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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Carina Hume

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Monday, June 2, 2008

What‘s cooking at Crooked Lake

Dining Carina Hume Crooked Lake Grill, a quaint 40-seat restaurant owned by Jamey and Liz Wittenberg, sits across from the picturesque lake in Conway, just north of Petoskey. Offering hand-prepared, homemade food in a family friendly atmosphere, it’s no surprise the business notched wins for Best Breakfast and Best Restaurant Staff in the Petoskey area in the Northern Express 2008 reader’s choice poll.
Welcoming regulars, who made the restaurant popular in years past, as well as new visitors and year-round residents alike, the Wittenbergs hope to keep people coming back with delicious homemade offerings, well-priced daily specials, and small-town charm.
Monday, June 2, 2008

Let there be lilacs

Features Carina Hume If you’re looking for a reason to celebrate summer, head to Mackinac Island and join in the official kickoff to its season, the Lilac Festival.
“The festival celebrates [the island’s] most recognized botanical symbol, the lilac, while emphasizing its international, cultural and historic appeal,” says Mary McGuire Slevin, executive director of the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau.
What began in 1949 as a one-day lilac celebration called the Mackinac Island Lilac Day, is now a 10-day event, with an array of family activities.
Monday, May 19, 2008

Libby‘s Pies

Dining Carina Hume Libby Reeves knows about second chances. Owner of Libby’s restaurant in Cheboygan, and a multiple winner in the Northern Express reader’s choice poll for the Mackinaw/Cheboygan area – Best Bakery, Best Bread, Best Cup of Tea, Best Desserts, Best New Restaurant – Reeves never imagined she would be where she is today after ending up on her mother’s doorstep last summer with just her clothes in hand. With help from her family and friends, Reeves opened her own restaurant last fall and truly believes that no matter how bad life is, it always manages to turn around.
Monday, April 21, 2008

Kim Krumrey

Art Carina Hume Fun, funky and colorful is how Petoskey potter Kim Krumrey describes her art – a nearly accurate description of the artist herself. With her hair in ponytails, a cap on her head and a colorful, patterned self-made scarf around her neck, Krumrey appears to be the epitome of her work.
A Traverse City native since she was 10 years old, Krumrey still considers the area home. She attended Western Michigan University – with a stint at Northwestern Michigan College her sophomore year with classes in graphic design. Back at Western in her junior year, she realized commercial art wasn’t for her.
“I don’t really like to compromise when it comes to my artwork,” Krumrey says with a laugh. Her focus shifted to ceramics, and in 1993 she completed her Bachelor of Science with an emphasis in art, and settled in Petoskey, unsure of what to do with her life.
Monday, April 21, 2008

The Art Of Austin

Art Carina Hume When David K. Austin left Marquette in 1994 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Northern Michigan University in hand, he was searching for snow. An avid cross country skier, he wanted to live where he could pursue both of his passions. Petoskey was his compromise, and he’s built a career in art along the way.
“At the time, I was skiing heavily – cross country skiing,” says Austin, who ran the Boyne Highlands Cross Country Ski Program for five seasons. “It was the closest I could get to the sculptures I was doing in southern Michigan, but still ski.”
Monday, March 31, 2008

Tribal Dance

Features Carina Hume High school students in Petoskey are planning to bust a few dance moves to help the “Invisible Children” of war-torn Africa.
Taking education beyond the classroom, the high school students of Concord Academy in Petoskey will be performing a benefit dance concert called “Continuum” to aid the children of northern Uganda. Performances are April 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cheboygan Opera House and all proceeds will benefit Invisible Children, Inc. (www.invisiblechildren.com), a non-profit organization which helps provide health care, education and safety to African children who are being abducted from their homes and forced to fight as soldiers in their country’s 20-year civil war.
Monday, March 24, 2008

Best Solo Performer: Michelle Chenard

Music Carina Hume Popular Northern Michigan musician Michelle Chenard – Best Solo Performer in this year’s reader survey – almost missed her calling. “I actually had thoughts of being a veterinarian when I was in school,” says this former “Yooper,” who graduated from Newberry High School in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “My guidance counselor steered me away from it – he told me that it was hard to get a job as a vet.”
After graduation, Chenard attended one semester at Central Michigan University before discovering college life wasn’t for her. Luckily, Chenard’s years of growing up in a musical family provided the basis for her future.
She took off for Florida to be in a band and music has been her life ever since.
Monday, March 10, 2008

