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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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Up Up and Away!

Features Kristi Kates Looking to take to the quiet skies in a hot air or gas balloon just like Phileas Fogg in the film version of Around the World in Eighty Days, French aeronaut Jean-Pierre Blanchard, or modern day gadabout Richard Branson? Two places in northern Michigan offer balloon flights to the public, complete with expansive and amazing aerial views.
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cherry Treats For All!

Features Kristi Kates A rich maroon skin encasing a dark, juicy red fruit, the Balaton cherry’s striking color is matched only by the intensity of its cherry flavor. Spoon Foods preserves the flavor power of these little fruits in a rich cherry syrup spiked with brandy, vanilla, and spices, creating a topping that’s perfect for spooning over crepes or ice cream.
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Conservation districts are turning to voters for new sources of funding

Features Patrick Sullivan Not to be confused with nonprofit organizations, conservation districts are actually government offices created across the United States in response to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, an environmental catastrophe that saw fertile Great Plains farmland swept away by wind, drought and poor farming practices.
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Shakespeare Festival Focuses on Love

Features Kristi Kates Such is the legacy of the now nine-yearold Interlochen Shakespeare Festival, led by Interlochen’s Director of Theater Bill Church and featuring a core cast of Interlochen faculty, staff, and returning alumni that work tirelessly to celebrate Shakespeare’s works and bring them to a new audience.
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Not Your Typical 4th in the North

Features Kristi Kates Parades, picnics, bright fireworks and sunny beach days. Block parties, barbecues, hot dogs and ice cream. They’re all essentials for a classic Fourth of July celebration.
Saturday, June 25, 2016

There's Something Fishy Going On at the Oden State Fish Hatchery

Features Kristi Kates The Oden State Fish Hatchery does a lot of good work for northern Michigan. Not only is it a major rearing facility for brown and rainbow trout, it also helps teach people about the lake and rivers in their own backyard through the awareness and educational components made available at the hatchery’s on-site visitor center.
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Elk Rapids Vibrant, Growing

Features Ross Boissoneau Some people think of Elk Rapids as a sleepy little town just north of Traverse City — if they think of it at all, that is. As US-31 bisects the village’s two main business areas, those driving north or south might notice only the chamber of commerce office next to Elk Lake, with its enormous swan statue.
Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Tour Of Northern Michigan’s Nonprofits

Features Patrick Sullivan We’ve compiled lists of the 10 largest nonprofits in Traverse City and Petoskey. The organizations are ranked based on annual income, as stated in the nonprofit’s most recent Form 990 filing to the Internal Revenue Service, according to records compiled by Guide star, a website that tracks nonprofits.
Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Different Way To Give

Features Patrick Sullivan Cameron Clark operates hometown giving.com from Beulah. It’s a website dedicated to connecting northern Michigan consumers with local businesses and nonprofits. Nonprofits can register for free on the site; businesses pay a small fee.
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Antique-Lovers’ Paradise Returns to Petoskey

Features Kristi Kates Dave Fraser is a longtime antiques dealer with over 30 years of experience, and he manages this year’s pair of Petoskey antiques shows with his wife, Lena, from their home in Torch Lake. “Petoskey’s been running this show for 22 years, and I took it over after Emmet County revamped the fairgrounds,” Fraser explained.
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Changing it Up at the SOBO Arts Festival

Features Kristi Kates The SOBO arts district in Boyne City has truly become a mini local phenomenon. As this formerly quiet neighborhood has evolved, adding more events, shops, and opportunities to downtown Boyne City, so, too, has the district’s SOBO Arts Festival.
Saturday, June 18, 2016

High-Tech Treasure Hunt Geocaching Up North

Features Kristi Kates Also common in caches are disposable cameras finders can use to capture and leave a photo of themselves, as well as tiny takeaway gadgets called hitchhikers, generally TravelBugs or GeoCoins that are trackable, enabling the person who placed the cache to track how far his or her hitchhiker gets.
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Nathan Scherrer’s Behind The Screen Life

Features Kristi Kates He grew up “absolutely obsessed” with music videos, at a time before the internet offered on-demand musical hubs like YouTube and Vevo. Today, he’s crafting music videos of his own for such big pop names as Justin Timberlake and Beyonce. He’s Northport’s own Nathan Scherrer.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Dangerous Road

Features Patrick Sullivan Goch told police that she had felt unsteady when she reached the top of the curve, so she hit her brakes, causing her car to slide across the center line of the rain-coated highway. The vehicles crashed head-on. Anthony Erving died at the scene; Deanna Erving died later that day at the hospital.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

Gills ’N Thrills Lures

Features Al Parker The 1,972-acre lake is about six miles long and relatively shallow — averaging less than 10-feet deep with a maximum of 23 feet at its deepest point. In spots, its bottom is littered with the remnants left from the long-gone lumber mills that once lined the shores.