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, July 30, 2012

Susan Sarandon's star shines in TC Film Festival

Features Rick Coates Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon granted Rick Coates an exclusive pre- Traverse City Film Festival interview. The interview may be heard in its entirety on the Omelette & Friends Show Tuesday, July 31 at 7:30 am and again on Wednesday August 1 at 9 am.
Monday, June 25, 2012

Rusted Root Rocks

The TC Wine & Art Festival

Features Rick Coates Now in its fourth year, the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival was looking for something a little bigger for this year. They found it in Rusted Root. The roots-rock jam band will headline this year’s festival.
Monday, June 4, 2012

Artcenter Traverse City

Plants a New Seed with Series of Events

Features Rick Coates

Since its inception in 1951, the Artcenter Traverse City (ACTC) has played a crucial role in supporting the visual arts in the region. But as with any non-profit organization focused on the arts, the challenges are many.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Adams Fly Festival Celebrates the World’s Most Famous Fly

Features Rick Coates

Most towns wouldn’t want to be famous for their flies, but the Village of Kingsley is so proud of theirs that they are hosting a festival to celebrate.

That’s because this isn’t a housefly or a deerfly, but the Adams, the most famous and important fly among trout fishermen in North America.

Monday, May 14, 2012

NMC BBQ Still Going Strong

Features Rick Coates

This weekend the largest picnic in Northern Michigan will take place. Northwestern Michigan College will hold its 57th Annual Barbecue, Sunday, May 20, on the main campus “under the pines” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Just how large is the NMC BBQ? It takes 500 volunteers to coordinate all the activities and to feed the 10,000+ expected to attend.
Monday, April 2, 2012

Disc Golf’s Popularity Surging

Features Rick Coates When a group of middle school students in Vancouver took tin lids from their lunchroom and started tossing them at trees on the playground, they had no idea they were starting a new sport that would become known as disc golf. Those kids eventually built what they dubbed a “tin lid golf course,” on their school grounds and played most days.
Monday, March 12, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day Round Up

Features Rick Coates Northern Michigan is rooted in Irish heritage. Just look at some of the county names: Antrim, Emmet, Wexford, Roscommon and Crawford all have Irish roots to them.

So this time of the year, our region is loaded with events that pay tribute to the people who settled this region in the late 1800’s. Here is an overview of events happening throughout Northern Michigan...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Silent Disco and Lindsay Lou

Features Rick Coates The term “Silent Disco” seems more like an oxymoron than the latest entertainment craze. Yet crowds have been jamming the Silent Disco tent at several festivals in the area ever since Porterhouse Productions introduced the concept to the region a couple of years ago at the Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival.
Monday, January 2, 2012

Snurfing anyone?

Features Rick Coates Sherman Poppen leaned back in his chair and a big smile came to his face as the Gold Medal was placed around the neck of Shaun White during the 2010 Winter Olympics. While the redheaded White is the international face of snowboarding today, Poppen is the grandfather of the snowboard.
Monday, December 26, 2011

45 Years of Making Hits

Features Rick Coates Ask any musician and they will likely tell you there was that one make-or-break audition that forever changed their career. That was the case for bassist and former Traverse City resident Chuck Jacobs 33 years ago this month, when an impromptu audition for country music superstar Kenny Rogers took place.
Monday, November 7, 2011

LARRY POULIN: Honoring a WWII Prisoner of War this Veterans Day

Features Rick Coates Larry Poulin is an American hero, but based on his living conditions one would not know it. Now 90, the WWII veteran and former POW has an array of medals including a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, which was presented to him by President Harry S. Truman.
Monday, October 24, 2011

Carly Lewis: A Daughter Remembered

Features Rick Coates Carly Lewis was two weeks shy of her 17th birthday when she was killed. She would have been a senior at Traverse City High School this year. Her violent murder sent shock waves around Northern Michigan and her family, friends and the Traverse City community continue to mourn her loss as the murder trial of the suspect is expected to wrap up this week.
Monday, October 10, 2011


Features Rick Coates This past year Bob Seger announced in so many words that it is time for him to hang it up and pass the touring torch on to fellow Michiganders Kid Rock and Eminem. Speculation was that this past spring would be Seger’s last tour.

We have heard before of “The Farewell Tour.” In fact some musicians have had more than one ‘we-are-alldone-touring’ tours. But more often than not, these tours turn out to be marketing ploys.
Monday, September 19, 2011

Horizon Books

50 Years of Anchoring Traverse City

Features Rick Coates “Considering we host more than 1,000 events a year, most people might not even realize we are having a special celebration going on,” said Amy Reynolds, who coowns the store with her husband, Vic Herman. “The balloons might tip them off and we will have more events going on than we typically do in a given day.
Monday, September 5, 2011

Tastemakers:Tour du Terroir

Dining Rick Coates In past Epicurean Classic events many visitors looked for an opportunity to explore the region, but classes, dinners and parties filled up the day. This year, however, a Sunday, Sept. 11 bike tour and BBQ will make that exploration possible.
When Mark Dressler started envisioning how the Epicurean Classic would look seven-plus years ago, part of that vision was to incorporate the terroir (tare-wah) of the Grand Traverse Region into the dining event.
In its simplest translation, terroir is French for “land,” but it has come to mean a region the encompasses a specific wine or cuisine.
For the first five years, time prevented an organized tour of the region during the three-day Epicurean Classic. When the Classic’s major sponsor asked that the event be moved to their headquarters in southern Michigan three years ago, the reality of showcasing Northern Michigan’s beauty and bounty went with it.