Letters

Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...

CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS 

A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Losing our religion

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Losing our Religion
Maybe it’s just a wild coincidence, but most of the Muslim people I’ve
ever met have been remarkably gentle and considerate.
Not a terrorist among them.
There was Darla, a college friend of Arabic descent from Dearborn who
aspired to a career in journalism. A mysterious beauty with a sense of
dignity and style, I can’t imagine she ever thought of a side career
in bomb-making.
 
Monday, August 30, 2010

The Gunslingers

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The Gunslingers
You have to wonder if Second Amendment activists are going to shoot themselves in the foot in Royal Oak this weekend, because they’ve finally succeeded in pissing off even the Republican establishment, along with the business community and the average American family.
An organization called Michigan Open Carry, Inc. is encouraging gun owners to carry their holstered pistols to a family festival called Arts, Beats and Eats in downtown Royal Oak on Labor Day weekend. The festival hopes to draw 25,000 people or more.
 
Monday, August 23, 2010

The pie in the face

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The Pie in the Face
Give her credit, Ahlam Mohsen, 22, has got some guts, if not a lot of sense.
The anti-war activist and Michigan State University student from
Coldwater smacked U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) in the face with a
Dutch apple pie last week. Now, she faces a felony charge of stalking,
along with misdemeanors for assault and disorderly conduct.
 
Monday, August 16, 2010

The 100 Thing Challenge

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The 100 Thing Challenge
If you’re into the ‘less is more’ lifestyle built on simplifying your life, you’ve probably heard of the “100 Thing Challenge.”
If not, then now’s your chance to have one heck of a garage sale this weekend.
The idea is to get rid of all of your possessions except for the 100 things you can’t live without for an extended period of time -- from 100 days to a year.
Blogger Dave Bruno (www.guynameddave.com) came up with the idea and has charted his progress (perhaps “regress” is a better word) online and in a soon-to-be-published book. He’s been feted in Time magazine as far back as 2008 and apparently has plenty of disciples who are busy ditching the clutter in their lives.
 
Monday, August 9, 2010

College & the middle class

Random Thoughts Robert Downes College & the Middle Class
Several years ago, I hurt a reader’s feelings by reporting on the
amount of income it takes to be considered “middle class” in America
these days.
I can’t remember the amount now -- it was probably some arbitrary
figure cooked up by an economics professor.
But I do remember the crushed look on her face as she said, “If that’s
how much money you need to earn, then I’m no longer in the middle
class.”
 
Monday, August 9, 2010

Tour de Tart

Features Robert Downes Tour de TART: Wheels spin for bike trail fundraiser
Pedaling for a good cause is what the Tour de TART is all about, with at least 500 cyclists expected to turn out this week to ride the trail between Traverse City and Suttons Bay.
“We’re celebrating the 10th year of the Tour this year and we’re really hoping that we’ll have 600 riders turn out,” says Pam Darling, outreach coordinator for TART Trails, Inc.
The Tour will be held this Friday, Aug. 13, with cyclists starting between 4-6:30 p.m. in the parking lot at Brick Wheels and McLain Cycle on 8th Street in TC. Riders will proceed along the West Bay bike path, hooking up with the Leelanau Trail to pedal a total of 19 miles to Suttons Bay.
 
Friday, August 6, 2010

Mt. Holiday gets a musical makeover

Music Robert Downes Mt. Holiday gets a musical makeover
Music-lovers who check out the “new” weekly concert scene at Mt. Holiday Ski Resort in Acme may be surprised to learn that it has it actually has a fairly old and distinguished background.
In fact, folk superstar Joni Mitchell and her then-husband Chuck performed in the lounge atop Mt. Holiday way back in May of 1966 when she was an unknown singer-songwriter trying to make it in Detroit.
“I can remember her standing on the fireplace at that show when this was a coffeehouse called the Bucktooth Clam,” says Sandy Blumenfeld, who has seen many shows and performers come and go at Mt. Holiday through the years. “She didn’t have anything going on nationally at that time -- it was just before Joannie Collins and Tom Rush recorded her songs and she became a star.”
 