In The Swing/ Bay Tennis & Fitness

Features Carina Hume When Tom Behan and his family purchased the former Polar Bear Ice Arena, located between Petoskey and Harbor Springs, their intent was to turn it into a professional building. Once local tennis buffs found out, the pressure to bring back a tennis facility to Northern Michigan was overwhelming. In November 2006, Bay Tennis and Fitness opened its doors.
With input from wife, Mary Jo, and children, Tom II and Julie, Behan led the building’s remodeling effort, in which no expense was spared.
Monday, December 31, 2007

Living off local foods

Dining Carina Hume Imagine living off of food grown only in Northern Michigan. In late summer, the abundance of Michigan produce and local 4-H Livestock sales would provide the major necessities. But in November? Options definitely become more limited. For 12 students in Kate Fairman’s Visionary Thinkers class through Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU’s) Liberal Studies program located in Traverse City, a week spent during November, living off of only Northern Michigan-based food products was an eye-opener.
Monday, December 3, 2007

Thai Orchard

Dining Carina Hume  Give your taste buds a new sensation! Check out the new family-owned Thai Orchid Cuisine located in downtown Petoskey. Open since October 17th, this 46-seat restaurant offers Thai fare with plenty of spice for those who crave it and milder dishes for those who don’t.
Thai Orchid owner Thomas Vangyi thought Petoskey was a perfect place to open a new restaurant.
“I liked this town and I traveled many times through here,” he says. “It had beautiful scenery, back like in Thailand in the mountains, and a lake.”
The experienced restaurateur and married father of five has co-owned a Thai restaurant in Mt. Clemens with his brother-in-law for the last six years, but moved his family north in September.
“We have another restaurant in Detroit – in Mt. Clemens,” says Vangyi. “Our family, we do restaurants, and…we came here and we felt like we can’t let this thing go, we have to put another restaurant here.”
“I’ve worked in the restaurant business for a little over 10 years now,” he continues. “It’s not new to us.”
Tastefully decorated with pale lavender walls, multicolored tapestries under glass for tabletops and plenty of orchid pictures – in homage to the restaurant’s name – Thai Orchid Cuisine offers an extensive menu at reasonable prices.
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Schooner Sails Again

Art Carina Hume In 2004, Petoskey’s Little Traverse Civic Theatre (LTCT) first presented The Christmas Schooner, a turn–of–the–century story of the Stossels, who sailed Lake Michigan in November to bring Christmas trees to families in fire–ravaged Chicago. The musical is based on a book by John Reeger, with music and lyrics by Julie Shannon.
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Getting Personal

Features Carina Hume Walk into Monarch Garden & Floral Design in downtown Petoskey and you’re likely to see a designer at work. With a walk-in glass flower cooler and an interactive work station, customers can even participate in the process. But this colorful indoor oasis is more than just a flower store.
“It’s full retail home and garden accessories – 2,000 square feet of retail space,” says Brian Babbitt, who co-owns the shop along with partner William Santos. Customers will enjoy meandering through abundant displays showcasing items perfect for gift-giving or accessorizing. Nature lovers will appreciate organic potting soil and lotions as well as herbal bug repellents, soap and soy candles. Women especially appreciate the delicate flower arrangements and those aforementioned scented products.
And if you’re looking for a finishing touch to your living space, you can choose from a wide selection of silk flowers, vases and more, sure to complement any type of environment.
Thursday, October 25, 2007

Capluna‘s Cactus

Features Carina Hume When Marilyn Stockwell Colestock’s Christmas cactus started blooming on April 15 this year, she knew it was a sign. A gift from her sister-in-law nearly 20 years ago, the cactus had religiously bloomed only once a year at Thanksgiving. But last October, before her sister-in-law passed away, Colestock asked her for some reassurance.
“She was going to send me a sign after she died that she was OK,” says Colestock, “and I know that was it.”
Are there really signs around us sending messages from loved ones who have passed on? Or is life just full of meaningful coincidences?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The latitude of lavender

Features Carina Hume Ham radios and beehives were in the plans when Linda and Roy Longworth bought their Boyne City farm four years ago. But how quickly plans can change - today, with 4,000 plants and 15 varieties, Lavender Hill Farms offers visitors an opportunity to experience the beauty and the bounty of local lavender products.
“At the time, we had no idea we’d be doing lavender or anything else,” says Linda Longworth, who planted lavender for its easy-to-care-for and deer-repelling properties. After keeping her first beehive, which produced an impressive amount of honey, Longworth realized that the lavender was doing more than just existing as landscaping.
Thursday, September 27, 2007

Queen of the stage

Features Carina Hume First performing onstage in the second grade, well-known Petoskey thespian Betsy Willis always knew that theater would be a part of her life. After 30 years of involvement with the Little Traverse Civic Theater, she’s making good use of her business degree and her longtime love of the stage as LTCT’s new managing director.