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, February 11, 2013

Sweaty 19-Year-Olds, Unicorns and Manti Te’o’s Girlfriend

Interview with columnist Neal Rubin, March’s National Writers Series host

Features Patrick Sullivan Detroit News columnist Neal Rubin will be in Traverse City, March 5, to host the next National Writers Series event, an evening with Buzz Bissinger, a bestselling author whose book, “Friday Night Lights” was turned into a movie and an NBC television series. Although Bissinger takes the spotlight next month, we wanted to shine it on Rubin and find out more about this great columnist from the Detroit News.
 
Monday, February 4, 2013

‘You had to be young and tough’

A Q&A with John C. Mitchell, author of “Grand Traverse The Civil War Era”

Features Patrick Sullivan

There’s been a steady interest in John C. Mitchell’s book, “Grand Traverse The Civil War Era,” since it was published in 2011 but that interest has only picked up with the popularity of the movie “Lincoln” and renewed interest in the Civil War as events from that era celebrate 150 year anniversaries.

Mitchell sat down with the Express to talk about his book and his lifelong friendship with Peter Leonard, son of Detroit crime author Elmore Leonard.

 
Monday, January 28, 2013

Fear in the Forest

Features Patrick Sullivan “The guy is dressed like a commando out of a bad movie,” Roote said. “He’s got on camo from head to toe, boots, and he’s got two shoulder holsters, each one holding a handgun, ready to draw at around chest high. You can’t imagine. I told my brother to get on the ground.
 
Monday, January 14, 2013

Key to the City

Master key to TC parking meters nets thief a jackpot up to $41,000

Features Patrick Sullivan Douglas Charles Hastings has never received a “key to the city” from Traverse City leaders, but he did get his hands on a key that’s arguably much more valuable.

Hastings managed to get a copy of a key that unlocks any of the city’s parking meters, sturdy steel containers that can be laden with change. A single meter can hold up to $300; a double, up to $600.

 
Monday, January 7, 2013

The Water Lord

One man’s monopoly on water in Walloon Lake leads to felony charges

Features Patrick Sullivan

There was one more thing to take care of after a man purchased a home on M-75 in the picturesque Village of Walloon in 2008. The new homeowner had to make sure that when he turned on his taps, water would come out.

Before that could happen, however, he was told by the local water utility that he would have to pay the previous owner’s water bill.

And he would also owe an administrative charge.

 
Monday, December 24, 2012

A Home in Limbo

Attempt to modify a mortgage puts family on brink of eviction at Christmas

Patrick Sullivan

The Reed’s tranquil spot in Leelanau County could, however, be in jeopardy. According to Realtytrac, the Reed’s property is just one of 137 bank-owned properties currently in Leelanau County, many of them remnants of the 2008 financial crisis.

 
Monday, December 17, 2012

Wrong ID in Attempted Abduction

Phone records clear a man accused of abduction

Features Patrick Sullivan When the victim saw the photo of Walter -- which is different than the booking photo that’s been released to the media -- she made an immediate ID. She broke down crying and repeatedly said, “It was him,” according to a brief filed by prosecutor Alan Schneider.
 
Monday, December 10, 2012

No Place for Pedestrians

A walking tour of Lafranier Road shows the outskirts of TC need a lot of improvement

Features Patrick Sullivan

When Gary Howe learned the Grand Traverse County Road Commission planned to spend some money to improve Lafranier Road, he decided he wanted to have some input.  Howe proposed a walking tour of Lafranier with local planners, transportation specialists and a couple members of the road commission. The Northern Express tagged along on the snowy morning of Nov. 28.

 
Monday, December 3, 2012

What It’s Like Out There

The alleged rape of a homeless woman offers view of life on TC’s streets

Features Patrick Sullivan Warning -- This story contains graphic sexual content.
The 25-year-old woman had been slipping into homelessness for some time. In the past eight years she’d racked up a record of misdemeanor convictions -- a couple of cases of minor in possession of alcohol, a drunk driving, a domestic violence case, and a false pretenses case.

She cared a lot about her boyfriend, she later testified at his preliminary hearing on sex assault charges in August. At least when he was sober.

 
Monday, November 26, 2012

The Drug Kingpin Who Barely Got By

No cement pond, no BMW or lavish lifestyle for Mancelona dealer

Features Patrick Sullivan Circuit Court Judge Philip Rodgers went further, telling Bigger: “Did you live a big lifestyle? Were you sitting out next to the cement pond with a BMW parked in the driveway? No, you weren’t. You lived a pretty crummy lifestyle, from time to time in a camper in your daughter’s front driveway.
 
Monday, November 19, 2012

The $50 Million Electrocution Case

Is TC going to be on the hook for more than it can afford?

Features Patrick Sullivan Michael Knudsen and his friends had no reason to believe that death was waiting for them when they jumped into West Grand Traverse Bay inside a marina breakwall in August, 2011.

A $50 million lawsuit filed on behalf of Knudsen’s estate describes the teenager’s harrowing last few moments alive...

 
Monday, November 12, 2012

What's Up with that Fracking Well Next Door?

Neighbors worry what fracking will do to their property values

Features Patrick Sullivan In August, bulldozers and graders and dump trucks rumbled along Wood Road to a parcel that used to be part woods and part meadow. To the utter surprise of most neighbors, workers started construction of a deep-shale, horizontal fracturing natural gas well at the site, located in Kalkaska County’s Rapid River Township.
 
Monday, October 29, 2012

Life or Death at a Dollar Store

Four years after a violent armed robbery, a Petoskey woman faces charges

Features Patrick Sullivan Tina Marie Stoll faces charges of armed robbery, her fate literally hanging by a hair. She left for Tennessee days after the robbery, but was brought back to Michigan once lab tests confirmed a hair found at the crime scene matched her mitochondrial DNA profile.
 
Monday, October 22, 2012

Benishek V. McDowell

An old-fashioned bar brawl of a congressional campaign

Features Patrick Sullivan The race for the Michigan’s 1st Congressional seat is one of the hardest fought in the nation this election cycle, and the result is that Michigan residents from Marquette to Manistee have been besieged with television advertisements from each of them and political organizations working on their behalf.
 
Monday, October 15, 2012

Drug Deal Gone Wrong

Fake money in a heroin deal leads to bad blood

Features Patrick Sullivan

It appeared at first to be a crime that made no sense at all. A man was attacked on the side of a rural road in East Bay Township southeast of Traverse City Aug. 12, stabbed over 20 times and left to stagger to a nearby house to call for help.

 
 
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