Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...


A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

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Jane Louise Boursaw

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Thursday, September 12, 2002

On the Lookout with Northern Michigan‘s FBI: Two Agents Cover Everything from Terrorism, Drugs and Scams to Civil Rights

Features Jane Louise Boursaw Like many of us in the wake of September 11, things changed for the two special agents in the Traverse City office of the FBI. During the past year, they‘ve responded to over 100 calls on everything from Anthrax to “my neighbor looks like a terrorist“ to “I saw someone driving around the fuel depot storage tanks,“ says Richard Licht, supervisory special agent for Northwest Lower Michigan.
“We‘ve had a significant amount of leads come up,“ he says. “When things got really heavy, I sent a couple of people up from Lansing to cover leads and help out.“
Thursday, August 1, 2002

A Clinic that Cares: The Community Health Clinic is a Godsend for Uninsured Patients... but their Numbers and Needs are Growing

Features Jane Louise Boursaw Nina Zamora remembers how tough things were trying to raise three children on her own. Money was tight, and health insurance was a luxury she couldn‘t afford.
“We‘d just wing it,“ she recalls. “The kids got sick and we couldn‘t afford health care. You‘d just go to the store and buy over-the-counter remedies... I wonder how many other parents are in the same boat I was in way back then.“
Probably a lot. That‘s one reason why Zamora volunteers at the Community Health Clinic in Traverse City. For the past 27 years, the clinic has been providing donation-based health care for people who don‘t have insurance or simply can‘t afford health care.
Thursday, June 20, 2002

Traverse City‘s Unknown Park... Soon to be a Major Sprawl Zone

Features Jane Louise Boursaw Sara Cockrell has probably logged more river miles than just about anyone in these parts.
But the seasoned canoe racer has a favorite right in Traverse City -- a 1.5-mile section of the Boardman River stretching from the YMCA to the Sabin Dam.
“It‘s such a tranquil area,“ she says. “There‘s a beautiful cedar swamp along there and a lot of wildlife, mostly muskrats and birds. Sometimes I see blue herons farther up along River Road, and that just makes your whole paddle to see something like that.“
Near the Cass Road bridge is a tranquil, flat-water pond rife with cattails and a pair of
nesting swans. “It‘s a beautiful little pond and totally unknown,“ she notes. “I never see anyone in there at all.“
Thursday, June 13, 2002

Trail Update 2002: New Trails in Petoskey and TC are Coming on Strong

Features Jane Louise Boursaw Northern Michigan is blessed with a network of trails that stretches from one side of the
state to the other. Every year brings more additions to the trails, and last year was no exception.
Here are a few of the new additions.

*Top of Michigan Trails Council*
In Petoskey, the Top of Michigan Trails Council celebrated several achievements last
year. Although some residents are opposed to the Little Traverse Wheelway, which will
eventually run from Charlevoix to Harbor Springs, a new segment links M-119 to Pleasantview
“It‘s a nice new segment,“ said Tom Stanley, a volunteer with the council. “It skirts right
across the edge of the airport at Harbor Springs, and it has a nice view of the bay. It‘s very
Thursday, May 9, 2002

Local Groups Shed Light on Palestinian Conflict

Region Watch Jane Louise Boursaw Although the Middle East is on the other side of the planet, a few local groups are hoping to shed some light on the conflict to those of us in Northern Michigan.
One is “Mideast: Just Peace,” a group focused on educating themselves and the community about what’s going on over there.
“If you only watch TV for the news, you’re clueless,” said Marian Kromkowski, a Suttons Bay attorney and one of the founders of the group. “They don’t ever get to the root causes or offer a political or economic explanation as to what’s happening. The press in this country, from my point of view, primarily gives the U.S. government’s point of view, which, in many respects, goes hand in hand with the Israeli point of view.”
Thursday, May 9, 2002

Two Peoples, One Land: Jim McCormick on the Conflict in Israel

Features Jane Louise Boursaw Every day, we hear new reports about the deadly conflict in the Middle East -- suicide
bombings, terrorist killings, refugee camps filled with angry and desperate people, and two
leaders who can‘t seem to reach a peaceful compromise.
The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been erupting for over 50 years --
since the end of World War II when the United Nations ordered that Palestine be divided into a
Jewish state and an Arab state. Since the creation of Israel at that time, two different peoples have been fighting over one very small piece of real estate.
For many of us, it seems incomprehensible that so much unrest can result from such a
small piece of land. Yet, it continues on decade after decade with no peaceful end in sight.
What is the history of the conflict? Will Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and
Palestinian National Authority leader Yasser Arafat ever reach an agreement? And where does
the United States fit in?
Jim McCormick, a retired district court judge in Traverse City and author of “Jerusalem
and the Holy Land: The First Ecumenical Pilgrim‘s Guide,“ has journeyed to the Middle East
several times in the past ten years. He tries to sort it all out for us here.
Thursday, May 9, 2002

