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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Sandra Serra Bradshaw

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Thursday, December 9, 2004

Hattie‘s: New Owners, Same Standard of Dining Excellence

Features Sandra Serra Bradshaw Hattie’s is known in gourmet restaurant circles as one of the top 10 fine dining establishments in the state. The restaurant recently changed owners and they aim to keep both the record and perhaps even surpass it.
Sam and Michelle Hybels of Suttons Bay officially took over on October 12. “I left for Lansing to get our liquor license after the real estate closing and 40 minutes before opening our first night, I got back with it,” said Sam with a grin.
The restaurant does indeed continue to serve liquor as well as fine wines, including an emphasis on those of local vintners. But what Hattie’s is known for is consistent attentive service, attention to detail and wonderful food exquisitely prepared. Much of the restaurant’s success is due to chef Patty Hickman.
Owner Sam had read about Hattie’s national credentials 12 years ago in a culinary publication while he was still at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. Since then, he has worked as a chef in cities including Chicago, New York and LA. Locally, he has been a chef at LaBecasse, Key to the County and Sugar Loaf. In between chef stints he worked in the orchards “to pay the bills.” Often Hybels drove his tractor past Hattie’s with a tug at his heart to perhaps one day work there.
Eventually, he was hired on. “It was great to work in such an establishment with a strong culinary representative quality kitchen. It raises an eyebrow on a resumè,” he said. Now, as new owner, Hybels credits former Hattie’s partners/owners Jim Milliman and Rob Giffer. “They made this restaurant the success it is.”
Launched in the late-’80s, early ‘90s, Hattie’s was named after Jim’s grandmother, who inspired his own efforts as a chef.
Thursday, November 18, 2004

Tempting Treats at the Village Cafe in Cross Village

Features Sandra Serra Bradshaw The drive to Cross Village via the historic Tunnel of Trees along M-119 makes the trip up to this tiny town near the tip of the Michigan mitten all the more impressive.  And it’s worth the journey, for here you will find the Village Café, which offers a taste of Polish cuisine along with a unique niche in introducing European pastries to up north diners.
As I was driving to the café, an Oldies 107 radio disc jockey reported, “This is National Grouch Day.” Well, that afternoon the little restaurant was bustling with a steady drove of customers - and everyone who walked through the door was smiling and greeted as if family.  No grouches in sight.
Thursday, October 28, 2004

Sip a Coffee & Connect: WiFi Technology Energizes Petoskey Coffeeshop

Features Sandra Serra Bradshaw From Philadelphia to Los Angeles, Detroit to Harbor Springs and throughout the world, Internet coffee cafés are the new “buzz.” In fact, Internet cafes.com shows a database of 4,260 Internet cafes in 140 countries. It’s definitely a growing trend worldwide as well as right here in Northern Michigan.
For Pete Lambeth of Petoskey, it’s been a dream of his to open his own coffee shop for a long time. “I have wanted to start up my own coffee shop for many years,” he explained. “It just seemed like the timing was never right. And now so many people use the Internet. Well, I just knew that not only local people but people who travel like to have access to the Internet to keep in touch with their business and families.”
The owner of Pete’s Pipe & Tobacco Shop in downtown Petoskey, his dream was finally realized with a bit of an added New Millennium twist. Set two doors down from his first store – which he had started in 1996 – Coffee & Connect opened this past July and is being very well received.
Thursday, June 24, 2004

Men of Vision: Recapturing Erhardt Peters‘ Photo Odyssey

Features Sandra Serra Bradshaw Erhardt Peters was a prolific and talented photographer in the Ludington and Leelanau areas throughout much of the 20th century. During his career he generatedEE thousands of black and white photos of Northern Michigan, but Leland and Fishtown were his particular favorites.
Thursday, April 8, 2004

The Air We Breathe: Monitors Sniff out Pollution on the Great Lakes

Features Sandra Serra Bradshaw It used to be when driving “Up North“ from the big cities, one could expect bright blue skies and refreshingly clean air. But today, it is nearly impossible to escape air pollution anywhere on the earth. Traces of toxins are even found in Antarctica. Even though the Grand Traverse region has relatively few point-source pollution sites such as factories and coal burning plants, air transfer knows no boundaries. Pollution travels so to say, “with the will of the wind.“
Thursday, October 3, 2002

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. -- The Riverkeeper of the Hudson Spawns a Waterkeeper Alliance now Growing World-wide

Features Sandra Serra Bradshaw “In ten years Grand Traverse Bay will be completely different than today,” stated Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who serves as president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, co-director at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic in New York and senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Thursday, October 3, 2002

The Watershed Center Appoints a Full-time Baykeeper to Help Residents Protect Grand Traverse Bay

Features Sandra Serra Bradshaw Our region has been blessed with an abundance of water, which for many is what draws us here to live year ‘round. In particular, Grand Traverse Bay is thought to have the highest water quality of any of the larger bays on Lake Michigan. With the Great Lakes containing approximately 18 percent of the world‘s freshwater supply, protecting its purity is of utmost importance. Yet, the draw of its beauty brings with it an influx in population, opening a sort of Pandora‘s box. Increased developmental pressure means that more natural resources need protection. Yet, we now have hope in the name of a newly appointed Grand Traverse Baykeeper, John A. Nelson.