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, February 22, 2010

Renewable energy needs

Features Erin Crowell Renewable Energy Degrees
Northwestern Michigan College of Traverse City is now offering two degrees
and certificates in renewable energy technology. Recently available for
first time this spring semester, students have the opportunity to pursue
an Associate of Applied Science degree in the following areas:
Monday, February 22, 2010

Living off the grid

Features Erin Crowell Living Off-Grid
Devon O’Shea brings his alternative energy know-how home
By Erin Crowell
Around the age of 10, Devon O’Shea had a blueprint for an underground
house. He showed me while I was over at his parent’s farmhouse to play one
day. It was the year 1990 something, when the alternative energy boom was
in hibernation – the solar craze of the 1970s had passed and Al Gore was
just starting the legwork on “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Monday, February 15, 2010

A comic affair

Features Erin Crowell A Comic Affair:Gettin’ crazy with TJ &Dave and Whitney Cummings
By Erin Crowell

Laughter. The best way to unfreeze your face – and TJ Jagodowski and
Dave Pasquesi are a couple of guys that will help you do it. The
Second City veterans are among several comedians scheduled to perform
at the first-ever Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival, Feb. 19-21.
Monday, February 15, 2010

Shoes & snacks for backpacks

Features Erin Crowell “Shoe and Snacks” for Backpacks
By Erin Crowell
“Every student needs a backpack.”
It’s the reason why the Traverse Bay Sunrise Rotary Club has donated over 7,700 backpacks to area elementary and high school students.
Since 2004, the Backpacks for Kids program has become the signature event for Rotary members, providing area students with vital school supplies and the means to carry them.
Monday, February 8, 2010

Meet The Advice Goddess

Features Erin Crowell Write On!The Advice Goddess brings her wit & wisdom to Northern Michigan
By Erin Crowell
Amy Alkon, syndicated columnist, humorist and author, will tell youhow it is – and she’ll do it with ferocity and flare. Her “Advice
Goddess” column has appeared in over 100 newspapers, including the
Northern Express, where her sharp wit and candid humor has earned her
dedicated readers – along with a few critics.
Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter running

Features Erin Crowell Winter Running/Lunatic or badass? It depends on your viewpoint
By Erin Crowell
Here is an obvious observation, and something to think about next time you
step onto the treadmill: Fewer people run outside during the winter.
Now, take that with you when you step outside for a winter run. You are
among the few dedicated people who don’t let a little weather get in their
Monday, December 28, 2009

Thornetta Davis

Music Erin Crowell Thornetta Aims for the Big Time
Fundraising concert will help send her to Memphis
By Erin Crowell
Thornetta Davis may be Michigan’s best-kept secret. – For now.
The blues singer from Detroit has proven talent, performing at home and overseas and opening for R&B greats such as Etta James, Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles and Buddy Guy. In 2000, she sang with fellow Detroit native Kid Rock at the VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards.
But when Steve Soviak of the Mid North Michigan Blues Society told members of the Blues Foundation that Davis would be competing at their annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis this January, the reply was always the same:
Davis, whose voice has been described as “rich and soulful – the next Aretha Franklin,” is on the verge of evolving from a talented singer with a great resume, to a world-class star. The MNMBS hopes the singer will come out from under the music radar when she and her band performs at the International Blues Challenge, in Memphis, January 20-23.
Monday, December 28, 2009

What to do on New Year‘s Eve

Features Erin Crowell What to do on New Year’s Eve?
A regional roundup of party proposals
By Erin Crowell
The time is upon us to welcome the double digits of a new decade. 2010
is coming, and oh, how nice it will roll off the tongue.
Twenty ten.
See ya later two thousand and nine.
Monday, December 21, 2009

Following the wind/Teresa Carey

Features Erin Crowell Follow the Wind
Teresa Carey has a simple plan: sail south through the winter
“I think I romanticized living on a boat, too… perhaps too much.
Sailors are romantics and romantics are fools, so I must be a fool.”

