Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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4Play: MercyMe, Tonic, Jack Johnson, Tenth Avenue North

Kristi Kates - June 28th, 2010
MercyMe - The Generous Mr. Lovewell - Columbia
Putting forth the philosophy that we should all “love well” and as unconditionally as possible, this new album from MercyMe features powerful topics and spiritual lyrics, to carry the band’s philosophy that everyone should try to change the world a little bit each day. “This Life” kicks off the set’s theme with its ELO-style synths/drums, and the title track carries on the theme while taking it to the dance floor; “Crazy Strength” is more traditional in its pop-rock arrangement, and “This So Called Love” wraps things up on a positive note.





Tonic - Tonic - 429 Records
Energetic and emotional, Tonic’s latest, production-wise, may still sound a bit like the alt-rock of the late ‘90s, but their songwriting has continued to grow along with the band’s extensive tour schedule. It’s an interesting mix between more chill pop-rock songs and more aggressive tracks, with echoes of everyone from Matchbox Twenty to Stone Temple Pilots heard. The songs themselves range from the anthemic first single “Release Me” to the hooky “Send a Message,” all the way to the heavier next-to-last track “Torn to Pieces.”





Jack Johnson - To the Sea - Brushfire
Working again with his trio of regular bandmates - Zach Gill on piano, Merlo Podlewski on bass, and Adam Topol on drums - Hawaiian folk-pop troubadour Johnson offers up more of his sincerely saccharine (this is not a bad thing) tunes with the calm confidence of someone whose musical direction - that being firmly planted in the “mellow” category - is secure. Songs including first single “You and Your Heart,” “The Upsetter,” and “Turn Your Love” share solar-powered space with the wittily-named highlight, “Pictures of People Taking Pictures.”




Tenth Avenue North - The Light Meets The Dark - Provident
Continuing their pop-gospel forward momentum from their past year and a half of success, Tenth Avenue North’s latest also sees the band adding more depth into their music, especially on songs like the social statement of “All the Pretty Things” and the piano balladry of “On and On.” “You Are More” is perhaps the most radio-ready track on the set, with “Empty my Hands” a close second due to its expressive content and chorus; “House of Mirrors” uses a smart allegory to get its point across, and “Oh My Dear” is simply pretty.

 
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