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 · Mike Moran
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Mike Moran

Kristi Kates - June 28th, 2010
Ramblin‘ man Mike Moran
By Kristi Kates
Bouncing between two coasts these days is Mike Moran, the popular singer-songwriter whose alternating career ranges from Northern Michigan to San Diego.
Moran is scheduled to open the Microbrew & Music Festival in Traverse City this August, but for the time being, you can catch him at his new gigs in southern California.
Spending every summer in Northern Michigan was a rite of passage for Moran, who was born in Pontiac and attended high school in Clarkston. His parents fixed up a house in Bellaire - which turned into the family home while Moran was finishing high school - and it was shortly after graduation that Moran got into music while, as he puts it, “bouncing from college to college,” playing acoustic guitar and singing. Eight years ago, he decided to settle in Traverse City.
“I just felt at home there,” he says simply.

But wanderlust doesn’t often pass completely, although eight years is a decent amount of time in one place for an ambitious talent like Moran. After garnering plenty of local attention, winning “Best Musician/Performer” accolades, and notching a long list of regional live performances (over 200 a year at one point), Moran left his long-time Northern Michigan residence and relocated to California.
“I moved to San Diego on October 1 with my girlfriend and my dog,” Moran says, “I was motivated to take the next step. I wanted something more for my music, and I figured I was driving an hour and a half to Petoskey, two hours to Mt. Pleasant, and four to Detroit, so I might as well keep doing that, but in larger markets.”
That larger market has, so far, served Moran quite well, making his story definitely one of local boy hitting the big city and doing far more than just surviving.
While he says the most difficult part of the move is missing his family and friends (“but who doesn’t when you make a move like this,” he relates), he’s now keeping busy working on a new full-length album project, which he’s recording at San Diego’s Studio West, the recording facility that’s played host to everyone from Blink 182, Boyz II Men, Jars of Clay and Jewel, to Patti LaBelle and Patti Smith.
“I have 30 or so songs that I am splitting into two CDs,” Moran explains, “I’ll be doing some recording at Rolling Thunder Studios in Traverse City as well. I am recording demos before I go in, so I have a nice idea about the feel of the album; there are songs I’m excited about, but I still have a lot of lyric work to do.”

Some of Moran’s existing music, now that he’s in a larger market, has already drawn the attention of the big-time cable channels, one of which has tapped several of his songs to utilize as background and theme music for their shows.
“I got connected to The Golf Channel because of a friend I did a wedding for,” Moran explains, “she passed my Spaces CD on to someone at the channel, and they wanted to use my song “75 and Sunny Skies.” Then they wanted to use the song “Spaces,” and now they are asking for more songs for another show.”
Moran says that the cable channel opportunities are helping to give him a different avenue for promoting his music.
“There are so many different routes to making music a career,” he says, “and I always wanted to write songs that worked well with TV and movies.”

Moran, whose own music has been compared to the likes of Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, and John Mayer, has also opened for Eddie Money, Bob Dylan, Martin Sexton, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Willie Nelson, and he is definitely keeping live shows in the mix; he says that his time in Northern Michigan is what helped prepare him for a professional musical career.
“Northern Michigan turned me into a performer,” Moran says, “it gave me lots of different crowds, and helped me understand how to read a room. I don’t know if people have to leave Northern Michigan to succeed in music, but I do believe you have to tour once in awhile even if it’s on your own, just so you don’t get stuck in the same routine.”
He also says that there’s not much he doesn’t like about the Northern Michigan music scene, but if there are any improvements he might suggest, it’s that he hopes that people might become more open-minded as far as listening to musicians performing original material.
“Give the local guy or gal credit for trying to create something that is subject to be judged by all,” he says, “the best thing about my move (to San Diego) for my career is that I am getting critiques and opinions from people I really need to get an opinion from. They are pushing me to be a better songwriter.”
And what does Moran like best about the time he spent developing as a musician “Up North”?
“What I love about the Northern Michigan music scene is that it’s underrated,” he says, “there are a lot of great players and writers there, and as Traverse City grows, that’s going to be a great story over the next couple of years.”

To find out more about Mike Moran and his music, visit him online at www.mikemoranmusic.com.

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