Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

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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.
Monday, June 23, 2014

Northern Michigan’s Orange Angels

Orange, usually the color of caution, is the color of comfort for those who enjoy Northern Michigan skies and inland seas.

Features Patrick Sullivan The airbase itself dates to 1941, when two aircraft carriers sailed Lake Michigan. The Navy used the base during World War II so that pilots could practice difficult landings fter 1945, the Navy left and the next year the Coast Guard – itself established by the U.
Monday, June 16, 2014

Fantasy Islands

Michigan’s island life doesn’t begin and end at Mackinac. Those who crave a unique summer getaway have myriad options just out their back door.

Features Patrick Sullivan Whether you’re a spendthrift day tripper or covet your own private getaway, there are plenty of Michigan islands to visit, rent … or even buy.
Monday, June 9, 2014

When Bath Salts Hit Cadillac

Highly addictive psychoactive drug linked to one man’s tragic end.

Features Patrick Sullivan “On the Fourth of July, he was really upset about something, and I know, who’s to say if it’s real or not. Was somebody after him? Or was it the drugs? How do you know? How do you determine?” Edson said. “He told me somebody was after him. He said, ‘They.
Monday, June 2, 2014

Storming Ahead

How two Northern Michigan weathermen wound up running for political office

Features Patrick Sullivan “I literally walked into [the station] and met the general manager who happened to be standing in the lobby,” he said. Although nothing was available right then, the station manager must have seen something telegenic in him. In the summer of 1981, he brought Barrons back to the studio for an audition.