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, July 20, 2009

Is wind power right for you? Part 2

Features Anne Stanton PART TWO: Winds of Controversy
Is Wind Right for You?

By Anne Stanton 7/20/09

If heavy winds routinely bounce your children’s toys around the yard, your
home is probably a good candidate for wind power.
But how do you know for sure? And if you do get a wind turbine, should you
choose between a horizontal axis or a vertical axis wind turbine like the
new Windspire built in Manistee?
Monday, July 13, 2009

Mariah fights winds of controversy

Features Anne Stanton Mariah Fights Winds of Controversy

By Anne Stanton 7/13/09

Governor Jennifer Granholm is relying on the “green” industry to pull
Michigan out of its economic mire, but environmentalists say that careful
research is needed to get the most out of your money.
Monday, July 6, 2009

The world peace diet

Books Anne Stanton The World Peace Diet
Author: animal cruelty, waste & illness make our eating habits all wrong

By Anne Stanton 7/6/09

When Will Tuttle was still in high school some 35 years ago, he read a
book, Cosmic Consciousness, written in 1901. The book examined historic
figures such as Jesus and Buddha, who were able to attain unusual empathy
and compassion for all mankind. The author proposed that these powers of
transcendence could be achieved by others.
Monday, July 6, 2009

Trashed: License glitch dumps biodegrading at Cherry Festival

Features Anne Stanton Trashed
License glitch dumps biodegrading at Cherry Festival

By Anne Stanton 7/6/09

It’s not like the National Cherry Festival isn’t trying to do the right
thing, but the biodegradable dishes and flatware that vendors were
required to use this year will end up in Glen’s Landfill.
Monday, June 29, 2009

Darwin‘s Law

Features Anne Stanton Darwin’s Law
‘Adapt and Survive’ works for
local manufacturers

By Anne Stanton 6/29/09

Adapt and survive. With last year’s crash and burn of the auto industry,
Darwin’s theory has taken on new meaning.
Take Tellurex, a small company tucked away in a Traverse City business
park. At its height two years ago, Tellurex employed 52 people. Its
biggest customer was Cadillac, for which it produced a cup holder that
could either heat or cool drinks at the touch of a button.
Monday, June 22, 2009

Up North auto suppliers

Features Anne Stanton Up North Auto Suppliers...
Going, Going, but Not Gone

By Anne Stanton 6/22/09

When I emailed a friend I was working on a story about manufacturing, he
wrote: “How long does it take to say ‘there is no manufacturing left in
Northern Michigan?’”
“Ah, but you’re wrong,” I responded.
“I wish I was wronger,” he wrote.
Is manufacturing dead in northwest Michigan?
Monday, June 15, 2009

The thrill of death-defying flight

Features Anne Stanton The Thrill of Death-Defying Flight Without the Agony of, Um, Death

By Anne Stanton 6/15/09

If you have an intense love for remote control airplanes, here’s your chance to take it to a new altitude.
Monday, June 15, 2009

Hit and Run: GM shakes small town dealers

Features Anne Stanton Hit & Run
GM Shakes Up Small Town Auto Dealers

By Anne Stanton 6/15/09

Wanna’ test drive a Cadillac?
If you live in Traverse City, you’re in luck. But it won’t be so easy—down the road—if you’re in Harbor Springs, Ludington, Manistee, Petoskey, or the Upper Peninsula.
“I was told that from Muskegon all the way to Traverse City, dealers are losing their Cadillac franchises. That’s a pretty big area,” said Bob Yates, a dealer in Manistee who will continue to sell Chevrolets, but lose his Cadillac franchise in October of 2010.
Monday, June 8, 2009

Going out Green: Bob Butz

Features Anne Stanton Going out Green
Bringing death back to life again

By Anne Stanton 6/8/09

Last summer, my dad was told last his days were numbered after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, also known as asbestos cancer. About a month later, I went to spend some time with him in Arizona. One morning, his hospice social worker came by to visit him.
“Jerry,” she said, as she wrapped up her meeting with him. “Are there any outstanding concerns you might have right now?”
In fact, there was. He told her that he planned on getting cremated, and he wondered whether she had a price list.
At that moment, I’d been trying to stay out of the way in my parents’ tiny little mobile home, but I almost choked on my bagel. He was just so matter-of-fact about the whole thing. But the social worker wasn’t so surprised. She pulled out a blurry “price list,” that looked like it had been copied about a hundred times.
Monday, June 8, 2009

Coal Consequences

Features Anne Stanton Coal Consequences:
Will electric bills in rural areas double?

