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 · Wheatland
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Kristi Kates - September 7th, 2009
Wheatland a 2009 preview

By Kristi Kates 9/7/09

Wheatland associate Pamela Peach Burke calls the Wheatland Music Festival “the last hurrah of the warm summer months” - perhaps an understated description of the much-touted event that draws around 12,000 people each year.
With this year’s event happening September 11-13, Wheatland, as it’s commonly shortened to, is now in its 36th incarnation, and rain or shine, it’ll take place once again near Remus, Michigan, at the eastern edge of Mecosta County.

“Wheatland festival goers are a hardy bunch,” Burke says, “mud, frost, rain, or heat does not keep them from attending the stage concerts or taking part in the dances, jam sessions, workshops, or more. They are also folks who value homegrown music and arts that represent various eras and ethnicities and tend not to be ‘staged’ or overly produced like some commercial music. Nearing the fourth decade of Wheatland, many festival goers arrive in friend or family clans of multiple generations.”
The very first Wheatland, Burke explains, was a fundraiser for the local Mt. Pleasant food co-op way back in 1974.
“If funds were raised that year beyond the costs, I don’t remember,” Burke chuckles.
“Shortly after, the small group of volunteers that held the first festival believed that the music presented had value, and chose to incorporate with a mission statement to preserve and present traditional music and arts,” she continues, “now that small group has grown to more than one thousand volunteers from across Michigan and beyond; the organization now serves as a known regional resource center for traditional arts and hosts educational activities all year long.”

This year’s Wheatland will kick off with the first Main Stage act on Friday at 6 p.m.; although the Wheatland team is still hard at work on all the scheduling details, they’re already looking forward to plenty of the acts.
“I expect that Ruthie Foster, a Texas born rocky blues singer, will be a new favorite,” Burke says, “also sure to please are Sam Amidon with Isaac Alderson – a young New Englander singer songwriter with Irish/American influences. And the French Canadian group DeTemps Antan with Éric Beaudry, André Brunet and Pierre-Luc Dupuis playing traditional Quebec music will be a draw as well.”
Burke says she’s also looking forward to Drew Nelson, whose songs reference “familiar Michigan places,” as well as returning acts Robin and Linda Williams and Rhythm and shoes.
But even though music is the main focus, Burke emphasizes that there’s a lot more to Wheatland than just that.
“Don’t sit in front of a stage the whole time,” she suggests, “move around - there is so much to see, hear and do. Head over to Third Stage for yoga, dance instruction and dances; there will be cajun dances, old time squares and contra, and more. The Folk Tents and Workshop Lane have full schedules of participatory instrument workshops ranging from ukulele and harmonica to Cajun fiddle and mountain dulcimer, and the instrument makers can be found in the Luthiers Tent. And there’s a gospel sing on Sunday morning.”

In addition to Wheatland’s scheduled events, Burke says there are plenty of “spontaneous spectacles” to witness
as well.
“There are always jam sessions taking place in the pines, campgrounds, food buildings and parking lots - any time of day or night. You can wander from a group of country western crooners to hard driving Irish fiddlers and move on to the Bluegrassers,” she enthuses. There is at least one group of Wheatland regulars who never miss their annual late night walk-a-bout to see the wide array of decorated theme oriented campsites created by festival goers - from the ‘Underwater Experience’ to the tent surrounded by mannequins or pink plastic flamingos.”
“Be sure to set a time to shop and bring a shopping bag, too,” she continues, “this is your chance to buy dozens of gifts to cover all those birthdays and holidays throughout the next year – at Arts and Crafts, Performers Recordings, the Luthiers tent, and at the Marketplace.”
There are plenty of food choices at Wheatland, too.
“The food area includes about a dozen or more vendors,” Burke explains, “and these are not your typical carnival vendors; they are service organizations, nonprofits, school organizations and food co-ops who offer a wide variety of meal choices for festival goers from organic foods to sausage and pancakes on a stick. Some of the vendors have been at Wheatland for years. The best part is that the money these groups earn is re-invested back into their communities.”

Finally, Burke has a little advice for those who may not have been to Wheatland before - or who may not be used to a more rustic outdoor type of music festival. She suggests that - first things first - festival goers should pick up a map at the information booth so that they’ve got a better idea of where they’re going in Wheatland’s 160 acre territory.
“Learn the name of your campground, locate your safety station, and find out where things are while it’s still daylight,” she suggests.
Shuttle buses will be available to transport festival goers into town to purchase food and other supplies, and to prevent those who drink from driving.
Burke also suggests bringing lawn chairs or blankets for the Main Stage and Centennial Stage performances - to remember sunscreen for the daytime -
and to keep your “mittens, scarf, woolen socks, boots, and down vest handy for evening wear.”
But most of all, Burke suggests a friendly attitude and plenty of participation.
“Introduce yourself to the folks camping and dancing next to you; meet musicians too, at workshops and at the Performer Recordings booth. You will all be old friends by next year.”

More information on Wheatland and detailed ticket prices/purchase info can be found at www.wheatlandmusic.org
or by calling 989-967-8561 (telephone only available weekdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Primitive camping will be available on-site.

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