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 21, 2009

Tastemakers; Christmas Dinner/ Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival

Dining Rick Coates Christmas Dinner
Bob Dylan was right, the times, they are a-changin’. It started with grocery stores offering pre-made holiday dinners years ago. You could pre-order dinner and simply warm it up and relax and enjoy the holidays. Many hotels for years have been offering meals during the holidays as well for the traveling public.
Now restaurants are joining in and with good reason. More and more families are on the go; and going out to dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day makes sense for many. As one friend told me “it takes the stress out of the day for us and it is less expensive.”
Monday, December 14, 2009

Calling all rock stars

Music Rick Coates Calling All Rock Stars
Rock Your Way To
The Top Is Back
By Rick Coates
Last year was the inaugural year for Rock Your Way to the Top, a talent contest for rock and roll bands in Michigan. A smashing success, the event returns in January of 2010.
Hosted by the Turtle Creek Casino and co-produced and sponsored by Joey Callahan of Radius Recording, this has quickly become the premiere music competition in Michigan.
This marks the final week for bands to submit their recordings for consideration. The winning band will receive $2,000 in cash, production with a Grammy award-winning producer, studio time at Radius Recording, and an opening slot for a major headliner this June at Leelanau Sands Showroom.
Monday, December 14, 2009

Tastemakers: Hash Brown Pizza - Fife Lake Inn/ 2 Copas

Dining Rick Coates Hash Brown Pizza - Fife Lake Inn
Growing up in East Lansing I learned to appreciate “pizza for
breakfast” from my classmate Dave Marriage. His parents would order us
pizza during the many sleepovers he hosted and then the next morning
we would eat leftover cold pizza for breakfast.
Monday, December 7, 2009

Aaron Tippin

Music Rick Coates Aaron Tippin
puts Charity Effort into Overdrive
By Rick Coates
Superstar Aaron Tippin has the reputation of being “the hardest
working man in country music,” and is affectingly referred to as the
“Hillbilly Hercules.”  
Monday, December 7, 2009

Tastemakers: Michigan Culinary Tourism Initiative/Anchor‘s 2009 Christmas Sale

Dining Rick Coates Michigan Culinary Tourism Initiative
The tourism industry in our part of Northern Michigan was built on the beaches, lakes, streams, ski hills and trails. While those components remain important today, the future of tourism in the region may look -- or should we say “taste” -- different. Just last week the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced the formation of the new Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance.
“With agriculture and tourism as the state’s second and third largest industries, it makes sense to promote Michigan as a rewarding travel destination for educational, healthy and tasty food experiences,” said Don Koivisto, director of the MDA.
Monday, December 7, 2009

Stage set for energizing TC‘s Opera House

Features Rick Coates Stage Set for Energizing
TC’s Opera House
By Rick Coates
After being embroiled in the center of controversy for the past month, the drama at the City Opera House appears to be coming to an end. Or could it be just act one is over? Maybe the next couple of weeks during the holiday season will be the intermission and in January of 2010 the second act in the drama will begin to unfold.
Monday, November 30, 2009

Tastemakers: Shay Station 7-layer tuxedo cake/Shay Station wine, beer & coffee bar

Dining Rick Coates Shay Station
7-Layer Tuxedo Cake
Sometimes going out just for dessert is fun. Most of us talk about going out for dinner, but when was the last time you said “let’s go out for dessert”? Sure, in the summertime we say let’s go for ice cream, but going out for dessert is something we should embrace year-round.
Monday, November 30, 2009

Opera House Operatics

Features Rick Coates ‘Soap’ Opera House
The drama continues over the destiny of TC’s City Opera House
By Rick Coates
The most exciting theatrical performance in the 120-year history of the City Opera House in Traverse City is not taking place on its own stage, but rather in the city commission chambers of city hall and coffee shops around town.
The debate over the future of the City Opera House easily could be a script right out of some nighttime reality soap opera show. It has all the twists and turns and the “he said, she said” and the “she did, he did” that has residents, supporters, user groups and others at the edge of their seats wondering what will happen next.
Monday, November 23, 2009

Tastemakers: Grand Traverse Pie Company Northport Pumpkin Pie/ North Peak Brewing Company - The Stubby Collection

