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 · Styx Trix
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Styx Trix

Rick Coates - August 10th, 2009
Styx Trix
Hitmakers bring arena rock to Interlochen

By Rick Coates 8/10/09

Interlochen Center for the Arts has been enjoying a very successful concert season. For all practical purposes their concert season ends this Saturday with Styx (next week there is the Interlochen Guitar Festival to officially close things out) taking the stage at Kresge Auditorium. The band that dominated the rock music world in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s has their work cut out for them as Willie Nelson, Steve Miller and Kenny Loggins all blew the roof this summer.
But if any band can raise the roof to close out a concert season Styx is up to the task. Loaded with rock ballads and anthems “Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “Lady,” “Renegade,” “The Best of Times,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Show Me The Way,” and “Mr. Roboto,” these classic rockers strung together eight consecutive albums that went platinum and have sold close to 60 million copies.
The band’s roots go back to 1961 in Chicago with founding members evolving the Tradewinds (TW4) into Styx in 1972. While the group was enjoying success in the Midwest, it was when guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Tommy Shaw joined the band in 1975 that the band finally became an international sensation.
Personality struggles would lead Shaw to leave the band at the height of their success in 1983. He went on to pursue a solo career and eventually formed Damn Yankees with Jack Blades of Night Ranger and Ted Nugent. The group had two big hits and sold five million CDs before Nugent departed to pursue his solo career again.
Today, Shaw and Blades have continued as a duo; they record and tour in between Styx and Night Ranger gigs.

Shaw returned to Styx in 1994. In 1999, in a much-publicized “firing” Dennis DeYoung, a founding member and writer of several big hits, was released from the band. A lawsuit followed with parties agreeing to terms with Shaw and band mates allowed to tour and record using the name Styx.
While there has been speculation in recent years that DeYoung might return for one tour, nothing has been confirmed. For Shaw and his band mates, the focus right now is simply giving the fans what they want: “Styx music live.”
“I think that the music of Styx goes beyond those of us in the band,” said Shaw. “There have been several lineup changes since the inception of the band and I think the group has done an excellent job in selecting members over the years and I believe I was one of those good choices.”
As for that “good choice” of being added to the band, Shaw joined in 1975 just after their first major label “Equinox,” was released (with the hit “Lady”) and just a couple of weeks before the group went on tour.
“I was in another band and the manager of Styx at the time had heard me sing so he called me and said they were looking for a singer and guitar player. When I hit the high note on ‘Lady,’ they told me I was in,” said Shaw. “I was just 23 and they handed me a couple of records and told me I had a week to learn the songs. I came back in a week and we rehearsed one night and hit the road.”

They basically never left the road and from 1975 until Shaw left the group in 1983 the band found itself constantly at the top of the charts and the box office. His partnering with Ted Nugent in 1989 to form the Damn Yankees on the surface seemed like an odd pairing.
“I had been working with Michael Cartellone (current drummer with Lynyrd Skynyrd) for a few years. Well, during Styx’s heyday we constantly crossed paths with Ted as he was enjoying a lot of success at that time as well. This business is all about timing and so Nugent joined us and we hit it off right away in fact we wrote Come Again, the first day we were together.”
Born in Alabama, Shaw moved to Chicago as a teenager to pursue a musical career and even lived in Michigan for awhile. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
“I love Michigan. it is a great music state,” said Shaw. “I lived on a farm in Niles for awhile and loved it. The Midwest is a great place musically. From Seger to Nugent to Illinois bands like us, Cheap Trick and REO, a lot of great music was made in that region. I remember when I first came to Chicago touring small clubs around Michigan and as Styx. we love touring Michigan and the Midwest. after all, it was our fans there that stuck with us.”

Apparently their fans in Northern Michigan have stuck with them as well with tickets nearly sold out for their show this Saturday at Kresge Auditorium on the campus of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. For additional information or to purchase tickets visit www.interlochen.org or call the box office at 231.276.7800.

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