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..

Home · Articles · By Rick Coates

Rick Coates

Top Articles from
No articles in this section
Monday, July 6, 2009

Cherryfest On

Music Rick Coates get your CherryFest On
three shows you don’t want to miss

By Rick Coates 7/6/09
The Bay Side Entertainment Stage at the National Cherry Festival has long
been the best musical entertainment value in Northern Michigan. For years
festival goers were granted access to all concerts for the week for the
price of the $1 Cherry Festival Pin. A few years back they raised the
price to $3 for the week. Last year they introduced the V-Pass for $15 as
the Festival faced a tougher operating budget needed to help subsidize the
national acts they bring to the Open Space.
Monday, July 6, 2009

Tastemakers: Sleeping Bear gourmet Cherry Festival open space/National Cherry Festival wine pavilion

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 7/6/09
Sleeping Bear Gourmet Cherry Festival Open Space
There are many highlights at the National Cherry Festival, and certainly the local restaurants offering their specialties at TC’s Open Space is one of them. This year, look for a unique offering of “organic” foods from a brand new collaborative, Sleeping Bear Gourmet. The brainchild of Melissa Ewing (Yotta Bars) of Maple City, Sleeping Bear Gourmet is comprised of: Food For Thought (preserves, salsas, and mustards), Higher Grounds Trading (coffee), Light of Day Organics (loose leaf teas), Naturally Nutty Nut Butters, and Stone House Bread.
Monday, July 6, 2009

Need a laugh/ Paula Poundstone

Features Rick Coates Need a Laugh?
Paula Poundstone Delivers

By Rick Coates 7/6/09

Comedy always seems to make a comeback in economically challenging times. It is not that comedy has disappeared, but the circuit of standup comics seems to go up and down with the economy and in tough times a good night of laughter seems to be the best medicine.
Certainly Interlochen Center for the Arts thinks so, as they welcome Paula Poundstone to Corson Auditorium this Friday. Poundstone is currently touring in support of her first ever comedy CD release I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them In Maine, and her book There Is Nothing In This Book I Meant To Say. She burst onto the comedy scene in the mid ‘80s after dropping out of high school.
Monday, July 6, 2009

Need a laugh/ Paula Poundstone

Features Rick Coates Need a Laugh?
Paula Poundstone Delivers

By Rick Coates 7/6/09

Comedy always seems to make a comeback in economically challenging times. It is not that comedy has disappeared, but the circuit of standup comics seems to go up and down with the economy and in tough times a good night of laughter seems to be the best medicine.
Certainly Interlochen Center for the Arts thinks so, as they welcome Paula Poundstone to Corson Auditorium this Friday. Poundstone is currently touring in support of her first ever comedy CD release I Heart Jokes: Paula Tells Them In Maine, and her book There Is Nothing In This Book I Meant To Say. She burst onto the comedy scene in the mid ‘80s after dropping out of high school.
Monday, June 29, 2009

Billy Squier

Music Rick Coates The Rebirth of
Billy Squier
By Rick Coates 6/29/09

Rocker Billy Squier dominated the arena rock scene in the early ‘80s, with a string of hits including “The Stroke,” In the Dark,” “My Kinda’ Lover,” “Emotions in Motion” “Everybody Wants You,” “The Big Beat,” “Lonely Is The Night,” “Fast Times (The Best Years of Our Lives)” and “Rock Me Tonite.” After spending a few summers touring as part of Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band, as well as taking a break from the music business, Squier is back, headlining his own tour that includes a stop in Traverse City.
He will take to the National Cherry Festival Bay Side Entertainment Stage on Tuesday, July 7. Squier last performed at the National Cherry Festival in 2001 as part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame summer tour featuring Styx and Bad Company.
Monday, June 29, 2009

Kenny Wayne Sheperd

Music Rick Coates Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Kicks Off the Cherry Festival
By Rick Coates 6/29/09

