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, December 16, 2013

Wouldn’t You Rather Be Winter Camping?

Features Rick Coates When it comes to camping, most people think of summer and warm conditions, but winter camping is growing in popularity. Northern Michigan and the upper peninsula present many options for scenic locations that combine camping with kayaking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
Monday, December 2, 2013

Manistee Hosts an Old Christmas Weekend

If you have ever wondered whether time travel is possible, simply visit Manistee this weekend and you will find yourself instantly back in time.

Features Rick Coates Known as the “Victorian Port City,” many of the homes and buildings in downtown Manistee built during the Victorian era remain today. The community pays tribute to their history with the 25th Anniversary of the Manistee Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend starting on Wednesday, December 4 and continuing through Sunday, December 8.
Monday, November 25, 2013

Turning a Page at McLean & Eakin Booksellers

Features Rick Coates It has been 21 years since Julie Norcross opened the doors to McLean & Eakin Booksellers in downtown Petoskey. Her son and daughter-in-law Matt and Jessilyn Norcross bought the store from her four years ago. Despite a changing marketplace in the book industry, the store continues to flourish.
Monday, October 14, 2013

Northern Michigan ArtPrize?

New event in the works to ‘create a major buzz’ for local art

Features Rick Coates Paul LaPorte is known as the Art Guy; every Monday he appears on the Ron Jolly Radio Show (weekdays 7 am -10 am on WTCM Newstalk 580 AM) at 8:30 am. Last week during the show, LaPorte pointed out that with Frankfort artist Ann Loveless winning ArtPrize and the $200,000 cash prize, that all eyes were on the Northern Michigan art community.
Monday, September 30, 2013

Taste Makers

Dining Rick Coates
One of my favorite things to do is traverse around Northern Michigan and take in the offerings of our many small towns. My family typically makes a dozen trips a year to Boyne City due in part to my son’s athletic events. We like to visit the several locally owned shops and every trip through town includes a stop at Cafe Santé.
Monday, September 30, 2013

Turning 30

Gopherwood Concerts remain local music staple

Features Rick Coates It was 30 years ago this fall that a group of Cadillac area residents got together to bring some “arts and culture” to their community. Now the organizers of Gopherwood Concerts feel they have come full circle as they start their 30th concert season..
Monday, July 29, 2013

Dave Poinsett manages to keep the State Theatre on Track

Features Rick Coates

If you attend the Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF) this week you will notice that things run pretty smoothly.

You can thank the hundreds of volunteers who donate thousands of hours to make the TCFF one of the best film festivals in the world.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Taj Mahal Brings a Half Century of Tradition to Blizzfest

Features Rick Coates For years the Blissfest Folk & Roots Music Festival has attracted at least one notable musical legend, and this year is no exception as Taj Mahal brings 50 years of guitar picking experience to the stage.
Monday, June 24, 2013

A Double Vision of Classic Rock

Styx & Foreigner at Cherry Festival

Features Rick Coates “I think there are several factors. Certainly our songbook is strong and continues to resonate with our fans and now a whole new generation of fans,” Youn said. “Our songs are being used by professional sports teams and in the movies, guys like Adam Sandler are huge fans and use our music in their movies.
Monday, June 3, 2013

From Rocker to Doctor

Queen guitarist Brian May visits TC

Features Rick Coates

Legendary Queen guitarist Brian May is coming to Traverse City this weekend. Unfortunately he will be leaving his guitars behind. “I will be in town to speak at the National Stereoscopic Association (3-D photography),” said May. “It has been a passion of mine for years.”

May, who is now known as Dr. Brian May after obtaining his Ph.D in Astrophysics in 2006, will speak about his new book he coauthored “Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell.” May also coauthored “Bang! The Complete History of the Universe.”

Monday, May 20, 2013

Here Comes the Sun

The Cove Celebrates 30 years of welcoming Summer

Features Rick Coates For the past 30 years the Here Comes The Sun Party on the patio of The Cove and Rick’s American Cafe in Leland (Fishtown) has been the kick-off celebration to the summer season.
Monday, May 6, 2013

Brewing History

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fly Fishing Casts its Spell on Scott Smith

Features Rick Coates Scott Smith was two years old when he became “hooked” on fishing.  Smith, who has a dental practice in Adrian (south of Jackson/Ann Arbor) and place on the Au Sable River outside of Grayling, now shares his love of fishing with others. He will be one of several volunteer instructors at the 43rd Annual Michigan Council Trout Unlimited Fly Fishing School. The threeday school will be held June 7-9, on the Boardman River at Ranch Rudolph, southeast of Traverse City.
Monday, March 11, 2013

Party On, St. Pat!

Pub crawl in Petoskey & TC highlight a weekend of Irish celebrations

Features Rick Coates For the past 34 years Traverse City has hosted the annual St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl attracting not only locals but visitors from as far away as Petoskey. Now residents of Petoskey will have their own Pub Crawl this Friday, March 15 starting at 4 pm at Beards Brewery.

“I started discussing the idea with some of the bars and restaurants in Petoskey and they loved the idea,” said Charlie Ferguson, general manager of Northern Broadcasting.
Monday, February 25, 2013

Turning an Old Factory into a Home

Couple updates the past at the Cigar Box Co.

Features Rick Coates

The sturdy, box-shaped building at the corner of Eighth Street and Boardman Avenue in Traverse City looks like it was built to last. And it has -- almost 100 years. But in order to survive, it’s had to become a lot of things. It started as a cigar box factory, then it was a power company service building, then it was a furniture store and then a fitness center.

For the 21st century, the building recently took on another identity -- home.