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, October 22, 2016

Spooky Sounds

Music Kristi Kates Both of these storylines will play out on October 29 as the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra (GLCO) celebrates Halloween with a special concert featuring the 1800s symphonic poem Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) by Camille Saint-Saëns, and The Composer...
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Parsonsfield Blooms at Red Sky Stage

Music Kristi Kates Freeman, Antonio Alcorn, Harrison Goodale, Erik Hischmann, and Max Shakun became a band almost before they knew that they were one. They met in college, in a folk music club, congregating together each week to jam out old tunes, from bluegrass and Celtic music to Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Indoor Listening

Music Kristi Kates By Kristi Kates Summer music festivals may be well over, and fall fests are winding down along with the temperature outside, but that doesn’t mean that the music stops in northern Michigan. Instead, it simply moves indoors for great concert listening. Here are two series to start your season:.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Singing Out Loud: The Grand Traverse Show Chorus

Music Kristi Kates Barbershop quartets and choruses have long had one thing in common: The members are usually male. The Sweet Adelines seek to change that. Boasting more than 500 choruses and quartets, Sweet Adelines International showcases only female vocalists singing a cappella, four-part harmony, and barbershop-style music around the world.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Sweet Sounds of Local Talent

Music Kristi Kates Growing up in Marietta, Ga., Marcia Taylor sang her way through her school days and beyond. Now, she’s moved on to help the next generation of musicians do the same — and more — by way of her boutique talent management and booking agency Marsh-Mellow Entertainment.
Saturday, October 8, 2016

Crank Up The A Cappella!

Music Kristi Kates Deke Sharon is widely known as the father of contemporary a cappella, the style of music that relies solely on voices, with no other musical accompaniment. Sharon, who started singing as a youth, said he still doesn’t know if he chose to pursue music or if it chose him.
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Marc Cohn’s Journey To Memphis and Beyond

Music Kristi Kates begins singer-songwriter Marc Cohn’s huge 1991 hit song, “Walking in Memphis,” the song inspired by Cohn’s own journey to that very city in the mid-‘80s, where he has said he became “baptized in the world of Blues” when he was in his early 20s. As the lyrics of the song go, Cohn actually did set his feet on the famed Beale Street.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Fall Finale: Autumn’s Music Festivals

Music Kristi Kates Michigan is fortunate to have not one but two major folk and world music fes-tivals every year: Blissfest in Bliss, and Wheatland in Remus. Blissfest got its start in 1981, via a dozen area folk musicians and dancers who staged the first event in a fallow field.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Breakthrough Acts

Music Kristi Kates Breaking out of northern Michigan to achieve a major career in music takes more than talent. While our communities are avid supporters of all kinds of music, and our region’s beauty inspires many a tune, the hard facts are that there are fewer venues, auditions, music managers, record labels, and other resources here than in larger cities.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

What is the Northern Michigan Sound?

Music Kristi Kates “From my perspective, it seems like Traverse City is almost becoming a mini Nashville. Every night, you walk down Front Street, and you witness live music permeating though nearly every door. I’d say it’s a big ol’ pot of acoustic soup, with many rock elements thrown in.
Saturday, August 20, 2016

New Orleans, Represent!

Music Kristi Kates Shorty will share the brewfest limelight with a buzz band Rolling Stone called one of the Ten New Artists You Need To Know for 2016: The Revivalists, another New Orleans act that lean more toward horn-sprinkled alt-rock along the lines of Alabama Shakes or Galactic, thanks in part to the bellowing vocals of frontman David Shaw.
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Get Happy With the Sounds of the ‘60s

Music Kristi Kates The Happy Together Tour is arriving at Little River Casino Resort in August, and with it an impressive list of ’60s hits all polished up and ready for singing along. It’s no wonder this has become one of the most popular vintage package tours in North America; the musicians included boast more than sixty Top 40 hits between them.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Her Best Shot

Music Kristi Kates The story of singer and four-time Gram-my Award winner Pat Benetar isn't your clas-sic rags-to-rock-n-roll legend. Benetar's interest in music started in Lindenhurst, Long Island, N.Y., where she pursued musical theater and trained as an accomplished soprano.
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Farmfest and Hoxeyville

Music Kristi Kates Got time for a little more music? August offers up two major music festivals here in northern Michigan, so you’d best get out there while you still can. Whether you choose Farmfest’s countryside cool or Hoxeyville’s forest festivities, you’ll find plenty of great performances and fun amenities.
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hawaiian Musician Brings Unique Sound to Interlochen

Music Kristi Kates When you hear the words “musical virtuoso,” the vision of a musician jamming on a ukulele probably doesn’t come to mind. But a skilled musician from Honolulu, Hawaii, is changing that perception with his unique performance and composition style on the instrument.