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, July 30, 2016

Going Nuts in Williamsburg!

Features Kristi Kates HIDDEN HEALTH “The company was actually started by Katie,” Tim Kearney explained [Katie Kearney is out on maternity leave.] “She was experimenting in the kitchen, making nut butters on her own. She wanted to make a healthier version of peanut and almond butter, since at the time there were only a few organic versions.
Saturday, July 23, 2016

Music Meets Movies at the TCFF!

Music Kristi Kates As the Traverse City Film Festival continues to grow, its offerings expand, and some of the coolest changes this year are in the TCFF’s music lineup. Local musician Jeff Bihlman is the new director of music for the festival, taking over for Mike Sullivan, and he’s been working hard to line up the talent.
Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Pointer Returns

Features Kristi Kates Constructed in Chassell, Mich., in 1934, the low-slung wooden water vessel known as The Pointer has been a longtime icon of Harbor Springs. It first served as a water taxi to tony Harbor Point, then later retired to the backyard bay waters outside Stafford’s Pier restaurant on Bay Street.
Saturday, July 23, 2016

Changing Lives On The Red Dirt Road

Features Kristi Kates “Laura introduced me to [physicist/novelist/educator] Alan Lightman and his Harpswell Organization,” Eckstein said. “He was taking a trip to Cambodia to check on his work there and invited me to meet him there to see what he does with his foundation to empower women.
Saturday, July 23, 2016

History is Stored in Horton Bay

Features Kristi Kates After moving up to Horton Bay from Traverse City 35 years ago to open a deli in Boyne City, the Lorengers were drawn to the uniqueness of the general store, built in 1876. They purchased it in 2000, prepared to take on the renovations that the store badly needed.
Saturday, July 23, 2016

Life in the Past Lane

Features Kristi Kates Deb Matthew is a charter life member of the Northern Michigan Antique Flywheelers Club. Her commitment to the club isn’t simply because she’s a fan of tractors, engines and other farming mechanics. Her parents, Larry and Darlea Matthew, founded the club back in the 1980s.
Saturday, July 23, 2016

Catch Me If You Can Hits Interlochen Stage

Features Kristi Kates While we won’t spoil the ending for you, the penultimate scene of Steven Spielberg’s movie Catch Me If You Can is the opener, where protagonist Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo Di- Caprio) is a contestant on the old game show To Tell The Truth.
Saturday, July 23, 2016

See the Future at the Woz

Features Kristi Kates Started three years ago, The Woz — inspired by and named for Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — already has grown by leaps and bounds, said TCFF Creative Director Meg Weichman.
Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Rhythms Of Upbeat Cadillac

Music Kristi Kates Not surprisingly, it was music that brought them together. Calhoun, born in Mississippi in 1921 and raised in Chicago, had a long and illustrious career, performing with the likes of Erroll Garner, Miles Davis, Lennie Capp, and Ahmad Jamal. He, like many other black musicians of his era, spent time at northern Michigan’s Idlewild resort community.
Saturday, July 16, 2016


Dining Kristi Kates Jordan couple Debbie and Marty Carey have long run a successful ice cream and broasted chicken stop, Marty’s Cones and Carry Out, on one side of the Jordan River. But when they spotted a building in need of renovation on the other side of the riverbank, they knew just what to do with it:.
Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Heart And Soul

Features Kristi Kates If you like contagious rock ’n’ roll that’s catchy enough to stick with you for days, you’ll dig Huey Lewis and the News — if you’re not already a fan.
Saturday, July 16, 2016

Six Sensational Festivals

Features Kristi Kates July 16–23 The Venetian Festival got its start 86 years ago as a candlelit boat parade. That’s a far cry from the big, friendly bustle that now takes over Charlevoix, but according to organizers, in 2016, the city’s signature event is bigger and better than ever.
Saturday, July 16, 2016

The First Female Behind The Camera

Features Kristi Kates Born in France, the woman who is considered the world’s first female director and filmmaker is Alice Guy-Blaché, who started in the film business as a secretary and made her directing debut with the film La Fée aux Choux (1896), a quaint magical tale about a fairy she did for Gaumont-Paris studios.
Saturday, July 16, 2016

Guide To Northern Michigan Fruit Farms

Features Kristi Kates We live in a bountiful belt of orchards and farms that bear some of the best fruit in the nation — why would you spend a second of your summer standing in a grocery store line to buy berries? This summer, make it your mission to pluck your local...
Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Summer Friends Lecture Series

Features Kristi Kates During the summer months, Harbor Springs residents and resorters often can be found reveling in the quiet northern corner of Little Traverse Bay, reluctant to head south into the busier community of Petoskey.