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 · News · MICKEY HART: The “Grateful” One...
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MICKEY HART: The “Grateful” One Pursues Musical Infinity

None - August 19th, 2011  

Mickey Hart headlines the 9th Annual Hoxeyville Music Festival west of Cadillac this weekend.

There is no “mailing it in” with Mickey Hart, the percussion guru of the Grateful Dead, who could easily cash in year after year touring and playing the hits of his former band.

“What’s the point of always doing the same thing? I don’t eat my favorite meal everyday; I explore different foods in search of my new favorite meal, and that is my approach to music,” said Hart. “My whole life I have constantly been exploring different types of music, even during my Grateful Dead days.

“Sure I have a great appreciation for that music and being able to be a part of creating that music,” he added. “I am sure all of us will get together again in the future and revisit it, but for now I am focused on my current projects as I know the other members are busy with their own projects.”

At 67, Hart is as energized now as he was 45 years ago when he joined the Grateful Dead. His current project is the Mickey Hart Band and he will test the musical waters this weekend at the 9th Annual Hoxeyville Music Festival (45 miles south of Traverse City, just off M-37 near Wellston).

“I am not touring, just doing a few dates to see what works and what doesn’t work with this new project and band,” said Hart. “I will do a full tour next summer, but for now I am just doing a couple of club dates, theaters and music festivals. I was impressed with what I saw last year at Hoxeyville so I wanted to come back and let them be among the first to hear my new project.”


It has been 16 years since Jerry Garcia passed away and since that time, Hart has toured with his former Dead bandmates as The Other Ones from 1998 - 2002. In 2003 the band changed its name to The Dead. They decided to take a hiatus in 2009.

Last year Hart visited Hoxeyville with his band, The Rhythm Devils (a name Jerry Garcia gave the duo one night when he looked back at them and said “you guys are the Rhythm Devils). That band included his Grateful Dead percussion mate Bill Kreutzmann.

“I am excited about this new project on several fronts,” said Hart of his latest group. “Certainly the musicianship and I know the people of Michigan are going to be equally impressed with the band I have assembled. Musically I consider this to be the best work I have done in my 50-plus years of performing.”

A strong statement coming from a musician whose work with the Grateful Dead landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“Again, I think if you say your best work was that from the past how can you grow as a musician or a person? I believe that each project I am working on is and will be my best work. You have to or you are just going through the motions.”


Hart will release a new CD early next year, his first studio work in five years since he produced the Grammy winning “The Global

Drum Project.” He doesn’t want to give too much away about what to expect from his new CD, but points to his musical research as the foundation for the project.

“Over the past several years I have I been working with leading scientists from NASA and other institutions to capture raw light waves from space and then transform those light waves into sound waves. Afterwards, using those sounds to compose universal music. I have started with the sounds of the Big Bang from 13.7 billion years ago and continued my personal investigation through our current time,” said Hart. “Basically I am exploring what the universe sounds like.”

Hart enthusiastically furthers his point. “Music is a universal language, every culture and society has used sounds and rhythms throughout its history. It is only natural to believe that this inspiration for all of this came from the sounds created by the universe,” said Hart. “I firmly believe that like water and air we need music to survive, it is what defines and it is part of what makes us human.”


Prior to searching space, Hart explored and captured music from cultures around the world. That work will now be recognized by the Smithsonian with the release of “The Mickey Hart Collection’” this October to preserve and further his endeavor to cross borders and expand musical horizons.

“The Mickey Hart Collection” will begin with 25 albums drawn from “The World,” a series Hart curated that incorporated his solo projects, other artists’ productions, and re-releases of out-of-print titles. Six of the 25 albums form the “Endangered Music Project,” a collaboration between Mickey Hart and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, which presents recordings from musical traditions at risk.

“This is a real honor because the Smithsonian will be around for future generations so I consider this to be my best honor of my musical career,” said Hart. “Grammys and other awards tarnish after awhile they end up in a closet and they really mean little in the bigger picture.”

For now that bigger picture for Hart is exploring the musical offerings of the universe where he believes the opportunities for discovery are infinite. Festival-goers this weekend to Hoxeyville will be among the first to hear Hart’s discoveries. For more information on Mickey Hart go to www.mickeyhart.net or follow him on Twitter.


Here are some additional highlights to the 9th Annual Hoxeyville Music Festival, August 19-21. Located near Wellston the festival grounds occupy nearly 100 acres of farmland and hardwood forest within the Manistee National Forest.

Joining Mickey Hart as the headliner for the weekend will be Umphrey’s McGee. Other performers include Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, The Itals, Greensky Bluegrass, Todd Snider, Ella Riot and a host of Northern Michigan favorites.

Hoxeyville has two stages of national touring artists as well the best talent from Northern Michigan. Next door is a modern campground with full amenities including a swimming pool, showers, plug-ins, dump station and wireless Internet.

In addition to music, Hoxeyville will offer disc golf and the festival grounds are close to mountain biking and hiking trails. For the those into fly-fishing or kayaking, the Pine River is nearby. The “Vendor Village” will feature artisan, craft and food vendors.

There are several different ticketing options for Hoxeyville and the “Early Bird” tickets have already sold out. For a complete look at the line up and to purchase tickets and camping passes in advance check out www.hoxeyville.com.

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