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 · Sol de Luna
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Sol de Luna

Eric Pokoyoway - July 6th, 2006
Something different is playing at Lil Bo’s in Traverse City on Wednesday nights.
Sol de Luna, formerly Bo Bossa, is a Latin inspired swing band that features six young multi-talented artists. Sol de Luna has only been together for four months, but has already turned one of Lil Bo’s slowest nights into one of their busiest, according to Sal Capone general manager at the night club.
“Now on Wednesday nights the customers just come in to listen to them,” Capone said. “I just like their style -- they are always up there laughing having a good time -- they just are a good group of young kids,” Capone said.
And Sol de Luna takes their music very seriously.
“We are both trained in music theory. We are not doing basic stuff by any means; we’re doing stuff that professionals do,” said A.J. Straw on lead guitar, referring to himself and bassist Stu Ford.
Sol de Luna has drawn in a different kind of crowd on Wednesday nights at Lil Bo’s, Capone said.
“If you go to some of the bars around town, when they book a band it’s some kind of hard-rock band, and someone around the age of 30-50 doesn’t really want to listen to that,” Capone said.
Sol de Luna also draws in a number of swing dance and samba instructors on Wednesday nights.
“There are four instructors that come almost religiously with their girl partners,” Straw said. “It’s a real energy rush when people are getting tossed around.”

Sol de Luna performs jazz, swing, blues, and samba; they also specialize in a Latin style of music called bossa nova. Most of the songs they play are covers that originated in the 1950s and 1960s.
“Its fresh again; music has just gone so simple for so long, This music, the recording and the melodies are just timeless,” said Ashley MacTavish lead vocals.
Bossa nova is a Brazilian style of music that originated in the 1950s. It combines basic drum rhythms and beats that are common to samba along with jazz guitar chords.
“If you look at the history of the music, when bossa nova first came out, it had a huge impact on American jazz,” said drummer Andy MacTavish.
Sol de Luna offers many Latin cover songs. They also cover blues and jazz classics such as “Georgia” by Ray Charles, and “Moon-Dance” by Van Morrison. Sol de Luna sings seven songs in Portuguese including “The Girl from Ipanema.”

Straw, 28, lives in Traverse City, and studies music theory at Northern Michigan University. He and Steve Michanowicc, a former member of Bo Bossa, could be found frequently at open-mic nights around the area and at Lil Bo’s. Michanowicc is currently in Iraq serving with the National Guard.
“It was because of Steve that we even got a gig in the first place. We miss him a lot,” Straw said.
Capone was so impressed with Straw and Michanowicc’s performances that he was willing to give them a regular night.
“Steve and A.J. would always wait to the very end to go up there and play, because they play a different kind of music and Steve was so shy,” Capone said.
Straw and Michanowicc also frequently played at Jacob’s Well, a late night coffeehouse, in Traverse City. This is where they met Ashley MacTavish, 28, a nanny by day, lounge singer by night, and her husband, drummer Andy MacTavish. Ashley is the third member of the band who studies music at NMU.
“I have pictures of myself holding a guitar when I was just an itty-biddy-little baby and I remember being about two-and-half singing up on stage with my dad.”
MacTavish would step in and sing for the guys at Jacob’s Well. This is also how they met their conga player Matt Toler.
Now they needed a bass player.
Stu Ford a sophomore at Elk Rapids high school is dual-enrolling at NMU specializing in music and jazz band. Ford got his start in music through piano, but he said it never really appealed to him.
“I kind of wanted to get into that rock thing,” Ford said.
Sol de Luna will be playing at Lil Bo’s every Wednesday night through July 5. They can also be seen this summer at Red Mesa Grill in Traverse City and the Harbor Days Festival in Elk Rapids.

Eric Pokoyoway is a summer intern at Northern Express who is covering local music and general assignment stories.
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