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 · B. Jenkins busts out
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B. Jenkins busts out

Danielle Horvath - December 15th, 2008
Rhyme-master B. Jenkins beat out 12 other artists to win his third Self-Inflicted 8 competition for a coveted spot to open for Paul Wall when he performs at Streeters Ground Zero this Tuesday, Dec. 16.
“It’s a great opportunity as an independent artist to be exposed to a new audience and I’m also very grateful to Streeters who gave me my first chances to perform a few years ago,” he says.
When most other 15-year-olds were playing video games or hanging out with their friends, Brandon Jenkins was writing song verses and turning them into raps. At 16, he was spending every weekend and vacations at the recording studio of Saginaw-based rapper/producer Astray, whom he impressed with an original rap when he met him at a local mall.
“It was a lot of time away, and my parents made it clear I had to keep up with school if I wanted to pursue this dream,” Jenkins said. “They got a lot of negativity at first from people who thought rap was a bad environment for me to be in so young, but I became more determined than ever to keep at it.”

In May 2006, while still a sophomore at Benzie Central High School, he released his first single “Do It Like Me,” which was followed two months later by his first album, “Right Where I Want To Be,” which sold over 2,000 copies statewide and launched him into local stardom. At just 17, Jenkins began playing at nightclubs downstate, where he quickly got a close-up view of the pitfalls of that lifestyle.
“There were people all around me losing their lives and dreams to drugs and alcohol and I made the realization then that I wasn’t going to let that happen to me,” he said.
Jenkins began performing at Streeters in Traverse City with his mom in the audience due to him being underage, which gave him the chance to perform with the likes of The Ying-Yang Twins, Bizarre, MC Breed and Paul Wall.
In February 2007, Jenkins’ producer Astray was picked up by Web entertainment – the same label that launched Eminem’s career. “Eminem is my all time favorite and having access to the Shady Records studio in Detroit was like a dream come true for me.”
It was also his senior year in high school and Jenkins knew he had to get that part of his life done so he could focus on his music career full-time. He graduated early with a “B” average, admitting he missed out on a lot of his high school years.
“I never bonded with my senior class, and I know I missed a lot of school functions. It was a weird feeling sometimes to be working 14-hour days at the studio and be thinking that everyone else was sitting in class. But I learned to deal with it and made the realization that this is what it was going to take to do what I wanted.”

Having a producer working in a major label environment fueled the fire for him to begin working on his second album “Talk of the City,” due out in Spring ’09.
Jenkins also decided to contact an old friend from Onekama who had produced music videos, Keith Zielinski of 5830 Productions. They combined their talents to create a video that would help launch their careers into mainstream media. Zielinski organized the video and Jenkins put everything in to creating a hit single.
Jenkins then turned to Astray, who produced and is featured on the song “Make A Flick,” along with reggae star King Jazzy. “Make A Flick” is a catchy ringtone-friendly song about camera phones and the hip-hop scene. It debuted on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Shade 45 and the video will be premiering on MTV-U, BET and Youtube.com within the coming weeks. The single is also available for purchase on digital download sites such as iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster and E-music.
At 19, Jenkins is beginning to see the benefits of his years of hard work and can now support himself from his music. “I come from very humble beginnings,” he said, “and I don’t take anything for granted. I worked hard for everything I have accomplished today, and I try to tackle each project like it’s my first time at bat. I am amazed at how far I am today and excited about how much there is ahead of me. Music is my life, I would rather be at the studio than anywhere else, and I know all this hard work will pay off.”

B. Jenkins performs with Marz, Critical Bill, Maniacal and Paul Wall at 9 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 16 at Streeters Ground Zero. You can check out his music, up-coming shows or send him an email at: myspace.com/thebjenkins.

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