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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Al Parker

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Vibrancy of Color, Nature

Art Al Parker Working in his home studio, White uses bold colors and contrasts, along with layers of transparent glazes. He varies his methods of adding and subtracting paint from the canvas. Most of his color mixing is done directly on the canvas, working wet into wet or wet over dry.
Saturday, August 27, 2016

Five to Watch

Sports Al Parker The high school football season is upon us, and teams and coaches across northern Michigan are gearing up for the season. Some already have held their season openers.
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Twists and Turns

Art Al Parker Working in acrylics on canvas, Acme artist Marcia Hales creates colorful paintings full of sweeping curves and contours. Her current works are jam-packed with layers and lines that attract and challenge a viewer’s eye. “I’ve done other media, including print making, pastel chalk and gouache, but now I really enjoy acrylics,” she explained.
Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Vivid Life

Art Al Parker “At first, people sort of trickled in, and we spent time getting the inventory built up, but the pace is picking up nicely now,” said the Illinois native who moved to Traverse City in 2013. Hollenbeck’s paintings, as well as the color pencil drawings and ceramics by her husband, Arnie, fill much of the gallery.
Saturday, July 2, 2016

Artist Murphy Hendry Reflects On His Glasswork Creations

Art Al Parker Hendry’s works range from scenic landscapes to insightful portraits to sports team logos — he just finished a Michigan State piece for a client — to colorful abstracts. All are painstakingly created with hand-cut shards of glass and mirrors carefully attached, one by one, onto pine boards.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Art Shows Galore!

Art Al Parker Almost every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day there’s a high quality art show in northern Michigan. Here’s a glimpse at some of the region’s most popular shows and art fairs..
Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Artistic Interpretations Of Nancy Adams Nash

Art Al Parker Traverse City native Nancy Adams Nash knew early in life that her destiny was in art. “I remember on my first day of kindergarten, we were let out for recess,” she said. “I saw an easel in our classroom, and I knew that I wanted to paint at that easel instead of going out for recess.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Gills ’N Thrills Lures

Features Al Parker The 1,972-acre lake is about six miles long and relatively shallow — averaging less than 10-feet deep with a maximum of 23 feet at its deepest point. In spots, its bottom is littered with the remnants left from the long-gone lumber mills that once lined the shores.
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Jewelry Designer Dana Fear Makes All The Right Moves

Art Al Parker Born in Traverse City, Fear moved to Indiana with her family as a teenager. At her high school in Fort Wayne, she immersed herself in art, taking several classes in painting, drawing, and sculpture. But it was a jewelry-making class that really fired her imagination.
Saturday, June 4, 2016

Take A Hike

Six discoveries on two peninsulas

Features Al Parker There’s no shortage of popular hiking trails and shimmering lakes for outdoors enthusiasts to enjoy in northern Michigan. But sometimes it’s nice to get away from the crowds and take advantage of some of the hidden gems on the Leelanau or Old Mission peninsulas.
Saturday, December 19, 2015

Local Spartans, Wolverines Catching Bowl Fever

Features Al Parker

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have a special significance this year for University of Michigan and Michigan State University football fans.

Both squads are matched up in high-profile bowl games and football fever is growing among Wolverine and Spartan fans.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

For the Love of Rust

Art Al Parker “I saw this old Ford truck sitting deserted in the woods and took a photo of it,” she said. “And one time I sent my granddaughter to a junkyard to get me photos of old cars. Then I work from the photos. In addition to the cars, I really love doing portraits.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sheryl Langdon's Beautiful Balancing Act

Art Al Parker “When I’m making jewelry, certain stones literally seem to tell me what to do with them,” she said. “I try to balance the raw with the refined, the heavy with the iridescent, the old with the new, the dull with the sparkle to help them to be seen in a different and elegant way.
Saturday, November 7, 2015

Expanding Health Care Services for Our Veterans

Features Al Parker If all goes as scheduled, northern Michigan veterans will soon have a new annex providing some specific health care services. Officials have agreed to lease a 16,000-square-foot building at 880 Munson Ave. in Traverse City to house services for veterans needing physical therapy, primary care and mental health services in their homes.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

John Krieger and His Many Bodies of Work

Art Al Parker Now retired from the car game, he’s gone from designing fins on cars to designing fins on fish, his recent specialty. His colorful, unique fish are made of the same clay used in car models and they range in size from about 3 to 10 feet long, although recently he’s been asked to create a couple of fiberglass fish in the 20- to 25-foot range.