Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...


A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Millions of Donors' Dollars Flow Through Northern Michigan

Features Patrick Sullivan “We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars of campaign; there are an amazing number of campaigns going on,” said Phil Ellis, executive director of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. “I think some of them are potentially transformational for our region.
Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sun, wind and a cutthroat business on the bay

Features Patrick Sullivan An extortion case that sprung out of bad blood between a resort owner and a parasail operator could help determine when aggressive business tactics become criminal
Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Rainy Day Fund That Won’t Go Away

Features Patrick Sullivan Two school officials are at odds over how to spend tens of millions of dollars held in reserve. One says the practice hinders students’ education, while the other says it’s part of running a responsible district.

Teachers at Traverse City Area Public Schools and Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District work together every day, collaborating to make sure children get the best education they can provide.

That same harmony doesn’t extend to the top of the two organizations, where two superintendents, Paul Soma of TCAPS and Mike Hill of TBAISD, disagree over use of a rainy day fund.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Vets Millage Vote Coming Up In GT County

Features Patrick Sullivan Vietnam vet Larry Lelito said the department is crucial to the lives of veterans and deserves to be funded. Without the countylevel services that enable vets to navigate the larger, labyrinthine world of veterans benefits, Lelito believes many vets would be lost.
Saturday, November 5, 2016

“They Don’t Want To Back Us Up When We Come Home”

Features Patrick Sullivan Three soldiers sat down with the Northern Express over donuts and coffee to talk about what it’s like to be a vet in northern Michigan. The men span three generations, but they echoed one sentiment: Today’s new vets have it tougher than ever, and there should be more support for them when they return home.
Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Cadillac Kid

Features Patrick Sullivan “Wolgast said, ‘I’m not from Grand Rapids. I’m from Cadillac, and I’m proud of it,’ and he punched the announcer in the face,” said Richard Kraemer, docent at the Wexford County Historical Society. “From then on, everyone in boxing knew that he punched out an announcer for saying the wrong town.
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Creepy Clown Production Coming to Cheboygan

Features Patrick Sullivan When artist Eddie Renner and aspiring filmmaker Haynze Whitmore met at a Cheboygan restaurant to discus their latest project, a film centered around a creepy clown, they had no idea they had just tapped into what would become a zeitgeist; today,...
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Taking On The Big Dog

Features Patrick Sullivan Dr. Randy Wysong, a part-time Traverse City resident, has been trying to make healthier pet foods for 35 years by carefully studying which ingredients should be included and which should not. Now his company, the Midland-based Wysong Corporation, is taking on six companies that he contends use misleading packaging on dog and cat food.
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Struggles of a Blind Man

Features Patrick Sullivan Now he’s got a job, and he hopes to soon have his own apartment..
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Who’s The Carpetbagger?

The race for the 1st District congressional seat is proving to be a knock-down, drag-out fight.

Features Patrick Sullivan Airwaves have been inundated with ads from the National Republican Congressional Committee that claim the Democrat running in the 1st District congressional race doesn’t live in northern Michigan, but rather, in a Detroit penthouse. The ads end: “For Lon Johnson, it’s all an act.
Saturday, October 1, 2016

Lost at Sea

Features Patrick Sullivan Murdick remembers that his father’s story especially resonated in 1975, when he saw the classic film Jaws at the movie theater in Charlevoix. One of the characters, Quint, portrayed by Robert Shaw, played an Indianapolis survivor who hauntingly described what had happened.
Saturday, September 24, 2016

State of the Odawa

Features Patrick Sullivan A timeline of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians’ history, as chronicled on the bands’ website, begins in the 1600s, when the ancestors of the people who would make up the modern tribe first settled in northern lower Michigan.
Saturday, September 17, 2016

Not Your Granddad’s Rehab

Features Patrick Sullivan In the years since, the spectrum of services offered by ATS has broadened as much as the variety of clients it serves. It’s spread across nine properties throughout Traverse City. And in recent years it’s attracted national attention as an innovative treatment provider.
Saturday, September 10, 2016

If You Seek A Pleasant Peninsula

Features Patrick Sullivan The Boursaw property on East Bay — perched near the unincorporated community of Old Mission, at the northeast end of the peninsula — was first tapped for maple syrup, and then it became a dairy farm. In the 1930s, along with the other farmers on the peninsula, the Boursaws planted cherry trees.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

Was a Sexual Predator Employed at a Strip Club?

Features Patrick Sullivan Ten days passed before the exotic dancer told police she’d been violently raped on the men’s room floor inside Fantasy’s strip club. The lawyer for Christopher Kingsland, the man accused of the sexual assault, wanted to know why she waited so long to contact police.