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 · Lollapalooza 2009
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Lollapalooza 2009

Kristi Kates - August 31st, 2009
Crowds and Clouds: Lollapalooza 2009
By Kristi Kates 8/31/09

100 degree temperatures, persistent humidity, and overcrowding were the hallmarks of the 2009 Lollapalooza festival, in a year that saw the weather actually being bigger news than the bands themselves.
The park - all decked out with eclectic art installations and interesting diversions ranging from food to beverages to videogaming stations to hammocks - was well-designed; but just like last year, the Lolla gurus can’t seem to comprehend that too many people do not make a fun festival.
Add to that the high heat index and the rain, and it became a battle just to see the bands you wanted to see. We soon found that we weren’t the only journalists who retreated frequently to the protected (and somewhat drier) media area instead of fighting our way to the other side of the park through the downpours and the phalanxes of people who were far more interested in staying dry than in being polite. That said - at least there was music.

U.K. buzz band Hockey showed great promise when they kicked off their festival-opening set at 11 a.m. on Friday, right after festival organizers blasted the Star Wars theme through all the main speakers as an indicator that the fest had begun. Hockey’s European radio hit, “Learn to Lose,” had the small assemblage of early festival arrivals dancing in place, but only a trio of songs were performed before the P.A. system died entirely and the band walked off the stage. Not a great start to the day.
On the other end of the park, back near the media area, Hey Champ put on a retro-fied show of their ‘80s-influenced synth tunes, and gathered a solid crowd in spite of the constant rain. Plastic ponchos became the fashion statement of the day as the afternoon unfolded and the rain just refused to let up - it would, in fact, continue on through the entire evening. Other afternoon standouts included White Lies, The Gaslight Anthem, singer-songwriter Andrew Bird, Scandinavian indie-pop trio Peter Bjorn and John, and The Decemberists, who treated the crowd to a skillful play-through of their complete Hazards of Love album.
Although Friday was perhaps the best day lineup-wise, there were a few disappointments, as well, the most surprising being Ben Folds, who instead of playing any of his many indie-rock hits or standout B-sides, relied on more downtrodden tunes from his newest album, Way to Normal, and several surprisingly women-bashing cover songs; by the time Folds finally decided to pull out some of his better-composed tracks, such as “Rockin’ the Suburbs,” a good portion of the crowd had lost interest.
At night, the rain continued, festooned by rumbles of thunder and accompanied by trash bags on those who couldn’t locate the now in-demand plastic poncho; and Kings of Leon proved the more popular headliner on the north side of the park with their well-polished sound that got the entire crowd singing along on more than one occasion.

Dhani Harrison’s band thenewno2, Living Things, and the wacky Swedish dance-rock of Miike Snow got things moving on an otherwise bland Saturday, during which the rain eventually went away only to be replaced by overwhelming temperatures near the 100s and a suffocating humidity that sent many to Lolla’s cooling facilities, the medical tent, and off the grounds entirely in search of air conditioning.
Most festival attendees were just as unprepared for the heat onslaught as they were for yesterday’s downpour - the ponchos were replaced by many women wearing high heels, apparantly uninformed as to the fact that Lolla’s main stages are in the middle of fields; and the guys didn’t seem to get the fact they were in the middle of a city, not on a beach, as they wandered up and down Michigan Avenue shirtless and sweaty.
The thousands thronging through the park also made it a little difficult to actually get to the various stages on time - but we heard several of the better acts of the afternoon, including Blind Pilot, Chicago’s own Americana singer Joe Pug, and Gomez. Arctic Monkeys put on one of the most-attended sets of the day, as the entire north end seemed to be filled with those wanting to rock along to the Brit quartet’s rollicking, danceable Brit-rock songs, one of the most popular being “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.”
As Saturday night arrived - not much cooler, but at least thankfully devoid of the heat of the sun - the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s frontwoman Karen O. took the stage on the north end, adorned in a giant spangled headdress to perform the band’s dramatic songs. On the south end of the grounds was a giant mass of guys who apparantly bought out the nation’s entire stock of Tool t-shirts in order to see Tool themselves perform. And those who couldn’t decide between the quirk-pop or the aggro-rock simply opted for Perry’s stage in the middle of the park, where Bassnectar played danceable beats until the fest closed for the night.

The heat continued relentlessly on Sunday, but at least the grounds were devoid of rain and finally began to lose the mildewy smell that had lingered throughout the park for most of the weekend. Friendly Fires, Alberta Cross, Ra Ra Riot, Cage the Elephant, and The Raveonettes kept things hopping throughout the afternoon as the heat indices rose to around 105 degrees and the Lolla folks finally brought in a “Mobile Ventilator Unit” to mist water over the fans, much like the street misters in West Coast desert communities.
Vampire Weekend and Cold War Kids brought their indie-rock A-games, while the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach showed off his solo music. By 6:30 p.m., it was time for the Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed to perform - but Reed was nowhere to be seen. Finally, he wandered onstage at 6:45, fidgeted with his guitar, didn’t address the crowd at all, and - assisted by a Teleprompter - launched into a set that included many of his classics, from “Waiting for the Man” to “Walk on the Wild Side.”
Reed’s late start and refusal to stop early unfortunately pushed back every subsequent band - a fact that didn’t impress those waiting for Band of Horses to begin their set at 7:30. Reed merely ignored them and played on to 7:45, causing a cross-stage musical cacophony when Band of Horses were forced to play late, crashing their sound into Perry Farrell’s Jane’s Addiction on the direct opposite stage (Lolla has strict time schedules for alternating stages, but Reed - true to punk form, at least - apparantly wasn’t interested in following rules.) As a helicopter hovered over Farrell’s set spotlighting the crowd, many started to run for the other end of the park, where Vegas synth-rockers The Killers would wrap up the entire fest with their set.
The Killers proved to be worth the trek, in spite of the way over-capacity crowds crammed into every inch of the stage area. Frontman Brandon Flowers led the crowd through a hitlist of Killers’ songs, from “Somebody Told Me” to the more sophisticated, uber-catchy new tracks from the band’s latest album. The Killers’ set proved to be a balm to the sunburned, heat-exhausted masses, who were finally seen smiling in the humid night air as The Killers closed the show - and Lollapalooza itself closed for another year.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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