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, July 31, 2015

Three Sides of “Ernie”

Features Kristi Kates

Ernie Harwell was a sportscasting legend. He spent 55 years on the microphone — 42 of those with the Detroit Tigers — calling the game action on radio and TV. But to Michiganians, he was even more. Harwell’s familiar vocal resonance, phrasings and personality made him more like a family member, connecting him with fans, players and fellow broadcasters.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dancing with the Stars Live!

Waltzes Into Interlochen

Features Kristi Kates ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars (DWTS)” is a true reality TV phenomenon, and that phenomenon is making a live stop in northern Michigan Aug. 10. Pairing professional dancers with celebrities, each couple performs specific dances within a weekly theme, ranging from the jive to the tango.
Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Weekend at Interlochen

Music Kristi Kates Continuing the tradition of what was perhaps the only band to truly capture the audio soul of a California summer is this classic act, now led by original member Mike Love and mid-1960s addition Bruce Johnston (an Interlochen camp alumnus!).
Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chalk and Chocolate Expands to TC

Art Kristi Kates “It’s a gorgeous and perfect spot,” Mc- Surely said. “Large international street art festivals are often several day affairs,” she continued. “At our fest, many of the artists will be working most of the day on their piece, with spectators able to hang out, view and talk to the artists.
Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Challenges of Filming Up North

Features Kristi Kates There are a lot of great things about filming in Michigan. For starters, big budget films like “Transformers: Age of Extinction” and "Red Dawn" have utilized the urban wilds of Detroit, where they’ve found endless examples of inner-city blight, abandoned factories and graffitied walls to serve as backdrops for various apocalyptic scenarios.
Friday, July 17, 2015

Tyler Farr Brings Nashville to the TCMF

Music Kristi Kates He’s a classically trained musician turned country recording artist. What do you get when you combine those two things? You get to hang out with legendary musicians, record a No. 2 country chart single and a brand new album, and you get the honor of being locked up in a glass box.
Friday, July 17, 2015

Just Great Music at the TCFF

Music Kristi Kates With films including everything from documentaries to rockumentaries, dramas to comedies to experimental cinema, there's a visual niche for everyone — and thanks to the hard work of Music Director Mike Sullivan and his team, there's probably an audio match, as well.
Friday, July 17, 2015

Make a Stop at the Paper Station

Dining Kristi Kates “A lot of people here build restaurants and gear them to transients and tourists,” he said, “but we are building this place with locals in mind. I think that’s the biggest thing that will make us different.
Friday, July 17, 2015

The Best of the Rest

Features Kristi Kates The Traverse City Film Festival is in good company. Each year, Michigan plays host to more than three dozen film fests of various sizes and genre focuses, from the very specific (like the annual Arab Film Festival in Dearborn or the Tulipanes Latino...
Friday, July 17, 2015

The Passing of the Passenger Pigeon

Features Kristi Kates Perhaps you’ve been to the Little Traverse Historical Museum and wondered why there’s an entire exhibition dedicated to passenger pigeons. Maybe you’ve seen the memorial to the passenger pigeon at the Oden Fish Hatchery six miles north of Petoskey or wondered about the name of the Pigeon River area.
Friday, July 17, 2015

A Lake Runs Through It

Up North fisheries scale to new heights

Features Kristi Kates “There was… some question,” Carlson chuckled. “I went to college at the School of Natural Resources at U of M. Then, I worked for another fish company and I worked for Whole Foods for a while, but when the opportunity opened up to buy this place in 2012, I had to take it.
Friday, July 10, 2015

Remote Sounds: The Beaver Island Music Festival

Music Kristi Kates You can only get to this music festival by boat or plane, no exceptions. You won’t find fancy VIP viewing areas, WiFi lounges or late-night discos. You’re more likely to run into a downto-earth yoga instructor, itinerant farmhand or banjo player than a Hollywood celebrity.
Friday, July 10, 2015

Starship to Rock the Fest!

Music Kristi Kates They may not be the original Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship that broke musical ground back in 1965, but this spinoff of the psychedelic rock outfit can still reel in the crowds. Even after multiple member and name changes, the band’s current live setlists still read like a ’70s-’80s hit list.
Friday, July 10, 2015

Cadillac's Festival of the Arts

Art Kristi Kates Named in honor of the late Phyllis Olson, a dedicated worker for the Cadillac Area Artists’ Association for more than 40 years, the fair is held in the Cadillac City Park adjacent to beautiful Lake Cadillac.
Friday, July 10, 2015

Off the Beaten Path at Bella Vita

Dining Kristi Kates “We joke that the interior of our restaurant is retro chic,” laughed Bella Vita coowner Kelly Woodard. Woodard, who runs the restaurant with co-owner Matthew Rader, said the restaurant is like an ’80s flashback, with a carpeted dining room, local landscape paintings and brass rails — and they like it that way.