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 · Coming up Daisies/ May Erlewine
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Coming up Daisies/ May Erlewine

Jack Pine - November 3rd, 2008
“Daisy” May Erlewine, 26, is already a part of a small, but rich tradition of women folk singers who make their home in Northern Michigan. Like Claudia Schmidt, Robin Lee Berry and Rachel Davis, May has a beautiful voice and creates honest and emotionally resonant music that connects with her audience.
As Daisy May, she usually performs with her partner Seth Bernard, but she is also her own woman and performs as a solo act with three recordings by herself to show for it.
On her first three CDs, she called herself Daisy May, and with her youth, charm and cowgirl twang, it fit her well. But as she continues to grow through her music and get closer to her audience, the Daisy part is beginning to fade.
“It was a nickname given to me by some friends that kind of stuck,” Erlewine says, prior to beginning a week of recording with a band assembled for her latest solo project. “But I like people to call me by my real name.”
But she is quick to add that, “I am definitely not offended if people call me Daisy May. It’s on my album covers and I kind of created it.”

Erlewine’s last record, “Mother Moon,” features a couple of upbeat songs, such as the clever “Big Mama Brown,” which is about a family of fish determined not to be someone’s dinner. But the CD mostly offers introspective pieces, trying to sort things out emotionally, while honestly confronting doubts and fears.
“I just feel it is always a relief with music or just friendship when somebody says the truth in what they are going through,” Erlewine says. “You know, all of us have hard times in our lives. We go by, week by week and go through things that are challenging. It is just a part of reality.”
Erlewine felt she was taking a risk getting too personal, but she earned many new fans with “Mother Moon,” and it is the kind of record that feels richer after repeated listenings.
“I am humbled and honored that it has been embraced that way. And really relieved, because that is what my hope was, that in whatever way it could possibly be helpful. That’s the best thing, when the music is offering something other than just being music. It is not something I can try to do, but it is something I am always hoping will happen.”
Erlewine is from Big Rapids and began her unique journey early on. She remembers coming home from kindergarten and crying every day. Her mom gave her the choice to be home-schooled if she wanted, which she jumped at, but wistfully adds, “Maybe if I made it through kindergarten, I would have stayed in school.”
She has fond memories of her home schooling, where she also learned how to work with wood and make clothes. She was 11 when she began to write songs. She took violin lessons and also went to the local school for some classes and to be a part of the choir.

The last few years have been something of a whirlwind for Erlewine. After traveling around the country in her teens, hitch-hiking with friends and even occasionally hopping trains, Erlewine saw Seth Bernard at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival in 2003 and had a “If he can do it, I can do it” moment that made pursuing a career in music seem believable.
Seth and Erlewine got to know each other and have been playing together for almost five years now. They are busy playing mostly in Michigan, with trips to the east coast and Portland about once a year. They already have one great recording together, “Seth Bernard and Daisy May,” which they recorded at the Calumet Theatre, north of Houghton in the Upper Peninsula. It includes Erlewine’s song of hope, “Shine On,” that she and Seth performed on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” in April 2007. Seth and May also completed a new duo recording that will be available this winter.
Erlewine now lives near Lake City with Seth at Earthwork Farm, which was bought by Seth’s dad, Bob, in the ‘70s. They grow food and raise Scottish Highland cows on the farm. But with two music festivals held there -- the Family Festival in July and the Harvest Festival in September -- and the long list of young Michigan musicians that are a part of Earthwork Music, their main crops currently are new recordings, performances and, a favorite topic of Erlewine’s, creating community.

“The ideals in the music industry are not the ideals of what I want to do with my music,” Erlewine says. “I really want to have a life as a musician based around interacting with my community. My job is to be a part of the community and aid that with my heart. For me, one of the most amazing things about music is the way it brings people together.”
On December 12, 13, and 14, Erlewine, Seth and their Earthwork Music friends will bring people together again for a Water Festival at the Traverse City Opera House, which is in its third year. Earlier, the Water Festival events were held in Grand Rapids and Mackinaw City. It will be a weekend of music, speakers and workshops dedicated to water education, conservation and the preservation of the Great Lakes.
You can hear Erlewine sing at her website: earthworkmusic.com/daisyMay/
Erlewine will also be at “Roots on the River” with several other Earthwork Musicians, at Manistee’s Ramsdell Theatre on November 8, 7 p.m.
Erlewine’s CDs are available in Traverse City at Higher Grounds and Unity Fair Trade Marketplace. They can be ordered online at: Foxonahill.com or downloaded at I-Tunes where every listener’s review has, so far, given her a 5 out of 5 stars rating.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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