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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Monday, May 12, 2014

Inaugural Jazz Fest

Lures Trumpet Great

Features Ross Boissoneau White, who is the former lead trumpet player for the legendary Maynard Ferguson, will be bringing his little big band, Small Medium @LARGE. When he appeared as a soloist four years ago, it marked the first-ever sold-out show for any NMC music ensemble.
Monday, May 5, 2014

Big Apple Flavor; Up North Vibe

For more than 100 years, the corner of State and Bay streets in Harbor Springs has been central to what’s happening downtown.

Dining Ross Boissoneau Fish entrées include whitefish, which is broiled, baked with pecan crust, or sautéed with capers. There is also scampi sautéed with tomato, spinach, kalamata olives and garlic, tossed with spinach egg linguini. New York’s Scottish salmon is served with a sauce of dried cherries and almonds and roasted vegetable couscous.
Monday, May 5, 2014

Laughter and Tears at Old Town Playhouse

Features Ross Boissoneau “Steel Magnolias” runs from May 8-11 and May 15-17 at Old Town Playhouse in Traverse City. For show times and ticket information, visit oldtownplayhouse.com. The “Steel Magnolias” cast is Maryscott O’Connor (M’Lynn), Maria McKane (Truvy), Betsy Willis (Clairee), Jill Bert (Ouiser), Meaghan Jameson (Shelby), and Carly Anderson (Annell).
Monday, April 28, 2014

100 Years of Haas

One of Michigan’s great men of classical music is getting celebrated in style.

Music Ross Boissoneau The program will begin with a 30-minute documentary on Karl Haas’s life, produced by Jeff Haas and his sister Alyce Haas. It tells the story of his musical career, how he came to America just ahead of the Nazi pogrom of the Jews, and how he came to be a fixture in so many people’s lives through his radio program.
Monday, April 28, 2014

Pro Wrestling Hits the Kaliseum

Sports Ross Boissoneau Produced and promoted by Mr. Chainsaw Pro Wrestling, Battleground VI is not exactly the spectacle of a huge-scale World Wrestling Entertainment production. But Zeroe said the upside is the audience can get up close and personal with the action..
Monday, April 28, 2014

Brewing as Therapy

It’s not often that a therapeutic tool becomes a business plan.

Features Ross Boissoneau THE SCENE Bravo Zulu is located in a former auto dealership building in Acme, so there are plenty of windows. That was great in the winter, when Brooks said the occasional sunshine would help it reach the high 70s inside while temperatures were below zero.
Monday, April 21, 2014

Trish Dishes It Up in Leland

Dining Ross Boissoneau Kropp has altered the interior of the almost 20-year-old café to give it a clean, crisp look. The walls are now a vibrant green offset by a crisp white under the chair rail, with an eclectic mix of furnishings. The chalkboards announcing the day’s offerings made the jaunt from Lake Leelanau.
Monday, April 21, 2014

Taste Makers


Dining Ross Boissoneau Scott Neumann, Cambria’s assistant GM and director of food and beverage, came up with the recipe after first trying a few other combinations, like a bleu cheese dip, then the artichoke dip with crostinis..
Monday, April 21, 2014

Rotary Show


Features Ross Boissoneau While Murphy and other Rotarians plot out the general shape of the sketches, David Millross and Al Bonney begin the process of choosing the music. Mike Hunter crafts them into medleys for the chorus, a group of 40 to 50 Rotary members, with backing from a seven-piece band.
Monday, April 21, 2014

A Century of Happy Campers

Features Ross Boissoneau As the Camp Arbutus centennial approaches this summer, the Northern Express sat down with camp director Amanda Macaluso, who talked about everything that makes the camp special – the way it brings kids back year after year, how some families send new campers with each generation, and the pull the camp has had on her throughout her adult life.
Monday, April 14, 2014

Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson to Return to Interlochen

Music Ross Boissoneau Another favorite is preeminent banjo player Bela Fleck. Fleck has performed with a wide range of musicians, from contemporary bluegrass pioneers New Grass Revival to jazz pianist Chick Corea. He’s touring with Corea through the end of this month before heading out on dates with fellow banjoist Abigail Washburn.
Monday, April 14, 2014

An Olive With a Twist

Unassuming cafe by day; cozy high-end bistro by night.

Dining Ross Boissoneau Twisted Olive opened in May four years ago as a breakfast and lunchtime eatery. That changed a year and a half ago when a liquor license became available. Owner Kirsten Okeefe saw it as an opportunity to expand her business, and added dinner service..
Monday, April 14, 2014

Tibetan Monks Perform at Dennos

An intricate piece of art using grains of colored sand will be destroyed upon completion … exactly according to plan.

Features Ross Boissoneau Endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to promote world peace and healing through sacred performing art, the Tibetan Buddhist monks have performed in many of America’s greatest theaters and music halls. From April 14-19, the monks will chant, play music, and create the intricate mandala.
Monday, April 7, 2014

Good Food and Some (Really) Bad Drinks at Mulligan's

Dining Ross Boissoneau There are some signature drinks that are slightly more palatable, however. The Mulligan is a mix of UV Blue Vodka, Crantasia, lemonade, Sprite and pineapple juice, while the Nutty Bulldog is a mix of Stoli vanilla vodka, Frangelico, Kahlua, cola and cream.
Monday, April 7, 2014

Northern Michigan ups its Adaptive Recreation

Features Ross Boissoneau Barb Hutchens is a member of the board of Disability Network Northern Michigan and a volunteer at Traverse Area Community Sailing (TACS). For years, she’s been instrumental in developing adaptive sailing programs for enthusiastic sailors of all ages..