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 · Tom Rush
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Tom Rush

Rick Coates - July 4th, 2011
Tom Rush brings his circle game to Blissfest
By Rick Coates
Now in its 31st season Blissfest should be on every “music festival-goers” bucket list. Among Northern Michigan music festivals this is the “grandaddy” of them all. If someone says a festival can’t be all things to all people they should come and check out Blissfest, located just north of Harbor Springs near Cross Village that takes place this weekend Friday July 8 - Sunday July 10.
Along with ‘60s folk legend Buffy Sainte-Marie, headlining this year’s festival is Tom Rush, who Rolling Stone magazine credits as the artist responsible for ushering in the singer/songwriter generation. Rush helped Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and many others gain recognition by covering their songs.
Rush’s impact on the music industry has been felt for the past 50 years, inspiring musicians from Bob Dylan to Garth Brooks to Bono.
“Tom Rush was not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences.” said Garth Brooks in an interview with Country Music Television.” He is definitely one of my top five musical influences of all time.”
U2’s Bono echoed that sentiment after incorporating Rush’s “No Regrets” into their setlist and performing it on Saturday Night Live.
“I am a big fan of Tom Rush and admire his songwriting talents. He is one of the songwriting greats,” Bono told the BBC in 2009. “I often incorporate his song ‘No Regrets,’ into our setlist.”

Rush got his start 50 years ago playing Boston area clubs while attending Harvard (he graduated from Harvard in ’63). His distinctive guitar style, wry humor and warm, expressive voice caught on quickly. He recalls his first gig as if it was yesterday.
“My first gig was in 1961 at the Salamander Coffee House in Boston. A friend asked if I’d like to take over his night at the club as he traveled Europe and I agreed,” said Rush. “I think I was paid $10 and all the coffee I could drink. I guess I was too successful because the owner told me there would not be a second night because his customers weren’t buying enough coffee because they were listening to me instead of drinking lots of coffee.”
Rush was signed by Elektra in 1965, releasing three albums for them, with The Circle Game, which, according to Rolling Stone, ushered in the singer/songwriter era.
Despite his early recording success and impact on several musicians Rush stayed out of the studio for 35 years before returning in 2009 with the release of “What I Know.”
“I don’t have any real excuse for taking so long between records. I basically recorded my live shows and released them,” said Rush. “It was easier and less expensive I guess just releasing live albums. What a difference 35 years has made in the recording business. We did this album in five days compared to what would have taken months back then.”
For Rush, while his records sold well it was a recent YouTube video that he credits for making him an overnight sensation.

“I have been waiting 45 years to become an overnight sensation and some guy posted a video of me on YouTube and it has had well over four million views,” said Rush. “It was one of my concerts and I was doing the ‘Remember Song,’ and I didn’t even write the song -- Steven Walters did, oh well.”
Now 70, Rush is not sure when he will go back in the studio again but he has no plans to retire from touring.
“I know I won’t wait another 35 years as I might not be around, so sometime in the next couple of years for another album,” said Rush. “I really enjoy touring and performing in front of audiences so I will continue touring as long as I am able.”
Tom Rush will take the main stage of Blissfest this Saturday night July 9 at 8 pm. For a complete musical itinerary of the weekend that kicks off Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday evening, check out www.blissfest.org Here are some of the non-musical highlights for the weekend:
Beer and Wine Tasting Event- The Taste of Bliss is returning for its second year of sampling some of the finest Michigan beer and wine selections around. The event will be in the shade tent Fri. 5-8pm and Sat. 2-5pm. Includes a beautiful commemorative wine and beer glass for each participant. A $10 donation gets you in the door with a glass plus 2 pours. Additional pours are available for 2/ $5 or $3 each. All proceeds go toward the Blissfest Arts Recreation Center.

19 Hole Frisbee Golf - The 19 hole Frisbee Golf Course was a big hit last year. New to this year’s Blissfest, Big D’s Disc’n Supply will be hosting two disc golf clinics and a Saturday tournament. The “Beginner Clinic” focuses on the disc golf basics of putting, approaching and driving while the “Intermediate Clinic” offers tips and techniques to improve putting accuracy, up shots and increased distance in your drive. Bring your own discs to the clinic. All clinics will be held at Big D’s tent located near Hole One.

BlissStory Booth - Additional filming will take place for the Blissfest Documentary, If you want to tell a BlissStory from your own personal experience stop by the BlissStory Booth on Sat 9:30am -11am and Sunday 9am to 10:30am at the craft area tent in the woods.

Blissfest Birthday Party - All the Blissters who are celebrating their 60th birthday in 2011 are invited to a birthday celebration backstage on Sun. at 4:00pm. Simply show your ID at the backstage entrance next to the volunteer booth and enjoy ice cream, pictures and back stage hospitality. It just so happens that Mr. Bliss himself has joined the 60 club.

New Showcase Stage - The Instrument workshop will be transformed into the Woods Stage in the evenings this year. Check out this scene for some experimental and electronic music.

Folk Alley - Folk Alley is recording the Blissfest for broadcast on their internet radio concert series and plan a live feed on Saturday night. Folk Alley offers live-streaming music over the Internet 24 hours a day and are based in Kent, Ohio at the NPR affiliate WKSU.
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