Kenny Wayne Shepherd was just a kid when he got his musical start. As a teenager in the early ‘90s, he and Jonny Lang were billed as “the boys who were going to save the blues.” The two guitar gunslingers were credited with introducing “America’s music” to a younger generation.
Shepherd is now a young man. At 32 he is married (his wife is Mel Gibson’s youngest daughter) and has two kids and a different perspective on life and music from his wild teenage years. He will kick off the National Cherry Festival’s week long concert series on the Bayside Entertainment Stage, this Saturday, July 4. Shepherd will be joined by the Bihlman Bros., the boys from Benzie County who will soon have their first national album release and will be making their first Northern Michigan concert appearance in five years.
Monday, June 29, 2009

Tastemakers: Cousin Jenny‘s Cornish Pasties/Leinenkugel‘s summer shandy

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers
Rick Coates 6/29/09
Cousin Jenny’s Cornish Pasties
Cornish pasties were developed in Cornwall, England as a hearty meal for tin miners. They were easy to carry and easy to eat. When the tin mines stopped producing, the Cornish people migrated to Canada and the Upper Peninsula to mine copper and iron ore and they brought their Cornish pasties recipes with them.
Jerliyn DeBoer brought the tradition with her to Traverse City when she moved from the Upper Peninsula and opened Cousin Jenny’s on May 26, 1984 on Front Street (where Good Harbor Coffee is today). After 25 years, she has sold 1.8 million of the popular homemade pasties and has employed 150 mostly college and high school students.
Her secret to success: “Making everything fresh. I arrive every morning at 3 a.m. to make the pastry dough from scratch,” said DeBoer. “I also have listened to my customers over the years and given them what they wanted.”
Monday, June 22, 2009

Like father, like son/ Elmore & Peter Leonard

Books Rick Coates Like Father,
Like Son
Elmore & Peter Leonard share a passion for writing

By Rick Coates 6/22/09

At the age of 83, crime novelist and pulp fiction master Elmore Leonard remains at the top of his game. Last month he released his 43rd novel, Road Dogs, that is currently on the New York Times Best Seller list. Leonard has built his 56-year writing career around his ability to let his characters “tell the story.”
Elmore Leonard will come to Northern Michigan on Sunday, June 28 as part of the new “Traverse City National Writers Series” created by author Doug Stanton and Traverse City attorney Grant Parsons. Leonard will be joined by his son Peter, who is following in his father’s footsteps. Both authors are currently touring in support of their latest novels. The evening of conversation will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the City Opera House. Proceeds will benefit the college-bound writing students in the Traverse City Area Public Schools and the Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools.
Monday, June 15, 2009

Pop Evil

Music Rick Coates Pop Evil Lives its Music

By Rick Coates 6/15/09

Pop Evil lead singer Leigh Kakaty likes to joke that at first glance the members of Pop Evil don’t look like a group of guys who would hang out together.
“We are made up of all different ethnic backgrounds and maybe we don’t look like we belong together,” said Kakaty. “But put us on stage together and we become one. Pop Evil is more than a band -- it is a lifestyle.”
The Grand Rapids based rockers are riding high (and fast as the video for their hit song “100 in 55” was filmed as they performed on a flatbed truck as it traveled 100 miles an hour). They will perform at The Terminal in Traverse City this Friday.
Monday, June 15, 2009

Tastemakers: Organic wines/Trattoria Stella Father‘s Day Stellar Picnic

Dining Rick Coates Organic Wines 6/15/09
During a recent visit to By the Light of Day Organics on the Leelanau Peninsula I struck up a conversation with proprietor Angela Macke about consumer confusion over “organic” labeling. She said it is equally “frustrating for the organic farmer who goes to great lengths to become certified organic.”
Macke, who has built a reputation across the country for her collection of certified organic teas made with ingredients she grows on her Leelanau Peninsula organic farm, says the key for the consumer is to “look beyond the certified claim and look on the label and see who actually certified it.”
Monday, June 15, 2009

Father‘s Day at Wuerful Park

Features Rick Coates Father’s Day at Wuerfel Park
Beach Bums team up with Little League