Getting Along: Fostering Tolerance with the Human Rights Commission

Features Jane Louise Boursaw When Blake Ringsmuth moved back to Traverse City in 1995, he never dreamed the sleepy
town where he‘d grown up would be such a fire-pit of controversy. The same day he came back,
someone burned a cross in a yard in Interlochen.
“I just thought, ‘Oh my God, why did I move back here if this is what‘s going on?‘“ he
recalls. “I literally laid awake most of the night tossing and turning, trying to figure out what I could do. So I finally got up and wrote a letter to the editor condemning the act and asking everyone to step up and speak their mind, because silence allows this kind of activity to breed.“
Ringsmuth, who studied law at the University of Michigan and is now a local attorney,
thought he‘d be the only one to take a stance. But the next day, the issue was splashed across the front page of the paper and a storm of other letters followed.
Thursday, May 2, 2002

A Bridge Runs Through It -- Mike Dillenbeck is at the Eye of the Storm with the Hartman-Hammond Bridge

Features Jane Louise Boursaw Nothing has stirred up so much controversy in recent years as the proposed Hartman-
Hammond project in Traverse City -- a plan that would link Hartman and Hammond roads by
building a bridge over the Boardman River, north of the existing one-lane Cass Road bridge.
Under the plan, Hartman Road west of the Boardman River would be realigned
and widened to a four-lane boulevard between Cass Road and U.S. 31 South. A bridge would be
constructed over the river to connect Hartman and Hammond roads, and Hammond would be
widened to four lanes to LaFranier Road east of the river. The project entails about 2.25 miles.
Related work includes widening Three Mile Road to five lanes from U.S. 31 North to
South Airport Road, and possibly reconstructing Four Mile Road, if funds are available. Once the new bridge is completed, the existing Cass Road bridge would be closed to vehicles.
The plan appears to be a done deal, since the Federal Highway Administration endorsed
the project with a “record of decision“ on August 9, 2001. This allows the Road Commission to
move forward with preliminary designs, display plans to the public, and acquire right-of-ways.
Thursday, April 11, 2002

Migrants: Putting Down Roots - With a Permanent Job comes a new Home in the North

Features Jane Louise Boursaw Cuthberto Paniagua raises his pruning shears and squints into the sun as he carefully clips
another branch off an apple tree. It‘s a cold, clear day on the Old Mission Peninsula farm where
he works, but he‘s glad for the quiet stillness and the wide-open blue sky.
Things weren‘t always so settled for Paniagua. Twenty years ago, he was like many
migrant workers -- picking oranges in Florida during the winter and traveling north to Michigan every summer to pick cherries. But it wasn‘t an easy life. There was the stress of raising a family on the road, the constant struggle for adequate housing, and the rigors of working outside every day.
In 1982, he gave up the nomadic life and started working full-time for Dean Johnson, an
Old Mission fruit farmer. Now he‘s Johnson‘s right-hand man, handling all aspects of the 500-
acre operation with a never-ending smile and a “work is work“ philosophy.
“This place could not run without him,“ says Johnson, adding that Paniagua has also
evolved into a “crew boss,“ overseeing the 15 or so migrants who work on the farm during the
busy summer months.
“He gets the crew, and I stay right out of it,“ notes Johnson. “I‘ve had people ask me for
work, and I tell them, ‘You‘ve got to talk to Cuthberto.“
Thursday, March 21, 2002

Spam Across America: A Plague of Unwanted E-mail Messages are Choking the Web

Features Jane Louise Boursaw The word “spam“ used to represent such an innocent icon of Americana...a simple (albeit
mysterious) lunchmeat, lovingly tucked between two slices of Wonder Bread by a June Cleaver type in high heels and pearls.
But the age of technology has brought new meaning to this word. Now it represents the
volumes of unsolicited junk e-mail clogging our mailboxes the way its namesake clogs the arteries. The e-mail version of spam supposedly got its nickname from the famous Monty Python skit in which a poor couple‘s attempt to place their restaurant order is drowned out by a chorus of Vikings chanting “Spam! Spam! Spam!“
However it came about, it‘s a real nuisance. “Get rich quick“ schemes, pornographic ads,
“sure-fire“ stock offerings, and quack health remedies are just a few of these unregulated,
unscrupulous, offensive and often fraudulent e-mails.
Thursday, March 14, 2002

