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, June 2, 2014

A One-Woman CSI Unit

Polly Penwell has autism – and the passion to solve cold missing persons cases

Features Patrick Sullivan “The pain that you see those families going through … I would always just be watching the show [“Disappeared” in the ID Network] and just be bawling,” she said. “I felt so much sadness for them. I’ve always been very sensitive – compassionate, I guess – even as a little kid.
Monday, May 26, 2014

Swimming Upstream

Features Patrick Sullivan “I can’t really put a reason on the decline, except for, I would say, small-town politics,” he said. “People would get bitter and then the bitterness would go to their friends, and before you know it, people would only show up to one event or the parade.
Monday, May 19, 2014

‘Sacred’ Land or a Fair Swap?

Word of a state park land deal worries some Charlevoix neighbors

Features Patrick Sullivan Indeed, a secret land swap wouldn’t be possible, said Rich Hill, Gaylord district supervisor of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. Hill said it is not unusual for talks to take place between a company and the department prior to the submission of a formal proposal.
Monday, May 12, 2014

Howard Schelde

Traverse City’s Original Restaurateur Looks Back, Ahead

Features Patrick Sullivan In Chicago, Schelde discovered Mr. Steak restaurants, opened one in Grand Rapids, and bought the franchise rights to Traverse City before ever coming here. In 1973, while Mr. Steak was under construction on Munson Ave., Schelde learned of a sprawling Victorian mansion/restaurant for sale on Old Mission Peninsula.
Monday, May 5, 2014

The News Graveyard

Old news from Petoskey gets new life online

Features Patrick Sullivan The archive chronicles a rich newspaper history. At least eight papers were started in Petoskey by 1900. In the year 1883, Petoskey saw editions of the Northern Independent, the Petoskey City Record, the Emmet County Democrat, and the Daily Resorter hit the streets.
Monday, May 5, 2014

Want A Donut?

There’s an App for That

Features Patrick Sullivan He worked around the world in telecom and real estate until he returned to Michigan a few years ago to start a tech company with his brother. That company – Front Door Insights – worked with restaurants and solons and retail businesses to use text message marketing to keep customers engaged.
Monday, April 28, 2014

Timeline of Tolerance

Traverse City’s history of gay life

Features Patrick Sullivan In the not-so-distant past, a hot debate flared over a city commissioner’s comments that homosexuals were “the filthiest, dirtiest people on the face of the Earth.” (see actual timeline on next page) While that story earned the city national notoriety in the late 80s, today Traverse City’s gay-friendly reputation is something different.
Monday, April 28, 2014

Gay Up North

Features Patrick Sullivan “We’re like every other couple. We met like other couples meet. We do the exact same things that other couples do,” Thomson said. “We’re not asking to be treated differently. We just want to be treated the same. We want to be treated like the majority of America.
Monday, April 14, 2014

Homeless in Northern Michigan

Where they go and what’s available in our region.

Features Patrick Sullivan Amid the debate, the Northern Express decided to look at whether providing better services could draw more homeless to an area, why the problem has gotten so bad recently and what services for the homeless are offered in other communities in our region.
Monday, March 31, 2014

Shark Tank, Angels and More

Local Investing Groups Booming

Features Patrick Sullivan “We’re not really a fundraising platform,” he said. “We’re really a networking group. We try to connect the business owners with local investors.” He said ALAP watched as Grand Traverse Culinary Oils owner William Koucky has pitched ideas that turned into a developed product.
Monday, March 24, 2014

Bata Turns the Corner

With Loop and Link, Traverse City’s bus service has become a viable alternative for more commuters

Features Patrick Sullivan They’ve gotten surveillance cameras on buses to cut down on liability and so that drivers can concentrate on driving. They’ve installed mobile data terminals and electronic fare boxes. They’ve redesigned the buses and route signs so the system is easier to use.
Monday, March 10, 2014

Strange Brew vs. Traditional

The days of Bud and Miller Lite ruling local beer taps are long gone.

Features Patrick Sullivan “I have this whole new dimension I want to add at some point, I’ve been trying to add over the last couple of years, to get the home brew set up in my house finished, so we can get really crazy,” Short said. “I think we’ve covered a lot of bases as far as exploring unusual ingredients – fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, yeasts, beer styles, teas.
Monday, March 3, 2014

Dance... To Learn

Maria Curiale-West believes dance can be more than just the sum of its movements.

Features Patrick Sullivan After graduating from college and dancing professionally for seven years, the native New Yorker met her future husband at a gig in Mackinaw City. His northern Michigan roots helped them choose Traverse City as their new hometown..
Monday, February 24, 2014

New Downtown Living

Features Patrick Sullivan Petoskey’s downtown is also built out, and prices of old homes close to the center are going up, even if they aren’t in great condition. A red hot market for in-town real estate and a lack of space to build has taken away a lot of what builders or remodelers can do, said agent Lori Jodar of Lori Jodar & Company.
Monday, February 10, 2014

Spawn of Cherry Capital Comic Con

An annual gathering of comic book fans in Traverse City has spawned a community of comic book creators.

Features Patrick Sullivan “[Lee] brought his portfolio to show Ethan Van Sciver,” Meeuwes said. “And I looked at it and we just kind of talked because he was a new comic book nerd in the area that I’d never met. I thought he should become one of the group. I was like, this is really good.