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 12, 2013

Hot Dates

Dates Erin Crowell "Hit it!" The Official Blues Brothers Revue, produced by Dan Akroyd, brings the comedy and hits of the original 1980s cult classic film to life on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Kirtland Community College's Performing Arts Center in Roscommon.
Monday, July 29, 2013

KickStarting Success

Local filmmaker feels the love in crowdfunding trend

Features Erin Crowell There’s strength in numbers. That’s the belief behind the money-raising phenomenon known as crowd-funding, an online campaign for artists, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. Websites like IndieGoGo, KickStarter and Razoo allow people to translate their faith in a mission, project or business idea into actual dollars.
Monday, July 22, 2013

So You Want to Be a STUNTMAN…

Features Erin Crowell Now 52 years old, the founder of 45th Parallel Productions in Traverse City had injured his back while serving with the U.S. Army’s elite Airborne Rangers unit when he was in his early 20s. A parachute failure caused Eiden to fall several hundred feet, landing him in a hospital bed where doctors told the young man he’d be lucky to walk.
Monday, July 1, 2013

By George!

Cherry Fest races founder, George Kuhn, keeps pace at 81

Features Erin Crowell If you’ve made it a tradition to walk or run in the National Cherry Festival races, George Kuhn has been right there with you. Kuhn is not only the founder of the 1973 race but has also participated every single year, including this year’s 40th annual race on July 6 at the age of 81.
Monday, June 17, 2013

Hot Dates Gather Round Stone Circle

Dates Erin Crowell Stone Circle will be commemorating its 30th Anniversary this summer with two special evenings of celebrations on August 10 and 17. The festivities will be free on those nights and open to the public. Regular gatherings will begin on June 22, and continue every Saturday through Labor Day weekend.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Northern Michigan’s Man of Steel

Ryan Tiderington plays standin for new Superman movie

Features Erin Crowell When Suttons Bay resident Ryan Tiderington got the casting call, it was like a scene out of a movie.

“Somebody called me from Chicago and told me to come down for ‘Autumn Frost.’ That’s the code name for the film,” Tiderington said of the latest installment of the Superman saga, “Man of Steel.”

The Warner Brothers film, which debuts in theaters June 14, stars Henry Cavill as Superman. Tiderington, who is a spot-on image of Cavill, made the 300-mile trip for the casting to play the stand-in for Cavill. He got the part.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Adventures of the Compost Kid

Features Erin Crowell

Today’s industry trends aren’t lost on Carter Schmidt.

“Selling lemonade? You just don’t make much doing that; and, well, the newspaper boy may have disappeared,” the eight-year-old tells me, a journalist, on the logistics of childhood employment. The third grader at Eastern Elementary School in Traverse City is an entrepreneur, having just completed the milestone of one year in business with his company, Carter’s Compost. The bike-powered, kid-driven kitchen scrap pick-up service has been turning dirt since last April, charging its Traverse City neighborhood customers $5 a month for fresh compost.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Reciprocating Threads

Local clothing brand, AFRNT, inspires fashion and talent

Features Erin Crowell “Whether I didn’t have capital, a business partner, a network of people that could help me along, I just had all these barriers and I got to a point where I couldn’t get it out of my system,” said the 29-year-old Cadillac area native. “I would stay up late at night just ultimately depressed that I wasn’t pursuing it.
Monday, March 18, 2013

Breaking News & Popping the Question

TV news anchors found love off-the-air

Features Erin Crowell “We took a walk through the vineyards--and this sounds corny but it’s true--I picked up a dandy-lion and blew it,” said Fox. “Brody asked what I wished for and I said that we would spend our lives together...When I turned around he was down on his knee, with a box in hand!”
Monday, March 4, 2013

Embracing the Pink

Abbey Kaufman is Legally Blonde

Features Erin Crowell Traverse City Central High School senior Abbey Kaufman takes center stage as Elle Woods, the sweet, bubbly, sorority heroine of “Legally Blonde, The Musical,” a stage adaptation of the Broadway hit and film starring Reese Witherspoon.

The 17-year-old Kaufman beat out dozens of other young actresses to capture the lead role.The Express chatted with Kaufman—a sweet, soft-spoken girl, herself—to find out what it’s like to don pink and perform with an older cast.

Monday, January 28, 2013

You May Now Kiss The Groom

Northern Michigan couple shares their same-sex marriage experience

Features Erin Crowell

Not many couples spend their honeymoon getting married. But for Traverse City residents Rob Stow and Jeremy Evans, they were doing just that when they took a train from New York City to a courthouse in New Haven, Connecticut.

In August of 2009, the two gay men arrived and filled out the application that would legally bind them as a married couple, and handed it to the county clerk employee wearing a baseball cap.

“It was very mundane for her,” Stow chuckled. “It was so nonchalant.”

Monday, January 7, 2013


New salon offers glamour photos

Features Erin Crowell For one hair or wax appointment, clients at the Foiled Hair Lounge in downtown Traverse City are transported, for a moment, to the urban feel of a city landscape. With just the tops of buildings—including nearby businesses and churches—in view, the hair studio gives the impression of a city loft.
Monday, December 24, 2012

All Aboard!

FESTIVAL OF TRAINS celebrates a decade of mini locomotives

Erin Crowell Ah, yes. The steamy shrill of a train whistle. It’s not something we hear often in Traverse City these days, except when it’s time for the annual Festival of Trains. Presented by the Northern Michigan Railroad Club (NMRC) at the History Center of Traverse City, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the miniature models and is open now through New Years Day.
Monday, November 12, 2012

Pure Michigan Then and Now

Recalling the age of tourism by rail and steamship

Features Erin Crowell

Did you know? Long before Tim Allen was promoting Michigan with his smooth, hypnotic-like voice, our state’s first Pure Michigan campaign was drawing visitors as early as the 1800s.

On Friday, Nov. 16, Michael Federspiel will discuss how local entrepreneurs teamed with railroad and steamship companies to market the Little Traverse Bay region over 100 years ago.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Observations of a Dog Park ‘Parent’

Spending time with Charley off the leash

Features Erin Crowell Like (and unlike) many people my age, I don’t have children. I have a dog. And even though Charley, my four-year-old border collie/lab mix, doesn’t serve to supplement my lack of offspring, she does, however, take the form of a quasi child.

Both require discipline, time, love and poop duty.