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 · Two great shows
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Two great shows

Rick Coates - January 11th, 2010
Two Great Shows/Solas & Sister Wilene perform in TC and Cadillac
By Rick Coates
Okay, so the big venue shows may be non-existent in Northern Michigan at present, but there are a plethora of great musical offerings throughout the region this weekend at more intimate venues. The great folks in Cadillac at Gopherwood Concerts host Sister Wilene (a Patsy Cline Bob Wills honky-tonk hoedown). The City Opera House in Traverse City is not wasting any time since forming a new partnership with the MSU based Wharton Center as they bring the highly acclaimed Celtic group Solas to kick off their 2010 concert season.

Solas at the Opera House
Sometimes it just takes one song to get you to buy a concert ticket and that easily could be the case with Solas. The 1999 Grammy-winning song “I Will Remember You,” sung by Sarah McLachlan, was co-written by Seamus Egan, a founding member of Solas, who serves as the band’s musical director in addition to his duties of playing the Irish flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, tin whistle, low whistle, guitar and bodhran. Solas also recorded that song as well and certainly anyone with those songwriting talents is worth checking out.
Okay, maybe one great song is not enough to entice you. Maybe you need some visual and audio reassurance before stepping up to the ticket window. Simply search YouTube for Solas and you will discover one of the best Irish music bands touring today.
Formed in 1995 and getting an early break and national exposure on A Prairie Home Companion, Solas quickly found its way not only into the hearts of American Irish music fans as well as with the harshest music critics in Ireland. While their lineup has changed over the past 15 years, their musical focus has not. Solas is rooted in traditional Celtic style folk and country melodies while blending in contemporary musical improvisations to create a lively upbeat live show.

Joining Egan is Winifred Horan on violins and vocals, accordionist and concertina specialist Mick McAuley, along with keyboardist and guitarist Eamon McElholm and newest addition vocalist Mairead Phelan.
They are currently on tour, performing music from their forthcoming CD, The Turning Tide. The new work uses their same successful formula of blending traditional Irish roots music while experimenting with new musical directions. The new songs are invigorating and add spice to Old World Celtic music, reaching both younger audiences as well as traditionalists.
So, what has kept Seamus Egan with the group for the past 15 years as other founding members have moved on for solo careers?
“The challenge for any musical group is balancing between individual egos and what is in the best interest of the group,” said Egan. “We all have projects outside the group to fulfill our individual egos and that makes it easier to keep the group together, because when we are together we are Solas and not pursuing our individuality.”
Solas will perform Saturday January 16 at the City Opera House in Traverse City. For additional details and to purchase tickets visit www.cityoperahouse.org. For a sampling of Solas check out their website www.solasmusic.com.

Sister Wilene brings old school country to Cadillac
They say there is a little bit of “country” in all of us, and that is certainly the case with the members of the Northern Michigan based Sister Wilene. Made up of musicians from a variety of musical genres, Sister Wilene delves into the traditions of Patsy Cline and Bob Wills, among other greats from country music’s honky-tonk dance hall days.
Named after the only female member of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys (accordion player Wilene Forrester) Sister Wilene is fronted by rhythm guitarist Mary Sue Wilkinson from the bands Iowa Rose and The Pets. Her harmonious wide-ranging vocals will take you back to days gone by. Joining Wilkinson are drummer Dave Collini and bassist Kevin Gills who have been fixtures around the Northern Michigan music scene, performing in a variety of bands; both are sought-after session musicians.
Slide guitarist Joe Wilson of Steppin’ In It, mandolin virtuoso Don Julin (on guitar as well), and Lauran Bittinger on accordion round out the band. All of the members of Sister Wilene are veterans of not only the Northern Michigan music scene but have national touring credits as well with such bands as Rusty Blaides, Neptune Quartet, The Milroys and Dublin Station.
Be prepared to be lured to the dance floor with their blend of country swing and dance hall music, performed with the same passion as those who brought the style to the forefront of the country music scene more than 50 years ago.
Sister Wilene performs Saturday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. as part of the Gopherwood Concert Series in Cadillac at the The Elks Club located at 122 S. Mitchell St. Advance tickets are available by calling 231-775-2813, or visiting their website at www.gopherwoodconcerts.org. Gopherwood Concerts is affiliated with and funded by the Cadillac Arts Council. For a taste of Sister Wilene, check out sisterwilene.com.

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