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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Fair Herald

Glen Young - August 10th, 2009
Fair Herald Spreads the News
A Chicago-Petoskey connection at Festival on the Bay

By Glen Young 8/10/09

At the beginning of their song “Mythology,” Fair Herald vocalist Mike Kuntz sings, “I’ll meet you on the other side if I make it through.” The band, made up of five Chicago area friends, is hoping their music continues to make it through to an ever-widening audience.
Fair Herald will reach out to Northern Michigan audiences with shows at Petoskey’s Festival on the Bay this Friday, August 14, and City Park Grill August 15.
Featured on the band’s 2008 recording Familiar Streets, “Mythology,” showcases the group’s layered, eclectic style, a sound newest member Mark Goldich says is influenced by the Chicago-area group Wilco. “Their set of influences matches ours,” he says, adding inspiration from The Replacements, Gram Parsons, and even Woody Guthrie.
In addition to Goldich, who plays guitar, Fair Herald features Kuntz on lead vocals, Jimmy Bloniarz on keyboards and percussion, Dave Brankin on drums, and Sean Bacastow on bass. Kuntz is the band’s primary lyricist, but the others agree their songs come primarily in collaboration.
The band’s members have been friends since their elementary school days in the Chicago area. All five are now college sophomores. Goldich, Kuntz, and Bloniarz are students at the University of Michigan; Bacastow is at Wisconsin, while Brankin attends Knox College in Illinois.

Geography has been a challenge, but the band has managed to thrive while staying busy sorting out academic careers. Goldich, who eventually moved with his family to Petoskey, did not officially join the band until 2008, though he says, “I’ve been playing with them whenever I could for the last three or four years.” He says he, Kuntz and Bloniarz have been friends since first grade. He admits that living in Northern Michigan made it harder to stay connected. “But now that we’re all in college,” he says, “it made sense for me to officially join the band.
“I used to sit down with a copy of the album (Familiar Streets) and play along to it,” Goldich says. “I would just try to come up with my own parts.” He admits that he used to have “lead guitarist syndrome,” but is now focused on playing a sound that fits the rest of the band.
Kuntz admits the long distances have been tough on the group. “We’re definitely not playing as much as we’d like, but that’s why we’re hitting it hard this summer.” Fair Herald spent most of July together in Chicago, playing multiple venues and practicing.
The band can better blend their musical goals and academic expectations because they are all underclassmen, Kuntz says. “We’re at a point in our lives where we can attend school full time and play in a band full time. It’s not ideal but we make it work.”

Goldich says the band’s songs evolve from a skeleton, typically outlined by Kuntz. “We try to make it as much of a collaboration as possible,” he says.
“The more we throw these ideas out, the more we butt heads, the more we know we’re pushing the song to its outermost limits,” Kuntz believes. The result so far is the eight songs on Familiar Streets, all featuring the full, mature sound found on “Mythology” or the reflective “Coyote Nowhere,” where Kuntz explains, “I’m standing on the edge, but I’m under control.” Their combination of lyrical accessibility and musical range is equally evident on the defiant “Out The Door,” where Goldich’s guitar runs fill in as Kuntz explains, “I’ll make it through/ I don’t care how/ I’m living too fast for worries now.” The result is comfortably at home on any playlist next to contemporary acts like Death Cab For Cutie or Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, as well as their influences like Parsons or even Pete Seeger.
Kuntz says the songs are rooted in lyrical poetry. “We build it from the ground up,” he says of their collective approach. “Everybody has a different idea of where the song is going... We end up playing the song many different ways to figure out what sounds best collectively.”
As a lyricist and composer, Kuntz subscribes to the idea that less is more when arranging a song, and hopes their compositions, “sound like they’re still in a garage or a half-finished state,” so as to be constantly evolving.
“I think the thing we’re trying to focus on this summer is really refining our live performance,” Goldich says. “You really have to impress (new fans) with your live performances We’re throwing our chips in this July basket and hoping the work we do will pay off,” he adds.”

For more info on Fair Herald see http://www.myspace.com/fairherald .

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