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, March 8, 2010

The Disney Queen: Tammy Sofonia

Features Erin Cowell The Disney Queen: Tammy Sofonia has been Mickey’s guest 53 times
By Erin Crowell
Tammy Sofonia knows a lot about Disney theme parks. Well, that might be an understatement, considering the Traverse City Passageways Travel agent has been to Disney World, in Orlando, 53 times. Factor in the international trips to Euro Disney and Tokyo Disney, and you’ve got an expert park hopper.
The Express talked with Sofonia—who is a graduate of the Masters College of Disney Knowledge— and got the inside scoop on what’s so alluring about a mouse with lots of real estate.
Monday, February 1, 2010

Wonder Woman rules at Woman‘s Winter Tour

Features Erin Cowell Wonder Woman rules at Women’s Winter Tour
“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype
lacks force, strength, and power.” --William Moulton Marston, creator
of Wonder Woman, in a 1943 issue of The American Scholar.
Monday, February 1, 2010

Indoor farm market

Features Erin Cowell Indoor Farm Market
Winter can’t stop shopping scene at the Mercato
By Erin Crowell
Brick and stone shelter local shoppers from frigid temps at Building
50 of the Grand Traverse Commons. Nestled in the hills on the west
side of town, the old state asylum turned trendy condo/retail site is
now home to an indoor farmers market, happening every Saturday from 10
a.m. to 2 p.m. in The Village, a community of shops and restaurants
located on the garden level -- or Mercato -- of the building.
Monday, January 25, 2010

Mind your manners, The Advice Goddess rages on the rude

Books Erin Cowell Mind Your Manners
The Advice Goddess rages at the rude
I See Rude People: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite
By Amy Alkon
McGraw Hill, $16.95

By Erin Crowell

Amy Alkon, humorist and nationally syndicated columnist of “The Advice
Goddess,” has taken her bold opinions of society and had them print, set
and bound into her newest book, “I See Rude People: One woman’s battle to
beat some manners into impolite society.”
Monday, January 25, 2010

Ring those bells/ To Have & To Hold Bridal

Features Erin Cowell Ring those bells:Optimism boosts business at To Have and to Hold
By Erin Crowell
For the owners of To Have and to Hold Bridal Boutique in Traverse City,
2010 is looking like a busy year.
“A lot of people put their wedding off until this year,” says co-owner
Toni Javin Liles. “Because of the economy at the end of ’08 and ’09,
things were just uncertain. People felt like they needed to wait until
things were safer, secure. Everyone just kind of pulled back and slowed
Monday, January 25, 2010

The dark side of Mike Stanley

Features Erin Cowell The Dark Side of Mike Stanley
By Erin Crowell
Stand-up comic Mike Stanley is a lot like the venue he’ll be performing at this weekend: dark and off-the-wall. The Detroit native and Last Comic Still Standing 2005 winner will be performing at InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City, Jan. 29 & 30.
“I love that place,” Stanley says of InsideOut. “I love the art, how the place is set up. I really dig that place.”
It’s a location that suits Stanley’s style of comedy.
“Somebody once did a review and called me dark and hilarious,” he says. “That’s probably the best way to sum it up.”
So, what exactly is dark comedy?
“I want to push you somewhere you don’t want to go. Then, I want to make you laugh about it,” he says. “People are just so serious about things, it’s ridiculous.”
It will be a return trip for the guy whose style of comedy has been called “high energy” and “fearless.” He’s proven to be an audience favorite as he was recently voted Best Comedian in Chicago – his now homebase on a busy touring schedule.
“I started in the Detroit area and it was always a pain in the ass to drive out of Michigan—it’s a peninsula—just to go to tour out of Chicago.”
Monday, January 18, 2010

Glide into the sublime at Garland

Features Erin Cowell Glide into the Sublime at Garland
Resort offers a gourmet progressive dinner on skis
By Erin Crowell
If Northern Michigan foodies had a workout, this would be it.
“You eat, ski; eat, ski; eat, ski,” Laurie Michael laughs. The director of
sales and marketing at Garland Resort & Lodge in Lewiston explains the
popular Gourmet Glide, where cross-country skiing meets epicurean
Monday, January 18, 2010

12 year reunion has got you covered

Features Erin Cowell 12 Year Reunionhas got you covered
By Erin Crowell
Most rock music in Northern Michigan is heard in the soupy dark of local
bars, locked away like a misfit teenager. It’s beer and smoke and
everything we shouldn’t do. And we love it.
Monday, August 24, 2009

