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..

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Inside SwingShift and the Stars

Erin Crowell - November 30th, 2009
Inside SwingShift & the Stars
Dancers tell how they ‘bust a move’
By Erin Crowell
Northern Michigan radio dj Rich Nadeau regularly watches Dancing with the Stars -- it helps to get his hips moving.
The Fox FM dj is one of six local celebrities competing in SwingShift & the Stars, a local charity dance-off, a competition much like the popular reality show that wrapped up its ninth season last week. Competitors dance for the approval of the judges while raising donations for their chosen local charity.
This Friday will mark the third installment of the four-dance series, happening at the City Opera House in downtown Traverse City.

Most SwingShift competitors have had little or no structured dance experience; so they’ve been paired up with six local dancing experts who have plenty.
Nadeau is partnered with Liz Reincke, a member of the Michigan Dance Collective since 2005. Like anyone new to dancing, Nadeau had obstacles.
“I’ve had this problem to get my hips to move. They don’t move side to side or front or back,” Nadeau said at a recent dance practice.
And like any good dance instructor, Reincke had a solution.
“I made Rich hula-hoop,” she says with a smile, “and I gave him the Dancing with the Stars video.”
Reincke says the extracurricular activities have worked and Nadeau has loosened up.
“He picks things up very quickly,” she says. “Just because his hips don’t move doesn’t make him a bad dancer.”
For competitor Ramona Pleva, the dancing hurdle is memory.
“I have dancers dementia,” she says. “(In practice), we break the dance up one move at a time, depending on how complex it is; and I just can’t remember the steps sometimes. There’s a lot going on: muscle memory, posture, how you hold your hands, the look on your face.”
Pleva is partnered with Traverse City resident Ed Blackburn.
“(Ed) will tell me straight up what he thinks or what I need to do and I’ll do the same. Sometimes we bicker like siblings; but it’s all good,” she laughs.

For each competition, couples must perform different dances, which include the tango, waltz and bolero (which are slower-paced dances); and the cha-cha, salsa and samba, or higher-paced dances.
Immediately after each competition, couples are informed what their next style of dance will be for the following event. They then have a month to work on the choreography.
Couples practice weekly. For Reincke and Nadeau, it’s up to four days or five to seven hours a week.
“It’s difficult,” says Nadeau as he stretches before practice. “Dancing really takes a lot of stamina.”
Pleva agrees.
“Oh my gosh! My chest is sore, my hips, my inner thighs are sore,” she recalls after a two and a half hour practice the night before. “Sometimes I’m like, ‘You want me to put my leg where?”
Pleva is used to sore muscles -- or working on them, rather. Pleva is a massage therapist based in Traverse City, and she has traveled as a sports massage therapist for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics and the ‘06 and ‘07 Ford Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

In its first year, SwingShift was an instant success, raising close to $40,000 for local charities and bringing a national phenomenon to the local level. This year, the event is well on its way to attaining that number and beyond, says SwingShift creator Judy Harrison.
Many competitors agree it’s not all about who wins, but about the charities and just having fun.
“They’re all worthy charities,” says Pleva, a Rotary member who is representing Third Level Crisis Center. “It’s friendly competition. There’s a support system with all the dancers.”
At one of their evening practices, Nadeau and Reincke dance in front of a long mirror, focusing on the steps ahead of them. The two are all about the business at hand, until one makes the other laugh.
The feeling is contagious.
“Our last dance was the cha-cha,” Nadeau says. “It kicked our ass, but we looked good!”
Reincke smiles at her dance partner. “Yeah, we were Marilyn Monroe and Elvis out there.”

SwingShift & the Stars

Dancers and their charities include the following:

• Rich Nadeau & Liz Reincke for Cherryland Humane Society
• Ramona Pleva & Ed Blackburn for Third Level Crisis Center
• Diana Fairbanks & Hans Benghauser for Munson Healthcare Mammography Assist. Fund
• Susan McQuaid & Richard Dodge for Northwest Food Coalition
• Pete Currie & Erin Peck for Community Living Foundation

Don’t miss the third installment of the four-dance event series where six local celebrities and their dance partners compete for charity, happening Dec. 4, at the City Opera House in Traverse City. Doors open at 6:30pm, dance lessons follow at 7pm and competition begins at 7:30pm. For tickets and more information on dancers and their charities, visit swingshiftandthestars.com, or call 231-620-6246

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