By Rick Coates 6/15/09

When the Wuerfel family decided to bring professional baseball to Northern Michigan, they wanted to have the team and their stadium to become an asset for the region. They have succeeded. Now in their fourth season, the Traverse City Beach Bums and Wuerfel Park have become a summertime destination for local and visiting families.
Going to a Beach Bums game has become part of the summertime culture in Northern Michigan. The Bums play a full schedule of games in the Frontier League, made up of some of the best professional players under the age of 25 hoping to make it to the big leagues someday.
Monday, June 8, 2009

Jack O‘Malley‘s Milestones

Music Rick Coates Jack O’Malley’s Milestones
25 & 50 are DJs lucky numbers this year

By Rick Coates 6/8/09

You can’t see the smile on his face in the morning, but you certainly here it in his voice. After 25 years WTCM morning man Jack O’Malley is still “smiling,” and for his legions of listeners that is a good thing.
When O’Malley took to the airwaves in May of 1984 in Northern Michigan, he just assumed the stop was just another lily pad as he leaped his way to a larger radio market.
“When I got into the business I was bouncing around, living the life of a gypsy, and when I came to WTCM I figured I would stay a little while because we were expecting our first child,” said O’Malley. “But when you work for a great company and live in a great place like Northern Michigan and you have great listeners, I realized there was no reason to leave. Sure, at one time I thought about a larger market such as Detroit, my hometown, but the job expectancy in major markets is about six months.”
Monday, June 8, 2009

Tastemakers: 24th Annual Leland Wine & Food Festival

Dining Rick Coates Tastemakers: 24th Annual Leland Wine & Food Festival
Rick Coates 6/8/09

After much speculation and a lot of last-minute negotiations, the 24th Annual Leland Wine & Food Festival will be held this Saturday in its traditional location at the Leland Harbor next to historic Fishtown. All the fun starts at noon (the lines start forming around 10 a.m.) and continues till 6 p.m.
The Leland Harbor is undergoing a much needed multi-million dollar renovation and government red tape has delayed the project. But the great thing about the community of Leland is they have always found a way to work together to make things happen and so festival organizers and constructions crews got together and figured out how to make this year’s festival happen, as planned.
The Festival got its start 24 years ago with two goals in mind: promote the emerging wine industry in Northern Michigan and to kick off the summer season in Leland. Proceeds from the festival have been used to beautify the community.
Monday, June 8, 2009

Duals Fest

Features Rick Coates Duals Fest
Get Your Motor Runnin’ at the Duals Fest

By Rick Coates 6/8/09

Don “Duals” Watkins had a lifelong passion for the skilled trades. He built a reputation for his craft of customizing cars and motorcycles, not only in Northern Michigan, but around the country.
Don passed away four years ago on June 12, but his son Kip and others decided to keep “Duals” legacy alive by creating the Duals Fest in 2007, a one-day festival of music, bikes, a hot-bod contest, pig roast and more to raise funds for The Don Watkins Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Monday, June 1, 2009

Willie Nelson‘s Long Ride

Music Rick Coates Willie Nelson‘s Long Ride
Rick Coates 6/1/09

In a recent survey of Europeans, Willie Nelson topped the list of people who most reflect a sense of Americana in the United States.
Nelson, known simply as Willie to his legions of fans, has a worldwide following. He has recorded more than 80 studio and live solo albums in a career that spans 50 years. He has appeared on more than 250 albums as a guest of other performers, all while writing more than 2,500 songs.
Willie rolls into Northern Michigan on his Honeysuckle Rose (#3) tour bus this Sunday to kick off the Interlochen Summer Arts Festival concert series.
Willie’s success in the world of country music has been well documented. While he loves to talk music, he is equally passionate about food and family farms. He has been a long-time advocate of healthy eating, and practices what he preaches.
In the concert industry, contracts are known as “riders” and they detail every aspect of the concert from performance fees to stage set up to what the band will be provided for meals and drinks. These riders are often several pages (sometimes 100 or more) and the “catering” section is as important as the sound and stage sections.