 2012

The Amazing Billy Strings

Bluegrass phenom takes Northern Michigan music scene by storm

Features Robert Downes

Billy Strings was practically born into bluegrass: his mother’s water broke while she was attending a birthday party packed with musicians and baby Billy was born with the echo of guitars and banjos in his ears.

Either that or Billy made a deal with a dark stranger at a lonely crossroads at midnight… Whatever the case, he has an almost supernatural ability on guitar, banjo and mandolin that has set the region’s bluegrass and folk scene on fire.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Bayside Bombshells

Dates Robert Downes For a Northern Michigan take on burlesque, check out the Bayside Bombshells troupe this Friday, Nov. 16 at the InsideOut Gallery, TC.Led by "the fearless and slightly mad Twiggy Pop," the Bombshells o
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Get Your Blues Challenge On

Dates Robert Downes Get Your Blues Challenge OnYou'll be singin' da blues this Saturday, Nov. 10 at the  Northern Michigan Blues Challenge held at the Southside Hideout in Buckley.Up to eight solo/duo acts and six b
Monday, November 5, 2012

Blake Elliott

Star on the Rise

Features Robert Downes

Fresh from the recording studio with a brand-new hollow-body Gretsch guitar strapped to her back, couldn’t be happier with the way things are going with her music.

She’s been working on her first CD since July and is currently enjoying the kind of wordof-mouth buzz that is bringing her and a new generation of singer-songwriters to the forefront of the music scene in Northern Michigan.

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Voice for Freedom

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has risked her life many times to speak out for women

Features Robert Downes Her 2006 book, “Infidel,” detailed her childhood in the self-destructing nation of Somalia and her subsequent flight to the Netherlands at the age of 21 to escape an arranged marriage to an older man she despised.