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, August 4, 2014

TC Dance Project is Back

After a one-year hiatus, the Traverse City Dance Project is back.

Features Ross Boissoneau Artistic directors Jennifer McQuiston Lott and Brent Whitney, a Traverse City native, are bringing together professional dancers, apprentices, choreographers, and musicians for two shows at the City Opera House.
Monday, July 28, 2014

Bo and Blood, Sweat & Tears at Bay View

Music Ross Boissoneau

It’s not easy to replace a legend. It’s not easy to revive a legend. Heck, it’s not even easy to be a semi-legend. For Bo Bice, none of that matters. The former American Idol finalist is happy to be part of Blood, Sweat & Tears as that band tours the country and the world, and maybe even produces a new recording.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Quay: Charlevoix’s New Dining Destination

Dining Ross Boissoneau On the third floor, the open-air bar features a great view. The view extends to the second floor as well, where the menu reflects what Hodgson calls New American cuisine. Steaks and fish are featured as is pork, chicken and lamb; with sandwiches, soups, salads, and wraps available for lunch.
Monday, July 28, 2014

‘Les Mis’ at Interlochen: ‘No Way These are High School Students’

Hundreds auditioned from all over the country; only 40 got in.

Features Ross Boissoneau Each summer, the two team up and immerse themselves and their students in that year’s production. Last year, it was “Oklahoma!” This year, Hellems says he and Church chose to present a production that would have greater familiarity to the cast as well as to the audience.
Monday, July 21, 2014

Cru Cellars: Frankfort’s Epicurean Gem

Frankfort has hit the wine/beer/food lottery with a little place called Cru Cellars.

Dining Ross Boissoneau

Jen and Torrey Bingham, owners of the award-winning Tampa wine bar of the same name, opened its northern counterpart last year. Jen is a certified sommelier with an advanced certificate in wines and spirits. She has been featured in publications like Wine Spectator, Sommelier Journal, and the Chicago Sun-Times, among others.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chicago’s Longest-Running Play at InsideOut

Features Ross Boissoneau That’s right. Thirty plays in 60 minutes. Presented by the Traverse City-based theater troupe Parallel 45 at InsideOut Gallery, “Too Much Light…” is many things, but is definitely not traditional theater, said Erin Anderson, the company’s executive director.
Monday, July 14, 2014

Roaming Harvest Expands to Restaurant

Dining Ross Boissoneau Roaming Harvest, one of the first food trucks parked at Traverse City’s Little Fleet restaurant, now has a sister store that stays put.
Monday, July 14, 2014

The New Social Hour

Experts, Users Speak Out About Social Media

Features Ross Boissoneau Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Foursquare, Snapchat, Digg, YouTube, and a host of other sites and technologies have come and, in some cases, gone (anyone remember MySpace?). Some people dabble in it; for others, it can replace actual interaction. Fortunes have been made and lost, lives enhanced and ruined. It all depends on how it’s used.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Northern Michigan Treasure: Legs Inn

There’s one restaurant in Emmet County that definitely has legs.

Dining Ross Boissoneau For more than 90 years, the Smolak family has run Legs Inn at Cross Village, a visually unique spot in its own right that lays claim to the regionally beloved dining destination.
Monday, July 7, 2014

Girl Gone Mild

Rita Rudner’s soft-spoken comedy still kills

Features Ross Boissoneau When her dancer’s legs began to wear out, Rita Rudner decided her show biz odds were much better as a standup comedian.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mummies, Much More (Music) at Cherry Festival

Bloody, bandaged, and undead, Here Come the Mummies have nonetheless got soul oozing out every pore.

Music Ross Boissoneau The fan fave funk/r&b/jazz band is coming back to the National Cherry Festival on July 6, along with a lineup that includes rock, blues, country, pop and alternative music – sometimes all on the same bill – by Collective Soul, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Uncle Kracker, Blues Traveler, Justin Moore, and Tommy James and the Shondells.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Call of the Mild

Dining Ross Boissoneau THE SCENE The Conklins wanted to be in Northern Michigan, which would have seasons similar to what they’d experienced in Alaska. They sold 21 of their 27 sled dogs and bought a home in Harbor Springs, planning their restaurant even before finding a location.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Who Doesn't Love a Parade?

July is the kick-off for Northern Michigan’s parade season. Summer fairs and festivals, such as Alpenfest in Gaylord and the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, also feature parades.

Features Ross Boissoneau There’s no entry fee or official rules – heck, there’s not even an official sign-up, and its entries vary from year to year. Politicians, floats blasting music or water, a kazoo band, a lawnmower drill team, fire trucks and Jerry Decker of Decker’s Pumping Service, who throws rolls of toilet paper.
Monday, June 23, 2014

See and Be Seen at THE FRANKLIN

Dining Ross Boissoneau THE MENU Executive chef Gabe Rodriguez hails from Texas, and many of the items on the menu boast some of the heat of the Lone Star State: The lamb burger has a jalapeño-mint chimichurri, the corn esquites (warm corn salad) are served with aleppo pepper, and don’t forget the stuffed poblanos.
Monday, June 23, 2014

Napa, Bordeaux…and Mackinaw City

New wineries are popping up north of the 45th Parallel

Features Ross Boissoneau “There is a big future ahead for Michigan wines,” wrote Dan Berger, a syndicated wine columnist from Santa Rosa, Calif., on the Michigan Wine Council website. “Out on the West Coast, you can’t find a good Riesling for under $15. Here they cost $10 to $12.