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, April 20, 2015

The Fabric of the North

Art Al Parker Charlevoix area resident Kathie Briggs creates eyecatching landscapes and nature scenes, which is common for a northern Michigan artist. What’s more uncommon is that, instead of using oils, pastels or watercolors, Briggs’ medium is fabric and thread..
Monday, April 13, 2015

“I’m all over the place”

Art Al Parker Sarah Abend’s entire life is intertwined with art and the creative process. As the art teacher at Benzie Central High School, her task is to ignite creativity in her students and educate them on particular artistic techniques.
Monday, March 23, 2015

“Born With Crayons in My Hand”

Art Al Parker In 2000, Burbee retired after many years of teaching art to elementary and middle school students in Minnesota and Illinois. After working in a fine art gallery in the Chicago area, she moved to the Old Mission Peninsula in 2008 and diligently began working on her own art full time.
Monday, February 23, 2015

Fit to Print

Art Al Parker Krell and her husband Steve Toornman are an award-winning artistic team that creates in their studio near Charlevoix. While she’s worked with several media in the past, Krell has focused on printmaking of late. “I was working in color pencils at the time and my hands simply gave out,” she recalls.
Monday, February 16, 2015

Inspired From Birth

Art Al Parker Amy Ferguson is a unique individual — artistic right from the cradle. “I’ve been creating art since I was a young child, so I can’t exactly remember how I first got started,” says the 21-yearold. “I know I was drawing from observation as early as five years old.
Monday, February 2, 2015

One Of Our ‘Next’ Artists Emerges

Art Al Parker Gleason, the youngest of John and Laura Gleason’s four children, gained notoriety last year when her 2014 National Cherry Festival poster took fi rst place in the Student Graphic Arts category. The colorful image was subsequently printed on hundreds of souvenir mugs and caps.
Monday, January 12, 2015

Enduring Cancer With Art

Art Al Parker Perhaps DeShano’s focus on redeeming what seems lost is born from the fact that he has been battling cancer off and on for more than a decade. He understands that items — and people — that have been battered and stressed often possess a certain elegance.
Monday, December 22, 2014

The Write Stuff

Art Al Parker In her Petoskey home studio, Janet Hoffman clips phrases from the pages of her own handwritten journals. These intimate glimpses into her thoughts, questions and dreams are the medium for her intricately detailed works. Her clean cursive handwriting is uniform and legible, giving her eye-catching creations a uniform, rhythmic quality.
Monday, November 24, 2014

A Lifetime’s Work

Art Al Parker Every day, in 20- or 30-minute sessions, Gretzinger expands Jerry’s Map, as the project has become known on the Internet. Jerry’s Map has even been showcased in a documentary available on Vimeo. He’s added farmlands, airports, capitol buildings, cemeteries and more, diligently constructing an entire civilization.
Sunday, November 2, 2014

From Autos to Art

Art Al Parker During her 30 years as an assembly line worker at the Ford Motor Company plant in Wixom, Mich., Margie Guyot took on every task except spray painting and welding.
Monday, October 27, 2014

Taking the Wheel

Art Al Parker After graduation, Bechler landed a job teaching art in Onsted, Michigan before moving to Benzie County in 2000, where he now teaches art at Benzie Central Middle School. During his non-teaching hours, Bechler and his wife Stacey team up to create colorful, creative clay pieces.
Monday, October 27, 2014

Girls With Guns and Bows

Features Al Parker Perched in a tree stand in northern Ontario, Gaylord teen Jada Johnson sits patiently as a black bear lumbers toward a fragrant bait pile 50 yards away. The burly bruin sniffs the air cautiously, and then swipes a large paw, rattling the logs. It’s dusk and this bear is looking for his dinner.
Monday, September 29, 2014


Artist’s Creative Journey Continues with Exploration of Aquatic Landscapes

Art Al Parker Using maps as her templates, Brown weaves, sews and paints cotton and other fabrics to display aerial views of the Betsie, Manistee and Boardman rivers as they meander over the northern Michigan landscape. She has also captured the shapes of Big and Little Glen lakes.
Monday, September 22, 2014

No Judging These Books’ Covers

Art Al Parker To Pam Yee, books are more than what’s printed in them. The Benzie County artist uses old books as an art medium to collage, glue, paint, burn and fold.
Monday, September 8, 2014

NHL Prospects, Red Wings Hit TC

The hottest thing on ice hits Traverse City this month.

Features Al Parker “With 1,000 fans per day, plus 150 scouts, 400 team personnel, 100-plus media and guests spending money in our area, the whole community benefits,” she said. “For the players, we are the gateway to the NHL with the scouting potential of the clubs and player agents on hand … it’s the best of the best from everywhere.