Master of cycling

Features Erin Cowell Masters of Cycling
By Erin Crowell 8/24/09

For the Hagerty Men’s Cycling Masters Team, age is just another number. So is first, second and third. Winning has become a theme this year for both the team as a whole and the individual men who compete in a category of cyclists age 45 and older.
This season, Hagerty has cranked out state-wide wins at the West Branch Classic, Tour of Frankenmuth, Tour of Kensington Valley, the Michigan State Time Trial Championship and the Cone Azalia Spring Classic, along with several single-digit finishes at the Willow Time Trial, Tour de Mount Pleasant, Superior Bike Fest and the Maillot Jaune Road Race.
They will look for another win when they compete on home pavement this weekend at the second annual Cherry Roubaix. The race features a criterium in the Old Town district of Traverse City on Saturday; then a road race through Leelanau Peninsula on Sunday.
Monday, July 27, 2009

Red Carpet Run

Features Erin Cowell Red Carpet Run
Film Fest debuts 5K masquerade & revives the ‘Golden Mile’

By Erin Crowell 7/27/09

This Saturday, memories will come flooding back for some Traverse City residents -- memories as clear as the images on a filmstrip.
Added to this year’s bigger-than-ever Traverse City Film Festival are two races. One, reminiscent of the Cherry Festival, circa late 1990s: an elite, invite-only mile race.
Monday, June 22, 2009

Run Charlevoix

Features Erin Cowell Run Charlevoix Hits its Stride
Two new marathons draw runners to region

By Erin Crowell 6/22/09

While stretching near the start line of Run Charlevoix, chances are you’ll see a mother to your right, securing her race bib and her toddler into the stroller she’ll be pushing in the race; to the left of you, a running veteran from Oregon, slapping his thighs as he prepares to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
At most races, this scene wouldn’t make sense. But at Run Charlevoix, athletes of different caliber, from seasoned athlete to recreational walker, can find a distance and pace suitable for their level.
While most races are comprised of one or two distances, the third annual Run Charlevoix (happening this Saturday) hosts four, two of which are divided into categories – the marathon (26.2 miles), half marathon (13.1 miles), walking marathon, walking half marathon, 10K (6.2 miles) and 5K (3.1 miles).
Monday, June 15, 2009

M-22 Triathlon

Features Erin Cowell Are You Up to the M-22 Challenge?
Triathlon kicks off first year in Leelanau County

By Erin Crowell 6/15/09

There were a lot of words thrown around last week during the volunteer meeting for the inaugural M-22 Challenge. Words like “sweet,” “cool,” and “right on.” These words reflected the attitude of those in attendance, preparing for a race that will marry the beauty of Northern Michigan with the spirit of athleticism.
The M-22 Challenge will make its debut on Saturday, June 20. Located at the Little Glen Lake Picnic Area in Glen Arbor Township of Leelanau County, the event is named for its location along the scenic M-22 highway. It is also part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Monday, May 4, 2009

18 Blessings for Mother‘s Day

Features Erin Cowell 18 Blessings for
Mother’s Day
Connie & John Kennedy adopted every child in their foster care

By Erin Crowell 5/4/09

With 11 boys, seven girls and two golden retrievers, Connie and John Kennedy would still consider making their family bigger. But unlike the large families we see on television (i.e. the Octomom, Jon and Kate Plus 8, and the Duggar Family), most of the Kennedy children are adopted.
After the birth of her first three children, Connie was unable to have more children due to health complications. And, coming from a family of 12, she felt three wasn’t enough. So, the Interlochen couple turned to Child and Family Services and became foster parents.
Monday, April 6, 2009

Running with a mission

Features Erin Cowell Running with a mission
My half-marathon helps find a cure for blood cancers

By Erin Crowell

A few months ago, I took a weekend girls’ trip to the Upper Peninsula. A couple hours after crossing the bridge, we were met by a fresh 33 inches of fallen snow in the Munising area. Snow piles that stood 10 feet tall, easily, acted as guarding pillars at the end of driveways. Our little red cabin sat nestled into its own snowdrift, and as the other girls unloaded their gear and cracked open a “welcome home” beer, I pulled on my running shoes and headed out for a frozen five-mile run.
Monday, March 2, 2009

Thai yoga massage from Thailand

Features Erin Cowell Thai yoga massage from Thailand
Erin Cowell 3/2/09

In dance, one partner leads the other, always guiding and moving with the music, creating an energy that can be invigorating, releasing and therapeutic, all at the same time.
In order to understand Thai yoga massage (TYM), it’s best to think of it in terms of dancing. Therapeutic massage generally involves a passive client laying nearly unconscious on a table with a masseuse working over him or her. But with TYM, both client and masseuse are on the floor, working in a three-dimensional space of movement. The partner leading is the masseuse, guiding the other through a series of deep stretches and massage.
The result is a comprehensive full-body treatment. Like therapeutic massage, it relieves muscular tension, improves circulation, boosts the immune system and balances the body’s energy. However, the benefits of TYM outlast those of basic massage through movement and correct posture.