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, March 5, 2016

Is Roller Skating Actually Coming Back?

Features Kristi Kates If you’re looking to open a unique business in northern Michigan, you could do worse than opening a roller rink.
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Jumpin’ and Jivin’

Music Kristi Kates Twenty years’ worth of a twenty-piece musical outfit is a lot of history to keep straight. There are so many past members of The Up North Big Band (The UNBB) that current band leader Joshua Raber, for all his diligence, can’t even name them all.
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Art Identity

Art Kristi Kates Ontario-born William H. White came to northern Michigan in 1859 to manage a sawmill in East Jordan. In 1881, that business failed and White was out $600 in wages; he was given $450 in merchandise in lieu of earnings. In January 1883, he shipped his goods by sleigh, over 4 feet of snow, to Boyne City.
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Téada at CTAC

Features Kristi Kates With members from several different regions of Ireland, the traditional band Téada got their start in 2001. Performing at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey March 5, these musicians were thrown into the scene a lot quicker than they ever expected.
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ski Season’s Not Over Just Yet!

Features Kristi Kates It’s nearing the end of northern Michigan’s ski season, which means that familiar allout push to get in one more black diamond run, one more slalom race, one more bowl of slope-side chili and one more night dancing up a storm in your ski boots. Here’s a wrapup of some of the biggest ski events on the way as the 2016 season winds down.
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Party in the Woods

At the 10th Annual Suds and Snow

Features Kristi Kates Nicknamed The Ultimate Party in the Woods, the 10th Annual Suds and Snow is returning for another big Michigan afternoon filled with drinks, food, tunes and fun.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Celtic Nights brings “Spirit of Freedom” to the City Opera House

Music Kristi Kates Revamping the theme of their show to honor the 100-year anniversary of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising, when Irish nationalists proclaimed the establishment of the Irish Republic (said to be similar to the United States’ Independence Day), Celtic...
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Handmade Michigan

Selling Your Wares Online

Art Kristi Kates Whether you’re a consumer of handcrafted goods or you create your own, chances are you’re looking for somewhere to buy or sell them.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

All Things Michigan

Features Kristi Kates

There are a lot of things that are interesting, accomplished, quirky, cool and just plain great about our state. Here are a few...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Runway: Launching Designers In Lansing

Features Kristi Kates From Project Runway and NBC’s Fashion Star to Bravo’s The Fashion Show and Launch My Line, as well as Ovation TV’s The Fashion Fund, television has long had a fascination with aspiring fashion folk.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Upscaling the Petoskey Stone

Features Kristi Kates It’s also a favorite souvenir of tourists and a familiar sight in homes across the region, usually in the form of a paperweight or decorative item. One local company is taking the Petoskey Stone to another level, infusing it into sleek and eclectic home decor elements that are turning the Petoskey Stone into an upscale accent.
Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Great Indoor Folk Festival Returns

Music Kristi Kates Adair Correll is the head of Northern Michigan Songwriters in the Round, an organization that began in June of 1997 with five musicians seeking a more “listening audience.” That group has expanded to more than 60 songwriters from northern Michigan who perform on the third Friday of every month at Horizon Books in Traverse City.
Saturday, February 13, 2016

Rolling Out the Red Carpet For The Hollywood Concert Orchestra

Music Kristi Kates If you’re looking forward to the upcoming 88th “Academy Awards” on Feb. 28 (especially to see who will end up with the “Best Song” award), then the City Opera House has a performance you shouldn’t miss.
Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Showcase of Restaurants

Features Kristi Kates On the Menu: Both traditional buckwheat crepes and “Americanized” crepes, the former used primarily for savory, gluten-free dishes like the classic ham and cheese crepe, and the latter for sweet dessert selections filled with chocolate, homemade caramel, or apples.
Saturday, February 13, 2016

Crack the Code of the Secret Menu!

Features Kristi Kates A great meal out is a wonderful thing, but some days you might not have the time or the budget to take advantage of northern Michigan’s fantastic lineup of restaurants, so you turn to fast food. That doesn’t mean you have to settle for the usual.