–From Teresa Carey’s Blog ‘Sailing, Simplicity,
and the Pursuit of Happiness’. Dec. 7, 2008

By Erin Crowell

The cold winds return to New England, changing the leaves to gold and brown as Teresa Carey pulls anchor. It’s October, and the Kalkaska native is setting sail for warmer waters aboard “Daphne,” a 27-foot sailboat.
Last year, the 31-year-old school teacher decided she wanted to sail the East Coast. So, she quit her job, sold her processions and bought the Nor’Sea sailing sloop.
“Once my boat was ready, it was just as easy as pulling up the anchor and going,” she says.
Carey has no itinerary and no crew – just a boat, a cat and a free spirit for exploration.
Monday, December 14, 2009

Unsilent night

Music Erin Crowell Unsilent Night
Sound Sculpture aims to rock the holidays
By Erin Crowell
We live in a time where music is kept privately, stored in iPods and mp3 players the size of a stick of gum, audible only to the listener via earbuds or soundproof headphones.
But on Monday, December 21, participants will take off the headset and play the music proudly—and loudly—in cities all over the world, as part of the 18th annual “Unsilent Night” Holiday Sound Sculpture.
Traverse City and Lansing are the only Michigan cities participating in the community event where members carry boomboxes, laptops and other means of group-friendly portable devices to create a menagerie of sound – unique to each listener, depending on where they are in the crowd.
Monday, December 7, 2009

Dreams Scar Reality

Music Erin Crowell Dreams Scar Reality
‘Heavy with a dreamy sound’
By Erin Crowell
Traverse City band Dreams Scar Reality has reached a larger audience in southern Michigan than back home in Northern Michigan. But that will change – or at least they hope so – when they release their first CD at the Fireball Lounge in Kalkaska, this Saturday.
Monday, December 7, 2009

Your guide to good times

Features Erin Crowell Your Guide to Good Times
By Erin Crowell
Why fight the winter cold? Celebrate the season by participating in a number of events happening all over Northern Michigan. Whether it’s shopping with the gals, racing an outhouse or falling over your snowshoes, make this winter the best ever. Mark the following dates on your calendar. Heck! Cut it right out and tape it to your fridge!
Monday, November 30, 2009

He got carded

Features Erin Crowell He Got Carded...
Photographer’s greeting cards
offer a touch of Northern Michigan
By Erin Crowell
Noah Creamer was just finishing his degree from Grand Valley State University when the economy started hitting rock bottom. For the Suttons Bay native, it was either scrap for a minimum wage job or work really hard.
Creamer chose the latter.
With a little sweat, some 50 to 70 hour work weeks and some inspiration from his 12-year-old daughter, Creamer turned a love for photography and the beauty of Northern Michigan into a fulltime business.
Social Explorations is a multi-media company that utilizes the natural landscape of the area for tourist promotion and business ventures through greeting cards, corporate banners and other forms of media.
Monday, November 30, 2009

Inside SwingShift and the Stars

Features Erin Crowell Inside SwingShift & the Stars
Dancers tell how they ‘bust a move’
By Erin Crowell
Northern Michigan radio dj Rich Nadeau regularly watches Dancing with the Stars -- it helps to get his hips moving.
The Fox FM dj is one of six local celebrities competing in SwingShift & the Stars, a local charity dance-off, a competition much like the popular reality show that wrapped up its ninth season last week. Competitors dance for the approval of the judges while raising donations for their chosen local charity.
Monday, November 16, 2009

On the Runway

Features Erin Crowell Calling all sophisticated mamas to the third annual Gals, Glam & Glitz event, happening this Friday, at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City. The Zonta Club of Traverse City invites all women of Northern Michigan to an evening of shopping, wine, chocolate and fashion. Once again, the styling team at Imprés Salon will feature their original hair creations in a runway style hair show, with over 40 models hitting the catwalk.