Dining Rick Coates Grand Traverse Pie Company Northport Pumpkin Pie
The Grand Traverse Pie Company is busier than normal this week, filling thousands of Thanksgiving orders for its Northport Pumpkin Pie, or for that matter, any of the 30+ pies they offer daily. So if you are unable to buy one for your Thanksgiving table this week, at least slide down to their Traverse City or Petoskey location and have a slice of their pumpkin pie with a scoop of Moomer’s vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee for a mid-day stress break as you prepare for this festive weekend.
Monday, November 23, 2009

Tis the season to shop local

Features Rick Coates ‘Tis the Season to Shop Local
Gift ideas from local artisans support Northern Michigan
By Rick Coates
Each year during the Christmas holiday season there are always those hard-to-buy-for family and friends. Here are a few suggestions that certainly will please even the toughest person on your list and help to contribute to the local economy:
Monday, November 16, 2009

Tastemakers: The OTC sandwich at Old Town Coffee & Eatery

Dining Rick Coates The OTC sandwich at Old Town Coffee & Eatery
Mark Fowler has built a reputation over the past 15 years as being the “Maestro of the Sandwich.” For several years he owned a couple of popular luncheon eateries in Cadillac, most recently The Bistro, where he perfected the art of a tasty sandwich prepared quickly. He has brought his talents to the Old Town Coffee & Eatery (located on Union Street in Traverse City in the “Old Town District”) as general manager, barista and maestro of the sandwich.
Monday, November 16, 2009

Let‘s eat... Community meals program delivers to 1, 000 needy families

Features Rick Coates Let’s eat
Community Meals program delivers meals to 1,000 families in need
By Rick Coates
Buckley resident Sandra Svec has never forgotten her childhood and the hardship of being a child among one of the first divorced families in the area. Growing up without many of the basic “life” items most of us take for granted, Svec has dedicated the past 20 years of her life giving back to those in need through the Holiday Dinners and Community Meals program.
Monday, November 9, 2009

Tastemakers: The Grocer‘s Daughter/Toast the season

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers: The Grocer‘s Daughter/Toast the season
Rick Coates 11/9/09

Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate
When Mimi Wheeler launched her Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate venture five years ago in Empire she simply wanted to blend her love for dark chocolate with her passion for the edibles grown in her garden. What started as a part-time retirement business has now turned into a full time profession for Wheeler. Her chocolate business has built a following around the country. She finds herself working seven days a week to fulfill mail order requests and the demands at stores in the region that carry her chocolates.
Monday, November 2, 2009

Ryan Whyte Maloney

Music Rick Coates The Rise of Ryan Whyte Maloney
A musical odyssey from Boston to Vegas to Nashville...

By Rick Coates 11/2/09

Ryan Whyte Maloney packed his bags and headed to Boston in October of 2006. The singer/songwriter from Traverse City, best known as the tattooed frontman of the progressive rock band, Indulge, knew if he wanted to make it in the music business he would have to venture elsewhere.
Traverse City remains in Maloney’s heart and for that matter tattooed on his body, so after a three-year hiatus from the Northern Michigan music scene he returns for one night. He will perform an acoustic set with another Traverse City resident, Holly Bonino, at the Loading Dock, Sunday November 8. His second set will include several musical guests from his days in Traverse City.
“Basically, people who know me know that I am a crazy driven person,” said Maloney. “I had exhausted my opportunities here in Traverse City and Northern Michigan. So I picked Boston, drove out there, and just started booking myself acoustically as my band Indulge stayed back in Traverse City.”
Monday, October 26, 2009

The last Ramone

Music Rick Coates The Last Ramone
Marky Ramone Pays Tribute
By Rick Coates 10/26/09

Drummer Marky Ramone is the last living member of the final and essentially defining line-up of The Ramones, the band credited with starting the American punk rock movement. He is paying tribute to his musical brothers with his new band, Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg, performing Halloween night at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant.
“After the Ramones decided to call it quits in 1996 I started a couple of bands, The Intruders and The Speedkings, and a couple of others. We performed a mix of originals and Ramones classics,” said Ramone. “So now I am back out with my new band Blitzkrieg playing these Ramones songs because I really felt that they were too good not to be played anymore.”
He is quick to add that this is not the Ramones.