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, October 1, 2016

Winemakers Looking at Strong Bounce-Back Year

Features Ross Boissoneau Lee Lutes wasn’t worried the lack of rainfall this past summer would threaten the wine grape harvest. The head winemaker at Blackstar Farms said the warm, dry weather in June and July was actually beneficial for the grapes, and if it held form, he said, “There will be a bunch of winemakers dancing a jig.
Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ralph Humes Chef To The Stars

Features Ross Boissoneau

One would think the chance to hobnob with the likes of Sting, Peter Gabriel and Garth Brooks would be great fun. Maybe, but for Ralph Humes, it’s just another day at work.

Humes is a familiar face to area restaurantgoers. He’s owned Soul Hole; Mana, in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons; and Sweet Mama’s Kitchen, in Elk Rapids. He’s also spent time at Traverse City’s Centre Street Cafe and Harvest eateries, and Black Star Farms. These days, however, his kitchens are in concert halls, cooking up a storm for artists, bands and crews from coast to coast for Concert Kitchens.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Norte! Hits A High Gear

Sports Ross Boissoneau Instead, there were long lines of cars snaking in and out of the parking lot at Eastern Elementary as parents drove their children to school, then headed off to work or back home. A school survey detailed things: 15 percent of students took the bus, 12 percent rode their bikes, and six percent walked.
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Nothing Tastes Better Than Home Cookin’ (that someone else makes)

Features Ross Boissoneau What’s for dinner? That familiar lament can bring the response “Let’s order pizza,” “Whatever you’re fixing,” or everyone’s favorite: “Leftovers.” With busy lives focusing on work, school, vacation, visitors and the like, folks today seem to have less time than ever to fix a healthy, appealing meal.
Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Main Man At Main Street Market

Dining Ross Boissoneau Gary Kosch might blanch at the label, but he is in fact the main man at the Main Street Market, as well as several other establishments.
Saturday, July 9, 2016

Gaylord’s Alpine Building Motif

Features Ross Boissoneau “It got started with some of the business community in the early ’60s,” said Gaylord City Manager Joe Duff. Thanks to the opening of I-75, which bypassed Gaylord rather than ran right through it, as old US-27 had, travelers were driving right past the town, and business was suffering, he said.
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Is the Yacht Club Life for You?

Features Ross Boissoneau The approximation is simply because not everyone agrees what the term “yacht club” even means. Harbor West Yacht Club, for example, isn’t a club at all. It’s simply the name give to a group of owners of slips at Harbor West in Traverse City. “It’s a private marina,” said harbormaster John Melichar.
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Heritage Parade Return Highlights Cherry Festival

Features Ross Boissoneau Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler’s 1931 hit, “I Love a Parade,” wasn’t written with the thousands of National Cherry Festival parade-goers in mind, but the song’s sentiment is as timeless today as the trio of traditional marches through Traverse City’s downtown:.
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Elk Rapids Vibrant, Growing

Features Ross Boissoneau Some people think of Elk Rapids as a sleepy little town just north of Traverse City — if they think of it at all, that is. As US-31 bisects the village’s two main business areas, those driving north or south might notice only the chamber of commerce office next to Elk Lake, with its enormous swan statue.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cherry Capital Chorus Celebrates a Half-Century

Music Ross Boissoneau McCall boasts a wealth of experience. She has a degree in voice education and has directed numerous choirs. But she didn’t come to be a member of the men’s group until, as a member of the GT Show Chorus, she found herself in need of a male chorus for a presentation of White Christmas at Old Town Playhouse.
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Farming the Peninsulas

Features Ross Boissoneau Heirlooms are treasures passed down from generation to generation. Families like the Wunschs of Old Mission Peninsula and the Noonans of Leelanau County pass on more than just old chairs or china hutches — they bequeath a sense of pride, hard work, and a means of sustenance for themselves and others through the family farm.
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Promise of Harvest and New Tasting Rooms Excite Local Wine Enthusiasts

Features Ross Boissoneau Frigid winter temperatures, heavy snows, late frosts, and the wind and hailstorm last August all added up to two years with little to no harvest for area vineyards. With Mother Nature at last smiling down upon them, local vintners are looking forward to a successful growing season this coming year.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Breaking Ground on a New Cultural Icon

Features Ross Boissoneau Five years later, a community cultural plan for Emmet and Charlevoix counties noted both the need for cultural activities and the absence of a suitable venue for year-round programming. It suggested Bay Harbor, a relatively central point, as a possible location.
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Captain Maurie and Crew Look Forward to Another Half-Century

Features Ross Boissoneau “Blessed” might not be a word you hear often in a business discussion, but it’s one you hear over and over in conversation with Allen, his family and staff at the landmark haberdashery in downtown Traverse City.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Father and son team up with boat kits

Art Ross Boissoneau Al Jankowski has been enamored with boats most of his life, a trait he passed to his son Kurt. Now the two are sharing that love with others through the Old Mission Boat Company, a startup that sells boat kits. The hook: They say the boats are designed so that someone can start the build one weekend and have it in the water the next.