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, April 16, 2016

Old School Golf on the Upswing

Features Ross Boissoneau Golfers are always looking to improve their game, but Howard Vogel and Tom Thornton don’t believe that means 300-yard drives down the fairway — quite the opposite, in fact. The pair has traded the dream of crushing the ball with oversize club heads and graphite shafts for the feel of hitting it just right with hickory shaft golf clubs.
Saturday, April 9, 2016

Summer Road Projects Ahead

Features Ross Boissoneau Everyone knows there are two seasons in Michigan: winter and road construction — an old joke, but one that residents acknowledge has more than a little truth to it. Weather ravages and the steady erosion of pavement from cars and trucks mean detours, flag persons, and signs bearing the dreaded words “One Lane Road Ahead.
Saturday, March 19, 2016

Small Airports Offer Fun and Flight

Features Ross Boissoneau People fly to get from one place to another, but for users of the area’s smaller airports it’s about more than that. Cherry Capital Airport, Manistee’s Blacker Airport and Pellston Regional Airport may handle the most passengers, but pilots of small planes — sometimes very small planes — have numerous other options scattered across the region...
Saturday, March 12, 2016

Traverse City Whiskey continues to grow

Features Ross Boissoneau Apparently great-grandpa John did more than work on agricultural chemicals, elemental chlorine and other materials for which Dow became known. Chris and his father found a series of patents for distilling spirits. John had inherited a passion for brewing and distilling from his father John Fredrickson Sr.
Saturday, March 5, 2016

Investing With a Conscience

Features Ross Boissoneau Socially responsible investing actually reflects a lot of “times” and boasts a fascinating history. In the early ‘70s, it was a weapon against apartheid, as cities, states, colleges, faith-based groups and pension funds throughout the U.S. began divesting from companies operating in South Africa.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Wee Bee Lovin’ Preserves

Features Ross Boissoneau Simone Scarpace loved making her own preserves, haunting the local farms and farm markets for the best berries, cherries and peaches. When she and her family moved from the Detroit area to Manistee, she started making her favorites for others and Wee Bee Jammin’ was born.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Just Good Chocolate to be reborn in Traverse City

Features Ross Boissoneau Along those lines, Warner is working with VASI (Amazonia Vision for an Integrated Sustainability), a project with a mission to provide legal and sustainable incomes for those in poor, rural areas of the Amazon. A major part of the VASI vision involves planting, harvesting and exporting organic, wild and heirloom varieties of cacao.
Saturday, February 13, 2016

Restaurant Week: a Boon for Patrons, Eateries

Features Ross Boissoneau As Traverse City readies for its sixth Restaurant Week, it’s hard to determine the winner: patrons who can experience the best a restaurant has to offer with a $25 three-course meal or the restaurants themselves, which see some of the biggest crowds of the off season.
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Wedding Traditions Morph and Change

Features Ross Boissoneau “We call it a sand ceremony,” said Barb Ellis of the Homestead Resort in Glen Arbor, a popular destination wedding site. Some use sand from the resort’s own Lake Michigan beach, others opt for colored sand, some for something with personal significance.
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Technology Reshaping Weddings

Features Ross Boissoneau “Some of the money shots are high over the water looking back on a cliff, hovering over water near a gazebo, second story balcony shots and flying backwards along the beach as the bride and groom walk into the sunset,” she added.
Saturday, January 9, 2016

Cancer Center to Welcome Patients Next Month

Features Ross Boissoneau Cancer attacks people in numerous ways, from tumors that eat away bone or muscle to weakening immune systems, as well as leaving patients with little appetite or drive to fight. That’s why cancer specialists often work in tandem with specialists in other areas, such as nutrition, psychology and pain relief.
Saturday, December 19, 2015

Detroit Auto Show Revving up for Next Month

Features Ross Boissoneau Despite a major recession and retooling, Detroit is still the Motor City and it’s still the site of the biggest car show in the country. The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), aka the Detroit Auto Show, takes place Jan. 11–24 at the newly renovated (to the tune of $300 million) Cobo Center.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Resorts Looking Forward to Winter

Features Ross Boissoneau Given the warm November and December we’re experiencing, you can imagine the eagerness at places like Caberfae, Crystal Mountain, Boyne and other northern Michigan winter resorts. “Bring on winter, already!” But recent warm weather aside, winter is likely just days away, and area resorts can’t wait.
Saturday, November 28, 2015

Playhouse Presentation

Features Ross Boissoneau The latest Old Town Playhouse production has just the thing for musical lovers: song after song after song, with nary a spoken word to be heard. But, that’s not the only unique thing about “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The show wasn’t even a complete stage play originally.
Saturday, November 28, 2015

Museums Offer Window to Past

Features Ross Boissoneau While these unique landmarks are worthy of attention, what about the daily lives of those who came before us? Thanks to local history buffs, we can catch an intriguing glimpse into the logging industry, old-time school days or entire towns whose heydays have come and gone.