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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Friday, August 28, 2015

15 Fun Facts About the Mackinac Bridge Walk

Features Kristi Kates You say potato, I say potahto… Mackinac Island was considered shaped like a turtle, so it was given the early Native American name Michilimackinac (Great Turtle), a moniker that eventually came to represent the entire Straits of Mackinac region. By the early 1800s, it was shortened to Mackinac.
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Three Shows for the Weekend

Music Kristi Kates Led by Detroit flutist and singer Kelly McDermott, who worked for years as an orchestral and chamber musician with not one, but three, flute degrees to her credit, Nessa is an unusual and colorful hybrid band that combines Celtic, classical, jazz and world music, creating a pop-folk fusion.
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Invasion of the '80s

Features Kristi Kates

One is a San Francisco glam-punk band whose stage presence includes flashing sunglasses, platform shoes, wild stage antics and questionable lyrics. The other is an alternative power-rock outfit from New Jersey who favors black T-shirts and got its name from a Yosemite Sam catchphrase.

Opposite coasts, and most definitely contradictory approaches to being a band, but you’ll hear similar sounds because they both crafted some of the most familiar songs of ’80s rock radio, which is probably why they’ve hit the road together for their 2015 Rock of the ’80s Tour. They’re making a stop at the Little River Casino Resort this weekend.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Microbrew and Music and More

Music Kristi Kates It’s time for this year’s summer Microbrew and Music Festival in Traverse City, and Porterhouse Productions guru Sam Porter is in a never-ending cycle of organizing and promoting, but don’t let the surrounding chaos fool you; Porter loves every minute of it.
Friday, August 14, 2015

Avett Brothers Amplify Festival Appeal

Music Kristi Kates One of the coolest things about Traverse City Summer Microbrew and Music Festival headliners The Avett Brothers is their slow ascent to fame.
Friday, August 14, 2015

Josh Skeel: Super Illustrator

Art Kristi Kates “And, of course, I was hooked on any kind of superhero cartoon, like Masters of the Universe or the Superfriends,” he said. “I remember the first time my dad brought me a handful of comics on his way back from work. I looked through them until the covers came off, even though I was too young to read them yet.
Friday, August 14, 2015

Pigs Eatin’ Ribs

Dining Kristi Kates You might catch one of Pigs Eatin’ Ribs’ four food trucks on the road or at various events around northern Michigan. You'll recognize them by their burgundy color and their signature pig logo, but their casual restaurant on US 31 in Charlevoix is just as unique and interesting.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bay View Bohemians

Music Kristi Kates If you love the Broadway play “RENT,” chances are you'll also like “La Bohème.” Based on Henri Murger's novel “Scènes de la vie de Bohème” – a collection of short stories about youthful bohemians living in Paris in the 1840s – “La Bohème” was the inspiration behind “RENT,” which is about youthful bohemians living in New York City.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

Getting Ready for Petoskey's Festival on the Bay

Music Kristi Kates Walker’s eventual job staging and working the door at Flint’s Capital Theater, then his efforts helping to kick-start Petoskey’s own Battle of the Bands a dozen years ago, plus his current work with Porterhouse Productions in Traverse City make him a perfect fit to oversee Petoskey’s summer highlight, Festival on the Bay.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Cherry-Roubaix Celebrating Cycling

Features Kristi Kates

At 9am on a Sunday morning, hundreds of cyclists will line up on Traverse City’s Front Street to embark on a full-day celebration of bicycling, scenery, local food and drink.

Sound like fun? That's the whole idea behind Cherry-Roubaix, the Traverse City cycling event that offers road space to cyclists of all abilities and throws in a big, fun bash to look forward to at the end.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Hoxeyville's Homegrown Festival

Features Kristi Kates It's the little festival that could. Now entering its 12th year, the Hoxeyville Music Festival combines big-time regional touring musicians with some of the best local music that northern Michigan has to offer – and recognition is growing slowly, but surely.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

You Can Learn Anything

Features Kristi Kates In addition to our region’s colleges like Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) in Traverse City and North Central Michigan College (NCMC) in Petoskey, satellite campuses offer a variety of ways to learn, complete college requirements and more, either from your hometown, online or with a combination of both.
Saturday, August 8, 2015

Summer's Last Gasp!

Camping Ideas for Making the Most of The Remaining Season

Features Kristi Kates Quick – bag up the tent, grab some firewood, put the hot dogs in the cooler and load everyone into the car! There's still a little summer left, so no matter what your camping style, go and make some last-minute memories at these great campsites before the real world sets back in.
Friday, July 31, 2015

Press on Juice

Features Kristi Kates

She navigated the high-powered Chicago business world for years, working for top companies like Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic. As time passed, she moved even father up the ladder, eventually co-owning an IT firm. Sometimes you need to get back to basics before you can press on to your next career adventure. That's what Kris Rockwood did when she left the big city to start a company of her own in northern Michigan — one with plenty of liquid assets.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Local Dietitians Weigh-In

Features Kristi Kates Obesity and related health issues have become an epidemic in our state, but sorting through the endless advice columns, weight loss blogs and self-help books can be a time-consuming task. To simplify this overwhelming topic, EXPRESS asked doctors and professional hospital dietitians around our region to share some of the practical, healthier choices we can all start making today.