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, April 1, 2013

Pet Portraits

Shanny Schmidt has a doggone good time portraying pooches

Features Al Parker

Shanny Schmidt has found an art niche that offers something special for animal lovers.

She paints pet portraits, mostly dogs, which feature vibrant colors and unusual poses. Her growing collection of works ranges from Airedales to Wolfhounds and most breeds in between.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Letters 04-22-2013


Voters & wolves In March, 253,000 Michigan citizens signed a petition for a 2014 ballot initiative to stop a state sponsored wolf hunt. This referendum opposes the designation of wolves as game animals...

Lansing’s attack on voters First it was doves, then it was wolves...now they’ve targeted democracy and your right to vote!  The politicians and bureaucrats in Lansing have been working overtime to take double standards and hypocrisy to a whole new level -- and they’re on the fast track to avoid your “emotional” input to stop them..

Cure Michigan Welcome to Pure Michigan, where, thanks to Republican influence, potholes may sink your car, but “not to worry” we’ll charge you more for your license. Welcome to Pure Michigan, where schools lose more money every year to educate your children and where your school or community may be taken over by an “emergency manager” who can invalidate your votes...

Fishy cover Someone must not know too much about fishing at you newspaper, otherwise you wouldn’t have the title “Spring Sports” besides a man holding what clearly is a king salmon...

Get checked April is National STD Awareness Month. If you’re a sexually active young person, you should know that sexually transmitted infections (STI) are on the rise in the United States, especially among young people: there are 20 million new infections in the U.S. each year, half in the under-25 age group...

The facts on right-to-work A recent opinion stated that one result of the so-called “Right to Work” (RTW) legislation would be that new workers who are hired cannot be compelled to join a union....

Monday, May 6, 2013

Eisenhower’s Secret War

Producer George A. Colburn reveals a warrior for peace

Features Robert Downes He was once considered to be one of America’s blandest presidents -- even the butt of jokes in the ‘hipper’ times that came after the 1950s. But revisionist histories of Dwight D. Eisenhower are casting our 34th president in a new role as a wise warrior for peace who may well have saved our skins from nuclear annihilation.
Monday, July 29, 2013

KickStarting Success

Local filmmaker feels the love in crowdfunding trend

Features Erin Crowell There’s strength in numbers. That’s the belief behind the money-raising phenomenon known as crowd-funding, an online campaign for artists, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. Websites like IndieGoGo, KickStarter and Razoo allow people to translate their faith in a mission, project or business idea into actual dollars.
Monday, August 12, 2013

Beyond Bullying

Photographer focuses on getting past teen stereotypes

Features “Basically what the program is, is local girls and boys, women and men, telling their stories about how they were bullied, or were the bully,” she says. “A lot of the stories that you can read on their Facebook page hit home.” (See https://www.facebook.com/.
Monday, August 26, 2013


Letters Bikes & self preservation

The recent vitriol against bike riders is short-sighted at best and pathetic at worst. Talk of getting the police to ticket cyclists more and of licensing and insuring bicycles are solutions looking for a problem...

Endless crowds

I found Sam Porter’s marketing comments about his new “Spectacular Structures” mobile venue being touted for our area perplexing. On the one hand he comments about how we should celebrate all that is great and good about life in Northern Michigan and laments those events that can “close down our parks and streets.”

Where’s the love?

So many disagreeable comments appeared in your article about Fridrich Furs: Trapping... fur farms...Fridrich seems to be comfortable rationalizing the most despicable and inhumane treatment of animals to further his profession...

Our poisoned roads

Once again Team Services has been caught using toxic waste chemicals from oil and gas drilling as dust control on roads. Team Services reportedly sprayed 300,000 gallons of toxic fluid on 121 miles of roads in Benzie County...

Christians & science

The incessant and unnecessary conflict between science and religion continues, but we can and should learn from history. Beginning in 1534 when Copernicus published “On the Revolution of Heavenly Bodies,” until at least 1633 with church decrees against Galileo, a battle raged which bore striking similarities to the evolution versus creationism war of today...

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Inner Beauty of Meditation

Meditation & yoga are a way of life for Amanda Rodasi Campbell

Features Robert Downes “I’ve had stars in my eyes since an early age and have always been a seeker,” she says of her days growing up in Frankfort. “I grew up in the Methodist church but started seeking early on and have always enjoyed comparing various religions and ideas,” Campbell, 36, took up yoga at the age of 12 after discovering an old, yellowed book on hatha yoga.
Monday, October 28, 2013

Hot Dates

Dates Erin Crowell It's the last weekend of thrills and chills at haunts happening throughout the area. At "Scream in Wolverine," brave souls get the chance to experience three different haunts: Kurt & Burt's House of Horror, The Swamp of Terror and The Crazed Clown Convention.
Monday, November 25, 2013

Johan's Expands Their Empire

Dining Kristi Kates Johan’s is a long-standing tradition in the Petoskey-Harbor Springs-Boyne area. Anyone who lives near one of their bakeries knows the scent of fresh-baked pastries and bread that begins early in the morning, tempting passers-by to stop in for breakfast, lunch, or just a treat.
Monday, December 16, 2013


Dining Kristi Kates At first, Island Bean was “just an addition” to the combo convenience store and gas station, Hollywood Market, that took up the other twothirds of the building.