Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Reflecting Absence

Features Patrick Sullivan When the National September 11 Memorial is unveiled in New York City this
week, a Traverse City grad will get to show off his work.
Robert Jamieson grew up in TC and went to high school here. But he has
spent his professional life on the East Coast. Jamieson currently lives in
Philadelphia where he is head of store design for the upscale retailer
Anthropologie.
 
Monday, August 29, 2011

Public Safety

Features Patrick Sullivan ROCK THROWN AT COP
A Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s deputy who was driving down High Lake
Road near Supply Road was surprised by an object that was apparently
thrown from another vehicle and struck his windshield.
The deputy turned around, stopped the vehicle and interviewed the
occupants of the car after the incident, which happened after midnight on
Aug. 23.
A 19-year-old backseat passenger first told police that he threw a piece
of candy out of the window, Capt. Randy Fewless said. He later admitted to
throwing a rock at the marked patrol car, and he added that he did not
realize the car was a police car when he threw the rock.
The teenager was arrested on a charge of throwing an object at a vehicle.
The windshield needed to be replaced, Fewless said.
 
Monday, August 29, 2011

Up in Smoke Court ruling puts pot purveyors out of business

Features Patrick Sullivan Owners of medical marijuana collectives decided not to wait for the police to knock on their doors following last week’s court decision that, for now, puts an end to legal patient-to-patient sales of pot.
“We’re just telling (our customers) that due to the recent government ruling, we’ve been advised by our attorney not to be transferring medicine period,” said Steve Ezell, an employee at the Collective, a marijuana shop on State Street in TC.
Pot shops across the state are in jeopardy after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 24 in favor of prosecutors in an Isabella County case and said the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does not legalize the sale of marijuana for profit.
TC Police said they would look into the business practices at marijuana shops, but before they could, shops across town apparently closed.
That put around a dozen employees at the Collective out of work and left around 1,500 members who have a doctor’s prescription to use marijuana without a source for the drug.
The court ruling determined that the businesses are public nuisances and violate the state public health code, which is meant to protect citizens from hazards.
Ezell said he didn’t think the business he worked at ever posed a threat to the public. It opened last November.
“You’ll have to check with the Traverse City police, but I’m confident that there’s been zero incidents involving the Collective,” Ezell said.
 
Monday, August 29, 2011

Lost in the Mail : Teacher who tried to ship car from California winds up riding a bicycle

Features Patrick Sullivan David Allen knew trying to have his car shipped to Northern Michigan from California was going to be expensive and a big hassle.
Little did he know it would be a hassle he would still be dealing with eight months later.
Last December the history and political science teacher attempted to have his white 2006 Nissan Altima shipped from Los Angeles to his new home in Interlochen, where he had taken a teaching position a few months earlier.
“The plan was for me to get my car and go home and see my family for the holidays,” said Allen, a Boston native whose family still lives in Massachusetts.
Allen looked online and found a company called Tristar Trucking of Glen Head, New York, that would set up the car delivery for $745, a price that sounded fair to Allen.
He paid a deposit and received the contract on a Friday afternoon and called the company to ask some questions.
A company representative refused to go over the contract with him, told him he had to get off the phone because he “has a social life,” and left Allen wondering what he was getting into.
That should have been a red flag, Allen says now.
Allen said he just hoped his car would arrive soon so he could get home for Christmas with his family.
But last year, Allen would have no Christmas with his family.
 
Monday, August 22, 2011

Public Safety

Features Patrick Sullivan CLINCH PARK DEATH
City officials want to find out how a teenager swimming in the Clinch Park
Marina suffered an electric shock and drowned.
Michael Scott Knudsen, 18, of Mancelona, died at around 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15.
An autopsy showed the cause of death to be electric shock/drowning,
according to a City of Traverse City news release.
A preliminary investigation by the city determined that a short in a
220-volt electrical line, which carries power to a section of floating
dock, caused an electrical current to enter the water, according to the
city’s press release.
 
Monday, August 22, 2011

Tales of the Salmon Seekers

Features Patrick Sullivan Tales of the Salmon Seekers: Champion fisherman Scott Alpers fought his way back from injuries

By Patrick Sullivan

If the best fish stories are about the one that got away, charter boat
Captain Scott Alpers has a story four times better.
One year during the Salmon Classic, an annual salmon fishing contest on
Grand Traverse Bay, Alpers and his crew wound up with a bunch of fish
hooked all at once early in the tournament.
 
