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..

Topic: got
Monday, April 23, 2012

In It for the Long Haul

Features Erin Crowell Dean Karnazes has a lot of numbers in his life.  In 2006, he ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days (that’s 26.2 miles per run). In 2011, he ran from California to New York City, or approximately 3,000 miles, averaging 40 to 50 miles per day.
Monday, November 19, 2012

The Amazing Billy Strings

Bluegrass phenom takes Northern Michigan music scene by storm

Features Robert Downes

Billy Strings was practically born into bluegrass: his mother’s water broke while she was attending a birthday party packed with musicians and baby Billy was born with the echo of guitars and banjos in his ears.

Either that or Billy made a deal with a dark stranger at a lonely crossroads at midnight… Whatever the case, he has an almost supernatural ability on guitar, banjo and mandolin that has set the region’s bluegrass and folk scene on fire.

Monday, March 4, 2013

'Hare - Brained'

One stupid night, years and years in prison

Features Patrick Sullivan It was a hare-brained plan, and it failed in almost every way it could, except that no one got shot or killed.

There were six involved, and five went to the trailer that night, Feb. 28, 2012, a rundown, dingy-looking thing on a dead-end street across from a cemetery in the village of Wellston in Manistee County.

The plan was to rob the place to get a backpack that belonged to the woman. She was a medical marijuana patient, and they figured there was pot and cash in the bag.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Postcard From Malawi

Extra One of my first attempts was to try to get a refrigerator to hold beer and pop. I got names and phone numbers of a salesperson and a manager at the regional distributor. I called the salesperson to set up a time to meet with her.
Sunday, November 2, 2014

Something Rare Brewing at Rare Bird

Features Patrick Sullivan

Rare Bird, indeed. At most brew pubs, women are found behind the bar, taking orders or cooking. Not many women are brewers in the burgeoning world of craft beer, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t—or shouldn’t—be more. An early pioneer on the Traverse City brewing scene was Kim Schneider, head brewer at North Peak several years ago. Schneider moved on and currently crafts beer at a downstate brewpub.

Now, brewer Tina Schuett has taken the beer-making baton and run with it.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Beauty S.O.S.

Features Kristi Kates “We were discussing adding some new things to Venus and we all got to talking about how we’d love to be able to go somewhere to get fast touchups before an event or dinner,” explained Manager Giovanna Infante, who worked closely with Venus President Susan Ruoff and Marketing Manager Corrina Leete on the new venture.
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hick-Hop Hits From The Lacs

Music Kristi Kates Quiet is pretty much the only word that applies to the rural town of Baxley, Georgia. The eightsquare-mile city that holds a population of around 4,000 has had few claims to fame, save one mention in an old Charlie Daniels’ tune: “Open Letter to the Hollywood Bunch.
Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ronnie Malley and Zeshan Bagewadi

Music Kristi Kates In the Middle East, a caravanserai — from a compound Persian word combining caravan with palace —is a roadside inn where travelers gather after a long day moving through the desert heat, where they enjoy the cool night and share news and entertainment.
Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hops Are Hopping

Features Patrick Sullivan “We bought 10 acres about 10 years ago to camp on and things got out of hand,” said Brian Tennis, owner of New Mission Organics and creator of the Michigan Hop Alliance, who quit his corporate job in February because hops have taken over his life. “Now we’ve got 30 acres in hops and we’re looking to buy more property to expand.
Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Fine Fungi Life

Features Kristi Kates “Ken literally went just one day to — I think it was the Petoskey or Boyne City market — with a basket of chanterelles,” Ashleigh said. “He was sold out by 11am and had $300 in his pocket! And that was the light bulb; we thought we could really do something with this.