Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Foster Family Odyssey

Features Patrick Sullivan Melissa and David West wanted to expand their family of four. With two biological children already, they decided to embark on the adoption process through the foster care system. They had one caveat: they didn’t want to become a revolving door for foster kids.
Monday, April 27, 2015

The Fracking Debate

Features Patrick Sullivan Cheap natural gas and slowed industry activity have quieted the fracking debate in northern Michigan recently, but that calm may soon be over. In March, The Sierra Club declared fracking should be banned in Michigan, and another group seeking to end the practice plans to collect signatures to put an anti-fracking initiative on the ballot in 2016.
Monday, April 20, 2015

Northern Michigan Environmental Watchlist

Features Patrick Sullivan “One of the hurdles we face with the lakes, particularly in our region, is the beauty of them,” Inland Seas Educational Association Executive Director Fred Sitkins said. “Because there’s not a large floating garbage patch out there, it’s not there in a lot of people’s eyes.
Monday, April 13, 2015

The Case That Haunts Kalkaska

Features Patrick Sullivan For years, stacks of evidence and pages of arguments piled up. In 2013, newly-elected Kalkaska County prosecutor Michael Perreault agreed to honor requests from wrongful conviction clinics at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University to authorize new DNA tests.
Monday, April 6, 2015

It’s Profane and Anonymous and It’s Come to NMC

Features Patrick Sullivan There is round-the-clock, semi-secret, anonymous commentary running every day on the Northwestern Michigan College campus. The social media app Yik Yak has landed at NMC and, throughout the day, students post to a live feed about everything from sex to the weather to classes.
Monday, March 30, 2015

A Bridge and a Divide

Features Patrick Sullivan APRIL DECISION DUE Chuck Korn, Garfield Township supervisor and Hartman-Hammond’s biggest proponent of late, wants to see the Cass Road bridge project scuttled. He believes environmentalists want it built to ensure the Hartman-Hammond project never happens.
Monday, March 23, 2015


Features Patrick Sullivan Efforts for Bureau of Indian Affairs recognition have failed since the 1980s, but what’s now known as the Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians continues to work for reaffirmation. This year, with the help of former U.S. representative Bart Stupak, the Burt Lake Band (BLB) hopes to find legitimacy through the BIA or an act of Congress.
Monday, March 16, 2015

Congregation Beth El

Features Patrick Sullivan Terry Tarnow: It was built in 1885 by a group of Russian immigrants, mostly. They wanted a synagogue. They were very religious Jews. We’re not the oldest congregation. There are older congregations in the metropolitan Detroit area, but they’ve switched buildings a half a dozen times.
Monday, March 16, 2015

Licensed to Drill

Features Patrick Sullivan The stylist who cuts your hair needs a license from the state. So does the person who sells your house or gives you a massage, but that’s not the case for the trainer who leads you through rigorous workouts several times a week. In fact, Michigan has no minimum requirement for allowing someone to hang up a shingle as a personal trainer.
Monday, March 9, 2015

Michigan’s Craft Beer Explosion Leads To New University Programs

Features Patrick Sullivan This boom means something exciting where career paths are concerned: more people are needed to brew beer. Previously, would-be brewers in the Midwest were limited to opportunities at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas in Madison, Wisconsin.
Monday, March 2, 2015

National Treasures

Features Patrick Sullivan The renovation of an Earl Young home on a block filled with the celebrated mushroom houses has people talking in Charleviox. The once low-slung home now rises over the Park Avenue block. A modern addition is sandwiched between Young’s original first floor stone walls and a fantastical, flowing roof that’s being hand woven by a Scottish thatcher.
Monday, February 23, 2015

Inside Northern Michigan’s Chef-Making Machine

Features Patrick Sullivan “That whole system was kind of outmoded,” Laughlin said. “I think in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, more things were processed. The trend was — with a lot of restaurants, except your very high-end ones — that you had a kitchen manager that scheduled lowskilled line cooks that were basically preparing almost prepackaged stuff, heating things up.
Monday, February 16, 2015

Still Pure Michigan

Features Patrick Sullivan The East Lansing native assumed brand leadership of Pure Michigan on Dec. 1, following a 15- year career teaching at Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management in Philadelphia and serving as vice president of marketing for the Pocono Mountains Visitor Bureau.
Monday, February 9, 2015

Are You Kidding?

Features Patrick Sullivan Local improv group Good On Paper offers workshops in on-the-spot performance and two standup comedy promoters, Falling Down Stairs and Rotten Cherries, run open mic nights that give would-be wags a chance to test their stuff. Now, locals can watch comics take to the stages around town several nights each month.
Monday, February 9, 2015

Discomfort in the Spotlight

Features Patrick Sullivan Fisher: I’m a dock installer. I have not been in trouble in 20 years. I do my job. I go home every night. I raise my son by myself. My ex-wife, we raised one 50-50; I raised one all by myself. He turned out to be a great kid. Graduated high school. He’s now playing junior hockey.