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, December 1, 2014


Features Ross Boissoneau As the calendar pages turn faster and faster, area experts suggest a few things you can do before this year comes to an end that can help make the upcoming tax time a little less painful. First among the suggestions are donating to non-profits, getting organized and, perhaps most important, checking with your tax professional.
Monday, November 24, 2014

Tap 30 a New Petoskey highlight

Dining Ross Boissoneau

Time was when a bar might have one or two beers on draft, likely the stalwarts like Budweiser or Miller Lite. Time was a while ago. Now taprooms and microbreweries have us enjoying dozens of brews. Tap 30 Pourhouse in downtown Petoskey offers a rotating cast of 30 different beers plus wine and cocktails, along with a menu of engaging foods to complement the libations.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ho Ho Holidays

Music Ross Boissoneau You can begin with the biggest show out there, boasting enough lights for a small city, fog to cover the eastern seaboard and blasts of pyrotechnics felt halfway to the back of the arena. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is bringing “The Christmas Attic”.
Sunday, November 16, 2014

Interlochen’s Hofbrau a Culinary Institution

Dining Ross Boissoneau

Brian McAllister had a dream. The touring musician wanted to settle down with his wife, and told anyone who would listen to let him know if they knew of a bar or restaurant for sale. In 1996, a friend told him the Hofbrau in Interlochen was available.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Beyond Bake Sales

Organizations Count on Creativity to Earn Much-Needed Dollars

Features Ross Boissoneau Want to buy some popcorn? How about some cookie dough or wrapping paper? What about the chance to own a new car? School and charity fundraisers have morphed considerably over the years, but at no time is this more apparent than during the holidays.
Monday, November 10, 2014

Drawbridge Bistro: A New Stafford’s Landmark

Dining Ross Boissoneau

When the Charlevoix drawbridge is up, traffic sits stopped in both directions. For drivers just trying to get through town, it’s a pain to be endured. For diners at the Drawbridge Bistro, though, it’s just another part of the attraction.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Grille 44 continues to grow

Dining Ross Boissoneau When Kevin Buckner bought Grille 44 in Bear Lake, it was a summer-only cafe called the Ice Shanty. Last year, its transformation was complete, as the eatery became a year-round restaurant serving Bear Lake and the surrounding area with a full menu, including alcohol.
Sunday, November 2, 2014

Women Behind the Scenes

Features Ross Boissoneau There’s certainly no shortage of the arts in northern Michigan. And behind the artists themselves, a host of teachers, administrators, curators, choreographers and others work to make it all happen, often out of sight of the audience. Here we profile five women who stand just outside the spotlight, helping the region’s arts scene thrive.
Monday, October 27, 2014

Thai Orchid a Treat

Dining Ross Boissoneau Chef and owner Thomas Vangyi has created an inviting restaurant reminiscent of his youth. Vangyi isn’t actually a native of Thailand; he was born in Laos, which he left during the Vietnam War. He then spent years living in Thailand and now he’s pleased to showcase his adopted country’s cuisine at Thai Orchid.
Monday, October 27, 2014

Joan Belgrave Honors Dinah Washington

Features Ross Boissoneau Detroit vocalist Joan Belgrave’s music combines R&B, soul, jazz and pop. It’s a perfect fit for the Dennos Museum’s eclectic 2014-15 season, which features a variety of acts that will engage a wide spectrum of audiences. It includes folk, blues, world music, comedy and puppets.
Monday, October 20, 2014

Hearth and Vine a Hidden Jewel

Features Ross Boissoneau Hearth and Vine takes the farm to table concept seriously. And why wouldn’t it, with the farm right outside its door? Many of the items on the menu are derived from the animals and vegetables that call the farm home, much to Chef Jonathan Dayton’s delight.
Monday, October 20, 2014

Saying Goodbye

Features Ross Boissoneau If it’s a new client, Cozzens first offers to do a physical to determine what is causing the problem the owners have noticed. Then comes the hard part. If he determines the condition is terminal, Cozzens has to break the news. He can offer different options, but he’s always forthright with the clients.
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Twisted Vines and Hanging Vessels

Art Ross Boissoneau A spin-off from last year’s Manistee Arts Institute’s multi-media exhibition, Twisted Vines and Hanging Vessels runs Oct. 24 through Nov. 2. The 2013 exhibit included glass, pottery, fiber arts and photography.
Friday, October 10, 2014

Dressed for Success

Costume Designers Play Critical Role in Theatrical Productions

Features Ross Boissoneau In order to immerse an audience in an imaginary world, it’s not enough to simply build the perfect set. If you want to truly transport theatergoers to another place—whether it’s northern Italy, the plains of Oklahoma, or Shrek’s swamp—when the house lights dim, the actors must be convincingly costumed.
Monday, October 6, 2014

Galleries Host Tour During Color Season

Art Ross Boissoneau On Sunday, a closing reception is held at 3pm at Lake Street Studios in Glen Arbor. At that reception, those who have visited each of the participating shops are eligible for a drawing. Each gallery donates a piece of art, with as many winners as there are participating galleries.