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 30, 2015

It Pays to Live Here

Features Jodee Taylor One aptly named discount is the “Tourist In My Own Town” card. For $60, you’ll get a card (mailed to your local address) that is good for a discount at more than two dozen businesses.
Monday, March 9, 2015

Ready Set... Distill!

Features Jodee Taylor When Michigan banned deer baiting, Mark Moseler found himself wondering what happened to all the sugar beets that couldn’t be used any longer. Six years later, he’s found a tasty and unique way to repurpose them: vodka made from Michigan sugar beets..
Monday, March 9, 2015

Make Your own!

Features Jodee Taylor The Whiskey High proof, un-aged liquor — clear and straight from the still — is needed. Grand Traverse Distillery sells 100 proof un-aged spirits. Harmon recommends going no higher than 125 proof, but liquor up to 151 proof can be found. At the end of the aging process, the spirits’ proof will have risen.
Monday, February 2, 2015

Learning Online

Features Jodee Taylor Nearly one third of high school students in Traverse City Area Public Schools take an entire class online, says Dan Overski, the district’s online learning coordinator and an assistant principal at West Senior High. He says flexibility in scheduling is the biggest reason students sign up for an online class.
Monday, January 26, 2015

Just Elope!

Features Jodee Taylor “Something meaningful to us,” said Sarah, 35. So the Leelanau County couple eloped to the Marquette County courthouse on the 2011 winter solstice. One friend served as a witness, another as a photographer, and a judge they’d never met before pronounced them husband and wife.
Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Picture of a Leader

Features Jodee Taylor Liz Ahrens, 52, is executive director of Petoskey’s Crooked Tree Arts Center, soon to merge with Artcenter Traverse City (see sidebar). Once the merger is complete, she’ll lead the new merged organization.
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dining With Dogs

Dining Jodee Taylor In Michigan, it’s actually illegal to have animals in areas where food is served, including outdoor dining areas. However, state and federal food codes prohibiting animals in these areas refer to full-service dining situations. If food is prepared indoors and carried outside by the patron himself, no laws are being broken.
Friday, October 10, 2014

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Parafest brings ghostly celebrities and other-world enthusiasts to Petoskey.

Features Jodee Taylor A former employee keeps coming back to the historic Terrace Inn in Petoskey’s Bayview district. There is only one problem— she’s been dead for nearly 90 years. In 1926, the former maid returned to stay the night in room 211. Four months pregnant, Elizabeth tripped on the bed frame, lost her baby, and lost her own life.
Monday, September 22, 2014

The Ripple Effect of the Mario Batali Tweet

Features Jodee Taylor Celebrity chef and part-time Leelanau County resident Mario Batali is all over the media, both traditional and social. And he’s effusive in sharing his love of northern Michigan — its scenery, its golf and, especially, its food.
Monday, September 15, 2014

Day Trip: Lansing and East Lansing

Features Jodee Taylor It’s 180-220 miles from Northern Michigan to Lansing. You’ll likely spend $40-$60 on gas for a round trip. The best route from here is to take M-115 south of Cadillac to U.S. 10 until just past Clare, where U.S. 127 splits off towards Mount Pleasant.
Monday, September 15, 2014

Fly Nearby

Making a quick layover at our regional airports

Features Jodee Taylor While the number of flights in and out of the Traverse City airport has stayed fairly constant — about 50 to 60 a day in the summertime — the number of passengers has gone up. And, probably as a result, airfares in and out of TVC have gone down, meaning flying in and out of Traverse City makes economic sense again.
Monday, September 1, 2014

A Frozen Harvest?

Features Jodee Taylor

TRAVERSE CITY — After planting a cold-tolerant breed of grapes in the fall of 2010, Benjamin Dark is a happy man. The winery manager and brewer at Harbor Springs Vineyard at Pond Hill Farms has a good crop of Marquette, a red wine grape developed by the University of Minnesota specifically for cooler climates.

Monday, August 18, 2014

State of Man: Our therapist will see us now

Features Jodee Taylor Is today’s man more sensitive than his 20th century counterpart? More independent? More invested in marriage and relationships or less? We asked an expert. Greg Holmes is a clinical psychologist, practicing for more than thirty years in Traverse City. He has a bachelor’s degree and doctorate from Michigan State University, and a master’s from Central Michigan University.
Monday, July 28, 2014

Film Fest Success Takes a Village

Four volunteers share their stories

Features Jodee Taylor “It’s like a wine and food pairing,” he said. There also are outdoor gigs, including Clinch Park, which this year will feature music from noon-10pm each day. Sullivan hopes to have daily themes, like a cappella or jazz. He’s also planning nightly jam sessions at the Workshop Brewing Co.
Monday, July 21, 2014

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Local woman writes book about how to get rid of demons

Features Jodee Taylor Harris, who moved to Traverse City in March, uses herbs (white sage, sweetgrass), olive oil, salt and holy water in her house blessings and says she has a 98 percent success rate. The failures were at homes where the family didn’t follow her instructions, she says, or weren’t fully behind the process.