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 18, 2014

The 2014 Men of Rock

Music Kristi Kates

This year’s Men of Rock list runs the gamut: From soulful singles to electronica to straightforward alt-rock, all of these artists share standout vocals, strong personalities, and plenty of talent. What makes them unique is their individual approaches to their tunes. This isn’t a popularity contest, though. Justin Bieber and Jay-Z get enough attention as it is. The following men of rock are causing a stir because of their innovation, music, and accomplishments. Check ‘em out.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dennos Welcomes Two New Modern Exhibitions

Features Kristi Kates Li Hongbo’s work involves the stacking of thousands of sheets of paper, using glue and pressure to hold them together. Sawing, cutting, and later fine-tuning with sandpaper, he crafts the paper into sculptures that mimic marble.
Monday, September 8, 2014

Ocqueoc River's Camping Jackpot

- The Lower Peninsula’s Only Waterfall -

Features Mike Terrell Nearby is the Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway, a state forest four loop hiking trail adjacent to a small state forest campground. The waterfall is the primary thing that most visitors come to see, but don’t ignore the six-mile scenic trail, which is also open to mountain biking, according to Curtis.
Monday, September 15, 2014

Day Trip: Grand Rapids

Features Beth Milligan With world-class breweries, a cutting edge culinary scene, multiple music venues and one of the country’s most dynamic art events, it’s easy to see why Grand Rapids was named number one on Lonely Planet’s list of top 10 U.S. destinations to visit in 2014.
Monday, September 29, 2014

Loudon Wainwright’s Bluesy Return

Music Kristi Kates Whether you first knew him as Captain Spalding, the “singing surgeon” on the ‘70s TV show M*A*S*H; via his novelty song “Dead Skunk”; or from one of his Grammy nominated albums, you’ll likely recognize the work of Loudon Wainwright III.
Friday, October 10, 2014

A New Season at BC's Own Venue

They bill themselves as “six boys lost in time, as if they never left 8th grade male choir class.” That’s a pretty accurate description of Traverse City’s The Overtones, a men’s a cappella group existing in perfect harmony since 1990.

Music Kristi Kates “When we acquired the building, we blew eight inches of foam insulation into the ceiling,” she said. “While painting the ceiling girders, we accidentally hit the foam with the paint, and Tony realized that we would not need to install the drop ceiling.
Monday, October 20, 2014

Letters 10-20-2014


Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monster Mix!

Music Kristi Kates You’ve played all of your Sound FX tracks on CD, streamed Pandora’s Spooky Symphonies channel for three hours and danced to the “Monster Mash.” Now you’re in dire need of some more modern music to entertain your Halloween guests. Never fear! Express is here with a monstrous mix of two dozen essential cuts for Halloween 2014.
Monday, October 27, 2014

Taking the Wheel

Art Al Parker After graduation, Bechler landed a job teaching art in Onsted, Michigan before moving to Benzie County in 2000, where he now teaches art at Benzie Central Middle School. During his non-teaching hours, Bechler and his wife Stacey team up to create colorful, creative clay pieces.