Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”

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Anne Stanton

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Body of Evidence

Features Anne Stanton An investigative report on the television news show 20/20 last week put a tiny Traverse City laboratory in the bulls-eye of controversy.
The 20/20 report called into question the ethics of displaying plasticized cadavers as entertainment and alleged that some of them might be prisoners executed in a Chinese prison.
The controversy relates to two traveling museum exhibits that showcase an array of organs and actual dead people coated in plastic. The people are playfully posed — one is kicking a soccer ball, another is conducting an orchestra. In one show, a plasticized pregnant woman lies in repose with her nearly formed baby pushing aside her organs.
So what does that have to do with Traverse City?
Monday, February 25, 2008

At the edge of their seats ... Documentary on Whale Saviors

Features Anne Stanton Call it film feedback.
Last month, a group of about 70 people had the chance to watch the first cut of a documentary at the State Theatre in Traverse City and give their comments to the movie editor — something that’s routine in New York City, but a treat for people who live here.
Jeff Gibbs presented At the Edge of the World on a quiet Thursday morning when most people were at work.
Monday, February 18, 2008

Cottage in a day

Features Anne Stanton More and more people are thinking about living more simply and going “green.”
The problem has always been that it’s just so darn expensive and complicated to do the right thing.
As a Traverse City area builder for 20 years, Drew Craven is ready to deliver on an out-of-the-box, planet-friendly house and he believes the market is ready.
Monday, February 18, 2008

Meijer & The Village

Features Anne Stanton After years of lawsuits and literally millions of dollars given up to lawyers, the anti-climactic news is that Acme Township, the developers, a citizens’ group, and Meijer are pretty much back to square one.
The lawsuits have gone on for so long, punctuated by insults, vandalism, and potential criminal wrong-doing, that it’s easy to lose track over the original issue, which is a proposal to build a Meijer and mixed-use/lifestyle center in a field on M-72 south of the Grand Traverse Resort.
Monday, February 18, 2008

What about Meijer?

Features Anne Stanton Now that Meijer and the Acme Township have worked out their differences in court over a Meijer store on Lautner Road, the question is, what happens now?
Meijer has a choice: it could build its 210,000 square-foot store in a field that it bought on M-72 and Lautner Road in 1988. Or it could build its superstore across the street as part of the Village at Grand Traverse.
Monday, February 11, 2008

An interview with a sex therapist

Features Anne Stanton Imagine having a job that would require you—every day—to listen to the trials and tribulations of people’s sex lives!
Wouldn’t that be… interesting. Well, last week Northern Express caught up with Dr. Barbara Jones Smith, a Traverse City licensed clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist, whose phone is ringing off the hook right now (she’s checking to see if there’s a full moon). Luckily, she agreed to squeeze in this interview.
Dr. Smith said she’s been listening to people’s sex problems since 1975. She counsels male/female couples, same sex couples, and people who have life problems that have nothing to do with sex. When she’s away from her office, she likes to ski, fly fish, kayak and practice tai chi. She needs respite from all that intensity, right? Now, enough of this foreplay. Let’s get to the interview.
Monday, February 4, 2008

For the love of a fiddle

Music Anne Stanton When Stass Pronin set out for one of his first violin lessons, he wanted to be prompt, knowing the demanding nature of his grandfather, a world-class violin teacher.
But as the young eight-year-old crossed a stretch of scorching Israeli desert, his feet dragged. He was a few minutes late when he finally arrived. His grandfather opened the door, his face impassive. He looked at his watch, and said, “You’re late, go home.”
Stass walked another 40 minutes back home in the heat. He was never late again.
Russians take their music seriously and that’s what makes them so fascinating, said Jim Bruno.
Monday, February 4, 2008

Top Tips on unemployment benefits

Features Anne Stanton Tip #1: If you’re denied unemployment, you MUST file your appeal within 30 days
If you’ve never been laid off or fired or quit a job before, the whole area of unemployment benefits might seem like a confusing quagmire.
So here are some tips from Deb Fragel, a Traverse City benefits advocate who helps people appeal the denial or retraction of unemployment benefits.
Most people who have been fired or laid off are eligible to collect unemployment benefits — even people who have been fired for incompetence or poor judgment, said Fragel, an unemployment appeals specialist with Great Lakes Credit Care.
Monday, January 28, 2008

Wading in a sea of debt

Features Anne Stanton How did this ever happen?
That’s what Bob wondered every night for months, his stomach knotted with worry. He and his wife were earning $50,000 per year, and that seemed like a lot. They worked hard and played hard. They took vacations each year, sent their two boys to the Catholic school, bought a new plasma television, went skiing on weekends, and attended sports events in Detroit.
But in reality, Bob (not his real name) and his wife were routinely using credit cards when they came up short each month. Bob’s wife handled all the bills, so he was shocked when Kohl’s and JC Penney began calling the house, wanting to know why payments were late.
Monday, January 21, 2008

