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: years
Monday, June 2, 2014

Storming Ahead

How two Northern Michigan weathermen wound up running for political office

Features Patrick Sullivan “I literally walked into [the station] and met the general manager who happened to be standing in the lobby,” he said. Although nothing was available right then, the station manager must have seen something telegenic in him. In the summer of 1981, he brought Barrons back to the studio for an audition.
Monday, July 28, 2014

Boyne Falls Celebrates 40 Years of Polish Festival

Features Kristi Kates For four days in Boyne Falls, everyone within spitting distance of downtown is Polish. And for 40 years, the Boyne Falls Polish Festival has been the place to be for pierogis, polkas, and parades.
Monday, August 18, 2014

Winging It

Six years ago, a trained potter dropped everything and flocked to a different sort of artistic expression.

Art Al Parker

Now, Leelanau County artist Van Wilson has truly gone to the birds. Over the past six or seven years, Wilson has created dozens of multi-media pieces featuring crows, magpies, and ravens. Many are whimsical, but all reflect his wit, wisdom and love of the American Southwest.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Northport Busts Out

The county’s northernmost village went from bust to boom, but how?

Features Patrick Sullivan

New businesses have appeared up and down Waukazoo St., eager to serve the 500- plus people who live there year-round as well as waves of summer visitors.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Art That’s Worth the Wait

Art Al Parker What has also been a profound inspiration is painting with others. My husband and I spend time in San Miguel, Mexico every year where opportunities abound in our community to gather in an artist’s studio, with five or six other artists to paint and provide support, input, and inspiration.
Monday, September 22, 2014

What ’ll I t Be?

Conversations with Some of the Region’s Most Beloved Bartenders

Features Kristi Kates There are bartenders, and then there are legends. Here we celebrate the latter, four locals who serve locals and boast stories like few others. Read about their habits, their histories, and their signature drinks [and by the way, have your own legendary local bartender of choice? Email us at info@northernexpress.
Sunday, October 12, 2014

David Montee Translates Shakespeare

Features Kristi Kates Acting is challenging enough without Shakespeare in the picture. Shakespearean acting is considered some of the most challenging of the craft. From the mysteries of its language and phrasing to the complexity of character relationships and plot, more than a few talented thespians have thrown up their hands when confronted with The Bard.
Monday, November 10, 2014

Build Your Own Snow Shoes

Art Kristi Kates

Invented nearly 6,000 years ago in central Asia, snowshoes are as much a part of the modern winter fabric of northern Michigan as parkas, snow shovels and winter weather advisories.

While there are a plethora of storebought snowshoe options to choose from, sometimes it’s just cooler to make your own; that’s where Alan Wernette, park interpreter for Ludington State Park, comes in.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Lifetime’s Work

Art Al Parker Every day, in 20- or 30-minute sessions, Gretzinger expands Jerry’s Map, as the project has become known on the Internet. Jerry’s Map has even been showcased in a documentary available on Vimeo. He’s added farmlands, airports, capitol buildings, cemeteries and more, diligently constructing an entire civilization.