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, October 6, 2014

Here and There, But Not Everywhere

Features Patrick Sullivan Cooney is no marijuana booster, however. He believes pot’s wider acceptance has led to an increase in use among high school students. And he notes that most people with medical marijuana cards are under 40 (the average age is 27) — indicators, he believes, of abuse of the law.
Monday, September 29, 2014

No Bus at the Station

Emmet County fights for its own public transportation

Features Patrick Sullivan “I have heard of that in the past, but never really investigated because it didn’t seem like there was that much of a service,” said Michael Mann, a buyer at the Grain Train Natural Foods Market who has lived without a car since he moved to Petoskey from Ann Arbor.
Monday, September 29, 2014

Winter is Coming

Is another ‘Polar Vortex’ coming along with it?

Features Patrick Sullivan 2014 also left us with a lot of questions — did it signal a new trend for colder winters? Was winter 2014 a record-breaker? Where did ‘polar vortex’ originate? What happened to global warming? What should we expect this winter?
Monday, September 22, 2014

Where Have All the Workers Gone?

Features Patrick Sullivan The dramatic decrease in northern Michigan’s migrant worker population in recent years can be attributed to many factors, but, regardless of the reasons, there is no question this trend could change the face of the region’s signature fruit industry, making the way we harvest cherries, wine grapes, apples, peaches and berries a thing of the past.
Monday, September 15, 2014

Bay Harbor

How It Happened Twenty Years Ago: An Industrial Wasteland Becomes a $1 Billion Resort

Features Patrick Sullivan

For most of the 20th century, the behemoth cement plant south of Petoskey was an economic driver that offered well-paying jobs for generations of workers. After the plant closed in 1980, the property sat idle for years and went into decay, coughing up powdery kiln dust and oozing leachate into the bay. Many saw the parcel’s development potential with its five miles of shoreline on Little Traverse Bay, beautiful views and easy access to Petoskey.

Monday, September 8, 2014

(Ultra) Marathon Man

Features Patrick Sullivan “My dad made a joke, ‘What could he do if he trained? Look how good he does now,’” Kaupas said. “One of my cousins goes, ‘You should come out and do the Leadville.’” That was in 2013. At first, Kaupas thought he could just sign up for the 2013 race and try it with little training.
Monday, September 8, 2014

Peace on the Vasa?


Features Patrick Sullivan Photo: Michael Poehlman Photography / Traverse City Tourism.
Monday, August 25, 2014

Northport Busts Out

The county’s northernmost village went from bust to boom, but how?

Features Patrick Sullivan

New businesses have appeared up and down Waukazoo St., eager to serve the 500- plus people who live there year-round as well as waves of summer visitors.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Grading Our Schools

Money, scores drive inequities across district lines

Features Patrick Sullivan

As parents are well aware, selecting a school district is hardly black and white. Funding formulas and test scores – though widely available – are confusing even to the adminstrators that adhere to them. Although the State of Michigan readily provides this information online, navigating it can be another story.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Turf Wars

The farmers market life is getting tougher for growers reselling produce

Features Patrick Sullivan

A turf war is simmering in local farmers markets over exactly where that cherry, tomato, or radish was picked. Some say the argument is just splitting hairs; others decry the trucked-in produce as undercutting the small local grower.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Traverse City Film Festival Oral History


Features Patrick Sullivan After the success of that first TCFF in 2005, organizers decided to try for a second act. And — critical for downtown Traverse City — they set their sights on taking over the State Theatre, a classic American movie house that had fallen on hard times..
Monday, July 21, 2014

A Traverse City Film Festival Oral History

The Traverse City Film Festival, now among the most noted in the nation, began as a whim a decade ago.

Features Patrick Sullivan

It appeared from nowhere. It crawled from dinner party conversations. It took shape at a lunch at Amical. It quietly made its way onto the city agenda. Soon scores of volunteers knocked down cobwebs, scrubbed floors and walls and alighted the sparkling marquee of the State Theatre.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Solar Golf

Michigan’s first solar course opens after a three-year statewide drought of new courses.

Features Patrick Sullivan Bigger players are also getting into solar. Consumers Energy announced July 1 that they had selected 22 solar projects across the Lower Peninsula as part of their Experimental Advanced Renewable Program. The program enables participants to sell excess energy back to Consumers.
Monday, July 7, 2014

Lighting it Up on Torch

For summer fun, nothing quite holds a candle to Torch.

Features Patrick Sullivan As Michigan’s second-largest inland lake, its 41 miles of sandy shoreline have hosted countless bonfires, sing-a-longs, midnight swims, and family gatherings. And most summer weekends, its giant southside sandbar draws thousands of boaters, families, and partiers.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

'Tourist Train' Could Be Just a Few Years Away

For $1.7 million, a tourist train could once again chuff back and forth from Traverse City to Williamsburg.

Features Patrick Sullivan LOTS OF WORK AHEAD The 11-mile stretch of track in question is seldom used and is barely in good enough condition to carry freight. The tracks are maintained at the lowest standard allowed by the Federal Railroad Administration and trains are forbidden to carry passengers or travel more than 10 miles per hour.