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 · Features · Michael O‘Shea lets the...
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Michael O‘Shea lets the Good Times and the Oldies Roll

Rick Coates - March 7th, 2002
They don‘t make music the way they use to. The record industry has spent millions over the years to popularize and recreate music only to find themselves with a sluggish industry that is seeing even the most popular stars with poor CD sales and a lot of empty seats at concert venues. The industry is now looking back on the “older sound“ as a way to jump-start sales. Some have never left the sounds of the ‘50s and ‘60s including popular Northern Michigan radio personality Michael O‘Shea of WCCW Radio.
No doubt that enduring popularity contributed to O‘Shea‘s choice as “Best DJ“ for Northern Michigan by readers of Northern Express Weekly.
O‘Shea sees the “oldies“ as good “clean,“ fun music that is growing in popularity today. He notes that success of the past is hard to argue with.
“Elvis had 117 top 40 hits in his career; no one has come close to that,“ said O‘Shea. “The Beatles in 1964 had 19 hits; these things just don‘t happen anymore.“
O‘Shea who is on the air from 2 to 6 pm at WCCW 107.5 (part of the Northwestern Radio group that includes WTCM and the new Smooth Jazz station), believes the oldies sound will always be around.
“I never tire of the music, it is fun, has a good rhythm and there is a lot of diversity to it,“ said O‘Shea. “We play songs from the ‘50s to the ‘70s and the music doesn‘t all sound the same. There are big differences between Bobby Darin and Bobby Goldsboro or Cher and Ray Charles.“
WCCW has seen strong growth in radio ratings in recent years and O‘Shea points to the music‘s popularity coming from being heard on current TV commercials and appearing in popular movies. He sees a strong, committed air personality staff at the station a part of the success as well.
“We are about personality radio, and our listeners appreciate that,“ said O‘Shea. “We all have a lot of experience and are very knowledgeable about the music and our listeners like that.“
O‘Shea considers it a challenge for all radio stations to keep the listeners‘ attention.
“We have become a ‘scanified‘ society and it is easy for a listener to hit that scan button,“ said O‘Shea. “It is important to make the commericials interesting and of course it is important for the person on the air to be interesting, informative and creative. That is where the whole personality radio thing comes in.“
O‘Shea attributes his own success in the market to his good clean humor, his voice and understanding the essence of radio.
“Radio is a theater of the mind. You have to create mood and emotion and a feeling that you are connected to the listener. When I am on the air I am talking to someone, the guy in the Buick, the gal at work. Rather than talking to air, I am making that connection to the listener.“
His deep and authoritative voice has a soothing feel to it that has made O‘Shea not only popular on the air but also for emceeing community events, spinning records at dances and serving as an auctioneer for several non-profit benefits.
“My voice is a tool and I have worked to develop it. My voice is very connected to my emotions and listener experiences that.“
O‘Shea now 57 had other plans as a teenager growing up in Alden on Torch Lake. In 1960 he won a scholarship to attend the Interlochen Center for the Arts hoping to pursue a career as a musician and bandleader.
“I saw myself becoming the next Eugene Ormandy,“ said O‘Shea. “It became apparent that while at Interlochen that wasn‘t going to happen so I joined the Coast Guard.“
While in the Coast Guard, O‘Shea got involved in radio. He began to sense a career opportunity in radio broadcasting. After the Coast Guard he attended broadcasting school in Milwaukee. In 1967 he returned to Northern Michigan and took his first radio job with WCCW.
O‘Shea spent one year at WCCW and left for Detroit. After a few years in the Detroit market he came to Cadillac to work as the noon news anchor on TV 9 & 10. He would eventually return to WCCW as the morning personality for six years. In 1980 he went to Kalkaska to start up WKLT. In 1983 he left for Oklahoma City to host a morning show. In 1994 he was asked to rejoin WCCW as the morning host.
He did mornings until 1-1/2 years ago when he took over the drive home show. He made the adjustment to the afternoon show with ease.
“I love it, and it sure beats getting up at 3:45 a.m. to do mornings as I have done for 23 years.“
He sees himself continuing his on-air show for another five years, but remaining active after he retires.
“I have a lot of hobbies; I shoot professional trap; I work with leather, making gun holsters and belts, and I also do gun work and love to travel,“ said O‘Shea. “My radio work is a big part of me as well, so after I am done with my show I will continue to do public events.“
O‘Shea sees himself announcing car and go-cart races when he retires. Doing dances, working as an auctioneer and emceeing events in the area. He has taken great pride in his commitment to helping organizations and individuals in the community.
“Radio has afforded me a lot of opportunities to help others,“ said O‘Shea. “It makes your heart weep when callers tell you how your voice or show has helped them in times of need.“
O‘Shea is proud of the fun and good clean programming he and his colleagues present to radio listeners.
“There is a lot of stuff out there that deserves no comment because it is vulgar and trashy,“ said O‘Shea. “However, people like the Captain in his day and the folks at WLDR, Interlochen Radio, our morning show at WCCW and the new smooth jazz station are worth listening to.“
Having a mild heart attack a few years ago and recently learning that he is a diabetic has put O‘Shea‘s focus on his health. He has lost weight, improved his diet and has been told by doctors that he is good health.
His comedic well-being remains healthy as well. O‘Shea continues to be humorous on the air, poking lighthearted jabs at his listeners, callers and even himself.
“I laugh a lot and try to create that fun upbeat attitude while on the air,“ said O‘Shea. “I just continue to live my life using what God has given me.“
While the industry scratches its head trying to find the right formula to attract listeners O‘Shea has known it all along. Good, wholesome, upbeat rhythmic songs made in the ‘50s and ‘60s mixed with a little humor and a lot of personality soothes the heart and soul. Then like the songs, for O‘Shea “the beat goes on.“
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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