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 · Michael Lee Seiler
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Michael Lee Seiler

Rick Coates - May 3rd, 2010
Michael Lee Seiler seeks spirituality through music
By Rick Coates
Boyne City singer/songwriter Michael Lee Seiler sandwiched a career as a manufacturing supervisor between what his heart and soul called him to do.
“Play the guitar,” said Seiler. “I felt the calling as a kid and at first it was about the girls -- the guitarists always got the girls. But then it became more of a spiritual thing.”
Seiler will perform this weekend at the Concord Academy in Mancelona on Friday for the Relay For Life event; Saturday night at Lil Bo’s in Traverse City; and then at the Mother’s Day Gospel Blues Brunch at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon.
He started playing the guitar in middle school, and like many who grew up in the ’60s and early ’70s, his musical influences were developed through the new FM radio rock format. But for Seiler, he also had his parent’s jukebox that influenced his ear.
“I was drawn in by Crosby, Stills and Nash. I loved that sound,” said Seiler. “But my parents owned a truck stop in northwest Ohio near the turnpike. The musical tastes of the customers coming through the door meant that a lot of Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Porter Wagner, and Hank Williams were being played. So, that certainly influenced my musical style as well.”

Nearly 40 years later that style has led Seiler to become an accomplished blues, folk, roots and gospel player for solo gigs. He expands his musical repertoire when performing in groups to include, Celtic, mountain, Christian Contemporary and even urban metal.
In 2008 he won the Mid North Michigan Blues Challenge, securing a spot to compete last year at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Seiler wowed the audience with his guitar work and sultry vocals at Mr. Handy’s Blues Hall.
“I really loved his set,” said Billy Gibson (IBC judge and blues musician).
“Michael Lee Seiler has a distinctive voice and musical style. I was like wow, out of town, man.”
Seiler decided to return to being a full time professional musician and entertainer after the manufacturing operation he worked at closed a few years ago.
“I worked second or third shift, so I didn’t get a chance to go to open mics. So I just goofed around at home and when I found myself without work, I decided -- what the heck -- why not do what I love,” said Seiler. “It has been a great experience and I am fortunate to have gigs all over.”

In addition to his work as a musician Seiler is also an accomplished dancer and gives private and group dance lessons throughout Northern Michigan. Seiler offers lessons in the Waltz, Foxtrot, East Coast Swing, Cha Cha, Rumba, Salsa, Merrenge and Tango.
“I offer entry level instruction as well as intermediate training. What I like to focus on is the social dancer, the person who is looking to have fun on the dance floor.”
In between performing music, giving dance lessons and guitar lessons, Seiler serves the musical director for his church.
So how did a kid from southwest Ohio end up in Northern Michigan?
“When I was in high school I was in a band, and after high school we performed gigs all over and ended up performing at Boyne Mountain because one of the guys had a place on Lake Charlevoix. Well, I didn’t have money for college and didn’t think there was a career for me as a musician, so I knew I needed to get a real job.”
That real job ended up in Boyne City by a fluke.
“We were up performing over the weekend, it was October - but there was snow on the ground,” said Seiler. “I saw that this place, Circuit Control, was hiring and by Monday I started working for them.”

That was in the late ’70s , and from then through the ’80s, the guitar was basically a hobby for Seiler.
“I decided to start getting serious again in the ‘90s and took lessons from Ron Getz,” said Seiler. I was astounded by his abilities and knowledge. Ron really motivated me.”
So what prompted Seiler to walk away from job security and become a fulltime entertainer?
“I was getting tired of breathing in all the chemicals and knew that I had really never tested the waters 100%,” said Seiler. “I went on a mission trip in 2006 and re-thought my life and decided to go for it. I have not looked back since.”
Michael Lee Seiler is passionate about his music; his solo sets blend a mix of originals from his CD, “My Own Man,” to covers and standards. His guitar work is technical while explorative at the same time.
Seiler will perform this weekend at the Concord Academy in Mancelona on Friday for the Relay For Life event at 11:30 am. He will be joined by several other musicians from the region. On Saturday night his trio, Juke, will play at Lil Bo’s in Traverse City. On Sunday he will return to his solo work at the Mothers Day Gospel Blues Brunch at Forest Dunes Golf Club in Roscommon.

For details on Seiler and to view his summer concert dates go to michaelleeseiler.com.

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