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, April 30, 2016

Catching Up with Mustard Plug

Music Kristi Kates It’s been more than a year since we checked in with northern Michigan’s favorite ska band, the Grand Rapids–based Mustard Plug. So, with a big show coming up this month at Traverse City’s InsideOut Gallery, what better time to brush up on our skanking?.
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Terry’s Place

Dining Kristi Kates FRENCH FORMALITY In 1981, Left opened Great Lakes Fish and Chips in Charlevoix, which he soon expanded into the Villager Pub. Next up was Terry’s Place, in the same building, named to impart a casual flair, as if you were just dropping by Left’s house for a friendly dinner.
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Nailed It!

Features Kristi Kates Spring is here, summer’s around the corner and, with it, the arrival of a whole new slate of nail colors perfect for the bright days of the new season. But, don’t just swipe on a single shade; this year, it’s all about nail art, from abstract to precise.
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Conscious Style from Yana Dee

Features Kristi Kates From the Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P. to Traverse City, Yana Dee has made quite a journey to become a successful fashion designer. Even though she’s built a strong local following, this is one fashionista who won’t be pinned down.
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Step On It!

Features Kristi Kates Laced high up the calf with that distinctive criss-cross, gladiator sandals are back in vogue this season, whether you prefer them plain or jazzed up with details worthy of a night on the town.
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bria Skonberg

Music Kristi Kates “In the following years, I managed multiple jazz bands that traveled and I would perform as a soloist overseas in Europe and Japan,” she said. “By the time I moved to New York, I had visited five times and made friends who I would end up working with; New York is an incredible jazz mecca.
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Spike’s Keg O’ Nails

Dining Kristi Kates They call it Home of the Spikeburger, The Meeting Place of the North and The Friendliest Place in Town. Spike’s Keg O’ Nails has collected a lot of nicknames over its whopping 83 years in business — and its popular Friday night fish fry is nothing to sneeze at, either.
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Meet Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix

Features Kristi Kates While the exact dates may not be certain, the namesake is. Originally named Pine River, both the city and the county of Charlevoix were later renamed, sometime between 1836 and 1854, in honor of Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix, a fascinating character whose name would carry on in northern Michigan, as well as across Canada.
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bet You Didn’t Know!

Features Kristi Kates • John and Harriet Miller, said to be Boyne City’s earliest settlers, were reportedly led to the area by a dream Harriet had in the mid- 1880s of a cabin on a bear-shaped lake. John Miller named the river leading to that lake (Lake Charlevoix) after one in Ireland: the Boyne River.
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Life on the 45th

Features Kristi Kates The 45th parallel north is a line of latitude running all the way around the globe. To northern Michiganians, it’s also a very special mark of the region where we live, as evidenced by its use in such local projects and companies as Parallel 45 Theatre, Latitude 45 Cycling Store, Parallel 45 Vines and Wines, Studio 45 Dance and 45th Parallel Realty.
Saturday, April 23, 2016

What’s New in Boyne and Charlevoix

Features Kristi Kates With the success of their taproom on Union Street in downtown Traverse City, opened in 2011, Jim Smolak and Matt Cozzand have made the decision to expand their venture farther north.
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Short’s Brewery Hits a Dozen Years

Features Kristi Kates Joe Short discovered a passion for brewing in college. After doing some homebrewing, he left school and went to work for some “real” breweries to learn more; before long, he decided he wanted to break out of the mold and do his own thing.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

DJ Man-O-Wax and The Reminders

Music Kristi Kates early February, the first performance of the “Caravanserai: American Voices” touring series took place in Traverse City, featuring Palestinian-American multi-instrumentalist Ronnie Malley and Indian- American virtuoso vocalist Zeshan Bagewadi.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Travels with Bob Downes

The Great Outdoors Everywhere

Features Kristi Kates Want to get outdoors? How about getting outdoors in as many countries as possible? Now add your favorite sporting activities and you’ve really got a unique adventure.
Saturday, April 16, 2016


Features Kristi Kates Developed by trail riders in the early ‘60s with the help of Michigan Sen. William Milliken, the subdued Michigan Shore-to-Shore Trail (officially established in 1962) is perfect for those who want to see both northern Michigan legendary shorelines.