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 · Rally for one
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Rally for one

Kelsey Lauer - September 7th, 2009
Rally for One
California band returns to TC for album release

By Kelsey Lauer 9/7/09

Although their families have known each other for years, Traverse City natives Marty Sage and Blake O’Brien had no idea they would end up starting a band out in California together two years ago.
“When I first met (Blake), I thought he was kind of obnoxious and ridiculous,” Sage says with a laugh. “It’s kind of crazy that now we are friends -- I’m just joking.”
“Our moms and sisters were good friends, so that’s kind of how the whole thing started,” O’Brien adds. “We joined the Young Americans and (there) we met two other guys in the group who wanted to start a band. It started out as a fun thing and turned into now what we do for a living.”
With Sage as bassist, O’Brien as rhythm guitarist, Brett Maline on lead guitar and John Humphries on drums -- all four sing -- the pop-rock band Rally For One took off like a shot.
Now, the members of Rally for One are headed back to Traverse City for two separate shows on Sept. 12 at Union Street Station and Sept. 13 at InsideOut Gallery, respectively, to kick off their fourth national tour and celebrate the release of their new album, Four Sides to Everything.
“The end of August through the end of October, so two months straight, we will be touring and doing a little under 30 shows all around the States,” O’Brien says. We’re doing the East Coast, the South; we’ll be all the way up in Rhode Island. New York City, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Orlando.”

The title of the album is what it is because all four members collaborated on every single song, even if one member came up with the initial idea, according to O’Brien.
“One of them Marty wrote a couple of years ago and hid from us. We ended up finding it on his iPod and were like, ‘Dude, we need to fully write this song,’” he says. “He came up with the basic idea and knew in his head what he wanted, but we helped to come up with harmony, different ideas and different variations that we could do.”
The music itself is straight pop-rock.
“Hopefully people will want to sing along with it. It’s upbeat for the most part,” Sage says. “We used to be more conservative, but on this album, we literally just wanted to experiment with sounding different with guitars and keyboards.
“For the first album, we were mainly just two guitar parts, a bass and a drummer. It was pretty basic. For this album, the influences of what we like — you can hopefully hear that now.”
O’Brien adds that the variety of songs on the album and its simplicity are two of the things he expects that will most appeal to listeners.
“There’s like the epic-type songs that make you want to dig into the music and then there’s the fun ones and the love songs and all that,” he says. “It’s pretty to-the-point and we love to have it all make sense. You can see in the writing that there’s structure to it. Pop-rock is what we are.”
And what they have to say for their music in the future?
“I think our sound will keep evolving, but I don’t think we’ll stray away from what we’re good at,” O’Brien says. “That is harmonies and writing a good song, trying to write a song that’s simple. Simple songs are the ones you hear on the radio and that you can sing along to and are easiest to listen to and don’t make you feel sad.”

Rally for One tried to tour internationally for the first time in July -- and had a two-week tour booked at venues around England -- but a cranky customs official interfered with their plans.
“We had everything that we needed to have and needed to show; we had a very grouchy guy who was just about to be done with his shift and he wasn’t letting us in that day,” O’Brien says. “Every other customs person was like, ‘If you had just went in our line, we would have been fine.’ We got detained for 14 hours, and then they said we were being removed from the country and they sent us home on the first flight to LA. So, pretty wild.”
Then there was the time when O’Brien was hit in the mouth with a microphone.
“The things that you never thought would happen actually do happen; people really are that ridiculous,” he says. “We were doing a show in southern California and this guy was so into our music that he jumped on stage to try to come and sing with us, and he drilled the microphone that I had and it hit my tooth. I felt like I didn’t have any front teeth; he just rocked my face. It was funny because he was a little on the drunk side, but he was a fun guy.”
Both O’Brien and Sage think touring is the best way to promote Rally for One’s name -- and it’s one of their favorite parts of the band -- so they plan to do it regularly for the foreseeable future.
After all, they’ve had a positive audience response so far.
“I think when we play with other bands that are more artistic or whatever, we seem to do pretty well because we interact with the crowd,” Sage says. “I’m not trying to brag or anything, but there is a little something for everyone. We don’t belt it out; we don’t swear. It’s good, clean family fun.”

Rally for One performs Sept. 12 at Union Street Station and Sept. 13 at the InsideOut Gallery. Info: www.rallyforone.com or www.myspace.com/rallyfor1.

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