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, December 19, 2015

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Here’s Your Guide to Welcoming 2016!

Features Kristi Kates

Whether you like lots of glitter, the great outdoors, casual street food or gourmet goodies, northern Michigan has several options for your Dec. 31 celebration. Here are highlights from some of the bigger events around the region so you can pick your location to welcome 2016.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2016 New Year of the Monkey

Extra Kristi Kates While you will probably have to return to work on Monday, Jan. 4, most Chinese will get at least five days off to celebrate their New Year’s holiday. The Chinese New Year is aligned with the Chinese zodiac, with each of its 12 animal signs representing a year and running a 12-year cycle before repeating.
Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Mainstay's Musical Rebirth

Music Kristi Kates From the roots of the downstate party band Funktion has arisen a new musical outfit that’s added folk and grunge to an already-established funk-soul sound.
Saturday, December 12, 2015

Beat the Winter Blues with Music

Music Kristi Kates JUMPSTART JAMS “We’ve all heard of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder),” said Blissfest guru Jim Gillespie. “And a lot of folks experience what’s just called the winter blues.
Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Front Porch Cafe

Dining Kristi Kates That dream was realized seven years ago and, after updating the building and the kitchen facilities, Rasmussen now manages The Front Porch Cafe. The restaurant is overseen by a board of directors that manages the finances.
Saturday, December 12, 2015

Up North Cheese Finds!

Features Kristi Kates It’s a fact; we love cheese. Recent USDA figures show U.S. cheese consumption at an all-time high, up 42 percent over the past two decades. Modern Farmer notes the top selling cheeses in the United States are mozzarella and cheddar, with the average American consuming 10 pounds of each per year.
Saturday, December 12, 2015

Studio Anatomy's Creative Evolution

Features Kristi Kates But when Good News closed and musician/ recording engineer Brian Chamberlain took over the space in the summer of 2012, he found that the good vibes had ostensibly departed along with the business. Inside, Chamberlain was met with “a disaster” that would take a lot of work to put right again.
Saturday, December 12, 2015

Season the Season

Features Kristi Kates Scents and flavors are integral parts of holiday ambiance and festive meals, and spices play a big role in both. We spoke with a few regional spice stores to learn how you can infuse your home with even more holiday spirit, and what spices you might want to add to your kitchen lineup.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Gaylord Gets The Grand Ole Opry

Music Kristi Kates It’s certainly going to be a grand holiday for country music fans. The Alpine Lodge in Gaylord is turning itself into a re-creation of Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry to put on a show that’ll get boots stompin’, guitars twangin’ and folks singing along to some of their favorite country hits from the good old days to today.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Winter Concerts 2016

Music Kristi Kates Whether you prefer your music 100 percent homegrown or enjoy the excuse to take a road trip downstate, 2016 has a great head start on must-see concerts! You’ll find everything from vintage classics to country crooners to cutting edge tunes for the first three months of the year.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Local Music Spotlight on: Peacemeal

Music Kristi Kates While much of their recent press has centered around The Rhubarbary, their popular house concert venue in Harbor Springs, some people may not realize that the venue’s owner/managers, Maureen and Dale Scott, are in a pretty great band of their own.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Paddling to the Sea with Song of the Lakes

Music Kristi Kates Their sound is comprised of many influences, from Scandinavian elements to the blues, with the water running through each and every one. Their very name is evocative of the region we all live in. And they’ve been a familiar local sound to many since 1983.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Keeping Things Kool at the Kalkaska Kaliseum

Features Kristi Kates SUPER DIRECTOR The guy overseeing the fun at the Kaliseum is Alan “A.J.” James. A 35-year veteran of the motorcycle industry, James started his career at a motorcycle shop in Ann Arbor and moved to Traverse City in 1978, where he worked at Grand Traverse Honda and Suzuki, now Great Escapes.
Saturday, November 28, 2015

BeauSoleil Avec Michael Doucet

Music Kristi Kates It’s intriguing that BeauSoleil bills themselves as “with Michael Doucet” because it’s hard to think of BeauSoleil without Doucet, the bandleader whose instinctive, emotive vocals and standout fiddle playing are the heart of this wide-ranging group of top-shelf devoted players.
Saturday, November 28, 2015

Meet The Art Guy: Paul LaPorte

Art Kristi Kates If you’ve ever listened to WTCM Radio, visited the Crooked Tree Arts Center or attended any number of local art events, chances are your path has crossed with Paul LaPorte’s.