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 · Features · Get your Irish on
. . . .

Get your Irish on

Rick Coates - March 8th, 2010
Get Your Irish On
St. Patrick’s Day Happenings for the Irish in Ye...
By Rick Coates
When the Bun Brady Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians formed
30 years ago St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the area were simply
raising a few pints of green beer at local pubs and family dinners and
parties in the homes of the Irish descendants in the region. That has
all changed. The Hibernians will host their 31st annual parade
(happens the first Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day every year) this
Saturday, March 13 and the day will include plenty of music, toasting,
food and honoring the Irish culture.
Now, 30 years later, celebrating
St. Patrick’s Day has become a major event, make that events, in the
region. While the Hibernians have led the way, others have now jumped
on the bandwagon. Here is a snapshot of activities taking place in the

St. Patrick’s Parade & Party:
The 31st Annual Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Patrick’s Parade takes
place this Saturday, March 13 in downtown Traverse City. The parade
kicks off at 1:30 p.m. in front of North Peak Brewery and weaves its
way through the streets of Traverse City. The parade is open to the
public and anyone may walk in it. Participants are encouraged to dress
in green, to bring American and/or Irish flags. The parade takes about
an hour to walk and those who want to ride the parade route may do so
aboard the Celtic Shuttle.  To walk the parade route, simply show up
to North Peak at 1 pm and parade marshals Tim Smith and Todd McCall
will place you in the parade. Anyone interested in having a float
should contact Todd McCall at
248-850-5161 or by e-mailing him at bunbrady@gmail.com.
There are both pre- and post-parade activities scheduled at North Peak
and Kilkenny’s. The pre-parade activities begin at Noon in Kilkenny’s,
but get there early (they open at 8 a.m. for breakfast) to get a
table. The Ancient Order of Hibernians and Irish Queens Organization
announce their Lord Mayor and Queen as well as the Irish Prince and
Princess are announced along with the Hibernian of the Year; and each
year the Maggie Thatcher Award is given to the Hibernian who has
embarrassed himself the most.
The Grand Marshall of the Parade will also be honored. This year’s
Grand Marshall is the new Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, Bishop
Bernard Hebda, who is Irish on his mother’s side of the family. Bishop
Hebda and the other honorees will ride in the parade in convertibles
provided by Joe Curtis of Traverse Motors.
The post-parade activities will take place immediately following the
parade under the tent over the patio at North Peak where Irish rockers
The Wild Sully’s will perform. There will be plenty of corned beef and
cabbage (other options as well), Shirley’s Irish Stout (named after
Hibernian Mike Shirley, the Master of Ceremonies of the High Holy
Days) and lots of Irish dancing.

Lucky Leprechaun Ball: This is an annual event hosted by Mike Sullivan
and his bandmates Song of the Lakes. This family-friendly event takes
place Sunday night at Kilkenny’s in TC at 5 p.m. It will feature Irish
music by the band, the 31st annual Danny Boy singing contest, the
Irish trivia contest, Couch Potato Auction, a new Irish dart
competition, and a band auction to have a chance to have some area
bands perform in your home for a house concert. Also on sale will be
Pearl of America, a remix of a classic recording by Song of the Lakes
and one of their most popular albums.
This family-friendly event is priced at $10 adults, and free for those
15 and under. There will be lots of great Irish-inspired food with a
kids’ menu featuring items less than $5. All proceeds benefit the
Father Fred Foundation.
The Lucky Leprechaun Ball is sponsored by The Ancient Order of
Hibernians and takes place at Kilkenny’s Irish Public House, 400 W.
Front St., TC; advance tickets at Nolan’s Tobacco Shop, the Father
Fred Foundation, North Peak, Kilkenny’s, or at the door.

Some of the fun at last year’s Hoolie.
Photo courtesy of www.emmetsociety.org.

Robert Emmet Society Hoolie: The Robert Emmet Society of Petoskey in
partnership with the Blissfest Music Organization will present their
annual Robert Emmet Hoolie at the City Park Grill in downtown Petoskey
on Tuesday March 16 at 5 p.m.  A “hoolie” is when Irish people gather
in a small place to celebrate.
This hoolie has become the highlight of the seasonal St. Patrick’s Day
celebration in Petoskey. The event features Irish music, song and
dance with local artists, door prizes and special Irish dinner fare.
Reduced admission prices are offered to Irish citizens, NCMC students,
seniors, and members of the Blissfest Music Organization and the
Robert Emmet Society.
Proceeds benefit the Society’s annual scholarship to send a North
Central Community College student to Ireland for one semester of
study. For additional details  go to www.emmetsociety.org or call

