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 10, 2015

Michigan Roadside Oddities!

Features Kristi Kates Part of the charm of a road trip is the wacky, pure Americana things you see along the way. Some of them are quaint, some are eyebrow-raising, some are cause for immediate laughter — and many are simply downright strange. All of them make for great summer memories and there are plenty to start with right here in Michigan.
Friday, July 10, 2015

2015 Charlevoix Venetian Festival

Features Kristi Kates The glittering Boat Parade (Saturday, July 25 at dusk) is the major highlight of Venetian Fest. The parade on Round Lake features all kinds of boats and lights, with great viewing along Charlevoix’s waterfront. Awards go to the most creative entries. The theme this year is Mardi Gras, so expect lots of masks and beads in shades of purple and orange.
Friday, July 3, 2015

Blues on the Road with Mulebone

Music Kristi Kates Singer/guitarist Hugh Pool and multiinstrumentalist John Ragusa make up the Brooklyn-based duo Mulebone, with a new album called Keep On Movin’ (2014, Red Tug Records) and a well-deserved reputation as a pair of musicians who know how to elevate modern blues.
Friday, July 3, 2015

35 Years of Bliss

Music Kristi Kates Few knew that the little music fundraiser started by Jim Gillespie back in 1981 would turn into the mega-event it is today. It’s a summer highlight for many local music fans… and for plenty of visitors, some who make the trek north specifically for the festival from all over the country.
Friday, July 3, 2015

Four New Ways to Use Cherries

Dining Kristi Kates Now, enjoy! In warm weather, it shows its best color (literally; it’s a deep, rich red) mixed with soda water and ice as a soft drink, a perfect balance of tart and sweet flavors. It can also be used as a mixer in cocktails and, drizzled over grilled peaches or ice cream, it’s a unique seasonal dessert.
Friday, July 3, 2015

Your Guide to Northern Michigan Orchards

Dining Kristi Kates BLUEBERRY FOREST FARM | 3436 Tobias Road, Elmira 231-584-3443 | pickitfarmfresh.com/blueberry-forest-farm/michigan/elmira | Violet Beauregarde would love this place, which has been in operation since 2001. It’s nothing but blueberries, blueberries and more blueberries, with U-Pick available from 10am to 6pm. | FRUITS AVAILABLE: blueberries
Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday Fundays!

Features Kristi Kates This Friday series of events in downtown Petoskey is complemented by familyfriendly late-night Movies in the Park, one of the most popular outdoor movieviewing events in northern Michigan; all movies start around sunset.
Friday, July 3, 2015

A Centennial at Bay View

Features Kristi Kates Bay View’s John M. Hall Auditorium is celebrating 100 years this summer. The renowned local venue that sits alongside Bay View’s legendary Victorian cottages and campus buildings, many of which have hosted notable and famous guests, has certainly enjoyed a storied past.
Friday, July 3, 2015

Cherry Fest Rocks!

Features Kristi Kates Actually, Cherry Fest more than just rocks. With a diverse slate of performers covering everything from alt-pop to country, comedy parodies to funk and vintage hairband jams, there’s something for every variety of music fan during festival week (including your chance to be a Cherry Festival musical idol).
Saturday, June 27, 2015

Martinis and Blues at Interlochen

Music Kristi Kates “There’s a trend?” joked Pink Martini’s percussionist, Brian Davis. “I occasionally miss those, but if there are groups surfacing inspired or influenced by what Pink Martini’s doing, how cool is that?” According to Davis, Lauderdale comes up with the...
Saturday, June 27, 2015

It's Time to D'Art for Art

Art Kristi Kates The event is supported by 250 artists who donate original artwork. The art is passed along to every individual, or couple, who purchases a ticket to the festivities, which includes a preview event on Wednesday and the main D’Art event on Thursday, both held at Irish Boat Shop in Harbor Springs.
Saturday, June 27, 2015

Modern Rock

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Comments, questions, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com.
Friday, June 19, 2015

The Weepies Moving Forward

Music Kristi Kates Steve Tannen and Deb Talan began writing music together the night they met. They’d soon form two long-term partnerships: one as a married couple and the second as the duo The Weepies, logging 20 million views on YouTube and more than 1 million records sold.
Friday, June 19, 2015

Mixing and Matching at Electric Forest Fest

Music Kristi Kates EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and jam bands (think The Grateful Dead/Phish) may seem strange festival mates, opposite ends of the musical spectrum, but mixing these divergent beats on outdoor stages — in this case, at the Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, Michigan — seems to result in mystical festival chemistry that really works.
Friday, June 19, 2015

Community of Creativity: The SOBO Arts Fest

Art Kristi Kates Founded by Lake Street Market owner Liz Glass, the fest is now in its sixth year, thanks to the added efforts of Freshwater Studio’s Robin Lee Berry and Tony Williams; the Boyne Arts Collective; and local fellow artists Jerry Douglas and Cindy Franco.