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..

Home · Articles · By Erin Crowell

Erin Crowell

Top Articles from
No articles in this section
Monday, December 13, 2010

The Science of Santa

Books Erin Crowell The Science of Santa : Flight of the Reindeer celebrates 15th anniversary edition 12/13/10
By Erin Crowell
Santa Claus is real.
We knew it when we were five and if we’re lucky, we know it now.
Being a young believer, I thought I had the answer around age five, playing in the snowy yard of my parent’s farmhouse—a few days past Christmas—when I looked up and saw a mark on the side of the chimney: a wet spot only a fat man could make brushing his snow-covered belly against the brick.
“It’s not from Santa,” my sister had said, rolling her eyes.
Despite her having three years of life experience on me, I remained confident that the Man in Red had lapsed in caution, leaving evidence of his existence (other than a trail of cookie crumbs).
It was a moment that brought the stars a little closer to earth and the magic surrounding Christmas shine a bit brighter -- and it has stuck with me to this day.
Maybe you have had one of these aha! moments...maybe you’re a doubter – a left-brained logical since birth. After all, how could one man circle the globe and deliver gifts to all the world’s children in one night?
With flying reindeer, of course.
Monday, December 6, 2010


Features Erin Crowell Biathlon, By Golly! Hot shots combine skiing and target shooting at Crystal Mountain
By Erin Crowell
Cross country skiing. It’s a wonderland excursion, swooshing through the white woods on a freshly groomed trail – breathing with the rhythm of every push and glide, silence enveloping…then suddenly… pop! pop! pop!
Screams, laughter and a paint-plastered target.
It may not be the intense, competitive sport we saw in Vancouver this past winter, but the new biathlon course at Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa has all the same elements – just substitute bullets with paintballs and medals with high fives.
Happening every Sunday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., participants can strap on a pair of cross country skis or snowshoes and test their marksmanship skills by shooting at a group of targets via paintball marker while walking or skiing along an off-road trail.
Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter sports calendar

Features Erin Crowell Winter Sports Calendar: A guide to putting your best foot forward
By Erin Crowell
Hear that?
Didn’t think so – It’s hard to hear your foot landing in soft powder
as you run a snowshoe race or mid-glide in the North American Vasa.
The point is, just because the temperature has dropped doesn’t mean
you should do the same with your motivation.
Here’s a list of winter races to keep you going:
Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter‘s best bets

Features Erin Crowell Winter’s Best Bets: Some can’t-miss events for the snowy season
By Erin Crowell
Author W.J. Vogel once wrote, “To shorten winter, borrow some money
due in spring.”
Sure, we like to complain about living in one of the frozen upper
crusts of the country, knees trembling as we brush the powder off our
cars and snap the thermostat to “blazing.”
Monday, August 23, 2010

Third Coast Bicycle Festival

Features Erin Crowell On a Roll: The Third Coast Bicycle Festival
By Erin Crowell
Just over a year ago, Bill Palladino handed his nephew the keys and title to his 2002 Saturn Vue and walked away from car ownership -- well, pedaled away is more like it.
The Traverse City independent consultant prefers cycling as his main form of transportation. Being the thorough creature that he is, Palladino broke down his vehicle-vs.-bicycle usage into two separate financial charts.
What was one of his main discoveries? “In most cases individual vehicle ownership has a negative net effect on local economies. This means that on average more vehicle-related expenses leave the community than stay locally,” he reports in the online article “Making the Leap - Going Carless” (see mywheelsareturning.com).
In other words, biking--along with other forms of alternate transportation--has very little negative impact on the local community. Actually, few will argue that the actual benefits of a biking community lies solely in the realm of economics.
Monday, August 23, 2010

Coolest job in the world: Jason Pratt

Features Erin Crowell ‘Coolest Job in the World’: Microbiologist Jason Pratt uses science — and taste buds — at MillerCoors
By Erin Crowell
Jason Pratt may have one of the best jobs in the world – at least
that’s what his buddies think.
The 30-year-old Traverse City native is a yeast and fermentation
scientist for MillerCoors, meaning, he gets paid to swig beer every
Monday, August 16, 2010

Roth Shirt Company

Features Erin Crowell Quirky, Local Threads at Roth Shirt Company
By Erin Crowell
We’ve all seen the Life is Good brand – t-shirts and other
paraphernalia with the crudely drawn, smiling stick man (a.k.a.
“Jack”) doing something outdoorsyish, the drawing accompanied by a
clever saying – usually a play on words.
Monday, June 14, 2010