Friday, August 6, 2010

The age of what to do

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The Age of What to Do?
There was a wonderfully scary article in the business section of the
New York Times last month, in which a financial analyst predicted that
we’re in for the biggest stock market crash in 300 years.
Market forecaster Robert Prechter bases his warning on the theories of
accountant Ralph Nelson Elliott, whose Elliott Wave theory predicted
the fluctuations of the stock market in the 1930s and ‘40s. According
to this theory, we may be in for the biggest crash since the collapse
of the South Sea Bubble in 1720 (look it up in your old college econ
book), a financial disaster that was so devastating that people were
fearful of buying stocks for 100 years. Prechter says the Dow Jones
average is likely to sink below 1,000 points (it’s currently hovering
around 10,000) and stay there for years. This would put us back into
the economy of the Stone Age.
 
Monday, August 2, 2010

Jim Crockett and Fred Ball

Music Robert Downes The River Runs Deep for Old Friends Jim Crockett and Fred Ball
By Robert Downes
Thirty-seven years ago, Jim Crockett set a pen to paper in a
reflective mood and wrote “The Manistee River,” possibly the
best-known folk song ever to come out of Northern Michigan.
Through the years the song, which is a waltzing melody of family
troubles washed away by a peaceful river, has been performed so often
at folk festivals, concerts, and on college radio station WNMC, that
the mantle of ‘elder statesman’ of Northern Michigan’s folk community
has settled on Crockett’s shoulders.
 
Monday, August 2, 2010

Deport a migrant, raise your grocery bill

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Deport a migrant, raise your grocery bill
Will deporting illegal immigrants send your food bill through the
roof? It depends on who you ask.
First, a little background:
It seems hard to believe now, but 10 years ago, then-new President
George W. Bush proposed granting amnesty for 8-10 million illegal
immigrants living in the
United States. Bush, who spoke Spanish and was familiar with the
illegal immigration problem in his role as the former governor of
Texas, had a plan to create an improved guest worker program for
migrants in the U.S., and to allow illegal immigrants to begin the
process of becoming citizens.
 
Monday, July 26, 2010

Soundtract for Film Fest

Music Robert Downes local musicians provide the soundtrack for Film Fest
By Robert Downes
Imagine this: you’re a relatively unknown musician laboring in the
obscurity of faraway Northern Michigan. Then a big-deal Hollywood
director comes to town and is absolutely enchanted by one of your
tunes at the Traverse City Film Festival. The next thing you know,
you’re hobnobbing with Brad, Angie, Johnny and Scarlett at the Oscars,
celebrating the success of your Academy Award-winning song.
Well, it could happen, but if not, then at least several dozen local
musicians will have their 15 minutes of fame on the stages of theaters
this week, performing before the curtain rises on the festival’s
films.
 
Monday, July 26, 2010

The case for Rick Snyder

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The case for Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder, the “one tough nerd” GOP candidate for governor, is hoping that
Democrats and independents will join moderate Republicans to help him
win the primary election on August 3.
Snyder has qualities that appeal to both Republicans and
Democrats, while maintaining credibility as an independent outsider.
The venture capitalist from Ann Arbor also has top credentials in
business at a time when Michigan could use some expertise in the jobs
department.
 
Monday, July 19, 2010

Kids & Guns

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Kids & Guns
A sad commentary on our times is the State Senate’s recent passage of
a new gun safety program targeting young children in our public
schools.
No pun intended.
 
Monday, July 12, 2010

Easy fixes ignored

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Easy Fixes Ignored
There’s a bridge over the Boardman River on the bike path in Traverse
City where teenagers enjoy jumping into the water nearly every day in
the summer. They climb eight feet or so up the framework and make the
leap of perhaps 20-25 feet into the river.
 
Monday, July 12, 2010

Russ Baron

Features Robert Downes A Matter of Life & Death: For Russ Barron, health care reform can’t come soon enough
By Robert Downes
Russ Barron has literally died five times during the course of his
life, with his heart coming to a complete stop, -- a terrifying
experience that includes the realization that he may have only minutes
to live.
 
 
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