Letters

Letters 07-25-2016

Remember Bush-Cheney Does anyone remember George W. Bush and Dick Cheney? They were president and vice president a mere eight years ago. Does anyone out there remember the way things were at the end of their duo? It was terrible...

Mass Shootings And Gun Control The largest mass shooting in U.S. history occurred December 29,1890, when 297 Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee in South Dakota were murdered by federal agents and members of the 7th Cavalry who had come to confiscate their firearms “for their own safety and protection.” The slaughter began after the majority of the Sioux had peacefully turned in their firearms...

Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

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Patrick Sullivan

 
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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Civil Disobedience In Gaylord

Features Patrick Sullivan Something strange happened after authorities signaled stricter enforcement of medical marijuana laws with May 2015 raids in Gaylord. Afterward, the number of dispensaries went up, not down. There were seven dispensaries operating before the raids and there were nine operating this March when police returned for another round of enforcement.
 
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Help Wanted

Features Patrick Sullivan PHOTODETECTOR MAKERS WANTED A few years ago, Traverse City’s Electro- Optics Technology, Inc. needed people to make things like photodetectors, optical isolators, fiber collimators and other laser technology you’ve never heard of. It appeared it would take a type of worker that didn’t exist in northern Michigan.
 
Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Modern Day Take on Strang

Features Patrick Sullivan A Strangite Mormon Diaspora occurred after James Jesse Strang was assassinated in 1856. There was no census taken to determine what happened to his followers; they are thought to have scattered to Utah and Wisconsin and elsewhere. For a time, the Mormon religion seemed to vanish from northern Michigan.
 
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Beaver Island’s Historical Divide

Features Patrick Sullivan Once, the island was home to a Mormon king, a charismatic and despotic leader who commanded that his followers adhere to his strict, splinter brand of Mormonism. James Jesse Strang’s followers were chased from the island following his assassination in 1856 and, since then, the place has cultivated an Irish identity, one that’s survived to this day.
 
Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Green One Percent

Early Adopters of Solar Technology Worry About a Utility Backlash

Features Patrick Sullivan Electric utilities are pushing back against incentives encouraging people to go solar and conserve energy. The latest local example of this nationwide struggle flared up in March, when Cherryland Electric Cooperative’s board of directors approved a measure to slash what it pays for solar panel-generated kilowatts beginning in November.
 
Saturday, April 9, 2016

All of These T-shirts Were Born in Northern Michigan

(But Not All of Them Were Made in America)

Features Patrick Sullivan Go anywhere in the country and you can find a quirky T-shirt shop that celebrates that particular place. Go to a tourist town and there will be several. Look at Traverse City; it’s got M-22, High Five Threads, the Roth Shirt Co., Tee See Tee, not to mention shops, wineries and breweries that create their own designs.
 
Saturday, April 2, 2016

What’s Happening in Greilickville?

Turns Out...A Lot.

Features Patrick Sullivan

As traffic volume nears a level suggesting M-22 become a five-lane highway, township planners hope to turn the village into a tourist destination with small-town appeal. Here are two visions for Greilickville’s future.

 
Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pugsley

Features Patrick Sullivan The 38-year-old convict was several years into a 5-to-30-year sentence for running a downstate meth lab, keeping his head down as chance for release approached. Then, the unthinkable happened at Pugsley Correctional Facility, the low-level security prison near Kingsley.
 
Saturday, March 26, 2016

Another Slice of Life Inside

Features Patrick Sullivan

One former northern Michigan resident ended up at Pugsley while serving a five-to-ten-year sentence after a felony conviction. The ex-con, who talked in the condition of anonymity, recalls his time spent in prison as an extraordinary waste of taxpayer dollars noting recidivism rates that exceed 40 percent within three years.

 
Saturday, March 19, 2016

Bringing Light Back to the South Fox Island Lighthouse

Group Hopes to Make One of the State’s Least Accessible Parks a Little More Welcoming

Features Patrick Sullivan

Bruce Rollins always wanted to be a lighthouse keeper. That romantic and isolated occupation was a dying job even back when he was in high school in the 1960s, though. He became an engineer and eventually retired in Texas. A year ago, he spotted a two-line classified ad in a boating magazine that read, “camper-keepers wanted.”

 
Saturday, March 12, 2016

Brewers Getting Together at Breweries Having Brews

Features Patrick Sullivan

In the early years of northern Michigan’s craft beer scene, beer makers from competing breweries used to gather to talk shop.

They’d meet once a month at someone’s brewpub, have some beer and swap ideas.

After Traverse City’s Workshop Brewing Company opened in 2013, owner Pete Kirkwood heard about those meetings and decided he wanted to try to revive them.
 
Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hops Are Hopping

Features Patrick Sullivan “We bought 10 acres about 10 years ago to camp on and things got out of hand,” said Brian Tennis, owner of New Mission Organics and creator of the Michigan Hop Alliance, who quit his corporate job in February because hops have taken over his life. “Now we’ve got 30 acres in hops and we’re looking to buy more property to expand.
 
Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Danger Zone

It’s hard to talk politics with people you disagree with these days; that hasn’t stopped some people from trying

Features Patrick Sullivan Rahrig set out to create a safe place on Facebook for people who disagree about politics. It was a success in its early months, bringing together diverse people in Traverse City who debated difficult topics. However, in reflection of national politics, things fell apart—debate Rahrig got heated, a comment was removed and Rahrig closed the group.
 
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Postcards From Africa

Northern Michiganders Work to Improve Life in a Faraway Place

Features Patrick Sullivan

Not all travel is about relaxation and fun. Some people travel for a purpose. In recent years, people from across northern Michigan have found themselves in Africa to heal the sick, to help the poor obtain access to water, and to oppose the victimization of women. These are some of their stories.

 
Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pig Trouble At Baker’s Green Acres

Features Patrick Sullivan Mark Baker said stores or restaurants that carry his pork products made from his Mangalitsa pigs have been intimidated by county, state and federal inspectors. Officials deny this. They say Baker’s recent trouble with health regulations is unrelated to an earlier feral pig dispute.
 
 
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