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 · Elberta Summer Solstice...
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Elberta Summer Solstice Festval

Robert Downes - June 14th, 2010
Return of the Sun: The Elberta Solstice Festival
One of Northern Michigan’s newest festivals also has one of its most
dramatic locations: Elberta’s Solstice Festival is held in the town’s
expansive Waterfront Park on Frankfort’s harbor, with great views of
the lighthouse and Lake Michigan.
The Benzie County event is the first music festival of the summer in
Northern Michigan (along with Brethren’s Spirit of the Woods
Festival), taking place this Saturday, June 19 from noon - 1 a.m.
Plus, you can’t beat the entrance fee for this family-oriented
festival: it’s all free of charge.
“It’s a big local party that the whole family gets to have fun at,”
says co-chair Josh Stoltz. “And it all wraps up with a fireworks show
that a lot of people say is the best in Northern Michigan.”

With headliners including local heroes, K. Jones & the Benzie
Playboys, the festival at Elberta Waterfront Park offers a full
afternoon and evening of music along with fun for kids and their
parents. Some highlights will include a kite building class and
exhibition by Third Coast Kite and Hobby; hang gliding and paragliding
exhibitions off Elberta’s legendary bluffs; a 75-foot sun dial created
by Dean Conners; crafts related to the summer solstice; teen music and
dance; a beer garden; games, dancing, an open mic and more.
“The festival started out in 2002 and we’ve had some slower years, but
it has picked up since then and we’re expecting a great turnout this
year,” Stoltz says.
Stoltz joined the Solstice team last year, bringing a wealth of
experience in marketing and festival organization. The son of Benzie
Playboys washboard scrubber Mark Stoltz, he grew up in Lake Ann,
attended Benzie Central High School, and went on to pursue a career in
direct marketing in Phoenix and Miami before returning to the area. At
one point, he was employing up to 70 people, marketing for businesses
such as Staples in Arizona.

Stoltz has had a colorful past here in the area: he recalls traveling
with his dad to Cajun music festivals in the Louisiana bayou and to
Mardi Gras as a child -- a musical experience that shaped his interest
in festivals. He also owns “The Future” school bus, a camping vehicle
painted with Earth-inspired scenes which he used to travel around the
country. Additionally, he was part of the team that staged the
Dunegrass and Blues Festival in Empire, leaving the organization over
budget issues before the ill-fated 2008 festival that lost more than
an estimated $300,000. “My budget advice was ignored, so I got out
before the festival went down,” he notes.
But Stoltz’s expertise in marketing and organization was recognized by
those putting on the Solstice Festival and he was approached to lend a
hand at the fundraiser for Elberta Waterfront Park.
“One of my goals is to make enough money so that we can make this a
sustainable festival that will bring in a really big band every few
years,” he says.
How do you make money at a free festival? Beer sales. Mom or Dad can
enjoy a brewski at the Festival’s beer garden while still keeping an
eye on their kids at the open landscaped park.

You’ll also find some unusual cullinary opportunities this year,
including the “Gross Eating Contest” for kids ages 8-13 which involves
consuming things like beet jello, or a brussel sprout and pickle juice
For adults, there will be the introduction of the “Green Plate
Challenge” by Jim Barnes of Crystal Lake Catering and Eco-Building
Products. “Five chefs from the area will be creating ‘green plate’
dinners that have to include at least 90 percent local ingredients,”
Stoltz says. “Then they’ll be serving these dishes at their
restaurants throughout the summer.”
Participating restaurants include the Cabbage Shed, Betsie Bay Inn,
Tali Bistro, Coho Cafe and The Thistle, all of which will be offering
a taste of their green plates at the Solstice Festival.

-- by Robert Downes

Festival Events:

M.C. & Music: Brett Byrnes
Noon-1:30: Acoustic Dynamite
1:45-2:45: Waterline
3:00-4:00: Dear Sasquatch
6:15-7:00: Gross Eating Contest
(ages 8-13)
7:00-7:45: Hannah Rae Beale
8:00-10:30: K Jones & the
Benzie Playboys
10:30-10:45: FIREWORKS!!
10:45-11:45pm: sub-Prime Blues Band
12:00-1:00am: Free Love

7:00-?: Bonfire
9:00-10:30: (live music)
Upon Your Pedestal
10:45-?: DJ

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