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 · John Latini
. . . .

John Latini

Kristi Kates - July 26th, 2010
It’s Always the Blues for John Latini
By Kristi Kates
“Blues music is an American folk music, and as such, how can I help
but love it?” says singer-songwriter John Latini, “It’s basic, raw and
full of feeling for those playing it and those listening to it. Blues
lovers are loyal and faithful to the music and will actually leave
their houses to seek it out.”
Latini, who won both the 2008 and 2009 Detroit Blues Challenges, is a
veteran performer most often lauded for his energy and personality
onstage, and he’ll be bringing those characteristics - and a whole
lotta’ blues tunes - to Charlevoix’s Black Cat Concert Series.

 Growing up in Queens, NY, Latini was exposed to a wide range of music
via his family - and his eclectic musical choices continue today.
“My mom listened to a lot of stuff,” Latini explains, “everything from
Hank Williams to Harry Belefonte, and a lot of ethnic music - Italian
and Irish, but also Middle Eastern belly-dancing music and such. My
older brothers - well, actually everyone - were listening to The
Beatles, The Rolling Stones and then The Band, The Allman Brothers,
and Simon and Garfunkel.”
Latini’s brother eventually made up a family “fake book” of songs with
all the words and chords so that the family could sit around the table
after dinner and have singalongs.
“There were tunes that my parents liked, and tunes that we liked,”
Latini remembers, “and as it was passed around to all the family
members learning to play guitar, they would each add tunes to the
book. It was really cool - and that book is still around!”

Today, Latini is still influenced by what he simply calls “great
songwriters,” among them, Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, and Ryan Adams,
to name a few.
“Also, many of my friends and contemporaries,” Latini continues, “Dave
Boutette, Jo Serrapere, Josh Davis, Jim Bizer; the list is long, and
includes virtually any songwriters that really care for and work over
their tunes. I so enjoy songs that reveal more and more with each new
Latini, who moved from Queens to the Detroit area in 1983 (“my wife
moved here to attend EMU,” he explains), has lived in Ypsilanti since
1988, and he’s been part of Detroit’s Blues Society scene for the past
several years.
As a songwriter, he’s found that most of his tunes lately end up being
about his family and his personal experiences - “although they’re
personal experiences that would be common to many, many people that
have lived similarly,” he says, “I believe that a broader
accessibility is a must if you are writing about personal

Latini has been sharing those personal-experiences-via-song at plenty
of live dates; he’s got a full schedule booked already through the end
of this year, and says the gigs have been going well.
“I’ve enjoyed playing to some real great audiences, truly discerning
listeners,” he says, “the spring and summer dates have been especially
fun; I’ve always loved playing outdoors, and I like the festival
atmosphere and playing on a bill with other acts. I enjoy the
camaraderie of rubbing elbows with the other players.”
For the Charlevoix show, Latini says he’ll have his regular bass
player, John Sperendi, in tow (they’ll be performing as a duo), and
will be playing plenty of original music.
“We’ll be playing songs from my back catalog, as well as songs from my
upcoming record, which is due out early next year,” he says, “we’re
really excited about this new CD - it’s got great material, great
players and really, really great performances.”
Those performances, of course, will include Latini’s own impressive
guitar skills, as well as his distinctive voice, which he says is
perfectly cut out to bring the blues to every song.
“My vocal ability is basic and raw, and no matter what musical style
I’m singing in, it always comes out a little bluesy. I think it’s the
gravel,” he chuckles.

Singer-songwriter John Latini will be performing as part of the Black
Cat Concert Series on Saturday, July 31 at 8 p.m. The concerts take
place at the Dhaseleer Farm, 15794 Paddock Road in Charlevoix,
telephone 231-675-7768. Tickets for the Latini show are $15; get more
info at

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