Monday, August 22, 2011

TC business has fishing in its blood

Features Patrick Sullivan TC business has fishing in its blood
By Patrick Sullivan

Roger Borgeson had been retired for six years, but he missed the tackle
business, the line of work he’d been in for a half century.
He’d been sidelined by illness, could no longer fish, and he wanted to
find his way back.
“Basically I got sick and I couldn’t work anymore and I can’t stand
retirement,” Borgeson said. “The boys came to me, Mike and Pat, and said,
‘Let’s get into the lure business.’”
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Natural gas blues

Features Patrick Sullivan When Jan Stuhlmann heard how much a company wanted to pay him for oil and
gas rights to his 80 acres in Kalkaska County, he couldn’t believe his
ears.
The 69-year-old and his wife stood to receive around $140,000.
For Stuhlmann, a retired community college pottery instructor and
carpenter who’s lived in the same house on North Crooked Lake in Blue Lake
Township with his wife, Janet, since 1973, the windfall would have been
life-altering.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Public Safety

Features Patrick Sullivan STREET FIGHT
A man and his ex-girlfriend were arrested after a fight in Traverse City.
Police were called about a fight in progress Aug. 12 at around 2:20 a.m.
at the intersection of Newcomb and 17th Street but no one was there when
they arrived. A short while later they were called to Munson Medical
Center to interview a 20-year-old man with a broken jaw.
The man told police he and his girlfriend were headed to a residence when
they were interrupted by the woman’s ex-boyfriend. An argument ensued and
the ex-boyfriend came at him with a knife, he told police.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Robert Cheek

Features Patrick Sullivan She was the Sweetest Person in the World’:Benzie man faces trial in hammer death of Valerie Smith
By Patrick Sullivan
In retrospect, there was something creepy about the day Jerry Bolton was
called to a trailer park to fix a broken septic tank and a man peered out
of his trailer and stared at the workers.
It was only the next day, after the police arrived and put up crime scene
tape, that Bolton learned the man inside, Robert Lester Cheek, allegedly
spent days in the trailer with the corpse of his girlfriend, who Cheek is
now accused of killing.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Public Safety

Features Patrick Sullivan MAN RESCUED FROM LAKE
An unresponsive man pulled from Lake Michigan owes his life to the quick
actions of bystanders and emergency responders.
Mark Urness, 53, of Providence, New Jersey, was swimming in Lake Michigan
near the Lower Herring Lake outlet on Aug. 1 when he lost consciousness.
Bystanders pulled him from the water, Benzie County Sheriff Rory Heckman
said.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Public Safety

Features Patrick Sullivan MARIJUANA DISPENSARY QUESTIONED
A judge signed a subpoena requested by Garfield Township that will force
the owners and landlord of the Green Things Plus dispensary to answer some
questions.
At issue is whether the marijuana store on South Airport Road opened
during a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries that went
into effect in the township in January.
The agents of the business claim they opened before the moratorium;
township attorney Scott Howard says permit applications and social media
posts from the company say otherwise, according to a circuit court file.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

The battle of the Boardman

Features Patrick Sullivan Lovers of trout streams should long for the day when the Boardman River
flows north into Traverse City unobstructed by dams, as wild, free and
clear as nature intended.
But some trout fishermen worry about one consequence that could come with
the removal of the dams -- the Michigan Department of Natural resources is
considering allowing salmon or steelhead to swim upstream once the new
river configuration is in place.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

A Plane Mystery Filmmaker chronicles family and union strife in Brothers on the Line

Features Patrick Sullivan For one filmmaker, this year’s journey to Northern Michigan could be a
little bit like a return to the scene of a crime.
At least a possible crime that might have happened to his family 40 years
ago.
In addition to a string of victories for workers, unions and civil rights,
the Reuther family also notched a slew of assassination attempts during
the 20th Century.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

An interview with Sasha Reuther

Features Patrick Sullivan Northern Express: How did you end up making a film about your family?
Sasha Reuther: Obviously, I grew up around the story. I’m Victor Reuther’s
grandson, so throughout my childhood we’d spend holidays together with my
grandfather. We grew up in Washington D.C., so I was only right down the
street from him and I grew up around these amazing stories of the picket
line battles and my grandfather was the international director of the
union so he would travel overseas and he would talk about traveling in
Japan and Germany. And of course, he lost an eye in an assassination
attempt, so here’s this kind of larger than life character that I grew up
with. ...
 
 
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