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 · Moonbeam
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Kelsey Lauer - July 13th, 2009
Moonbeam Sunrising Star
A Musician on the Rise
By Kelsey Lauer 7/13/09

Moonbeam Sunrising Star only moved to Traverse City in November, but she is already shining brightly on the local music scene.
“I’ve been singing and playing music since I was five years old. My mother would wake us up on Sunday mornings blaring gospel music,” she says. “I was always the one who pursued music, did all the choirs when I was in high school—show choir, jazz choir and concert choir.”
Moonbeam, who now performs regularly at Serenity Tea Bar & Café, Oryana Natural Food Market and Phil’s on Front, considers her music to be neo soul, with a definite folk influence.
“Vocally, it’s R&B and soul. It’s a good expression of my voice, but there’s also classical music in there too. It comes out as a really clean R&B,” she says. “The songs in and of themselves are, definitely ,lyrically folk music. Lyrically, it’s my feelings and experiences and the places that I’ve gone and the stories that you tell.”

It all started with a guitar, given to Moonbeam at the age of 18 by her mother.
“I couldn’t play it, so it kind of just sat on the window in my dorm room,” she says. “One night, I remember I was just trying to play the guitar, my next-door neighbors started pounding on the door. ‘Shut up! We’re trying to sleep!’”
In 2000 in Bloomington, Ind., while in college, Moonbeam founded the seven-piece folk-funk-rock Utopia Blue Band.
“If I wanted to start a band; I had to write some songs,” she says. “I just started playing. I looked at some chord books and was like, oh, I can make that shape. The songs just started coming, and once the band started, the songs just wouldn’t stop coming. I always had a new song.”
The band played at bars and restaurants around the area for two years until the members graduated and went their separate ways, according to Moonbeam.

“I went (to Chicago) and auditioned for a couple of bands, sang in some festivals,” she says. “There were two record producers offering me $10,000 to do a project, and I was wary of it all. It turned out to be a con. It wasn’t like a blatant con; it was more like, “‘I want to do this for you but I don’t have the means.”’
When making ends meet proved to be difficult, Moonbeam decided to try acupuncture school, which lasts four-five years, and then later a year-long massage program. While she did not complete either program, the experience was valuable, according to Moonbeam.
“That’s when I got on a path of learning how to meditate and learning how to deal with my emotional psychoses and learning how to yield to the universe and learning how to give up what I want so I can learn these other things first,” she says.
From there, she returned to her music, ending up with a job at Old Town School of Folk Music the same time that she was enrolled in the massage program.
“I always stayed because I was just learning so much (at the Old Town School),” she says. “You were able to take breaks and sit and play these thousands and thousands of dollar instruments that you could never afford in your whole life. I got to learn to play the banjo and the mandolin and the ukulele.”
After working there for a year and a half, Moonbeam says that she left due to a disagreement with her boss. She moved from residence to residence, even staying in a homeless shelter called The Singer Residence for about a month.
She came to Traverse City and stayed after Joey Callahan of Radius Recording in Traverse City heard Moonbeam’s music on her MySpace page and invited up to the studio to do recording at a musician’s retreat that was happening at Neatawana.
“Now, I’ve opened for Soulpatch; I’ve opened for Rootstand. Rootstand is going to let me play with them,” she says. “Jack, who owns Serenity, is also part of The Fundubmentals, and I play at Serenity every other Wednesday. Things all of a sudden just went, ‘whoosh.’”

Moonbeam changed her name—originally Teresa—while she was still in Chicago because she felt that it didn’t necessarily reflect the person who she had become.
“Well, it was a lot about slander, and just realizing that it’s a poison,” she says. “What matters is that a person can use your name to get their point across in every single instance. No matter how much you change, or how much they change, or how much the situation changes, that person never changes their mind about your name.”
The decision to pick “Moonbeam” specifically was rather spur of the moment, she says. One night, while at an open mic night, someone asked Moonbeam her name and then-Teresa replied, Moonbeam.
“She wrote my name down as Moonbeam; she couldn’t dispute it. Then she looked over at me and said, “Hey, Moonbeam,” Moonbeam says. “I swear to God, a white light appeared in my third eye—it was really sparkling and pretty—and it was just like ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. That’s my name!”
But that was the easiest part.
“It was really interesting to go through the process of undoing Teresa as a name, because no one wanted to accept that I changed,” she says. “It took months and months and months of me correcting people. People think you’re going against their cultural reality, and it’s really interesting to watch.”

Visit www.myspace.com/moonbeamsunrisingstar for more information. Moonbeam performs at Serenity Tea Bar & Café on the first and third Wednesday of every month; at Oryana on Saturday at 4 p.m.; and at Phil’s on Front on Fridays, 8-10 p.m.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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