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 · Johnny Winter
. . . .

Johnny Winter

Mark Waggener - July 27th, 2006
On Thursday July 27, storied guitar hero Johnny Winter makes a rare appearance in Northern Michigan. This is an opportunity for music fans throughout the region to pay homage to one of the most prolific blues guitar players in modern times.
Born in Beaumont Texas in 1944, John Dawson Winter III grew up surrounded by cajun, country & blues music. He organized his first band called Johnny and the Jammers when he was just 14 years old. His brother Edgar played piano in the group and it wasn’t long before they became a local phenomenon.
By age 15 Winter released his first single called “School Day Blues.” Since then Johnny Winter has gone on to enjoy a career that spans 40 years and has solidified his place in music history. What sets him apart is the distinctive voice, the wizard-like guitar style and the passionate fury he displays as an accomplished slide player.
Between 1968 and 1980 he recorded 15 albums that defined the blues-rock form that made him a household name. He has shared the stage with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King to name a few. With the commercial success of tunes like “Rock ’N’ Roll Hoochie Koo” it is obvious that he has not only inspired blues artists abroad, but rock players as well.
In the midst of a busy concert schedule I was fortunate enough to get an interview from the legend himself.

NE: There seems to be a resurgence in the blues scene, how has it changed, if at all since you started.
Winter: It’s not as traditional today, not as rootsy.

NE: How does it feel to be touring again and what do you do to stay fit?
Winter: Fantastic! First I stopped drinking and then I started eating right. Being on the road keeps me active and in much better shape.

NE: Who is managing your career?
Winter: My second guitarist Paul Nelson, and he is doing a fine job as well as being one hell of a guitar player.

NE: Are you being well received by a new breed of fans?
Winter: Yes! Recently I have noticed a growing number of younger fans coming to my shows.

NE: Who were some of your biggest influences growing up and who continues to inspire you today?
Winter: Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Lightn’in Hopkins, Clarence Gatemouth Brown and of course T Bone Walker. I still listen to them today.

NE: What are your memories of working with Muddy Waters and other blues greats?
Winter: Working with Muddy was one of the highlights of my career. I did four records with him, three of which won Grammy’s. I also enjoyed working with Sonny Terry.

NE: What was it like playing Woodstock in ’69?
Winter: I don’t remember that much about it except it was wet and muddy. I never thought it would be as historic as it now is at that time.

NE: Are you doing any producing these days?
Winter: I co-produced my last Grammy nominated CD “I’m A Bluesman” on Virgin/EMI.

NE: What kind of equipment are you using on the road?
Winter: Musicman amp with 4x10’s, a boss chorus pedal and my Laser guitar and Firebird for slide.

NE: Where do you draw all of that emotion from when you strap on the guitar.
Winter: It just comes out of me. You just have to have that feeling.

NE: How does it feel to have made such an enormous impact on so many people’s lives through your music?
Winter: Feels great! Real great.

NE: How has the internet and file sharing affected your career?
Winter: It has made my music
more accessible to more people,
especially through my web site

Mark your calendar, Thursday July 27, 7:30 p.m. The Petoskey Blues Festival at The Emmet County Fairgrounds community building will feature a one - two punch of distinguished blues masters. Opening the show is Larry McCray who is a superb guitarist and singer enjoying a stellar career, followed by Johnny Winter. Paul Koch of Ram Productions plans to make this blues extravaganza an annual event.
Tickets can be purchased for $25 online @ www.frankenmuthfestivals.com, 800-386-3378, or at Borders Book Store in Traverse City 231- 933-0412, Hops N’ Schnapps South in Gaylord 989-344-1228, Bridge Street Book Shop in Charlevoix 231-547-7323, Grain Train in Petoskey 231-347-2381, Between The Covers in Harbor Springs 231-526-6658, Island Book Store in Mackinaw City
906-847-6202, Dharma Music in Grayling 989-344-1228 & Concert Connection in Alpena 989-356-4900.
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