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..

Home · Articles · News · Music · Rock Fusion The Max Allen Band
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Rock Fusion The Max Allen Band

Kristi Kates - June 27th, 2011
Rock Fusion The Max Allen Band
By Kristi Kates

Most of today’s up and coming bands - with good reason - don’t like to be pigeonholed, nor do they like to be limited. Indianapolis band Max Allen Band, who will be performing in Traverse City the first week of July, are no exception.
“This band has been influenced by way too many genres and artists to list,” Max Allen explains. “We like to call what we do ‘rock fusion’ - there’s some rock, rap, Latin, funk, blues, bluegrass, baroque, R&B, electronica - if it sounds good and it moves us, we’ll play it.”
See for yourself when the band plays the Loading Dock in TC this Friday, July 1.

Hailing from Indianapolis (“born and raised,” Allen says), Max Allen’s band formed in stages (no pun intended.)
“I met my drummer, Shaan France, through another friend,” Allen says. “My current drummer at the time couldn’t make the gig, so Shaan filled in for him. Later down the road, I needed another drummer to fill in, so I called Shaan again. A couple of months after that, the old guy called it quits, so I simply asked Shaan if he wanted the spot.”
Five years later, and France is still quite solidly the Max Allen Band’s man behind the drums.
“I don’t know if he’s good at putting up with antics (in general), or if he’s just become accustomed to putting up with mine,” Allen laughs, “but he’s one of the best drummers I know.”

Bass player Dace Robie’s road to the Max Allen Band was a slightly different one.
“I will stand by what I have always said,” Allen states, “he was sent to me.”
Allen explains how he actually met Robie’s father, first, when the elder Robie was a stagehand at one of Allen’s earlier gigs.
“He told me he had a son who was a great bass player,” Allen remembers, “my thought was sort of like the bouncer’s response to the guy at the door of the club who runs the line, ‘my girlfriend is in there’ - I thought, ‘yeah, a lot of peoples’ sons are great bass players.’”
But a couple of months later, Allen’s bass player dropped out of the picture. “And I was left to find a new low-end frequency friend,” Allen jokes.
Allen tried out a couple of other musicians, but none of them “stuck.”
“Then, the same guy who introduced me to Shaan made a few calls, and came up with Dace’s name,” Allen says, “I gave him a call, he started filling in, and we just went with it - he’s been with us for about two and a half years now. So Dace’s old man was right - his son was, in fact, a great bass player.”

Now that the trio’s firmly established - as is their own studio in Reelsville, Indiana (Big Walnut Records), Allen has recorded five albums, his latest with the Max Allen Band (France and Robie included) being their current set, Ending Sun.
“We’ve had great reviews on the album,” Allen enthuses, “I’ve had a lot of people say that they can see how I matured as a musician and a writer - although I still act like a child,” he laughs.
“I feel every album has to be better than the last - you gotta step it up, even if it takes recording it twice,” he continues.
The Max Allen Band - who actually like to sell their CDs in ‘bundles’ (“so you can get the history of the music we’re playing,” Allen explains) - are back at Big Walnut, and are also working at Indianapolis’ Static Shack, working on their next album, Everyone Thinks You’re Weird, to be released this summer.
“It’s our finest work yet,” Allen says, “we have string arrangements, organ, synth, guitar synth, and marimba, and we’ve been working with a great producer/engineer, Gary Mielke - his knowledge of music and recording is vastly greater than any of us in the band.”
That aforementioned guitar synth will reportedly be making an appearance at the Max Allen Band’s Traverse City show, too (“I know it sorta sounds cheesy, but it’s very cool,” Allen says) - but most importantly will be the focus on the songs, and the people who work together to craft them. Allen thinks the fans will see - and hear - the improvements in their next album, too.
“I’ve worked my whole life to surround myself with the best people I can,” Allen says, “and I think it will show with this next album.”

More info on the Max Allen Band can be found at www.maxallenband.com and www.maxallenmusic.com; the band will be performing at The Loading Dock in TC on July 1.

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