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, June 11, 2016

Go Mobile for More Music!

Features Kristi Kates So you’ve bought your tickets and set your plans for all of northern Michigan’s great summer concert events, but you still want more music? No problem! The rest of the Midwest is alive with outdoor music festivals too. Behold, the best within an eight-hour drive:.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

U.P. Road Trip: 10 Must-see Sights

Features Kristi Kates If you’ve lived in or visited Michigan for any length of time, chances are you know about many of the Upper Peninsula’s highlights: Tahquamenon Falls, Whitefish Bay, the Hancock copper mines, and Pictured Rocks. But there are plenty of lesser-known sights that also deserve a spot on the U.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Park Performances in Petoskey

Features Kristi Kates The Charlotte Ross Lee Concerts in the Park series, a summer staple, really begins in February. That’s when the Crooked Tree Arts Center (CTAC) starts receiving phone calls from music fans wondering when their favorite musicians will perform … in June.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

2016 Up North Music Festival Roundup

Features Kristi Kates Music, dancing, food and fun — who could ask for anything more? Summer is back, and with it the return of all of northern Michigan’s seasonal musical festivals. From Bay View to Microbrew, Rootenanny to Manitou, it’s all happening Up North!.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Up North Farmers Markets Summer Highlights

Features Kristi Kates ’Tis the season for everything fresh, direct from our local farms to you! Here’s a guide highlighting some of the major farmers markets across northern Michigan — pick your pleasure:.
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Seasonal Sounds: Music on the Peninsula

Music Kristi Kates Another peninsula experience combining the setting sun with great music of a different sort is The Homestead’s summer concert series, now in its sixth year.
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Explore Old Mission's Best

Features Kristi Kates In the winter, it’s all about the snowshoeing out on Old Mission Peninsula. Or at least, mostly about the snowshoeing. Snowshoe Wine and Brew — a popular outing organized by Mission Table, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, and Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery — drew legions of hardy stompers and sippers every Sunday, late December through February.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Two Decades Of Art From Kevin Barton

Art Kristi Kates people know very early in life what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Artist Kevin Barton, celebrating his 20th year as a working artist this summer, is one of those people.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Eco Smoothie Cafe

Dining Kristi Kates Ryan Nelson started doing restaurant work when he was 14 years old, snagging a youth work permit so he could take a job at the Flapjack Family Restaurant in Petoskey.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Happy Double Anniversary!

Features Kristi Kates

Like the feel of much of Northern Michigan, there’s a neighborly relationship between Teysen’s Gift Shop of Mackinaw City and Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts of Petoskey. The former is celebrating 90 years of business this summer; the latter 70 years.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Spring Abloom

Features Kristi Kates What plant is native to the Balkan Peninsula, is the state flower of New Hampshire, was the subject of a famous painting by Edouard Manet… and is the honoree of a major festival right here in northern Michigan? None other than that bountiful, perfumed spring bloom of the north, the lilac.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Lyric Theatre Preps For Debut

Features Kristi Kates Since its Gatsby-era beginnings as a Packard automobile dealership, the Harbor Galleria building in downtown Harbor Springs has gone through multiple versions of itself. One of those was the original Lyric Theatre, a movie house that operated until the ’80s.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hello Summer in Petoskey!

Features Kristi Kates Petoskey’s Spring Open House ran for six years, from 2006–2012, but fizzled out after the weather. Now it’s back, re-energized, and rebranded as the Petoskey Summer Open House. Under the direction of Downtown Promotions Coordinator Kate Manthei, the event’s popularity is quickly catching up to that of the city’s Holiday Open House in December.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Summertime In Little Traverse

Where To Be When

Features Kristi Kates Summer Open House – Petoskey – June 3 From The Graphic’s photo booth and the Taste of Downtown, to tunes from Lite 96.3, a fashion show, and an energetic performance by the Petoskey High School Steel Drum Band, this is P-town’s way to welcome summer. For more information: petoskeydowntown.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Mackinac Island Ferries

What’s New!

Features Kristi Kates Mackinac Island draws about a million visitors every year, and it’s primarily up to Northern Michigan’s big three — Arnold, Schepler’s, and Star Line ferries — to get those visitors there and back. With summer nigh and the pressure on, we checked in with the local ferry companies to see what’s new for summer 2016.