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..

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Ross Boissoneau - July 14th, 2005
If you‚re going to have a tribute to Earth, Wind and
Fire, who better to do it than those directly
associated with the band, along with some special
guests? Original keyboardist Larry Dunn and
multi-instrumentalists  Morris Pleasure and Sheldon
Reynolds, both longtime members, update „September,‰
„Can‚t Hide Love‰ and a host of other familiar fare.
Other EWF staples include Ronnie Laws, who played on
EWF‚s third album, „Last Days and Time,‰ and
contributes sax on „Can‚t Hide Love,‰ and guitarist
Johnny Graham, who recreates his rockin‚ soul solo on
„That‚s the Way of the World.‰ The mildly hip-hopped
versions don‚t necessarily bring a new dimension to
the proceedings; rather, they make you long for the
original. Interesting and engaging, but it needs a bit
of a kick.

Brian Bromberg ˆ Metal (Artistry Music)
Last year, Brian Bromberg had a jazz best-seller in
„Bobblehead,‰ but it‚s a safe bet nothing on „Metal‰
will find its way onto the smooth playlists. That‚s
because this is one of the hardest rocking shred
guitar albums ever, made even more noteworthy by the
fact there‚s not a guitar in sight. Bromberg plays all
the lead lines on his signature piccolo bass, while
filling in under, behind and around with 4-string,
5-string, and tenor basses, with accompaniment from
Joel Taylor on drums and occasionally Dan Siegel on
keys. The opening „Good Morning‰ is indeed a wakeup
call, while „Through The Window‰ continues in that
vein and „Carlos‰ is a winning power ballad. All
instrumental and all muscle, „Metal‰ proves Bromberg‚s
versatility and yes, indeed, his mettle.

Hiroshima ˆ Obon (ESL Music)
Japanese worldbeat smooth jazz? Well, yes. Hiroshima
goes further afield on this entirely instrumental
effort than in the past, with enjoyable results.
Matching ambient jazz beats with the likes of koto and
erhu sounds difficult, but the band pulls it off
without a hitch. Melodies come and go, floating atop
the synths of Kimo Cornwell and Dan Kuramoto, who also
plays saxes, flute, and shakuhachi (the notoriously
difficult bamboo flute). The opening „Swiss Ming‰ sets
the tone, but almost every tune contains the elements
that make this group unique. „Atomic Café‰ features
some soul guitar straight out of the 70s, percussion
beats and those crazy Asian instruments, all following
Dan Kuramoto‚s saxy lead lines. The lack of vocals is
actually a plus, as it focuses all attention on the
best songs the group has ever written.

Frances Black ˆ How High The Moon (Koch)
If she‚d eschew the annoying vibrato, Black could take
her place alongside Maire Brennan and others
celebrating Irish and Celtic music. Even with the
quavery voice, Black manages to capture the emotion
and bittersweet melodies that make the genre popular.
The opening „How Sweet The Tune,‰ the following
„Magdalen Laundry,‰ in fact, most every cut contains
the keening emotion and lyrics that define the best
traditional Irish music. But the instrumental
accompaniment is less inclined toward that tradition
than American pop music, with piano, bass, guitar and
strings supporting Black‚s soprano. The title track
features some sax and guitar reminiscent of John
Martyn, while in other places Black brings to mind
Linda Thompon. Not bad company.


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