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 · It‘s The B-52s
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It‘s The B-52s

Rick Coates - August 17th, 2009
Calling all Rock Lobsters
It’s The B-52s
By Rick Coates 8/17/09

Okay, it is time to bust out the poodle skirts, cat-eyeglasses, saddle shoes and beehive hairdos to “jump in a car as big as a whale,” and “Roam” to the “Love Shack” on “Planet Claire” (Odawa Casino) for your own “Private Idaho” and a little “Rock Lobster.” Yes, after riding the New Wave music scene of the late ‘70s and ‘80s, The B-52s are still going strong and are on the second leg of their two-year tour in support of a new CD and a resurgence of their music.
Bursting on the scene 33 years ago, The B-52s will take the stage this Saturday night at the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey.
They have mysteriously dropped the apostrophe with the release of their new album; according to band member Fred Schneider “there are more important things for us to concern ourselves about than whether or not we have an apostrophe, to put it simply we are going forward from this point without one.”
Schneider’s mysterious response to the now apostrophe-less B-52’s seems to fit the band’s musical moniker of often catchy but lyrically meaningless songs. Though Keith Strickland, the band’s original drummer who took over the guitar duties when founding member Ricky Wilson (brother of Cindy) died of complications of HIV-AIDS in 1985, might disagree with their songs having meaningless lyrics.

“I’m trying to convey a feeling when I write,” said Strickland. “I like to think of my instrumentals as landscapes. The chord changes, rhythms and sound quality of the instruments are all aspects of a sonic space, which is designed for Cindy, Fred and Kate to step into. I want them to feel inspired by the music and expand on that feeling with their melodies and lyrics.”
That is the approach the band took with Funplex, their first CD in more than 16 years.
Working with Strickland’s instrumental foundations, founding members Kate Pearson, Fred Schneider and Cindy Wilson commenced with their trademark “jamming,” creating melody lines, lyrics, and vocal harmonies, to create the new CD.
“Most people could not do this,” laughs Wilson, of their democratic modus operandi. “What we’re trying to do is rare, but it works out. And you get a song that is multi-faceted, and has different senses of humor, and depth to it.”
Funplex debuted at number 11 on the Billboard album charts, the highest ever debut release for The B-52s. Despite several hits and having their “Cosmic Thing” CD go platinum five times anchored by songs “Love Shack” and “Roam,” the group has never had a number one hit in the United States (“Love Shack” went to number three as did “Roam” -- both were number one hits in Australia). This fact doesn’t concern Schneider or his bandmates who are pleased that their fans have embraced their new work

“In one sense it is very different than what we have done in the past, it is a lot more electronic and I think that stems from us all listening to a lot of electronic music,” said Schneider. In another sense Funplex sounds like us, just updated. It is the B-52’s now or maybe 15 years from now.”
So, after 33 years do these punk/new wave rockers still have it? Kristian Bush of country duo Sugarland believes so.
“We decided to surprise everyone at this year’s CMT Country Music Awards by having them join us on stage,” said Bush. “We did ‘Love Shack’ -- at first, it was just Jennifer and I singing the song, then we brought them on stage to sing it with us and they brought the house down.”
Will fans have to wait another 16 years for the B-52s to put out another CD?
“I do not know, we financed this one ourselves and with all this downloading and hardly anyone buying CDs it is a difficult and expensive endeavor,” said Schneider. “I was actually working on solo stuff when the rest of the band wanted to put this CD together, so I put those projects on the back burner. After all, what people really want is a B-52s CD.”
They also want to see them live as their concerts have been selling out all over the world. The B-52s “We Don’t Need No Apostrophe” tour comes to the Odawa Casino Resort this Saturday with only a few tickets remaining. For ticket information odawacasino.com or call 877.442.6464 and for more information on the B-52s and to listen to a sampling of songs from Funplex check out theb52s.com

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