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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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Spooky Sounds

Music Kristi Kates Both of these storylines will play out on October 29 as the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra (GLCO) celebrates Halloween with a special concert featuring the 1800s symphonic poem Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) by Camille Saint-Saëns, and The Composer...
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Halloween Happenings!

Features Kristi Kates Oct. 29 A trio of Mackinaw-area venues combine for three times the fun this Halloween. From 9am to 1 1pm, the McGulpin Point Light-house, decorated for Halloween this year in a Wizard of Oz theme, will offer special lighthouse events and eerie surprises.
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Healthy Food for Healthy Pets At Pets Naturally

Features Kristi Kates When Kathy Hyland’s Boston terrier, Lucy, became ill with intestinal and skin problems, Hyland began researching foods to help her ailing pet. That cause, close to her heart, would become the catalyst for opening Pets Naturally, a shop focused on feeding and caring for the “whole pet.
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Life In This Dog’s Army

Features Kristi Kates Merrill, who started working in the finance industry right out of high school, was attending college in pursuit of an MBA in finance when a simple addition to her family took her life down an entirely new path: She adopted a German Shepherd, Zuri.
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Parsonsfield Blooms at Red Sky Stage

Music Kristi Kates Freeman, Antonio Alcorn, Harrison Goodale, Erik Hischmann, and Max Shakun became a band almost before they knew that they were one. They met in college, in a folk music club, congregating together each week to jam out old tunes, from bluegrass and Celtic music to Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie.
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Up North Instagrams!

Features Kristi Kates Spending half of the year in Grand Rapids, where she teaches, and the other half on the Leelanau Peninsula, Alt finds she appreciates northern Michigan’s beauty even more when she’s been away for a while.
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Microscopic Masterpieces

Features Kristi Kates You might have glimpsed the surface of this world before, if your eye doctor had a certain kind of imaging camera, or if you’ve ever broken a bone and viewed your own X-ray. But a group of professors, scientists and students at the University of Michigan are taking the photography of what’s inside our bodies to a whole new artistic level.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Indoor Listening

Music Kristi Kates By Kristi Kates Summer music festivals may be well over, and fall fests are winding down along with the temperature outside, but that doesn’t mean that the music stops in northern Michigan. Instead, it simply moves indoors for great concert listening. Here are two series to start your season:.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Singing Out Loud: The Grand Traverse Show Chorus

Music Kristi Kates Barbershop quartets and choruses have long had one thing in common: The members are usually male. The Sweet Adelines seek to change that. Boasting more than 500 choruses and quartets, Sweet Adelines International showcases only female vocalists singing a cappella, four-part harmony, and barbershop-style music around the world.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Sweet Sounds of Local Talent

Music Kristi Kates Growing up in Marietta, Ga., Marcia Taylor sang her way through her school days and beyond. Now, she’s moved on to help the next generation of musicians do the same — and more — by way of her boutique talent management and booking agency Marsh-Mellow Entertainment.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Crank Up The A Cappella!

Music Kristi Kates Deke Sharon is widely known as the father of contemporary a cappella, the style of music that relies solely on voices, with no other musical accompaniment. Sharon, who started singing as a youth, said he still doesn’t know if he chose to pursue music or if it chose him.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Conversation With 2015 ArtPrize Winner Ann Loveless

Art Kristi Kates In 2015, in an unprecedented accomplishment, Loveless won again, snagging the grand prize honor and another $200,000 for her co-entry, a 5-foot-tall, 25-foot-long “photo fiber” work called Northwood Awakening.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Seabiscuit Café

Dining Kristi Kates “We have parties for all three of the races,” said Karl Thalacker, a former Outpost employee who serves as Seabiscuit’s manager and food and beverage director, “the biggest party being the Kentucky Derby, complete with horse racing trivia and mint juleps.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

It’s Apple Season!

Features Kristi Kates APPLE MONTH Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has declared October 2016 as Michigan Apple Month. More than 11.3 million apple trees on over 800 family-run Michigan farms fuel the state’s commercial production of apples, and this year’s crop is expected to hit a record-breaking 31 million bushels.
Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Cidery Built For Two

Dining Kristi Kates So what brought this robust cider house here? “The main reason we moved to Michigan was that Nikki grew up here. She was born and raised in Kingsley,” Young said. Rothwell had been at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and met Young while he was co-owner of a local brewpub, where he’d spent 12 years utilizing his food-science background.