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 · Red Elvises
. . . .

Red Elvises

Kristi Kates - July 11th, 2011
From Russia With Rock: ;Red Elvises Return
By Kristi Kates
Igor Yuzov and a couple of his soon-to-be bandmates were living in Venice
Beach, California when the seeds for Igor and Red Elvises were sown.
“We wanted to play rock n’ roll, and we took it on the streets,” Yuzov
says, “but the crowds got so big, the city of Santa Monica took us to
court and kicked us off the streets.”
Discouraging? Nah. Igor and Red Elvises, Yuzov says, have been touring
ever since.

Now comprised of Yuzov on guitar, Russia’s Oleg Bernov playing bass
balalaika, fellow Russian Alex Feather Akimov on guitar, Floridian Nate
Hassan on drums, and New Mexico’s Monica DeMarco on keyboards and cello,
Igor and Red Elvises have made previous appearances Up North - but even if
you’ve seen the band before, don’t count on seeing the exact same band
lineup the next time you attend a show.
“Our lineups change a lot,” Yuzov says. “We have had the pleasure of
playing with a lot of great performers from all over the world.”
The current incarnation of the band - which is helping Yuzov spread the
word on what he terms “Siberian Surf Rock,” do a few covers as part of
their live shows, but for the most part, the band performs their own
music, with Yuzov at the helm. Yuzov, himself, grew up listening to
Russian folk music - but found rock n’ roll seeping into his musical
sensibilities early on in his formative years, which were spent growing up
in the USSR.
“Things like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were forbidden music from
the West,” he explains, “so that made it feel very special. Elvis Presley
was a huge influence in the beginning, of course. I listen to a lot of
different music (today) and that influences the songs I write, so they can
be very diverse.”
Diverse, and current - one of the band’s most recent cover additions has
been a Lady Gaga song. But their own sound is a merging of what they
listen to and what they play - a blend of rock with the distinct influence
of Russian folk music.
“We grew up knowing one sound but loved another,” Yuzov says, “so the
sound naturally came from all these influences.”
That unique sound has led Igor and Red Elvises to snag some opportunities
that any band would appreciate. Not only have they released nearly a dozen
studio albums, but their songs have been featured on such TV channels and
shows as FX (which hired the band to perform during a televised marathon
of Beverly Hills 90210 episodes), Fox (on which the Red Elvises guested on
an episode of similarly soapy nighttime show Melrose Place), and again on
FX as part of a Penn and Teller television special.
The movies have beckoned, too - you’ll recognize them on the big screen if
you watch the Danny Aiello/Vincent Pastore romantic comedy Mail Order
Bride - but for Yuzov, the real highlight to date was their performance at
the Moscow Live 8 Concert, during which they “joined” a plethora of other
performers in a string of benefit concerts set to precede the 2005 G8
Conference, as well as to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Live
Aid concerts.
“MTV broadcast our performance at Live 8,” Yuzov enthuses, “so that was
very exciting. We were in front of 35,000 people, and it was broadcast all
over the world.” 

There will be no resting on any laurels, though, whether they be of the
television, movie, or giant concert variety; although Igor and Red Elvises
are pretty much constantly on the road at the moment, they already have a
new album being planned. And, much like their ever-changing band lineup,
their setlists are in flux, too, as they add new tunes to surprise fans
and “road test” new material.
“You can expect a party at our Traverse City show,” Yuzov says, “it’s like
a kindergarten for adults - it’s a very festive atmosphere, like carnival
or something. People become similar to when they were teenagers, dancing
and going crazy. And we are always working on new songs,” he continues,
“there are already many songs we play that have not been recorded. We do
plan on recording a new album very soon, but this has to happen when we
are not touring so much!”

Igor and Red Elvises will be performing at the InsideOut Gallery at 229
Garland Street in TC on Friday, July 15.

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