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 · Taking flight: A new festival
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Taking flight: A new festival

Kristi Kates - May 17th, 2010
Taking Flight:A new festival that’s for the birds
By Kristi Kates
“When I was younger, I grew up birding around Northern Michigan and
the Whitefish Point area with my father, Jim Porter,” explains concert
producer Sam Porter. “The love for nature and wildlife that grew out
of that experience is my personal inspiration for this event.”
“This event” is in reference to the upcoming Festival of Birds, set to
kick off on Friday, May 21 at Traverse City’s City Opera House. The
fest will bring together local nature lovers, artists, and musicians,
with Porterhouse Productions at the helm, to help showcase the beauty
and mystery of Michigan birds to a large audience.
“I started networking with regional bird lovers to discuss the idea of
creating an event that connects youth and community to the mystery of
different species of birds,” Porter says. “We wanted to organize a
festival and get creative with music, local birding artists,
storytelling, education, and bringing in local nonprofit partners to
make this a regional, multi-day event.”

Live musical performances by the likes of Mike Moran and the
appropriately-named Breathe Owl Breathe will be accompanied by live
raptor presentations at the inaugural event. The renowned non-profit
sanctuary Wings of Wonder - one of only a handful of sanctuaries in
Michigan dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of injured and/or
orphaned raptors (birds) - will be bringing birds out at the
beginnings of several songs in order to tell their stories.
Derek Bailey, Chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and
Chippewa Indians, will also make a special introduction with a redtail
hawk during the event, accompanied by Medicine Lodge singers and
drummers. The bands and birds on the same stage will surely make for a
beautiful - if perhaps humorously unpredictable - feature of the
“In conversation with Wings of Wonder founder Rebecca Lessard, I
thought of the idea to have musicians and live birds share the stage,”
Porter explains, “there is certainly an element of spontaneity and
whimsy to it - with live birds, nothing is ever a guarantee! But there
will be trained professionals there to manage the animals. It will be
a truly unique experience, one I think that will be very inspiring and
powerful for the audience. Rebecca says Droolin the Turkey Vulture is
a total ham, and we should see six feet of wingspan at some point from
his perch. He is just one of several different types of birds that
will share the stage that night.”

In addition to the performances, the Friday event will feature
educational wildlife and nature booths. The fest will continue on
Saturday at a variety of locales and events, including bird walks,
bird-banding workshops, a Boardman River Nature Center plant sale, and
tours of both Wings of Wonder and Saving Birds Thru Habitat.
Meanwhile the State Theatre will present the hit documentary film
“Winged Migration” on Monday, May 17 at 6 p.m. in honor of the
festival and its blend of nature and the arts.
Porter is looking forward to the first year of the event, and how
it will set the stage positively for the continuation of the Festival
of Birds in following years.
“I am looking forward to a collaborative, joyful gathering to enjoy
birds, live music and the spirit of community,” Porter says. “As a
first-year event, we’re starting out simple to get people engaged,
then hopefully will build on that energy to create a large-scale
festival in 2011. Northern Michigan is such a beautiful nature
community - we want to honor that and give people of all ages a chance
to come out and celebrate it.”

Doors to the City Opera House event open at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May
21, with performances starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for
general admission or $5 for youth and are available for purchase at
the City Opera House or online at
ww.cityoperahouse.org. Additional events will take place off-site on
May 22; a complete schedule of events will be available online at

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