A Yen for Yoga

Features Erin Crowell A Yen for Yoga New fitness center opens in downtown TC
By Erin Crowell
There’s a new yoga place in downtown Traverse City – however, Yen
Yoga, soon-to-be open on East Front Street is more than just a yoga
studio. The 7,000 square foot studio will be home to several
health-minded activities including spinning, Pilates and kettlebell
Monday, June 14, 2010

Tampico offers a touch of Mexico & the southwest

Features Erin Crowell Tampico offers a touch of Mexico & the Southwest
By Erin Crowell
Cris and Kathy Telgard have made a living out of travel shopping. It’s a job most people dream of and it has proven to be quite successful. The Telgards own Tampico, an eclectic boutique of jewelry, folk art and furniture, located on Main Street in downtown Leland.
The Telgards never intended to make a business out of their regular travels to Mexico. But soon after the couple started bringing back treasures, friends were sending them on their way with shopping lists.
“On one trip to Oaxaca, it was a revelation,” says Cris. “We had all our goodies spread out at our hotel room and we thought, ‘Wow, we could really make a living out of this.’”
So, the couple purchased a small building in Fishtown to sell their purchases.
Monday, June 7, 2010

Crazy about Colantha

Features Erin Crowell Crazy About Colantha: New dairy festival will celebrate a champion cow
By Erin Crowell
“The Holstein cow’s a wonderous thing:
She makes a feller’s pockets ring;
She fills ’em full and runs ’em o’er,
And pads up bank accounts, galore.

…An all the bossies graze, serene
Out where the grass is sweet and green;
Content to prosper those who join
The black and white for ready coin.”

--I.A. Kimble, 1925

Graves and insane asylums – creepy, right? Together, they conjure up
images of unkempt yards, wrought iron gates and stark buildings…maybe a
flash of lightning and a rumble of thunder.
Monday, May 31, 2010

Charged up

Features Erin Crowell Charged Up: Supersized solar system powers new parking deck
By Erin Crowell
“The best market for solar is out over parking lots,” architect Robert
Noble said in a May 2010 Green Tech Media article. The founder of the
California-based company, Envision Solar, realized back in 2007 that
parking lot and carport roofs were ideal for collecting solar power.
Monday, May 31, 2010

Eco-Building Products

Features Erin Crowell Catching the ‘Green’ Wave:: Eco-Building Products
By Erin Crowell
Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—an extension of
consumer tax incentives originally introduced in the Energy Policy Act
of 2005—homeowners are investing in eco-friendly building products now
more than ever.
Monday, May 24, 2010

Strange Days

Books Erin Crowell Strange Days: A Dead Sleeping Shaman meets her own end of the world
“Dead Sleeping Shaman”
By Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli
Midnight Ink $14.95
By Erin Crowell
There’s something eerie going on in Northern Michigan, people are coming up dead and they’re doing it in strange places – at least is the case in the Emily Kincaid murder/mystery book series.
In “Dead Sleeping Shaman”—the follow-up to “Dead Dancing Women” and “Dead Floating Lovers”—local author (and Northern Express book reviewer) Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli returns readers to the world of writer Emily Kincaid, who is busy working on a Northern Michigan ghost town story when she happens to stumble across an old woman lying motionless against a tree near a remote walking trail.
Monday, May 24, 2010


Art Erin Crowell ConTEXTure: Dennos offers a marriage of poetry & sculpture
By Erin Crowell
At first glance, the ConTEXTure sculptures currently on display at the Dennos Museum Center look like a mess, thrown together by a five-year-old with way too much glue and freedom. They are convoluted works of art, colorful pieces held together by strands of wire, paint and other (sometimes unidentifiable) household objects.
Chaos, you could say.
But look closer and you will understand the amount of thought and work that went into each piece; how the web of strands seem to suspend, hold and balance each work. Every sculpture is accompanied by a poem, words that hold that same intricacy and consideration.
Sculptor Bill Allen and poet Fleda Brown combined their arts to create ConTEXTure: A Conversation Between Artists in Two Forms. Now on display through June 13 at the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, the exhibit is a marriage – one medium giving voice to the other.
Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting back to our roots

Features Erin Crowell Getting Back to Our Roots: Root cellars make a comeback during a rutted-out economy
By Erin Crowell
Think about your last shopping trip to the grocery store. What food
did you buy? How much did you buy? Did you eat everything you