By Anne Stanton 6/8/09

A proposed coal-fired power plant in Rogers City would at least double the electric bill of 33,000 co-op members living in rural Northwest Michigan, and that’s without any new regulations or taxes, asserted an energy activist opposed to its construction.
Tom Karas will introduce a resolution at Cherryland Electric Cooperative’s annual membership meeting this Wednesday that asks co-op leadership to deliver an estimate of how much the proposed Rogers City plant will cost and its impact on customer bills.
Monday, June 1, 2009

Goodbye to Bob

Dining Anne Stanton Good-Bye to Bob
Anne Stanton 6/1/09

Ten years ago, a wonderful thing happened to Oryana Natural Food Co-op, a spacious natural foods store tucked in the heart of Traverse City. Bob Struthers took over, and the struggling co-op began to flourish and eventually achieve double digit sales growth year after year.
But now Bob and his wife, Kim, have decided to move to northeastern New Mexico. Bob will start a new career in this remote corner of New Mexico as an independent consultant for food co-ops. Kim, who worked as a biologist at the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore will start a new job as Natural Resource Manager at the Capulin Volcano National Monument.
We couldn’t let Bob go without an exit interview, although it was by phone from his new home, where he’s moving in the furniture.
Monday, June 1, 2009

Watch me... a kleptomaniac‘s plea to stop stealing

Features Anne Stanton Watch me... a kleptomaniac‘s plea to stop stealing
Anne Stanton 6/1/09

I was over at the Traverse City courthouse a couple of months ago, and noticed a blonde middle age woman walking with an awkward gait, relying on a cane. Her blond hair was swept away from her smooth forehead, upon which something was written in a red marker. I couldn’t read the words and caught up with her to ask what they said.
Her name was Donna Hamblin, and she talked in a loud and friendly voice that didn’t have much inflection. She wasn’t surprised by my question—people often asked her the same thing.
She told me she had a problem with stealing. So she had decided to take a drastic measure and write, “watch me” on her forehead. That way when she walked into a store, the clerk would take notice of her, ask her what the words said, and then make sure she didn’t steal anything.
Hamblin, 56, explained she has been diagnosed as a kleptomaniac, which is defined as the failure to resist the impulse to steal or hoard things. She said she’s attracted to anything shiny, and she particularly is fond of stealing items for her grandkids.
Monday, May 25, 2009

Bill Hosner‘s Baristas

Art Anne Stanton Bill Hosner‘s Baristas
Anne Stanton 5/25/09

Artist captures coffee house servers and their stories

When Bill Hosner first stopped in at the Roast & Toast coffee shop in Petoskey for his daily cup of brew, he was a little taken aback by the kids behind the counter. Earrings in nostrils, hair color not found in nature, and tattoos where you ought not to be looking.
“As I looked at them, I thought what a lot of people might think. I rushed to judgment and thought these are a motley crew. And as I got to know them over the three years I lived in Petoskey, I realized they were just the way I was when I was that age. They were trying to find their way into life. Some were married, some had children, they were trying to build families. They were really great kids, people trying to fit into this world.”
Hosner, a renowned pastel painter, is known for his landscapes and romantic portraits of women strolling on the beach, reminiscent of Joaquin Sorrola, a 19th Century artist he admires.
But he wanted these kids to also have their story told, so he decided to bring his easel into the coffee shop and paint spontaneous portraits of each “coffee house kid.”
Hosner proposed his plan to the Roast & Toast coffee shop owner, and she thought it was a great idea. The workers themselves weren’t quite as enthusiastic, but signed on after they saw the first portraits.
“It was one of those things; as an artist, you have to make a painting, get it out of your system, and you can’t rest until you do,” Hosner said.
These aren’t his usual paintings that take several days, yet they still succeed in capturing the essence and energy of the person. Hosner finished his 14 paintings of the Petoskey kids last summer. Now he has taken his easel to Another Cuppa Joe and Higher Grounds at Traverse City’s Building 50.
Ultimately, he’d like to display the entire collection of 24 portraits at a local museum.
Monday, May 18, 2009

Enough is enough/ credit card reform

Features Anne Stanton Enough is enough/ credit card reform
Anne Stanton 5/18/09
Carrie Jones of Traverse City is the proud owner of a nearly perfect credit score, having never been late on a credit card payment and almost always paying off the balance each month.
Yet she received a notice a few months ago from CitiBank that the interest rate on her credit card would zoom from 9.9 percent to 16 percent. She was given the choice to close the account—one she’s had for 12 years—keeping the lower interest rate until the balance was paid off. Or she could do nothing and keep the card at nearly double the interest. At first—in disbelief—she did nothing. But with the interest hike looming, she reluctantly closed the account. That action may temporarily ding her otherwise perfect credit score.
Monday, May 4, 2009

Dance Therapy

Features Anne Stanton Dance Therapy
Anne Stanton 5/4/09

Partner dancing. Fun, but come on. Does it really change lives?
When you talk to a group of students and their college dance instructor, Mykl (pronounced Michael) who goes by one name, the answer is an overwhelming “ohmygodyes!” Their enthusiasm is so great about Mykl’s unique style of partner dancing—an intimate style of ballroom dancing, which looks very graceful and altogether normal—they believe that it can become a movement. That it has the potential to spread like a virus (a good virus) throughout the world, and awake the weary worker bees who have lost their joy of living due to the hum drum struggle of survival.
In fact, they are making a feature movie about this dance style and are calling it Be Here Now.