Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

SOAPBOX COALITION Empowers Northern Michigan‘s Young People

Features Andy Taylor Few people can forget what happened in the election of 2000. Even though it has been said time and again, only after an election that was too close to call did everyone realize how important each vote was.
What was most shameful was the fact that the future leaders of this country, in the 18-30 years old category, did not show up to the polls. Less than half of the 50 million U.S. citizens in this younger age range cast their vote in November of 2000.
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Escanaba Firing Line Seek to Fill Void in Northern Michigan Music on New CD

Music Andy Taylor Being in Grand Rapids for the past two years made me fall in love with the music scene that a large city can offer. There were many nights that I wondered why I wasted my time in Northern Michigan’s almost non-existent underground rock scene instead of heading south for the GR-Kalamazoo area. Well, I have been pleasantly surprised to return to Northern Michigan this summer to find a growing indie-rock scene that is slowly gaining some ground on its southern counterparts.
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Otep Aims to Unleash Madness and Genius in TC

Music Andy Taylor Streeter’s Ground Zero will host the heaviest night of music that Northern Michigan will hear in the summer of 2004 on Friday, August 20. Headliners Hatebreed will be bringing the core of that sound, and their friends in Otep, DevilDriver and Throwdown will also be appearing.
Otep is one of the highlights of the heavy rock show, and the band features something rather unusual in the realm of hard music: a female vocalist.
Thursday, August 12, 2004

Smart Music for Smart People: A Few CDs to Study by while You‘re Hitting the Books

Music Andy Taylor One of the imperative aspects to the college experience is the music you listen to while you are living the life of an undergraduate. There are many great conversations to be had while gathered around the stereo and picking apart some old classics or the latest favorite. For some it was Neil Young, for others it was R.E.M., and still others (like myself) found Alice in Chains to be inspiring (many a night was spent discussing the guitar licks on “Dirt”).
Thursday, August 12, 2004

Campus Legends: Weird College Tales are Alive and Well

Features Andy Taylor On college campuses across the country there are always tales of horror, embarrassment, humor and of students outsmarting professors. Some of my fondest memories come from late-night gatherings of people swapping stories and telling tall-tales.
Thursday, August 5, 2004

Blues at the Bear: Sleeping Bear Dunegrass and Blues Festival Reawakens

Music Andy Taylor Fans of good music and good company will want to head for the lake this weekend for the Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues festival in Empire.
Everything from bluegrass to folk to reggae is sure to please even the most hardnosed music listener.
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Rockzilla! Local Music Fest Features Underground Rock

Music Andy Taylor Outside of the bars and nightclubs that are frequented by Traverse City residents lies another burgeoning music scene that intends to make its mark on the area. The underground rock scene of Northern Michigan is in the midst of growth and, as part of that growth, will feature many of its bands this Saturday, July 31 at a festival being called “Rockzilla.”
Thursday, July 29, 2004

The Body DETECTIVES: 20 Years of Drug Testing has Defused a Once-controversial Practice

Features Andy Taylor Drug testing is similar to what some refer to as the “middle child syndrome.” Others call it mediation. Something occurs between two parties and a third is called in to go back and forth between the two. The third party can bear the brunt of the tension, and occasionally has to make like a referee in a boxing match. These people are the epitome of the word ‘misunderstood’, and of the old cliché, “don’t shoot the messenger.”
Thursday, July 22, 2004

A Changin‘ in the Wind: Splendid Havoc Switches Direction on New Album

Music Andy Taylor Seeing a band grow, change and evolve their sound is always an exciting thing to witness when you are a fan. Even though you may still be attached to their old songs, and maybe are a little scared at the thought of impending change, a metamorphosis in music is usually a captivating thing to watch happen.
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Stephen Duren‘s Leelanau Vision

Art Andy Taylor Artist Stephen Duren has been garnering a lot of attention for himself lately.
The latest exhibit from the artist has brought the eyes of everyone from Grand Rapids and back to Northern Michigan on him. His landscapes of the Leelanau countryside comprise “For the Land’s Sake,” an exhibit that can be seen through August 1 at the Leelanau Historical Museum.
Thursday, July 15, 2004

The World is Plastic: Ultra-Realistic Sculpture at Dennos Museum

Art Andy Taylor Within the annals of the National Basketball Association’s history there is an amusing story about one of its most revered players. The legendary Michael Jordan was in Milwaukee one day for a game and went to check in at the arena when he was snubbed by one of its employees: a security guard who goes by the name of ‘Art.’
Thursday, July 8, 2004

Marketing Mike Moran: Local Songwriter Finds Hustle as Important as the Music

Music Andy Taylor Over the past year, Traverse City’s own Mike Moran has been given an education by the roiling tempest known as the music business -- more specifically by the local scene. “Traverse City is a great place to learn how to get rejected and how to take criticism and to learn how to play in front of a crowd,” Moran says when asked about the past year of his career.
Thursday, July 8, 2004

Bart‘s Texas-style BBQ Offers a Taste of the West

Features Andy Taylor Right across from the Park Place Hotel in downtown Traverse City, a new parking garage welcomes newcomers. Along with this urban landmark comes another eye catcher: Bart’s Texas Style BBQ is a restaurant that opened its doors this spring in a ground level section of the building.
Thursday, July 8, 2004

The Enlightened Punk: Former Drug Addict, Current Buddhist Author Comes to Northern Michigan

Features Andy Taylor Very few people can claim to have traveled a road that takes them from being a drug-addicted, teenage punk-rocker to a well-adjusted adult with a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Even more unique is Noah Levine, who has walked this path, but also teaches Buddhist thought and meditation.
Thursday, June 24, 2004

Part Two: The ROOF of the EARTH... Northern Michigan Climbers are Spotted all Over the World

Features Andy Taylor Rock climbing in Traverse City is like cattle driving in Los Angeles.
Northern Michigan is a rather unlikely place of residence for four men whose shared desire is to either scale the frigid nether-regions of Northern Canada or reach the peak of Washington’s Mt. Rainier. It is even stranger for people born and raised in an area with absolutely zero rock face to cultivate a love for the sport of rock climbing.