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 31, 2015

Billy Branch Bringing Back the Blues

Music Kristi Kates Chicago-born and California-seasoned, harmonica-playing blues musician Billy Branch is again living in his Windy City hometown after years in Los Angeles. No matter where he is, blues music comes as naturally to him as walking, and he’ll be bringing his sound even farther north next week, with a concert in Traverse City.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

Emmet County’s Biggest Fan Beth Eckerle

Art Kristi Kates One way to honor state, county or municipal employees who have helped preserve Michigan’s history beyond the duties of their official jobs is by presenting them with the Michigan Historical Commission’s Governor John B. Swainson Award.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

Michigan Women Who Rock

Features Kristi Kates While the majority of Michigan’s well-known musical success stories are men (think Stevie Wonder, Jack White, Iggy Pop, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis, Kid Rock, Eminem, techno producer Carl Craig, most of Motown), the ladies are slowly but surely catching up.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

Emerging Wunderkind

Features Kristi Kates Two kids joining forces to help another kid in need. That’s the basic premise behind an upcoming concert by two unique and youthful musicians, Milo Birch and Nik Carman; they are the featured performers at a benefit concert to help support brain cancer treatment for 9-year-old Traverse City resident, Evan Matusik.
Saturday, October 24, 2015

Daunting Dining for a Petoskey Halloween

Dining Kristi Kates If you’re looking for a unique way to usher in this Halloween, Petoskey’s got it with their Haunted Halloween Progressive Dinner. You’ll enjoy three courses at three restaurants with local ghost hunters and haunted history as the evening’s entertainment.
Saturday, October 24, 2015

Got Pets?

Features Kristi Kates Named after the owners’ two late beloved dogs, Daisy and Oscar (the bakery’s name is an acronym for Daisy and Oscar’s Gourmet), D.O.G. opened in May 2004. “My husband and I saw an opportunity to combine our love for our dogs with the chance to do something together,” Karry Barolo explained.
Saturday, October 24, 2015

2015 Halloween Costume Trends

Features Kristi Kates With an election year fast approaching, you’re sure to see plenty of President Obamas, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bushes and toupeewearing Donald Trumps wandering around this Halloween, but there are lots of other costumes filling up the shops this October, inspired by movies, TV, comics and outer space.
Saturday, October 24, 2015

Making a Difference

Features Kristi Kates Something wonderful sometimes springs from a difficult situation. Such was the case for Topinabee author Chris Wright (writer of the popular “Michigan Chillers” and “American Chillers” series for kids, plus several novels for adults) and his wife, Boots Wright.
Saturday, October 24, 2015

Eerie Evenings

Features Kristi Kates Ready to get scared? It’s time to pick this year’s ghostly Halloween destination, so get ready to compare your own personal Scream Scale to ours. Here’s our roundup of this year’s haunted houses (and forests and mountains…) rated from 1 to 10 (10 being the scariest).
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Catching Up with Jeff Haas

Music Kristi Kates A musician since the age of five, Haas studied music as a teenager in Berlin, Germany, delving into jazz after discovering his sister’s music collection. Now a seasoned professional, he always has several irons in the musical fire. We thought we’d check in to see what Haas has been up to lately.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Thirsty Sturgeon

Dining Kristi Kates Dave Marsh had his first restaurant job at the age of 12, as a dishwasher. By 14, he was a line cook at an Italian grill in Southfield, Mich. Sous chef was next on the restaurant ladder, but by then, Marsh had learned there was more money to be made in the front of the house.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Be a Part of Broadway’s Next H!T Musical

Features Kristi Kates The native New Yorker graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and now performs regularly with the same show that first inspired her. In addition to her work there and on shows like Conan O’Brien, she became involved with “Broadway’s Next H!T Musical” (BNHM) in 2009.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Ukuleles for Everyone!

Features Kristi Kates Three ukulele performances in particular have entered recent popular culture: the quirky singer Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” in the ‘60s, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s 1993 version of “What a Wonderful World” and Jake Shimabukuro’s 2006 YouTube version of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Beautiful by the Alphabet

Features Kristi Kates From A to Z, we’ve got it all. It would be easy to use the entire alphabet to describe great things to do, see and appreciate in our region, but for the sake of this particular issue, we’ll stick with what’s SO BEAUTIFUL about northern Michigan..
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Ten Concerts Worth the Roadtrip

Music Kristi Kates While we have a fantastic variety of music right here in northern Michigan, sometimes the act you’ve just got to see doesn’t get up this way — and that’s when you hop in the car for a roadtrip downstate. Here are 10 concerts sure to be well worth the drive.