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: city
Monday, July 9, 2012

There’s Always Something New from Richard Asher

Features Al Parker As a youngster growing up in New York City, Richard Asher’s early artwork drew attention from his teacher. “I doodled on my test papers in elementary school and I got in trouble for it,” he recalls with a laugh. “I was not The Art Kid in my neighborhood.”
Monday, August 27, 2012

From Rogers City to Project Runway

Melissa Fleis has style to spare

Features Patrick Sullivan Rogers City native Melissa Fleis beat out hundreds of applicants to be among 16 designers who are competing in season 10 of Project Runway in New York City. So far, she’s done her home town proud.
Monday, October 22, 2012

In TC: Division Street proposal 1

4 community leaders weigh in on road plan

Features Northern Express Community

If you've ever tried crossing Division Street as a pedestrian, or have endured its half-mile-long traffic jams during rush hour, you know that this is a highway in need of re-invention.

TC Proposition 1 offers a solution 'down the road,' but would involve giving up a strip of parkland along Division. The proposal has aroused passions both for and against. Following are the thoughts of four noteworthy citizens:

Monday, November 19, 2012

The $50 Million Electrocution Case

Is TC going to be on the hook for more than it can afford?

Features Patrick Sullivan Michael Knudsen and his friends had no reason to believe that death was waiting for them when they jumped into West Grand Traverse Bay inside a marina breakwall in August, 2011.

A $50 million lawsuit filed on behalf of Knudsen’s estate describes the teenager’s harrowing last few moments alive...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Letters 12-10-2012

Letters Don’t mess with Texas ... Tuttle said that “more than 100,000 people” signed a petition on the White House website. Let’s pretend that all of those people signed one time only, and that they are all, in fact, from Texas (not one of those “18 other states”). I am disappointed that you neglected to mention what 100,000 means compared to the population of Texas.
Fire alarm ... The City would contract with or join the Grand Traverse Metro Emergency Services Authority. The Traverse City Fire Department would be dissolved and all firefighters laid off.
Monday, December 24, 2012

All Aboard!

FESTIVAL OF TRAINS celebrates a decade of mini locomotives

Erin Crowell Ah, yes. The steamy shrill of a train whistle. It’s not something we hear often in Traverse City these days, except when it’s time for the annual Festival of Trains. Presented by the Northern Michigan Railroad Club (NMRC) at the History Center of Traverse City, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the miniature models and is open now through New Years Day.
Monday, January 7, 2013


New salon offers glamour photos

Features Erin Crowell For one hair or wax appointment, clients at the Foiled Hair Lounge in downtown Traverse City are transported, for a moment, to the urban feel of a city landscape. With just the tops of buildings—including nearby businesses and churches—in view, the hair studio gives the impression of a city loft.
Monday, January 14, 2013

Key to the City

Master key to TC parking meters nets thief a jackpot up to $41,000

Features Patrick Sullivan Douglas Charles Hastings has never received a “key to the city” from Traverse City leaders, but he did get his hands on a key that’s arguably much more valuable.

Hastings managed to get a copy of a key that unlocks any of the city’s parking meters, sturdy steel containers that can be laden with change. A single meter can hold up to $300; a double, up to $600.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Time Lapse TC

Jason Hulet’s mind-blowing video of a city in progress

Features Robert Downes

What happens when you take more than 15,000 photos on a city street and spin them into a time lapse video?

For real estate photographer Jason Hulet, the result is a surrealistic portrait of a day in downtown Traverse City that has viewers on YouTube and Facebook awestruck over its psychedelic colors and dreamlike progression.

Scan the accompanying QR code with your smartphone or visit the Video Seen link at northernexpress.com to see for yourself.
Monday, February 4, 2013

The Laughs are Back

Festivals join forces for a weekend of laughter and fun

Features Rick Coates

After a one year hiatus, Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival is back and with a new partner, The National Cherry Festival.

“For all the right reasons, we’re taking our wintertime efforts that went into producing the Winter WOW!Fest over the past six years, and this year we’re putting them to great use by working together with the Traverse City Film Festival to make a world-class event that will benefit the entire community,” said Trevor Tkach, executive director of the National Cherry Festival.