Brew Pioneers: Traverse Brewing Company keeps Northern Michigan‘s Suds Flowing

Features Jane Louise Boursaw The year was 1973, and Jack Archiable was studying literature and psychology at Ohio
University. In his spare time, he was learning how to make beer. Little did he know this fun hobby would one day turn into a full-time business.
Now Archiable spends his days at Traverse Brewing Company, Ltd., a microbrewery located
just south of Elk Rapids. Since 1996, he‘s been brewing up stouts, ales, and porters, all lovingly named after Northern Michigan hang-outs -- Old Mission Lighthouse Ale, Manitou Brand Amber, Sleeping Bear Brown, Torch Lake Light, and a host of others.
But starting a business in these North Woods takes lots of courage and stamina, not to
mention a good sense of humor. “Our motto has always been, ‘We‘re too dumb to go away, and
we‘ll make the best beer possible,‘“ he jokes, then adds a bit more seriously, “ We‘ve constantly kept focused, and we love what we‘re doing here.“
The “we“ he speaks of is himself, beermaker John Niedermaier, assistant brewer Sam
Sherwood, and Elaine Edstrom, who handles much of the office work. John Edstrom, who founded the business with Archiable, is no longer with the company, but a host of dedicated volunteers are taking up the slack, for which Archiable is extremely grateful.
“We have an incredible volunteer staff,“ he says. “I have people who help on the bottling
line, who help move snow... and they get paid with a hearty pat on the back and with low fills off the bottling line, and they‘re happy.“
Thursday, March 7, 2002

Dominic Fortuna Hits all the Right Notes

Music Jane Louise Boursaw It‘s 8:45 p.m. and Dominic Fortuna is just getting warmed up. He‘s plying the crowd at South City Limits in Traverse City, cracking jokes, singing songs, sending energy into the audience. And they‘re giving it right back to him.
“They‘re not just here to drink and eat, they‘re here for the entertainment,“ he says. “And the more energy they have, the more they give back to you. It‘s like a circle.“
Fortuna‘s set list includes a waterfront of musical styles ranging from Sinatra to salsa. He‘s at his peak on romantic ballads (“When I Was 17“), Latin numbers in the “La Vida Loca“ mode, pop hits and even country. At New Year‘s Eve, he packed the house with dancers.
Fortuna -- who was raised in Bellaire and who could pass for John Travolta in the right
lighting -- has been in the entertainment business since he was 13 years old, belting out songs at Brownwood Acres in Central Lake.
He spent the next several years touring the country with the Young Americans, performing
West Side Story in Europe, doing a Midwest tour of “Grease“ with the American Musical Theatre, and finally landing in California, where he worked as a DJ for Disney‘s Videopolis, introducing and interviewing bands a la Dick Clark.
Thursday, March 7, 2002

Local Heroes: Firefighters put our Values back in Focus after the 911 Attack

Features Jane Louise Boursaw It was a heart-wrenching scene as firefighters sifted through the rubble at Ground Zero last fall -- searching not only for people who worked at the World Trade Center, but also for fallen comrades who perished while trying to save lives.
A new-found respect for firefighters swept across the country, and while we hope to never
see such a tragedy in these parts, it made us keenly aware of just what firefighters are willing to do if necessary.
We spoke recently with Art Shaw, public safety officer for the City of Petoskey. In addition to being a firefighter, EMT, and police officer, Shaw is a state-certified fire investigator, a public educator on fire prevention, and a fire systems inspector for new construction.

NE: Tell me about the fire department in Petoskey.
Shaw: We‘re a combination department. All of our full-time people except one are police, fire and EMS, and the other individuals are paid on call. We take in the original city limits and the Bay Harbor Development that‘s now part of the city.
Thursday, March 7, 2002

Local Heroes: Rain, Snow, Dark of Night & Anthrax couldn‘t Stop Postal Workers

Features Jane Louise Boursaw The anthrax scare that began last fall sent shockwaves through the country, thrusting postal workers into the limelight and shedding new perspective on a service many of us take for granted. Along with firefighters, Northern Express readers selected postal workers as “Best Local Heroes“ during this year‘s survey.
We spoke recently with Dan Windsor, officer in charge at the Traverse City Post Office, to get an update on how things are going.

NE: How many employees work at the Traverse City Post Office?
Windsor: Between the plant, which processes mail for the 496 area, and customer services, there are about 300 employees.

NE: What‘s the range of pay for postal workers?
Windsor: Between $30,000 and $45,000, generally. We have part-time employees on our rural carrier routes that are paid a little less than that, but anywhere from $13 to $20 an hour would be the norm.
Thursday, February 28, 2002

The Snow Men: Paying Homage to Those who Clear the Roads

Features Jane Louise Boursaw It was the blizzard of ‘78, and for two days in January, a snowstorm raged, dumping over
30 inches of snow in some areas and paralyzing traffic. Winds gusted to 50 miles an hour,
closing all major and secondary roads in several counties. The 140-foot training vessel Allegheny capsized in her berth at the Maritime Academy, the airport shut down, and cars were abandoned wherever they got stuck.
Most of us were holed up in our homes, but for a few brave souls, duty called. John
Linnerson had only been driving a county snowplow for a few years, and he and another driver
had the task of opening up the roads out to Acme. But something unexpected happened when
they got to Four Mile Road.
“There was a big drift, and we rolled it back and rolled it back, and the last time I hit it,
there was a car in there,“ he said. “The snow was so bad that by the time you plowed from the
Woolen Company to Acme and back, you had to literally get up on your truck and clean the snow off the hood with a shovel. We had a lot of snow. I didn‘t get home for three days.“