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 · A Band Called Hursh
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A Band Called Hursh

Eric Pokoyoway - July 27th, 2006
Ben Hursh never really had an interest in playing the guitar, but when he found himself on the wrong end of a bad break-up, he felt inspired.
“I think I only knew four chords at the time, but I was with this girl for five years and she ripped me up and down,” Hursh said.
Hursh, 28, met his former sweetheart at 16. When they separated, he borrowed his uncle’s vintage Gibson and began teaching himself to play, sing, and write music.
“We were the perfect couple; we were even talking about marriage. Then she started her first semester at Western Michigan University and decided she wanted to study abroad.”
That’s when they went their separate ways and he needed a way to get his problems out. “Instead of just sitting around thinking about how much it sucked, I decided to play the guitar. I just didn’t have anything better to do except drink and play guitar.”

By keeping busy with his uncle’s guitar, he started writing songs that others could relate to. It was an easy way for him to express himself and talk about things that were bothering him, Hursh said.
“Guys don’t talk about their problems or moods; this was an acceptable way for me to get things out, and people were looking up to me because I was writing things they liked. The best way to get over a girl is singing to another girl.”
With the help of his mom and dad, Rebecca and Guy Hursh, Ben formed the band, Hursh, in 2005. Rebecca sings back-up and Guy is the lead guitarist. They added bass player Rob Ackley, traditional drummer Devon Neibert, and conga player Keith Ballmer, completing the six-member gang. Last spring they released their first album.
Ben Hursh had some exposure to music prior to his break-up. Guy Hursh had been playing the guitar since he was 16, and Rebecca could commonly be heard singing as she took care of her three sons and two daughters.
“When Ben was a kid, his brothers and sisters would beg me to play ‘Rocky Raccoon’ by The Beatles and ‘Four Wet Pigs’ by Greg Brown,” Guy Hursh said.
Music was always in the Hursh house.
“Some of my youngest memories were at home with my mom playing John Mellencamp, while we danced around just being little kids,” Ben Hursh said.

Hursh is a blue-collar band drawing influences from Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones. They play mostly original songs written by Ben and Guy.
“Sometimes you see these bands, and they just become bar bands. We don’t want to be that, we just want to stay true to our music.” Ben Hursh said.
They do play some covers by Ryan Adams and The Rolling Stones, but they put their own twist on them, Guy Hursh said.
“This band is all about that guy [Adams], he writes the kind of music that inspires people,” Ben Hursh said.
This is a hard-working band that plays until 2 p.m. and wakes up early for work the next day, Ben Hursh said. Guy Hursh is a construction worker for the Leelanau County Road Commission while Ackley is a commercial painter who works primarily in Leelanau County and the Grand Traverse Area. Ben works for the Sutons Bay Department of Public Works. “We aren’t full-time musicians, we all get up at the

butt-crack of dawn and go to work, which
is what this band is kind of about,” Ben
Hursh said.
“This band is an outlet for people who bust their ass for eight-plus hours every day.”

Hursh is already working on another album. This CD is going to be more upbeat. They haven’t recorded anything yet, but Ben and Guy have been working on some new stuff with the help of Ackley.
“This first batch of songs Ben wrote, he was in Kalamazoo and was still drawing on those experiences,” Guy Hursh said. “The stuff that we are working on is more of a collaboration between Ben, Rob and myself.”
Ben Hursh now also has a lot more positive things to write about because of his new baby girl and his fiancé. He met Tricia Ponder outside of Jacob’s Well.
Well, with a mouthful of Skittles.
“I tried to meet her outside when she was leaving and had bought a some Skittles at a candy machine while I waited for her,” he said. “It was just one of those things when she came out right when I had popped them in my mouth.”
Because of the Skittles, Ben Hursh had a difficult time talking to her. Yet somehow, things worked out romantically.

Hursh plays on Friday nights at 10:30 p.m. at Le Naro Pub in Lake Leelanau. They will also be at Pete’s Pub in Traverse City July 29 and August 23 at Music in the Park in Elberta. Hursh’s self-titled album is on sale at cdbaby.com and at Horizon Books.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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