Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Anne Stanton

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Love Kayaking/Vote do over/Third Level

Region Watch Anne Stanton For the love of kayaking...
...don’t miss the documentary, Pacific Horizons, directed and produced by Traverse City native Bryan Smith.
The action-packed travelogue takes you to some of the world’s coolest sea kayaking destinations in the Pacific Northwest.
You can meet director Bryan Smith, an avid kayaker, at the Traverse City premiere showing on Thursday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m., at Timber Ridge, 4050 Hammond Rd.
Be sure to ask him about his first movie, 49 Megawatts, which just won the award for best environmental film at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. That movie captured how privatization is damaging rivers in British Columbia, where Smith lives with his French-Canadian wife.
Monday, March 3, 2008

K. B. Sutton

Features Anne Stanton Body, spirit, mind. The three are fused in the mind of K.B. Sutton, who is, at this moment, kneeling on the backside of Jon Roth in order to broaden his hamstring.
“The thing I like about you, K.B., is that you have no fear,” Roth said. “Some therapists are timid, they’re afraid they might hurt you, but not you.”
It’s true. K.B. (Kathryn Boss) Sutton is definitely not timid. She’s slim and tan with a long tangle of black hair. At 55, her good looks haven’t faded. She has strong hands and even stronger ideas about how to go about this life.
“The problem is most people think of themselves as humans who are having a spiritual experience. They need to see themselves as spiritual beings having a human experience.”
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.