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, June 19, 2015

A Tale Of Three Lumberjacks

Features Kristi Kates This year’s Lumberjack Festival, held June 26-28, will offer plenty of fun things to do. In addition to food, drink and the annual Lumberjack Parade at 10am on Saturday, the weekend will include live music, canoe and kayak races, basketball contests, a chicken dinner and nighttime fireworks on Friday, as well as lumberjack-specific activities.
Friday, June 19, 2015

High-Flying Fun at Balloonfest

Features Kristi Kates More than 50 brightly colored, massive hot air balloons will fill the sky above Howell, Michigan for the annual Michigan Challenge Balloonfest, which began in 1984. Watched by more than 100,000 spectators, the pilots at this event are competing for the state championship in hot air ballooning, including a trophy, cash and prizes.
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Touring Michigan with Time and Luck

Music Kristi Kates “Max is a fantastic singer-songwriter in his own right and recently released an album called ‘Outrider,’” Rilko said. “We’ll be performing some songs from that album on our tour. And John is a top-notch percussionist; he’ll be adding those skills and more to our duo ensemble.
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Faithful Fun at Big Ticket Fest

Music Kristi Kates “I think most people have a misconception of God: that he’s centered on rules and making people ‘be good,’” explained festival president Drew Spanding. “But really, God is about freedom — and it’s important to party! We have so much difficulty in this world that the discipline of celebrating is critical to our spiritual experience here on earth.
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Downtown Sounds

Music Kristi Kates Founded by local Sheryl McCleary (also known for running Tom’s Mom’s Cookies) with the support of Blissfest, the aim was to encourage community talent and bring a unique arts experience to the city. Today, Street Musique is managed by the Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce,.
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Four Lighthouse Vacations

Features Kristi Kates THE GRAND TRAVERSE LIGHTHOUSE Leelanau State Park, Northport grandtraverselighthouse.com Since 1858, this lighthouse has overseen Lake Michigan and the end of Grand Traverse Bay, although these days it functions only as a museum (it was decommissioned in 1972).
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Beats and Bands at the Bidwell

Features Kristi Kates “CTAC has been presenting the Concert in the Park series in Pennsylvania Park (down the street from the arts center) for many years,” Ahrens said. “So, with those performances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays all summer, we thought that adding Thursdays would be a great asset to downtown.
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bag It!

Features Kristi Kates Pack for the park, bring a book to the beach, stash your sunscreen, lug along your lunch — no matter where you’re going this summer, you’re going to need something to carry your stuff. Check out the latest bag styles and you’ll finally be able to leave that plastic grocery bag where it belongs — in the recycling bin.
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bill Engvall Headlines New Comedy and Music Fest

Features Kristi Kates “I really did want to be a teacher!” Engvall insisted. “Teachers make such a difference. I had a creative writing teacher, Mrs. Brown, who taught me how to be unafraid and to perform, and I think that’s where this all started. So I might go back and become a teacher when this is all over.
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fashion Forward Five

Features Kristi Kates Fashion is subjective, it’s true, but there are always those who manage to fashionably stand out. We found five fashionistas from northern Michigan and asked them about their unique and striking style, right down to what they think of current trends and what they’d buy if they had unlimited funds to shop.
Saturday, June 6, 2015

“B” Cool at Lollapalooza

Music Kristi Kates While we have two months to wait, tickets are on sale now and it’ll be here before we know it. The biggest and best major summer music fest within reasonable driving distance of northern Michigan opens July 31 and Express has all the best info on what to do once you get there.
Saturday, June 6, 2015

2015 Up North Festival Roundup

Music Kristi Kates THE MUSIC: From local Joshua Davis’ triumphant return after the finals of “The Voice,” to performances by The Beach Boys, Harry Connick Jr., Diana Krall, O.A.R., Vince Gill and The Piano Guys, these shows are some of the biggest..
Saturday, June 6, 2015

Rock n’ Hit The Road 2015 Summer Music Fests

Music Kristi Kates Music fans know that one of the best ways to hear a plethora of their favorite bands all at once is to save up and road trip to one of the big summer music festivals..
Saturday, June 6, 2015

It’s a Dog’s show

Features Kristi Kates Dog shows — the 2000 Christopher Guest dog show parody movie “Best in Show” not withstanding — can run the gamut, from the highbrow canine royalty of the Westminster Dog Show to more casual summertime contests focusing on the town’s ugliest or most patriotic pet.
Saturday, June 6, 2015

Supporting Art at Limited Edition

Features Kristi Kates An artists forum presented by Crooked Tree Arts Center in Traverse City last winter started an idea percolating in Katie Brines’ mind. A grant award brought the idea to the boiling point for the Petoskey artist who works in abstract painting and ceramics.