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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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Raising The Stanley Cup, Now Raising Men In Kalkaska

Features Al Parker Former National Hockey League player Krzysztof Oliwa keeps up a hectic schedule as the owner, general manager and head coach of the Kalkaska Rhinos of the U.S. Premier Hockey League. The team, made up of 16-20 year olds, just began its 2015– 16 season that runs through February.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Learning From Accidents

Art Al Parker Tom (T.J.) Krueger is uniformly informal when he creates his innovative pieces at his Greilickville studio. “I like to work in my three-piece suit,” he laughed. “T-shirt, shorts and sandals.” Krueger is a bundle of energy, always in motion, and his works display that restless spirit.
Friday, September 11, 2015

Kris Ellis Ritter – An Artist at Play

Art Al Parker Growing up she was anything but the “art kid” in school. “I had my first discouragement in kindergarten when my teacher leaned over the corner of a table yelling ‘No, no, no, Kristine. Don’t do it like that. Do it like her!’” she recalled. “I put my crushed sense of self away and did the picture like the other girl.
Friday, August 28, 2015

The Heart and Soul of Elizabeth Paxson

Art Al Parker “My parents were both artists who met at the Art Institute of Chicago, where my dad won a fellowship to travel Europe in 1937,” said Paxson. “My mother was a ballerina. She toured with the San Carlo Opera Ballet by train all over the U.S. and Canada during the depression – gave it up to marry my dad, but she was also a talented artist.
Friday, July 31, 2015

A Versatile Artist Finds Success

Art Al Parker “In fifth grade, a nun told me I would never be an artist because my handwriting was so bad,” recalled Guntzviller, who now paints, sculpts and draws in her spacious Antrim County studio. “I reacted by getting angry, withdrawing and making more art. I put myself through college, earning a fine arts degree at Wayne State by working nights.
Friday, July 17, 2015

The Artistic Pursuits of a Late Bloomer

Art Al Parker After awhile, Nemecek put aside acrylics and oils in favor of pastels and watercolors. She even developed her own watercolor technique that she calls her “squiggles approach,” seen in many of her recent works. Utilizing her background with leaded glass, Nemecek adapted that technique to several of her eye-catching watercolor works.
Monday, June 29, 2015

An Evolution in Abstract

Art Al Parker Growing up, Lauren Everett Finn was more likely to be holding a golf club than a paintbrush. “As a kid, I liked to draw, but it wasn’t something I did all that often,” recalls Finn. “I was an active tomboy in Rochester, Michigan.
Saturday, June 27, 2015

Something for Everyone at the New Cherry Republic

Dining Al Parker

Traverse City’s new and expanded Cherry Republic now boasts an impressive dining facility with the ability to satisfy the urge for something cherry and so much more. Grand Café, which opened in May, invites guests to relax and refuel in an open, airy room under sturdy northern Michigan pine beams.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Artistry from Northern Michigan Gems

Art Al Parker Maple City artist Liz Saile crafts eye-catching jewelry using predominantly northern Michigan gems and minerals such as Leland Blue, Thomsonite and the always popular Petoskey stone.
Saturday, June 6, 2015

Farm to Table in Boyne City

Dining Al Parker “We’ve had really great community support,” said owner Mark Warner, who moved from Bay City earlier this year. “We’ll be doing a vigorous farm-to-table menu, working with dozens of northern Michigan suppliers. Our menu is flexible, based on what’s in season, but the emphasis will remain on quality.
Saturday, June 6, 2015

Get Out To The Art Shows!

Features Al Parker Whether you’re a curious collector or an avid art lover looking for a special piece, there’s a high quality art show somewhere in northern Michigan nearly every weekend this summer. Here are details on some of the region’s most popular art shows and fairs.
Monday, May 25, 2015

The Inspiration of Color

Art Al Parker “I love it here,” she says. “Northern Michigan has some magnificent scenery. In recent years, however, some scenes have changed dramatically. For example, one painting I did of a field filled with bales of hay is now a subdivision. That taught me to paint rapidly.
Monday, May 25, 2015

Welcome to Dinner at the Glenwood

Dining Al Parker “One of our customers, now in her 90s, worked here as a busser when she was 14,” said Ervin. “Preserving history is important to us and we’ve tried to keep the building as it was back in the early days. The historic charm of the restaurant, along with the great food and service, really make The Glenwood special.
Monday, May 18, 2015

A Love Affair With Clay

Art Al Parker Schyler Binkley took drawing classes and dabbled in ceramics as a high school student growing up in Niles, Michigan, but it wasn’t until he attended Western Michigan University and learned the intricacies of wood-firing his art works that he focused on pottery.
Monday, May 18, 2015

Welcome to the Lunch Box

Dining Al Parker “There were three reasons,” Julie recalled with a smile. “First, it was the era of the Atkins Diet and you couldn’t give a donut away. And I got tired of getting up in the middle of the night to get the pastries ready for the morning crowd. Finally, I topped 268 pounds.