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 1, 2016

Two For Brew!

Features Kristi Kates Cost: $15 admission includes a complimentary glass and drink ticket Don’t Miss: A side trip to the always gorgeous Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore next door is the perfect morning activity before you indulge in this microbrew extravaganza. More Information: www.
Saturday, October 1, 2016

Preserving Fall’s Bounty In Jars: Canning With Crosshatch

Features Kristi Kates On a sunny afternoon on the piazza at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons farmers market, a small but focused crowd gathered. They weren’t there to shop, nor to admire the grounds; they could be seen busily cutting vegetables, pouring liquid into jars, and carefully submerging the fruits of their labors into steaming hot water — all at a mobile kitchen that’s revolutionizing how locals are learning to preserve healthy food.
Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fall Into Fun at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park

Features Kristi Kates Fall Into Fun at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park.
Saturday, October 1, 2016

Color Your Fall Fantastic

Features Kristi Kates Golden yellows, rich reds, vivid oranges, earthy browns. These are the colors of fall in northern Michigan, the annual happening that delights locals and attracts a whole new round of tourists.
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Get Literary At The New Harbor Springs Festival Of The Book

Books Kristi Kates Founded by a local group of fans of the written word, a new festival is launching in Harbor Springs in celebration of all things books. The idea behind the Harbor Springs Festival of the Book was simple: Create something unexpected that would put the city on the map as a literary hub.
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Marc Cohn’s Journey To Memphis and Beyond

Music Kristi Kates begins singer-songwriter Marc Cohn’s huge 1991 hit song, “Walking in Memphis,” the song inspired by Cohn’s own journey to that very city in the mid-‘80s, where he has said he became “baptized in the world of Blues” when he was in his early 20s. As the lyrics of the song go, Cohn actually did set his feet on the famed Beale Street.
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fall Into the Past

Features Kristi Kates The first steam locomotive is thought to have gone into operation in 1804, a new travel innovation for the time that produced its power via a steam engine, which was in turn fueled by burning combustibles (usually coal, wood, or oil.
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Petoskey’s Hidden Sport

Whitewater Kayaking

Features Kristi Kates In the heart of the City of Petoskey is an attraction that would perhaps be more expected in the wilds of the Colorado River, the Nenana River in Alaska, or the Rogue River in Oregon: the Bear River Valley Recreation Area Whitewater Park, specifically crafted for kayaking fun and said to be the only whitewater park in northern lower Michigan.
Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sharpen Your Knives!

Dining Kristi Kates Some chefs learn by inheritance, perhaps working their way up from dishwasher or prep cook, eventually apprenticing with a more experienced chef.
Saturday, September 17, 2016

Get Microbrew Fever In Cadillac!

Features Kristi Kates Last year the Cadillac Craft Beer Festival sold out at 1,200 tickets. This year it’s upping the available tickets to 1,500 but expecting to sell out again. If you’re a fan of sampling new and unique microbrews from around Michigan, those numbers are all the more reason to get your tickets early for this popular Cadillac gathering.
Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fantastic Food Trends

Features Kristi Kates 2015 was all about cold brew coffee, avocado toast, fried chicken sandwiches, and poke (the marinated raw fish dish popular in Hawaii). So what are the latest foods and beverages to taste before 2017 arrives? Here’s a sample:.
Saturday, September 10, 2016

Shrine of the Pines

Art Kristi Kates Mirror and window frames made of twisted branches worthy of an Edward Gorey tale. A wooden rocking chair so carefully crafted it rocks for minutes from a single push. A 300-pound door made of pine logs that pivots on a wooden ball. And a 700-pound handmade table carved from a single tree root.
Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bike Share North

Features Kristi Kates WHEEL FUN “It was something I had been thinking about for a long time after seeing these programs at other places,” Rick-Biddick said. “I actually left WATCH in order to exclusively work on the bike share program with the city of Charlevoix. I love fitness, and I especially love cycling!” Three years ago, she launched the program.
Saturday, September 10, 2016

Star Light, Star Bright

Features Kristi Kates The Headlands International Dark Sky Park is one of the true gems of northern Michigan. Located north of Harbor Springs and just south of Mackinaw City, it’s one of only about 40 certified dark sky parks around the world, offering unspoiled views of...
Saturday, September 10, 2016

WVBI Radio:The Voice of little Beaver Island

Features Kristi Kates The comparisons are many, and vary wildly, in describing WVBI-FM. Radio Beaver Island as it’s known, has been called many things: a mini-National Public Radio, Northern Exposure “without the moose,” an island version of Prairie Home Companion, and a musical take on Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates — because you never know what you’re going to get.