Irish Comedy Tour: The Irish Comedy Tour takes Dublin’s pub and party
atmosphere and brings it to the stage.
There are two upcoming shows in Northern Michigan. This Friday, March
12, the comics perform at the Dream Makers Theater at the Kewadin
Casino in Sault Ste. Marie, followed by a show on Saturday night at
the Traverse City Opera House.
The tour includes Detroit native Derek Richards; the Boston-born Mike
McCarthy; and New Yorker Jim Paquette. The trio is absolutely
hilarious and this is definitely a show for adults only.  The
comedians have also agreed to participate in the Ancient Order Of
Hibernians Parade in TC earlier in the day, so look for some
additional laughter along the parade route.
Detroit native Derek Richards gets audiences howling at the tales
about his mom’s dog, the holidays, and dating a stripper. He has
appeared on “The Bob & Tom Show,” XM and Sirius radio and The Weather
Channel’s “Top 10.” Boston-born Mike McCarthy’s no-holds-barred humor
has landed him on Comedy Central and Showtime. The “comedy barbarian,”
as he calls himself, takes no prisoners when it comes to poking fun at
society’s most sensitive topics. Rounding out the trio is New Yorker
Jim Paquette, who has fine-tuned his comedy chops across the country
as a dueling piano performer. He opens the show by playing riotous
original songs on his guitar that inspire audiences to clap along.
Paquette has released two of his own comedy albums and his songs have
been featured on radio stations across the country.
For a sampling of their work watch the videos at
www.theirishcomedytour.com and to purchase tickets go to
www.cityoperahouse.org or call the box office at 231-941-8082.

BlissFest presents Dervish: With 21 years under their belt and 10
albums to their credit, the six members of Dervish push Irish
traditional music to new levels at the Harbor Springs Performing Arts
Center on Saturday, March 13 at 8 p.m.
Dervish has performed in scores of countries around the world, with
venues ranging from the Great Wall of China, to the Holy Land, to the
Rock in Rio festival before 240,000 people.
Although their roots are in traditional Irish music, they take the
genre to the next level with their own tunes, as described in their
press material: “Dervish concert performances are a myriad of tones
and moods ranging from high energy tunes, played with fluidity and
intuitiveness, to beautifully measured songs, from charming lyrics of
life and love, to inspiring melodies that lift audiences from their
seats. All the elements are drawn together by Cathy Jordan¹s masterful
stage-presence. Her stories to the songs and her interaction with the
audience draws people into the music in a way very few performers can
Advance tickets for the BlissFest-sponsored concert are $17, or $20 at
the door, with students half price.

Celtic Crossroads
Porterhouse Productions is presenting Ireland’s hottest musical group
(okay, maybe second hottest next to U2) this Monday March 15 at the
City Opera House in TC. Celtic Crossroads presents Irish music like
never before; they are doing to Irish music what Riverdance has done
to Irish dance. Last year saw Celtic Crossroads perform its first ever
season in the United States. Every show was a sell-out.
The name Celtic Crossroads originates from a time in Ireland when
neighboring communities met at the crossroads between towns and
villages to socialize – long before the pub tradition began. With a
focus on keeping the tradition of Irish music alive, each performer
nurtures this bygone concept, but by virtue of their young age and raw
talent, they high-kick this tradition into the 21st century. True
high-kicking from some of Ireland’s best-respected Irish dancers also
intensifies the pulsating rhythms of the show.
The live concerts are a spectacle of talent as seven highly talented
musicians display how Irish music influenced the global birth of a
multitude of musical genres. The inventive arrangements and
bass-driven grooves are steering Irish acoustic music into new
territory. The opening act will feature the Grand Traverse Pipes &
For a sampling of their music watch a performance video at
www.celticcrossroads.ie and to purchase tickets go to
www.cityoperahouse.org or call the box office at 231-941-8082.

TC Pub Crawl: After 31 years, this event, hosted by the pubs in
downtown Traverse City needs no introduction. Simply head downtown and
join in the fun, visiting a different watering hole throughout the
The Pub Crawl starts at Minerva’s from 12-2 and progresses to Bubba’s:
2-3, the U&I Lounge: 3-4, Union Street Station: 4-5, Bootlegger’s:
5-6, Dillenger’s: 6-7, Brady’s: 7-8, The Blue Tractor: 8-9, Firefly
Lounge: 9-10, and The Loading Dock: 10-11.
The only thing you need is your wallet; green attire and this phone number:
231-313-1760 for the Celtic Shuttle. Please do not drink and drive.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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