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 · Aten Place
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Aten Place

Kristi Kates - June 27th, 2011
A Barn Full of Music at Aten Place
By Kristi Kates
“This is probably the best schedule we have been able to put together in the 17 years we have offered shows,” grins William Aten, organizer of Aten Place Concerts in Boyne Falls.
Aten - who, perhaps somewhat incongruously, also works as a mathematics consultant and data coach for the Charlevoix-Emmet ISD - runs the Aten Place Concerts shows with his wife, Maxine, and has watched as their “house concerts” have become part of a growing movement in Northern Michigan.
The Rhubarbary Farm House Concerts in Harbor Springs and the Black Cat Concert Series at the Dhaseleer Events Barn in Charlevoix are two other venues that are spearheading this growing trend - great music being showcased in low-key, homegrown venues, usually privately-owned homes or barns that have been converted into personalized and friendly local concert stages. Aten Place is no exception, and have been doing their musical thing since 1995.

“A friend of ours, Nancy Decker, encouraged us to have a house concert in the summer of ‘95,” Aten explains, “so we decided to have a potluck dinner, and held the concert in our barn. The performer was Josh White Jr. - and our guests had so much fun, they asked us to do another show that summer.”
The ubiquitous Claudia Schmidt was Aten Place’s second show; she and White would return for two shows the following summer, after which the Atens added a third show, Barbara Bailey Hutchison.
“After that, the concept of a summer concert series started to take on a life of its own,” Aten says, “with each year, we added additional shows and made improvements to the barn, including better seating, a large stage, a quality sound system, stage lighting, and a pavilion for people to picnic prior to a show.”
The Atens, who do not operate as a business, but as a non-profit endeavor, don’t sell food or drink, and have maintained the potluck concept for the past 16 years of Aten Place shows.
“We just encourage our patrons to bring treats that can be shared at intermission,” Aten says.

Constructed in 1917, the Atens’ barn - the well-maintained and quirkily-decorated setting for their shows - is oak post and beam construction, and, Aten says, was originally part of a dairy farm. Sitting on rural, rolling hills that overlook the Boyne Valley, the barn’s warmth and elderly creaks add to the homegrown setting, and the stage itself is decorated with local memorabilia, plus photos, quilts, and antiques from Northern Michigan’s logging and railroad eras.
“The indirect lighting also provides an atmosphere that allows people the opportunity to reflect on how life was when our valley was part of the major lumbering operation in Northern Michigan,” Aten says, “it is a truly unique venue, and everyone who has played on our stage loves the ambiance we provide.”
With shows taking place only on Saturday nights in July and August, the Aten Place concerts are also a fleeting thing, much like summer in Northern Michigan itself, and both artists and patrons are taking even more notice these days, with a wide range of performers being booked, and costs being kept reasonable for the shows. Single tix start at $15, a pair can usually be snagged for $25, and a season’s pass to all shows can be purchased for just $140 per person.

And now back to that “best schedule ever…,” according to Aten.
“We are very proud to be able to offer John McCutcheon, as well as Michael Johnathon, Jeremy Kittle and The Waymores, which is comprised of three outstanding singer-songwriters from Nashville - Tom Kimmel, Sally Barris, and Don Henry,” Aten says.
The Atens are dabbling in theater a little this year, as well:
“We are also bringing a production company in from downstate to present Jeff Daniels’ newest play, Escanaba in Love, for three nights in August.”
It’s a labor of love for the Atens.
“There are so many things that we enjoy about hosting the series,” he says. “We love that we have built a venue that now attracts bigger name artists, and that we can share their talent with our Northern Michigan community. We have focused our attention on singer-songwriters, as well as bringing artists to our stage that rarely, if ever, are seen in our region.”
“The concerts have also provided us a way to give back to the community,” Aten continues, “and it is our way of supporting the arts. It is very gratifying to have people come and thoroughly enjoy their evening; there is a spirit of community and fellowship that emerges in our venue, and it is one of the things that brings people back time and time again. It took us a while, but we have come to appreciate and understand the uniqueness of our venue, and the enjoyment it provides a host of people in our region - we love meeting and getting to know our patrons, and look forward to seeing them return each summer.”
The Aten Place Concert Series takes place at the Atens’ barn at 03492 Old Mackinaw Trail in Boyne Falls. A complete concert schedule, tickets, and more information may be found online at www.atenplace.com.

July 2 - Robin Lee Berry, Dave Boutette, John Latini
July 9 - Michael Johnathon
July 16 - Jeremy Kittel Band
July 22 - John McCutcheon
July 27 - LaRon Williams Children’s Matinee (2 pm)
July 30 - Legacy
Aug. 6 - Chasin’ Steel
Aug. 13 - Barbara Bailey Hutchison
Agu. 20 - Michael Reno Harrell
July 25-27 “Escanaba in Love”
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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