The story of Craig Carlson

Features Anne Stanton When Jackie Smith and Bob Carlson called 911 on the evening of November 9, they were desperate for deputies to check on their brother, Craig Carlson. He was fearful he couldn’t survive the night alone. He wanted someone to talk to and asked Jackie to call a police officer.
His sister and brother, in separate calls to police, reported their concern that Craig would take his life. At the same time, they cautioned police that Craig might provoke police to shoot him by pointing a gun. They thought they were being good citizens. They thought they were saving Craig from himself.
Instead, their calls triggered a SWAT team response of some 60 officers – a standoff that would plunge their brother into an even deeper despair and, ultimately, lead to his death. After a 12-hour stand-off at Craig’s rural Interlochen home, a police sniper mortally wounded Carlson with a single shot to the head.
Monday, January 14, 2008

Michigan‘s Primary

Features Anne Stanton The Michigan primary on January 15, is so confusing, it might cause you to boycott the whole thing—especially if you’re a Democrat. But don’t do that. Call the national party leaders and tell them it’s time for a change (phone numbers below).
The reason for this year’s state of affairs owes to the state’s Democratic and Republican party leaders moving up Michigan’s presidential primary to January 15, in order to give Michigan more weight in choosing a candidate—not to mention having the candidates address the state’s specific and serious issues. The primary is normally held in February when the candidates have already gained huge momentum, money and vote wise.
Monday, January 7, 2008

Doug Peterson on fitness

Features Anne Stanton Doug Petersen, a personal trainer, has gained a bit of fame in Traverse City for his 18-month long stint working on the Michael Moore movie, Sicko, as the staff’s wellness coordinator. The job took Petersen out of Traverse City and into the New York City world of filmmaking, celebrity parties and big city stress. We asked Petersen to share with Northern Express a little about his own life and what he learned about fitness in his year spent in New York. Like many professional trainers, Petersen doesn’t share specifics about his clients - and he had to hold to his policy for this interview.
Monday, January 7, 2008

Belly dancing for fitness

Features Anne Stanton As a fairly uncoordinated person, I was never much attracted to belly dancing. But on the spur of the moment last summer, I picked up the class schedule of the Beledi (pronounced to sound like “melody”) Dance and Boutique in Traverse City, and it intrigued me.
There is much more here than belly dancing—a hoopercise class (with padded hula hoops), a music class with preschoolers, a date night couples dance class on Fridays, and Indian hip-hop. Even better, the half-hour lunchtime classes were right in my budget—a mere $5.
Monday, December 31, 2007

Shaking up the Great Lakes

Features Anne Stanton Michigan may be in the doldrums right now, but more and more companies will likely belly up to the Great Lakes states when water gets scarce in the South and Southwest. That’s one reason why state lawmakers are moving now to protect the Great Lakes and rivers, but there’s a lot of dissent on how to do that. A proposed Senate bill would allow groundwater withdrawals that would decrease river flows on some river stretches by up to 42%.

The proposed Senate Bill 860 reflects a computer model’s analysis that says reducing water flow would cause “no adverse effect” to rivers as long as it doesn’t cause a fish loss of more than 20% of the fish in warm rivers, 5% of the fish in cold-water streams, and 10% of fish in rivers that are neither warm nor cold.
The model only looks at the effects on fish mortality with the reasoning that fish are at the top of the food chain, and their numbers reflect total damage to habitat. The assessment tool does not attempt to quantify damage to specific habitat—such as bird nesting—nor the effect on canoeists or riverside property owners.
The state House has come up with a different package of river protection bills, which is supported by environmentalists and would keep river flows level. There’s intense interest in this bill by manufacturers, water bottlers, farmers, fishermen, and conservationists.
Thursday, December 20, 2007


Features Anne Stanton When I was eight years old, my parents had cooked up a plan to make our Christmas really special. I had no inkling what was up until Santa Claus arrived at the front door.
I knew immediately that this “Santa” was, in fact, Dickie, our rotund friend, who worked at Williams Gun Sight next door to our house. For the sake of my younger brothers and sister, Kevin, Steven and Laura, I didn’t let on. Dickie came in to the living room and sat on our green vinyl couch, with all of us eight kids milling around, eying him suspiciously.
My mom turned to Laura, the youngest who was four, and said, “Oh, it’s Santa! Go sit on his lap and tell him what you want for Christmas.”