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 · Funny Lady? Marti johnson
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Funny Lady? Marti johnson

Erin Cowell - June 28th, 2010
Funny Lady: Martha “Marti” Johnson pursues her dream as TC’s first female standup comedienne
By Erin Crowell
“Do you know what they’re going to call the merger between Munson and
Spectrum Health?” Martha Johnson asks.
Of course, “Marti” (as her friends call her) isn’t being serious –
actually, the account executive at ABC TV 29&8 is always joking around
and making people laugh—so much so, that friends and family have
encouraged her to take on stand-up comedy.
It was something Johnson took seriously.
The Traverse City resident has already performed in front of two
sold-out crowds at Lil Bo Pub and Grille in town and anticipates an
additional mob at her next performance on Thursday, July 1, at the
same venue.

So, what does this 47-year-old single gal, living in Northern Michigan
have to say? Well, it’s all part of her routine titled “The Brass
Ovaries Comedy Tour,” the bit covers everything from career to pap
“Ever notice that everything that starts with the word ‘men’ has to do
with women?” Johnson asks. “Menopause, mental illness, menses…what is
up with that?”
On stage, Johnson recalls her experiences as a single career gal in
the world of online dating.
“I once got a marriage proposal from a guy in L.A.,” she laughs.
“Never even met him before. I was like, ‘For real, how did you find
Marti Johnson in the pinkie of Michigan?!’”
Not that she would have said yes, because as Johnson points out, her
standards are
set high.
“I’m looking for a guy with teeth and a job.”
Johnson’s routine is also about everyday life, particularly in
Northern Michigan.
“You know, there are two seasons in this area,” Johnson says. “Winter
and no left turn.”

As a TC Chamber Ambassador, Film Festival volunteer, NMC College
Scholarship Golf Outing Committee member and board member for
Michael’s Place, it was only a matter of time before this career girl
added something else to the platter.
Johnson has over 23 years experience in sales, which serves as part
material, part reason she is so comfortable on stage.
“I used to be a pharmaceuticals rep. I’ve sold everything from drugs
to radio and newspaper sales.”
With her type of career, Johnson knows that these are the times when
laughter is needed the most.
“It’s the most challenging time that I’ve seen,” she says. “People
need to laugh now more than ever. I love to make people smile.”
Johnson says she developed that ability through her father and grandfather.
“I’m a lot like them. I always have these one liners, plus I have a
great memory so it’s easy for me to recall a joke,” she says.
Johnson also draws her inspiration from comedians like Robin Williams,
but she says her style is all her own.
“My comedy is about life, it’s tragedy plus time,” she says. “Plus, my
routine is pretty clean; but, I might drop an F-bomb here or there.”
Friends have always encouraged her to get on stage, friends like John
Sohacki. He pursued his own hobby and now plays bass in a local band,
performing across the region.
“She has always made people laugh and I really encouraged her to get
out and try it,” Sohacki says. “All you can do is encourage and tell
them it’s going to happen. I give her credit because it took a lot of
courage. I’ve at least got some band mates to share the spotlight
But Johnson says she doesn’t mind being up there alone.
“It seriously goes by in a second. Of course, the shot of liquid
courage probably helped,” she laughs.
Her dream would ultimately involve performing at Traverse City’s
newest festival.
“My goal is to be the hometown humor girl – to perform onstage at the
Traverse City Comedy Festival,” she says. “I talked to a lot of
comedians at last year’s festival and they all told me that this is
how they started. You just have to decide to do it.”

Catch TC’s funny lady, Martha “Marti” Johnson and her “Brass Ovaries
Comedy Tour” at Lil Bo Pub and Grille, in Traverse City, on Thursday,
July 1. Show starts at 8 p.m. There is a $5 cover charge.

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