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, August 31, 2009

Boyne artists build a dream with art auction

Art Melissa Fruge Boyne Artists Build
a Dream With Art Auction

By Melissa Fruge’ 8/31/09

A vibrant arts community is growing along the shores of Lake Charlevoix, and though it may have happened by chance, all can agree it was destiny. You’ve never heard of the Boyne Arts Collective? Well pay attention, because you’re in for a pleasant surprise. What started as an informal gathering of local artists in the Boyne City area two years ago has exploded into a community-wide organization with more than 100 members.
Organizer and artist Martina Hahn has lived in the area for more than 15 years and says she had heard about all the fabulously talented local artists, but had yet to meet any. So in the fall of 2007 she began circulating a flyer asking anyone interested in the arts to attend a small informal gathering to discuss how to strengthen their presence in Boyne City. Hahn says about a dozen people showed up to the initial meeting and the numbers and organization have grown from there. However, providing artists an outlet to showcase and sell their work is not the main mission of the Boyne Arts Collective (B.A.C.) Their goal is to encourage local artists and promote art education and appreciation in the community.
“What’s great about the Boyne Art Collective is that not only do artists now have a place to display their work, but now we have a place to gather and can learn from each other and share resources,” says artist Jerry Douglas.
It’s also been a plus for the community. Jim Baumann, executive director of the Boyne City Chamber of Commerce, believes it gives the town a real sense of pride and hopes the arts and culture can become an economic contributor to the area.
“We’re not just some strip town on the highway, people have to want to come to Boyne City and I think this gives them an extra reason,” says Baumann.
Monday, December 8, 2008

Offbeat Winter

Features Melissa Fruge The nights are dark and the days are often gray… welcome to winter in Northern Michigan. This year the snow arrived early and it seems to be sticking. Some of us can’t wait for Old Man Winter to arrive; we’ve been waiting since early spring to break out the skis and hit the slopes again… But if the thought of strapping two sticks on your feet and hurling yourself down an icy hill at breakneck speeds is less than appealing, fear not. There are other ways to while away the winter besides downhill skiing. Check out these offbeat ideas to add zest to the season:
Monday, October 27, 2008

220 Lake Street

Dining Melissa Fruge Don’t call it The Tannery, because if that’s what you are expecting, then you’re in for a big surprise at the all-new 220 Lake Street restaurant and nightclub in Boyne City.
Gone is the dark, smoke-filled watering hole with its U-shaped bar–in its place, a light-filled dining space with Northern Michigan’s largest Corian bar snaking its way along the right wall. The only thing Boyne City’s newest restaurant has in common with its predecessor is its address.
The building has been a fixture of the small community for at least 100 years. Built around the turn of the 1900s, it served as a hardware store for at least 50 years. It was also home to a second-hand antique store, with the upstairs portion used as apartments.
It’s hard to say when 220 Lake Street became a bar, but many locals agree it was by the ’70s, at the latest. Many credit Terry Toomey for naming it the Tannery Saloon in a nod to one of Boyne’s most enduring industries.
But now the restaurant on the corner of Lake and Main streets is owned by Chris Thiel, a downstate native who fell in love with Northern Michigan after vacationing here. Thiel chose Boyne City because of its year-round appeal to locals and tourists alike. He emphasized quality in the restaurant’s makeover. What was supposed to be a six month project turned into nearly a year and a half of renovations.